Low Carb Diets Help You Burn Fat
Low carb diets greatly reduce your blood levels of insulin, a hormone that brings the glucose from carbs into the bodys cells.
One of the functions of insulin is to store fat. Many experts believe that the reason low carb diets work so well is that they reduce your levels of this hormone.
Another thing that insulin does is to tell the kidneys to retain sodium. This is the reason high carb diets can cause excess water retention.
When you cut carbs, you reduce insulin and your kidneys start shedding excess water .
Its common for people to lose a lot of water weight in the first few days on a low carb diet. Some dietitians suggest you might lose up to 510 pounds this way.
Weight loss will slow down after the first week, but your fat mass may continue to decrease if you maintain the diet.
One study compared low carb and low fat diets and used DEXA scanners, which are very accurate measures of body composition. The low carb dieters lost significant amounts of body fat and gained muscle at the same time .
Studies also show that low carb diets are particularly effective at reducing the fat in your abdominal cavity, also known as visceral fat or belly fat. This is the most dangerous fat and is strongly associated with many diseases .
If youre new to low carb eating, youll probably need to go through an adaptation phase where your body is getting used to burning fat instead of carbs.
How Do You Count Carbs
Carb counting at its most basic level involves counting the number of grams of carbohydrate in a meal and matching that to your dose of insulin.
If you take mealtime insulin, that means first accounting for each carbohydrate gram you eat and dosing mealtime insulin based on that count. You will use what’s known as an insulin-to-carb ratio to calculate how much insulin you should take in order to manage your blood sugars after eating. This advanced form of carb counting is recommended for people on intensive insulin therapy by shots or pump, such as those with type 1 and some people with type 2.
While people with type 2 diabetes who don’t take mealtime insulin may not need detailed carb counting to keep their blood sugars in line, some prefer to do it. While some choose to stick with traditional carb counting, there are others who do a more basic version of carb counting based on “carbohydrate choices,” where one choice contains about 15 grams of carb. Still others use the Diabetes Plate Method to eat a reasonable portion of carb-containing foods at each meal by limiting whole grains, starchy vegetables, fruits or dairy to a quarter of the plate.
How To Count Carbs
Carbohydrates are a great source of energy for your body, but they affect your blood sugar too. If you have diabetes, keep track of how many you eat with a few simple tricks.
Know your carbs. It’s a lot more than just pasta and bread. All starchy foods, sugars, fruit, milk, and yogurt are rich in carbs, too. Make sure you count them all, not just the obvious ones.
Put together a meal plan. Figure out the amount of carbs, protein, and fat you can eat at meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Most adults with diabetes aim for 45-60 grams of carbs per meal and 15-20 grams per snack. That number may go up or down, depending on how active you are and the medicines you take, so check with your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Look at labels. They make counting carbs easy. Find the “Total Carbohydrate” number listed on a package’s “Nutrition Facts” panel. Then, check the serving size and confirm the amount you can eat. Repeat this step with other foods you plan to eat. When you add all the grams of carbs, the total should stay within your meal budget.
Starch, fruit, or milk = 15. Fresh foods don’t come with a label. You may have to guess the number of carbs they have. A good rule of thumb: Each serving of fruit, milk, or starch has about 15 grams. Vegetables don’t have a lot, so you can eat more of them. Two or three servings of veggies usually equal 15 grams of carbs.
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Is Sweet Potato Good For Diabetes
Sweet potatoes can also help manage diabetes Sweet potatoes are categorized as low to high on the glycemic index scale, and several studies have indicated that it can minimize the occurrence of insulin resistance and low blood sugar levels, as well as high blood sugar in people who are suffering from diabetes .
How Hard Is It To Stay On A Low Carbohydrate Diet
Most people will start a no-carb or very low carb diet but will not be able to sustain it in the long term. It is better to set reasonable and sustainable goals for daily carbohydrate goals.
Sometimes, it is very hard to tell these patients not to eat any carbs. Theyre just not going to listen. Im sure there are some people right now reading this article and saying that oh this doctor is recommending eating a bunch of carbs. I am glad you may be a very savvy very dedicated very strong-willed person but a lot of people are not like that. The bottom line, they are just not going to listen to you unless you give them a reasonable goal. So, thats my job to get my patients motivated. I may start with the 45 grams. I may get them to the goal and that gives them some motivation. Later, we can try to cut their carbs even more. Again, that depends on the individual.
