Low Carb is good for diabetes


(ginny) #21

That is a really good point to bring up!  I think that with diabetes I find it easy to forget about the nutrition the rest of my body needs.  I just saw a dietician and it helped out tremendously with re-aligning my daily intake goals of everything.


(Candace) #22

[quote user="C"]

Hi, everyone.

When considering a low carb diet, just remember your brain needs a MINIMUM of 130g of carb EVERY DAY to function properly. Low carb options might help you manage your diabetes more, but also think about the rest of your body's functions. Diabetes is merely one aspect of your entire self as a functioning unit. Even if you consume a higher carb diet, it is very possible to control your BGs. Your brain is the main data center for all your body's functions - don't deny it the energy it requires in the name of better blood sugar control.

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THANK YOU, THANK YOU C for posting this. 

 

 


(Jessica L) #23

[quote user="C"]

Hi, everyone.

When considering a low carb diet, just remember your brain needs a MINIMUM of 130g of carb EVERY DAY to function properly. Low carb options might help you manage your diabetes more, but also think about the rest of your body's functions. Diabetes is merely one aspect of your entire self as a functioning unit. Even if you consume a higher carb diet, it is very possible to control your BGs. Your brain is the main data center for all your body's functions - don't deny it the energy it requires in the name of better blood sugar control.

[/quote]

Two thumbs up :) Its all about balance!


(Tricia) #24

The NIH study "recommends" that people get 100-120 g of carb.  But it doesn't mean you have to eat carbs to get all of them.  Your liver will break down protein into usable carbs for your brain in a low carb diet.  You won't deny it anything.  For me, I am more focused and clear headed when I am not in a carb fog.  Different strokes for different folks I suppose.  If I ate 130g of carbs everyday, I would be lethargic, foggy and would gain weight.  Covering that much carb is difficult to be precise with the insulin which can create highs/lows that I prefer not to have.  We all know what the high's will do in the long run.   Also, insulin is a fat hormone, the more you have floating around, the more fat you will accumulate.  Here's an interesting link on the carb-brain theory:

http://diabetesupdate.blogspot.com/2008/11/myth-busting-your-brain-and-that.html


(system) #25

[quote user="Tricia"]

 Your liver will break down protein into usable carbs for your brain in a low carb diet. 

[/quote]

Those are ketones, which we all know are dangerous. Your brain can use ketones, however they aren't as efficient and you don't want those to build up in your system. You also need to consume carbohydrates not just for your brain/body functions but you need to restore the glycogen your body uses each day. In order to prevent your body creating ketones, you should consume the minimum amount of carb. 130g of carbs every day is only 520 calories. Diets higher in protein and fat are harder on your body in general, especially your kidneys. You also don't have to eat 130 g of carb all at once. You can have 35g at each of 3 meals, then split the last 25 between 2-3 snacks. Having a consistent carbohydrate intake (generally the same amount at the same time every day) will help you be precise. The timing of the insulin and correct calculations are how blood sugars are best controlled.


(jaco1199) #26

C: What actually happens to your brain if you don't consume the minimum of 130 carbs a day?  I know you state that it doesn't work "properly" but what happens?  Aren't carbs digested to make glucose and isn't it glucose that your brain needs to function properly?  Won't our glucose levels rise even without ingesting carbs?  I'm just curious. 

I've also read Dr. B's books and although I feel he's a little extreme but I feel he is on the right track for diabetes management.  I follow a low carb diet and have since I was a child (minus the 4 years in college).  I don't know how many carbs I was taking in when I was a kid (we didn't carb count back then) but now I try to keep it as low as possible to avoid the bs spikes after eating too many carbs.  I just feel better if my bs stays as consistant throughout the day and not spike to 200 then drop to 120. 


(system) #27

Glucose is used by the brain mainly for memory and learning. So if you aren't consuming  enough carbs, you may notice yourself having a hard time with memory recall, or maybe you can't remember something you were just taught yesterday, or maybe you're slower to respond. Every time a neuron in the brain fires, it uses glucose. The brain consumes 2x as much glucose as the rest of the body. If you think about it, this makes sense because it is the major center for everything - it controls all of our other body processes. This is also one of the reasons why the School Breakfast program was implemented. Children who eat breakfast and have a source of energy in their system learn better and perform better in school.

