Low Carb/High Protein Diet Help!

Hey all!

First post here. T1 Diabetic for nearly 10 years now. 21 years old, male, and pretty lean. Ive lost 18 pounds in the last two months as a result of a low carb, high protein diet and am down to 175 pounds now at 5’11”. As I’ve been on this journey for two months now, I have started to notice my blood sugar creeping up after my high protein meals and have since learned that protein can cause this, which I didnt know before. I am taking much, much less insulin now (around 30-35 total units a day, bolus and basal combined) and feel incredible. My A1C has dropped to right at 7% (this was taken 2 weeks into my starting of low carb, so it has undoubtedly gotten lower since) however some of the things Im reading online are making me worry that this new lifestyle (I hesitate to call it a diet) is going to cause me to become completely insulin insensitive eventually. Basically, my overarching question here is whether a low carb high protein diet is sustainable for someone like me. Is the answer here to continue to do right by my body and just increase my basal/bolus rates a bit? Im afraid that will be a never ending proposition, and I will end up not reacting to insulin in the future. This may seem absurd to some and I apologize if I am coming across as ignorant as I have been researching this for hours, but there is so much misinformation out there that I wanted to get first hand accounts/advice. I cant imagine going back to what I was doing before in eating whatever I want and not caring about my BS like the kid I was, however all of a sudden I feel as if Ive hit a big road block in living the life I thought was correct for me. Any advice/help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Hi @Dycofree Dylan and welcome to TypeOneNation. I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. I’m more of a mechanic and more of an observer. In my opinion, up your insulin for ideal blood sugar control and carry on. You are having such great results, I struggle to see what you are upset over anyway.

As your body converts fats to energy there might be a point where you want to add carbs. You can keep track by monitoring total body fat. You can add carbs by eating more vegetables including the more starchy ones bits carbs are carbs anyway.

I think you seem to be doing great so I’ll say this: if what you are doing is working, then keep doing it. Cheers and good luck.

Thanks for the reply and kind words Joe. I guess what I’m upset about is the possible implications of insulin resistance as a result of a protein heavy meal plan. I dont want to carry on without as much info as I can muster and later learn that I was doing myself harm.

But at the same time, I went on for the first 9+ years of my diagnosis without regard for nutrition or control, and didnt think twice about it for the most part. So I need to ease up on myself here and let whatever is working, work like you said. Thanks again for the reply.



Those that push back on this being dangerous are often warning of ketones. A low carb diet often results in more ketones, which are used to convert fat to energy.

If I were to pursue a diet like this, I’d probably get a baseline of ketones while you know you are healthy. If you go higher than that, then you may need to treat for bad levels of ketones.

Hi Dylan @Dycofree, welcome to this Forum…
Your insulin sensitivities, resistance will vary over time and I don’t expect that a particular diet [by itself] will be the cause. You noticed that for you, protein apparently causes you glucose levels to rise , and as @Joe said you can use insulin to counter this rise - remember the “basic rule” is balancing activity, food and insulin. I like that you are observing and recording how YOU respond to the variables; being your own Primary Doctor.
Over the years, I’ve had diabetes about 50 years longer than you, my “diet” [I don’t like that term either] has changed many times and I make the necessary insulin adjustments. When eating at home, my meals are healthy and full of nutrition - I eat what my wife cooks including the very tasty peach cobbler for tonight’s desert; my average daily carb total is about 220 grams; total insulin >23 units on days we don’t go to restaurants; HbA1c >6.7% [I’ve been trying to get this up from 6.0].
I currently use a CGM and watch how various foods affect me - how long after dating that my BGL rises, and by how much; I use extended bolus on my pump in an attempt to counteract the foods - occasionally need correction bolus.

It sounds as if you have a good hand on your diabetes management - keep up the good work and enjoy life. Eat the foods that you enjoy eating and most benefit your body and personality.

Hi @Dycofree. I try to eat low-carb as well. I do bolus for the protein in my meals (in addition to carbs). The ratio I use is 1 unit of insulin for 32 grams of protein. Since everyone is different, you’d have to find out what works for you. I’m new to this forum, so I hope it’s okay to post what works for me!

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Certainly Lori @LoriMary, it is proper and okay to post what works for you; that is one of the primary reasons for this site - sharing what works, and what hasn’t worked. Even though we are all a bit different in how our bodies react, we are all learning from each-other. Thank you so much for this tip…

And, A Warm Welcome to TypeOneNation Forum; I see that you joined only two hours ago. Although I’ve been trying to figure out how to live with diabetes for over 60 years, it never dawned on me to base my insulin on “grams of protein”; I will now experiment on that. Yep, I’m never too old to learn.

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Thanks for the welcome, @Dennis. Best of luck experimenting!

I’ve been told and noticed that protein effects bg later than the carbs, but didn’t realize there is a way to dose for it. Sometimes I think of the proteins in a meal, and just dose a little high than the carbs would indicate. Of course, its more of a guessing game on injections. I’ll have to pay close attention when the diabetes educator trains me on the InPen on Wednesday. It’s suppose to calculate the dose similar to the way a pump would, using carbs and bg from a cgm.