Some experiences from elder

(Rossi Luo) #1

I started keto 7 months ago, and it’s great, first of all, I want to say thanks to everyone in this forum, because I learned a lot from this forum.
My mom is 60 years old with type II diabetics for more than 20 years, her kidney has started to have problems. And I have tried to persuade her to start keto diet, but she doesn’t believe it and she believes the doctors telling her not eat fat. I have tried many times.
One of her main excuse is that she is quite old (60 years old) and her diabetics have been 20 years, so she thinks keto diet will not work for her.
So I was wondering if anyone elder can share some of his/her experience to me to prove that keto diet also works for elders even if he/she has had diabetics for many years. I can’t just see my mom get worse, it’s my mom.

(Allie) #2

Maybe start by encouraging her to eat less carbs without pushing the higher fats?
@never2late may be able to help with this one more.


Hi, Rossi Luo, I’m not an elder, per se, or a veteran in this WOE, as I only myself began it 12 Oct 2022. My mom hasn’t got diabetes, but I was concerned with her sugar and carb intake so I began sharing with her some of the research I’d read. First off, I advised her to do time-restricted eating, which would allow her insulin levels to fall, and her body to begin repairing itself as it wouldn’t be too busy constantly having to digest food, as would be the case with snacking, or the adviced 5-6 smaller meals a day. This, my mom took to heart, and she has later told me the time-restricted eating has helped, with both weight loss, but more importantly, with her digestive issues. I then began to share knowledge about sugar and how it affects our bodies, she has cut down. I began sharing knowledge regarding insulin and excessive carb intake, and so she has made some positive changes for herself, limiting processed foods, which is a really good start. So I would advice, don’t overwhelm your mom with talk of a drastic change, but begin small, with cutting down on processed foods, and sugar. Perhaps start there, and share some research the damage it can do. In terms of time-restricted eating, I am not sure how that would factor into a diabetic’s life, with regards to both illness and medication. Dr. Jason Fung has a youtube channel you might want to listen to, and has written a few books on the subject as well.

The advice that sugar is bad is now also largely supported by the mainstream, with plenty of accessible articles, and I do believe, for people of the older generation who follow the press (born and raised doing so), it helps that they can find that information so readily. Hope that helps. Also I would like to point out that 60 is not old, I keep telling my mum that too, age is just number.

(Chuck) #4

I am 75 and I started low carb a little over 5 months ago and have lost 35 pounds and I have never felt so great. I just keep my total calories below 70 each day. I don’t have diabetes just high blood pressure. I was on 5 prescription drugs each day I am now drug free.

(Michael) #5

Virta health has demonstrated that long term diabetes can be put into remission. It is not too late, look them up and use their website as a guide for her, hopefully it helps.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #6

I started keto at age 60, and I never considered myself “too old” to do keto. Your mom just doesn’t want to change. I didn’t either, that’s how I know. But one day, Dr. Robert Lustig’s lecture, “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” popped up in my YouTube recommendations, along with Dr. Peter Attia’s TED talk. Also, at this time, Dr. Phinney’s lectures started showing up in my YouTube recommendations, as well.

Dr. Attia introduced me to the notion that obesity doesn’t cause diabetes; they are both caused by something else. For some reason, Dr. Lustig scared the crap out of me with his discussion of the damage fructose does to the body. To my surprise, I was ready to listen, and I cut sugar (sucrose) out of my diet entirely. At that point, I decided not to worry about all the other carbohydrates I was eating. But after a couple of weeks, I felt so much better that I decided to go full-on keto. That was almost exactly six years ago.

For what it’s worth, the diet guru and physical trainer, Vinnie Tortorich, found that his clients (a lot of whom are movie stars) reacted badly to the word “ketogenic,” but they would go along willingly with his mantra of “No sugar, no starches, no grains.” Perhaps your mom would respond to that, better than to the idea of keto.

(KM) #7

you might want to try this TED talk by Sarah Hallberg. It’s short and easy to understand. There are many many videos out there, but she is so enthusiastic and keeps it simple.

“Reversing Type 2 diabetes starts with ignoring the guidelines | Sarah Hallberg …YouTube TEDx Talks May 4, 2015.”

Unfortunately, eating is a complicated thing. I once suggested to an obese friend who admired my weight loss that she try to go without sugar and starch for one day, just as a test. She said she couldn’t possibly do that. I know someone else who is diabetic, but simply does not want to a. Do the scientific work of understanding diet, or b. Let someone else choose their food based on that science. People like to control their own choices, and I have to admit the older I get, the less likely I become to abandon authority over my own life.