Yes, jaco, you are right. Our bodies will produce glucose if they sense we don't have enough. Our liver stores glycogen and breaks it down into glucose when our bodies are running low. However, it's a very limited supply of glycogen available. So when our glycogen stores are depleted (this takes only a few hours), our bodies will turn to ketones to create energy. This is where a low-carb diet can become dangerous. Even though your blood sugars are runinng beautifully, you may be producing ketone bodies which can be dangerous in the long term. Many people, especially diabetics, who follow a low carb diet have decreased functioning in their kidneys. Of course, this damage can usually be reversed, but it is better to just be able to avoid it altogether.


(sarahslp) #28

C, I was waiting for your responses before I replied to this -- knowing your body needs some carbs to function, but not sure how to explain it well like you did. (:

I agree that it helps post meal spikes to avoid high-carb meals. However, in response to previous posts, an Atkins type diet w/ lots of fat HAS been shown to be unhealthy, and with T1, we are at an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Also, with Atkins, people w/o D were found to be spilling ketones. Blech!

Also, while 6.1 is a wonderful A1c, I'm not sure why you'd need to basically cut out carbs to achieve it. I've been between 5.1 and 6.1 over the last year on a "normal" (i.e. what my non-T1 husband eats) diet that's just generally balanced and healthy. If I was going to cut out carbs, I'd want to see it in the 5's for sure, lol!!! If you eat carbs, you just need to make sure to bolus correctly and test after...

I've cut out highly starchy meals like pasta. But, I worry that people forget how healthy whole grains can be too. Rather than trying to follow fads over the years (which seem to change every decade for us T1's!), I just try to follow a healthy, balanced diet.

Just my 2 cents -- I'm sure many people will disagree...


(cc_racer) #29

I eat less than 40 carbs a day usually.  Sometimes I let myself slide and carb out.  I always regret it later though!  It is worse than going out drinking and waking up with the worst hangover ever.  I end up chasing highs and lows and just generally feeling like crap all day the day after.  I always promise myself I will never do it again too.  :)


(Candace) #30

[quote user="C"]

[quote user="Tricia"]

 Your liver will break down protein into usable carbs for your brain in a low carb diet. 

[/quote]

 

Those are ketones, which we all know are dangerous. Your brain can use ketones, however they aren't as efficient and you don't want those to build up in your system. You also need to consume carbohydrates not just for your brain/body functions but you need to restore the glycogen your body uses each day. In order to prevent your body creating ketones, you should consume the minimum amount of carb. 130g of carbs every day is only 520 calories. Diets higher in protein and fat are harder on your body in general, especially your kidneys. You also don't have to eat 130 g of carb all at once. You can have 35g at each of 3 meals, then split the last 25 between 2-3 snacks. Having a consistent carbohydrate intake (generally the same amount at the same time every day) will help you be precise. The timing of the insulin and correct calculations are how blood sugars are best controlled.

 

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This is exactly how it was explained to me by both my endocrinologist and my registered dietician/nutritionist when I asked about potential benefits of a low carb diet.  They basically said, "All things in moderation."  Eat carbs, but don't go overboard and be sure to get carbs primarily from whole grains and a little fruit.  I know good A1C's are possible while eating a diet that contains carbs.  I eat between 150g - 200g a day and my A1C's for the last 3 years have always been between 5.5 and 6.5.  Moderation and balance is the key.

I know some people swear by Dr. Bernstein's methods but I am a little leery about the whole thing.  I do think it's important to note that he was not a physician when he came up with his plan, he was just a person with diabetes like any one of us.  He had an extremely difficult time gaining credibility for his plan (because most doctors will tell you that it's borderline dangerous) so he went back to medical school so he could put the name "Doctor Bernstein" on his book.  Just something to keep in mind, in my opinion.  Perhaps there are those who can stick to his plan (or a modified version of it) and have success, but I worry about young people who are still growing and developing and need all the proper nutrients.  But I know this is a controversial topic, so I'll just stop there.


