Here is a link, at archive.org, for the main page
for Dr. Russell Wilder's, Primer for Diabetics
, the first edition, 1921. The dietary recommendations included a version for those who could not tolerate more than 40g/CHO/d.
Before insulin, Dr. Elliott Joslin, 1869-1962, helped diabetics with having them on a strict diet and exercise. He continued helping patients to help themselves, working until he was 92. Here is a short video about his work
. In that short film, there is a small bit of Dr. Joslin talking about insulin, how it was a great help, a miracle, but that the patients still needed to keep tight control of their diet and exercise.
In Dr. Wilder's "Primer", the diet recommendations include Hepco cakes. I found a recipe for them in Dr. Joslin's book. Apparently Hepco flour was some kind of soy flour and it was believed that the soy flour would not raise the blood sugar in the same way that wheat flour would. There are also recipes for something called Cellu-flour, which seems to have been cellulose fiber. There are meal plans for 40 grams of carbs per day, 60, and 100. His book is based on Dr. Joslin's, and includes some of Dr. Allen's recipes, and is easier to read than Dr. Joslin's. There are methods given in this, as well as Dr. Joslin's Manual for testing the amount of sugar in the urine.
Here is the link to archive.org for "A Diabetic Manual for the Mutual Use of Doctor and Patient"
, from 1918, by Dr. Joslin.
Dr. Joslin's Manual explains how to calculate a low carb diet for oneself. He includes helpful photographs, explains what a calorie is, how to use the metric system. It's an amazing book on Low Carb. 1918!!!! this was in print and given to his patients.
From page 77, in Dr. Joslin's 1918 Manual:
The Eskimos live largely upon fat. Diabetic patients
should be very thankful that there is a race of Eskimos
through which proof is afforded that it is perfectly possible
to maintain life on a diet in which carbohydrate is largely
replaced by fat.
Dr. Joslin however, as much wonderful help as he gave, was one of those early researchers who believed that high levels of dietary fat somehow caused trouble for diabetics. He quotes a study by Williams and Dresbach, which I have yet to find, and also some work by Dr. Allen, and his tests on diabetic dogs. I have not yet read through Dr. Allen's paper. Who knows what one can find without access to the old medical journals.
The Rockefeller University Hospital Centennial has a short bio about Frederick Allen and his research of diabetic dogs, his strict dietary protocol (starvation diet of 75g/PRO/d) which kept diabetics alive, until insulin was discovered and became available. Here is the link to the article.
That Centennial section of the site is fascinating. There are one-page histories/biographies of advances in medicine and science over the last century. It's a bit of glorious time travel to read it.
Thank goodness, Dr. Richard Bernstein has debunked all that old nonsense about fat being bad for diabetics.
But, at least those early doctors had their patients on low carb and good protein and real fat.
It wasn't until Dr. Pennington came along, that it was shown how obesity is a defect in glucose metabolism, too.
Will edit and add info, if I find good things.