Virta Health: An Unparalleled Leader in Reversing Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition characterized by high blood glucose levels due to the inability to effectively utilize insulin (insulin resistance). It is well-known that it is often possible to reverse type 2 diabetes by adjusting lifestyle factors, in particular, through dietary changes and sustained weight loss. However, many patients are not able to achieve this.

Virta is a company that was founded in 2014 and has made it their mission to help people reverse their type 2 diabetes. In their program, “most patients achieve blood sugar control while removing medications like insulin, often in a matter of weeks.”

The program centers around utilizing a very low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet, tailored specifically to meet each patient’s need. The dietary change can help facilitate both weight loss, and improve blood glucose levels, often quickly, allowing for discontinuation of various blood glucose medications under medical supervision.

In addition to a health coach”, blood sugar testing supplies, a “smart scale”, the company offers a variety of educational resources, community engagement among patients, and personalized advice provided by medical experts.

“Powered by technology and data science, physicians and nurses provide expert medical care, when and where patients need it, via Virta’s custom-designed app medical records system.”

One of the main reasons that a very low-carbohydrate diet can work so well for many people with diabetes is depicted below.

Photo credit: Virta Health

In fact, a very low-carbohydrate approach as an integral part of diabetes management is becoming more and more accepted and recommended by medical professionals and health organizations. Learn more about the most recent research and recommendations about low carb for diabetes here:

Low-Carb for Type 1 Diabetes

Low-Carb for Type 2 Diabetes

Low-Carb for Pre-Diabetes

Check out some of the very impressive Virta clinical study outcomes in patients who utilize the program:

Additionally, the researchers noted weight loss as a “side-benefit”, with patients losing an average of 30 lbs., or 12% of their body weight, a clinically-significant result that was maintained at the one-year mark since the start of the trial. Even more strikingly, participants experienced significant cardiovascular disease risk reduction, lower blood pressure levels, lower levels of inflammation, and lower risk for fatty liver disease.

Of course, all these health improvements also translate to cost savings for both patients and health insurance providers. Many employers and health plans are now working with Virta to increase patient access to this treatment approach. To get started, you can fill out a short form to schedule a free call to determine the next steps in the process.

With superior success to a traditional diabetes care approach already established, Virta aims to continue to broaden its reach with the challenging and very admirable goal of “reversing type 2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025.

Have you heard of or participated in this program? What are your thoughts on carbohydrate restriction as a primary means to achieve weight loss and tighter blood sugar management? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

How the Keto Diet Paved the Way for a “Normal” Life

By Matt Barrie

I have type 1 diabetes since age three, and am now 37 years old. Living a ‘normal life’ has always been my number 1 goal, but how this has manifested has been different through different stages of my life. As a teenager, I hung out with friends and wanted to do all the same things as them, eat the same things as them and just be a ‘normal’ kid. I made it through, although there were several seizures and hospital visits.

My twenties had their ups and downs both with health and life events. I had weight fluctuations from quite low to an extra unhealthy 20 lbs., and my HbA1cs were also all over the map. By 26, I made some big changes and adopted a healthy, standard carb-diet lifestyle and enjoyed that sense of ‘normalcy’ that we all crave. I played soccer, ran, skied, and lifted weights.

By my late twenties, I made some big life-changing decisions, like heading back to school to change direction with my career. Through studying and supporting myself at the same time, my health began to slip slowly and steadily. By the time my degree was finished, I had put on 50+ lbs., had developed very unhealthy eating habits, and could barely make it up a flight of stairs without being out of breath.

Doctors were giving me all the warnings, my HbA1c was up in the 8s and 9s and most significantly, the diabetic retinopathy that had begun to develop in my 20s worsened and progressed into macular retinal edema. So, monthly visits to the ophthalmologist (daily, when I developed an infection from the injections I was getting that almost took my eye!) became my new normal. With fear as a driving factor and determination as the driving force, I jumped into action, although not sure where to begin.

keto diet

Moussaka made with eggplant, zucchini, cashew-béchamel, ground beef sauce and cheese. Photo credit: Matt Barrie

I started experimenting with the ketogenic diet after reading that it had proved successful for many people with diabetes, both types 1 and 2. This was around 3.5 years ago. Most of the success I read about then was regarding type 2 diabetes and reversing it with the diet.