I know how hard it is to watch someone make choices you feel hurt them. But in the end each one of us gets to control our own life.:heart:

(Robin) #8

I would add this thought… those who are addicted to carbs are similar to other addicts. So the very idea of giving it up forever truly sounds like an unbearable and un-doable life sentence.

Many people come to keto with the intention of losing the weight then going back to their normal ways. Most lose the weight and realize how much better they feel in every way, how many aches and pains and ailments have disappeared…. THEN they decide to stay keto.

Or… they lose the weight, go back to their old diet and gain the weight back… plus a bit more. They tell people that keto didn’t work for them, but deep down they know they blew it.

I try to give these people some grace. They need it just like needed it.

(Marianne) #9

If your mom isn’t opposed to reading on the subject, I’d also endorse Dr. Fung’s book, The Obesity Code. It is very understandable in layman’s terms and a real eye-opener. This will help your mom understand that limiting one’s “sugar” (carbs) intake will allow her to lower and regulate her insulin and most likely lose weight and get off diabetes medication (Metformin, etc.). Good luck. I hope she is open to finding out more before forming a conclusion.

(Doug) #10

I was 58. With keto I lost 27 kg in 6 months, and my HbA1C went below diabetic range.

(Rossi Luo) #11

Yes, I had told her to control the amount of carbs, and she thinks she has reduced the amount of carbs, but in my view, she was still taking in too much carbs.

(Rossi Luo) #12

You are right, thanks for your advice, yes, I think I was too aggressive (too hurry), I should have done it gradually to make her knows how the keto things work, and how the glucose damages the body. And she doesn’t know what insulin resistance is, so I will take your advice to gradually make her know these basic knowledge first.

(Rossi Luo) #13

Thank you! Chuck, your message is what I am looking for, I have sent your message to my mom, hope she can believe keto can help her.

(Rossi Luo) #14

Thanks Paul, your experience is quite inspired for my mom to know, I have sent your experience to her, hope she can change her mind

(Rossi Luo) #15

Yes, I agree with your words “people like to control their own choices”, I believe that’s why my mom chooses what she believes! It’s so struggling for me to see her getting worse while I know a easy way to make her better.

(Rossi Luo) #16

Sorry, I had not told you that, my mom’s weight is not very heavy, she just has type II diabetic for more than 20 years, and she injects insulin every day before meal for tens of years, and her kidney now started to have problem, I believe it’s caused by the high level of blood sugar.

(Rossi Luo) #17

My mom is not a book reading people, so that’s a problem. Thanks anyway!


Wow. I always had fast days on high-carb so it’s even more weird to me… ONE. DAY. One day is nothing! And it’s one thing if she tries and fails, I get it but people don’t even TRY. Why they decide there is no way they resist the siren song of sugar for a day? How could they possibly know without trying? They just extrapolate.
Well maybe she knows she hates the idea so she can’t get determined… There are plenty of things I know I won’t be able to try due to the resistance in me (though I usually can for one day if I am curious. but I am a curious person loving harmless experiments)… But I can’t even imagine not caring about my own health. I would SACRIFICE things for health but fortunately I never had to (at least from my own viewpoint. if I sacrificed anything, it felt fine and not bothersome).

But if one quit sugar, it’s themselves who makes the decision… Not others. Or truth, reality about health… I never listened to anyone regarding my diet but I tried out things and anyway, it’s obvious added sugar is bad for our health and health is my top priority…

I don’t think I ever was addicted to carbs, it’s obvious my body likes them to be super low but no way I ever quit them forever :smiley: And it’s fine. I usually don’t understand why people don’t even try, for a while… Though if it works, it makes sense to eat low-carb for life but even there, off days may be fine. Or not. It’s individual.
I just wish people would try it out and see if it’s for them… It easily could change their life… And we can change a lot. It’s not a given we will want to eat carbs galore all our life and huge self control will be needed and we will feel we miss out a lot. I don’t consider eating subpar carbs a good idea when we could eat the tastiest and healthiest food,. It’s such a blessing my healthy food tastes the best and it’s almost the cheapest too as far as I can tell. Others may not be this lucky but keto food is quite amazing if we choose well in so many cases. Of course it doesn’t help that carby food is almost as tasty… That was my problem, I loved almost everything. so I ate almost everything. In big quantities. But we still can choose and if we choose well, it helps later. We can’t know what our desires will do if we eat the right things, it may be very different from our experiences on a sugary diet. carbs interfere so cutting them out may change our attitude towards food… People just should TRY and see. And anyway, even if it’s a bit hard, health and feeling better are worth it (of course, it possible it is worth it but we still can’t resist. well I start to develop methods and find irresistable good food where carbs have little chances even from a very short-term hedonistic viewpoint… there are ways even without self restraint). And it’s fine if it’s not perfect. We may go off sometimes, we may do it gradually, even eating way above keto level may work and even if extreme low-carb is what is really for us, it’s still better to do it halfway than just keeping stuffing our face with sugar and bread and whatnot because no way we can do the strict version. It probably will be already better and we may change and go lower later.

