Meet Charlotte Faith.
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14, Charlotte weighed only 83 pounds.
Even though she ate large amounts of food, she found herself ravenously hungry and began gaining weight rapidly. Only 1.5 years following her diagnosis, Charlotte gained about 70 pounds, weighing over 150 pounds.
Soon after, Charlotte embarked on a journey to lose weight and fully control type 1 diabetes, which involved eliminating heavily processed foods and eating a low-carbohydrate paleo diet.
In combination with moderate exercise, Charlotte began losing weight. As a paleo food blogger, she made sugar-free, “low carb” treats to satisfy her cravings for carbohydrate-rich food and was able to lose about 32 pounds.
Charlotte limited her carbohydrate intake to no more than 50 grams per day, yet still experienced high blood glucose values (over 300 mg/dL) after eating a banana or half a sweet potato.
She often complained to herself: “I eat almost no carbs and my blood sugar is still high! How is this possible?”
In addition, Charlotte developed hypothyroidism (a sluggish thyroid gland and low thyroid hormone production) and lost her period for 7 years.
Women who suffer from insulin-dependent diabetes often also experience amenorrhea as a result of blood glucose dysregulation. An elevated A1c is associated with amenorrhea in women with type 1 diabetes.
Better control over blood glucose levels corresponds with improved menstrual regulation among type 1 diabetes patients.
In addition, research indicates a correlation between low-carbohydrate diets and amenorrhea in women.
This evidence demonstrates that controlling blood glucose, lowering A1c, and increasing whole carbohydrate intake may promote recovery from amenorrhea in women living with diabetes.
One day when Charlotte watched a video about reversing insulin resistance, she was introduced to the concept that a person with type 1 diabetes could eat a high-fruit diet without experiencing blood glucose spikes.
But the mere fact that it seemed unbelievable was all the temptation she needed to try the Mastering Diabetes Method.
For breakfast, Charlotte began eating smoothie bowls containing bananas, spinach, zucchini, apples, and dates.
For lunch, she usually ate a large salad with beans or oil-free, air-fried potatoes. For dinner, she typically ate beans and rice or tacos followed by nice cream.
No longer in need of coffee for energy in the mornings, Charlotte began drinking hot tea in addition to a brisk run outdoors.
After switching to a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet, Charlotte now eats whole-carbohydrate foods without experiencing dramatic blood glucose spikes.
As you can see in the table below, Charlotte improved her mealtime carbohydrate-to-insulin from 4:1 to 12:1 without significant changes in body weight, demonstrating the power of the Mastering Diabetes Method to improve insulin sensitivity independent of weight loss.
Charlotte’s biomarkers are shown in the table below:
Mealtime Carbohydrate-to-Insulin Ratio (g/U)
Carbohydrate (grams per day)
Total Cholesterol (mg/dL)
LDL Cholesterol (mg/dL)
HDL Cholesterol (mg/dL)
The results Charlotte has experienced following a plant-based lifestyle have inspired her to become a nutrition coach to help others struggling with similar issues.
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Jamie Koonce, DACM, L.Ac, Dipl.OM is the Digital Content Manager at Mastering Diabetes. She holds a Doctorate degree in Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology & Anthropology from Hendrix College, and Certification in Plant-Based Nutrition through eCornell. Jamie has been enjoying a plant-based lifestyle since 1999. In addition to writing at Mastering Diabetes, she teaches continuing education courses to other health professionals on the science behind a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food lifestyle for specific medical conditions.
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