I was very curious though how I could make this work for myself so the experimenting began. I tried cyclical, where you rotate carbs in and out, but this didn’t work. I tried semi-strict, with the infamous ‘cheat days’ which I needed at the time to preserve those foods I ‘missed’, but ultimately this didn’t work either. I tried many different iterations of the diet and for two years saw small successes – up to 20 lbs. [weight loss] here and there. It was enough to keep me going but I never saw that breakthrough success that I was truly after.

After the summer of 2019, I had taken a ‘break’ with visiting relatives and had gained back all my losses and then some. It was very discouraging, but it was the motivation I needed to make a serious change. I hit a saturation point where I knew I couldn’t keep continuing on the way I had been. I weighed in over 210 lbs., which on my 5’8″ frame felt like [an extra] 100 lbs. I committed to myself that I would be absolutely strict keto, I signed up with a trainer twice a week to stay accountable, and committed to running twice a week. I also began practicing intermittent fasting with the 16 hour/8 hour split between my fasting and eating window.

Photo credit: Matt Barrie

Within the first month, I dropped 15 lbs. and the weight and body composition began to change week by week, month by month. By the time the pandemic hit, I was well on my way to my weight loss goal and was able to stay on track. I lost 50 lbs. by April of 2020 and have been working on building lean muscle mass ever since!

My insulin needs have dropped significantly – basal by about a quarter and fast-acting by over 3/4! My HbA1c is in the low 6s and most significantly, I have reversed my macular edema and the retinopathy seems to be going into remission as well. My ophthalmologist was blown away that there was no fluid in my retina.

Photo credit: Matt Barrie

It’s hard to put into words the effect these lifestyle changes have had in my life. My energy, ability to perform, clarity of mind, spirit, and purpose are all significantly improved. Thinking and being told by convention that carbs were essential led me to high levels of insulin resistance, fat storage, yo-yo blood sugars, and unnecessary highs and lows due to over-correction. I now enjoy steady blood glucose levels during exercise, during waking hours, and overnight. I’m also enjoying much lower insulin needs and feel confident that my risk of diabetic complications is significantly decreased.

Keto Diet - Matt Barrie

Left: Sablefish (black cod) with puréed butternut squash, pan-fried Brussels and topped with red cabbage sauerkraut. Right: Grilled pork chop with seared zu Chinju, roasted carrots and cauliflower. Finished with mushroom cream sauce. Photo credit: Matt Barrie

I can’t shout from the roof loud enough that the ketogenic lifestyle can be such a powerful tool for diabetes management! I’m not saying it’s the only way, but it has certainly worked for me and changed my life. At first, you do miss the foods from a standard carbohydrate diet that we are all programmed to accept, but with time the cravings go away and the way you feel on the other side is totally worth it! It doesn’t even feel like a sacrifice anymore and being creative in the kitchen to make satisfying, delicious food is all part of the fun!

Left: Zucchini tuna melts with cheese and avocado mayo. Right: Cauliflower, bacon and asparagus soup with homemade almond flour cheese scone. Photo credit: Matt Barrie

If you’d like to follow my journey and pick up any tips and tricks I’ve discovered along the way, I’ve recently started a public Instagram account. You can follow along @type1ketoguy.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Mammoth Creameries: The Keto Ice Cream That Tastes Like the Real Deal

If you eat low-carb, you probably know that there is no shortage of alternative products when it comes to our favorite treats, like ice cream. However, far from all are able to deliver a wholesome list of ingredients in a product that is blood sugar-friendly and tastes great!

I received samples of several flavors of ice cream from Mammoth Creameries at no charge. I was not additionally compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.

Who They Are

Mammoth Creameries is a family-owned, low-carb, low-sugar ice cream business based in Austin, TX. It was founded by Tim Krauss and his wife, Sue, shortly after Tim’s diagnosis with type 1 diabetes. Tim explains how the diagnosis changed the course of his and his family’s life, and how the ice cream company was born:

“I committed myself to living a more health-conscious life centered around exercise and eating well, adhering to the paleo diet before making the shift to a low-sugar, low-carb, and high-fat ketogenic diet. Sue, in her typical fashion, went above and beyond in helping guide me through this difficult life transition before eventually going ketogenic herself. She quickly became our household’s go-to keto chef, exploring recipes and dishes of all kinds. However, there was one thing she couldn’t find for our new lifestyle: ice cream.