When I first read it, my brain couldn’t come up with a smart answer but it was quite surprising someone considers it QUITE OLD… Well not that surprising just very conflicting with my views.
I asked my SO and he things the same. 60 years old may be borderline old, it depends… But if one feels quite old, it’s their health, not their age.
Age isn’t just a number, sure, who came up with this thing? Our body changes, no matter what we do… But one can be quite healthy even much later. Genetics matter, our lifestyle until then matters, mentality matters but we can make changes if we did it bad before.

I don’t understand her logic, what the chances of keto being good for her has with age? If someone is 105 years old, it means that keto can’t work? :smiley: Why? It only matters that her body probably would respond to less carbs favorably ESPECIALLY that she has diabetes. If she was a healthy, fit high-carber who is thriving on her woe? I would say it’s possible high-carb suits her fine, at least the style she does, obviously there are objectively very unhealthy high-carb diets.
But as her body clearly took a toll already and quite probably due to her carby diet, lowering the carbs significantly sounds a fine idea to me.
I never would say keto is the first step as it’s a very drastic step, I couldn’t do it right after high-carb but I lowered my carbs and instantly felt better (and sacrificed nothing, it was amazing :smiley: I loved the food and enjoyed the relief without all those carbs seriously interfering).
In many cases, a woe change almost immediately makes significant changes. We usually don’t need to try a diet for a long time to see if we feel much better… It’s not always this easy, sometimes we feel worse before we feel better (I always quit in the face of the first problems but I am healthy and stubborn too, I start again later or make changes if I am sure I need to try the thing. and if I suspected I need something for my health, I would research and if I was sure, I would push it for a while even if I experienced smaller problems especially if they could be explained. certain signs I trust).

So I don’t see the logic and reason not to try keto or at least low-carb… Lower-carb if she already does low-carb (people with diabetes almost always do low-carb here, at least they listen to their doctors… it’s 150-160g carbs with extra rules, still a ton of carbs but often lower than the previous intake and added sugar gets cut out. my SO’s Mom eats like that, she never will go very low I am pretty sure but it’s better than eating sugar like before… if she would stop smoking too, it would be nice… she is 70-something, I wouldn’t call her old at all. she isn’t healthy, she is quite obese, she has bad habits but she is a strong - I don’t mean it physically. mentally strong, very stable, admirable - , somewhat active woman. her strength involves what I have too, great stubbornness, no one could tell her how to live and eat - except her doctor to some extent but that’s only the basics, people with diabetes get those advice since ages. I can just hope she will be okay-ish for a long time to come, she is my only family apart from my SO now. sometimes I bake keto cake for her, I can do this much. she can’t do that as she refuses to buy tastier expensive sweetener so when she bakes - she is good -, it’s always using sugar and it’s a problem for us too as we cut out sugar about 13 years ago).

I would try to show her good recipes. I imagine most people used to high-carb can’t imagine how to eat proper food without much carbs… Fine, there is NO such thing for some but I know simple very low-carb dishes leave me wanting sometimes but if I make one of my newer recipes, they help…
Even my SO thriving on high-carb and unable to eat low-carb (he tried. for a day at most as he felt so bad. but he doesn’t need it, apparently) loves some of my keto recipes, I mean, he manages to eat some without adding a ton of carbs. As he loves many but can’t eat them without his sides.

But it’s about impossible to change someone else’s diet if they resist. Hence my tiny “trick” with bringing surprisingly good, way lower-carb alternatives regarding certain dishes. Keto cakes aren’t any worse than sugary ones taste wise (if you ask my family) so I am lucky with that. But it’s almost nothing and I worry about her health sometimes. But I don’t see a way to help.

(Edith) #19

@echo2080, the good thing about Dr. Fung is that he is a nephrologist and specializes in diseases of the kidney. He would be the perfect source for your mom to trust, especially if she is starting to have kidney issues.

(MC) #20

I hope you can get her to make some tweaks, she’s lucky to have you on her side.

Like someone else suggested, it doesn’t even have to be strictly keto. My aunt, who has always been on the big side, lost 31kg so far on a diet that cut out sugar and snacking. Your mom could make small changes that she would enjoy, like swapping milk in drinks for cream, vegetable oils for butter.

An elderly family member also developed diabetes, I think he must be around 70, he was eating too much sugar and living on grapes. He cut those out and he’s back to be non-diabetic.