(jaco1199) #31

You can have a good A1C - (around 6.0) and still have highs and lows.  You can still be on a bs roller coaster.  This fluctuation in blood sugar can take a toll on your body as well.  Right now my bloods are at their best and if my blood sugar even starts to approach 200 I feel like cramp (I'll start feeling lethargic at about 150-160).  It's when my blood sugar is high that I feel my brain isn't functioning at it's best (then of course when it's low around 50 I start to have problems).  Reducing the carb intake decreases the post meal high.  Using the CGM has given me wonderful insight on how high I was going after eating a good amount of carbs in one sitting.  In an effort to keep my bs on the tightest control I've decreased my daily in take of carbs even more which makes me feel better. (If my sugar stays between 80-130 I feel soooo much better than if it ranges from let's say 50-200).  My A1C hasn't changed much. I still stay in the 5's.  But of course everyone is different.  I've been very fortunate to be very healthy besides having T1.  My blood pressure is low. My chloresteral is almost too low.   My kidney functions are good.  So I don't worry about heart disease, etc... from eating a low carb diet.  I also am working in an office so my activity level is somewhat limited.  So I just don't find a need to eat 130 grams of carbs a normal day.   I do randomly test for ketones with no avail.  Believe me when I'm trying to drop a few pounds I wish I could detect some.


(jaco1199) #32

Tricia-

I will agree that I don't think young people should be on Dr. Bernstein's diet either.  Some of the foods on his no good list I believe are necessary.  I think his diet is geared towards diabetics that suffer from severe complications.  I've taken his recommendations and I follow a low carb diet but it's a diet that I can live with and I don't feel deprived. 

Secondly I didn't think Dr. Bernstein went to medical school just to put Doctor in front of his name for the purpose of selling his books.  I believe he began his career as an engineer and his wife was the doctor.  He took a very analytical approach to treating himself because he wasn't satisfied with the doctors telling him that his complications were to be expected.  He went against the conventional thinking of the medical field.  He was his own guinea pig and he saw the benefits to following a very regimented lifestyle (which is extremely difficult to do)..  He later when to medical school and became an endocrinologist.   


(Tricia) #33

jaco -

I agree with you, you can have a low a1c -  but how many lows are you having? The swings that come with taking in large amounts of carbs aren't worth it.  I too have excellent bloodwork, my cholesterol is perfect, kidneys great, blood pressure excellent.  I also test for ketones, and like you nada. I eat more vegetables and salad than most non diabetics I know and am healthier then them also.  I never feel deprived, and have no cravings.  My husband had high cholesterol and is also on a low carb diet, his numbers are now perfect, and his doc agreed, it's the diet that brought it down.  More and more doctors are finally realizing the benefits of tight control.

And yes, Dr. Bernstein became a doctor because of his frustration with the medical community telling him to "deal" with the consequences of his complications.  Not because he wanted to sell books.  Again, it works great for some, some can't do it.


(Elky) #34

Hello Tricia
My 18 yr old son is also on the dr. Bernstein diet. However, we often doubt our insulin doses and timing of doses. Could you please tell us how much and when you bolus and for what in meals. We want to know if we are on the right track. Been on the diet since November but the blood glucose levels are over the place :frowning:

Thank you in advance.

Elky


(Kate) #36

Yes, low carb is advisable to those who have diabetes. When I was pregnant, I got gestational diabetes. My OB told me to avoid too much carb. I went on a diet for almost a week and it effectively help my blood sugar to drop down.


(Linda) #37

All the cells in our body need glucose for energy. Our liver does a great job of producing the right amount of glucose we need to function. Because our pancrease does not function anymore we need insulin to get that glucose into those cells. We don’t need to consume glucose to survive IMHO.


(Barb) #38

I’ll be looking for that recipe too–it would be great to have it for the holidays…thanks so much for sharing it when you can!