Born in our kitchen and warmly welcomed by our innovative city, the positive reception and growth we’ve seen since starting this company has reinforced our belief that Mammoth Creameries is the gateway to a dietary independence that diabetic and ketogenic individuals are hard-pressed to find in today’s world. Together, we’re creating dessert that works for your body, not against it!”

The company is committed to using well-sourced, high-quality, real ingredients, including butter from grass-fed cows and egg yolks from cage-free chickens. All products don’t have any added sugar and are sweetened instead with xylitol, a sugar alcohol that does not impact blood glucose levels (Note: Xylitol is very toxic to dogs, so do take extra care if you have a pet!).

The Products

Currently, four flavors of the ice cream are available: Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Lemon Buttercream, and Chocolate Peanut Butter. A 4-pack of one flavor (pint-size) or a combination 4-pack can be purchased on the company website for $55.00.

Although the ingredients list for each flavor varies slightly, the main ones for each are: cream, butter, sweetener, and egg yolks. They are all very low in carbohydrate (~1 g net per serving), and high in fat (~26 g per serving).

My Review

I have previously tried many low-carb ice creams from different companies and have often made my own, using simple ingredients, like cream, almond milk, sweetener, and vanilla extract. I have to say that out of all the commercially-available products I’ve tried, this one tasted the most like my home-made ice cream!

All the flavors tasted very rich and creamy. Not surprising, as this company uses real cream and butter, delivering a full-fat and satisfying product. The texture perfectly resembled ice cream and wasn’t crumbly, like some other ones I have tried. Caveat: let this product sit out of the freezer for about five minutes to get the perfect ice cream consistency!

Most importantly, the impact on my blood sugar (BG) levels was almost negligible, without even taking any insulin! This is truly a “keto-friendly” and “BG-friendly” ice cream that delivers on its promises and tastes like real ice cream.

As far as the flavors, I enjoyed all of them. My favorites were the classic Vanilla Bean and the subtly citrusy Lemon Buttercream. Meanwhile, my 3-year-old thoroughly enjoyed both of the chocolate flavors! That is perhaps the true test: is it kid-friendly? The answer this time is a resounding “yes!” (which is often not the case for many other low-carb products that I have put to the “toddler test”)!

Also, a little goes a long way! I don’t think I would be tempted to eat a whole pint—due to the caloric load, a ½ cup serving size really does leave you feeling satisfied.

Summary

Overall, Mammoth Creameries delivers a high-quality, blood sugar-friendly line of products that are made with simple and real ingredients. While the price point is on the higher side, if you consider that you can actually eat just one serving and feel satisfied, along with being able to eat delicious ice cream that has no impact on your blood sugar without making it yourself, it is well worth the investment!

***

What’s your favorite low-carb ice cream? Have you tried this product? Please comment below – we love hearing from our readers!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Recipe Roundup: Have Your Dessert (& Eat It Too!)

As we advance toward the holiday season at warp speed, having some low-carb dessert recipes in mind will help us stay on track during family and friend pot-lucks and celebrations while we enjoy our cake (or muffins or doughnuts), too! In this month’s Recipe Roundup, we share desserts that not only taste as good as […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

A Ketogenic Diet with Intermittent Fasting

This content originally appeared on Diabetes Stories. Republished with permission.While I’m typing this my right foot is in a surgical shoe. New Year’s Day I broke a bone in my toe and badly bruised my foot. For those who want the gory details: the husband and I were sleeping at my mother’s house and I […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

Fancy Food Show 2019: 10 Keto Products You Have to Try

This content originally appeared on Caroline’s Keto Kitchen. Republished with permission.Today was my first time ever attending the Fancy Food Show, which is put on by the Specialty Food Association. I had an absolute blast, and left feeling full (samples galore!), sore (walked over 10 miles while eating!), and incredibly pleased with my new keto finds. There’s […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

Butcher Box: Where Quality Matters

Calling all carnivores! If you are looking for incredible tasting, high-quality meat delivered to your door, Buterbox is exactly what you’ve been looking for. ButcherBox was kind enough to provide me with their products at no charge. I received no additional compensation for this review, and all opinions are my own. Who They Are ButcherBox […]
Source: diabetesdaily.com

Search

+