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Rethinking Mainstream Carb Recommendations
Over the years its been pretty common practice to recommend a low fat, high carbohydrate diet to people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
Even as little as a few months ago, the American Diabetes Association were still stating that: A place to start is at about 45-75 grams of carbohydrate at a meal.
That would equate to around 135-225 g carbohydrates per day, excluding snacks.
And globally, diabetes associations have kept emphasizing that people with type 2 diabetes should eat the same as the general population , that everything in moderation is fine .
So quite frankly, these large organizations have had you fooled none of their dietary information has been based on real science!
And the fact is, 45-75 g per meal of carbohydrates per meal is way too high!
If youve been eating 225+ grams of carbs per day and wondering why you cant get your blood glucose levels or A1c under control, theres a simple answer youre eating too many carbs!
What the science shows is you must forget the mainstream carb recommendations and flip the nutrition circle on its head. Because the goal is to keep your carb intake to less than 25%, not 60% as these large health organizations have been pushing for years.
As you can see, these recommendations suited for the general public are highly flawed recommendations for people with type 2 diabetes, and are in fact, keeping you sick!
Like we always say: Diabetes prevention and diabetes treatment are two completely different things.
Carbohydrate Guidelines For Type 2 Diabetes
Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet. But carbs also raise your blood sugar. When you have , its important to aim for a balanced carb intake. It can seem confusing and a little overwhelming at first, but dont be discouraged. Your doctor, diabetes educator, or can help you find a meal plan that works for you.
Foods that contain carbohydrates include:
Grains, such as breads, cereals, pasta, and rice
Fruits and fruit juices
Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and
Dried beans and peas
Dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt
Sweets, such as cookies, pastries, cakes and candy
Snack foods, such as potato chips
To find the carb content of a food, check the amount of total carbohydrate on the food label. Be sure to look at the serving amount as well. If youre eating twice as much as the listed serving, youll need to double the total carbs. If a food doesnt have a label, there are many apps and books available to help you track carbs. One great free tool is MyFoodAdvisor from the American Diabetes Association. At first, you may need to look up almost everything. But with time, youll start to learn how many carbs are in your favorite foods and dishes.
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What Foods Contain Carbs
There are three types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch and fiber. If you’re counting carbohydrates, you want to pay attention to the Total Carbohydrates on the nutrition label, which is the sum of all three types.
You probably already know that there are carbohydrates in a slice of bread or a bowl of pasta. But here are some other foods that mostly derive calories from carbohydrates .
- Grains: Bread, cereal, pasta, rice, tortillas, crackers, oats, whole grains
- Legumes: Lentils, beans, peas
- Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, corn
- Nonstarchy vegetables: All other vegetables
- Fruit: All kinds
- Sugary beverages: Regular soda, fruit juice
- Sweets: Ice cream, candy, baked goods
Healthy Carb Intake For People With Diabetes
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control recommends that people with diabetes get about 45% of their daily calories from carbohydrates. Put another way, for a 2,000 calories diet that equates to about three or four servings of carbohydrates.
For those with diabetes, eating well is not just a matter of counting grams and calories, though. Choosing nutritious foods is key, says Jennifer Smith, Director of Lifestyle and Nutrition at Integrated Diabetes Services in Madison, Wisconsin.
There are two main types of carbs:
Simple carbs hit the bloodstream quickly and can lead to a higher spike in blood sugar levels compared to complex carbs.
“If you’re doing 45% carbohydrates because that’s what you’ve been told to do, but it’s all white rice and white bread and Fruit Loops, that’s not healthy,” Smith says. “Simple sugars have a big impact on blood sugar, while more complex carbohydrates like grains, beans, and legumes have more fiber in them, which slows blood sugar impact once your body takes it into your system.”
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How Do You Count Carbohydrates
You can count grams of carbohydrates or carbohydrate choices. A “carbohydrate choice” is a portion of food from one of the carbohydrate food groups that contains 15 grams of carbohydrate.
1 carbohydrate choice = 15 grams of carbohydrate. For example, 1 slice of bread from the starch group, 1 small apple from the fruit group, 1 cup of milk from the milk group, and ½ cup of ice cream from the sweets group are each called a carbohydrate choice and contain 15 grams of carbohydrate. Carbohydrate choices can also be calculated by referring to the total carbohydrate content on a food label. Do not count meats, non-starchy vegetables, or fats as carbohydrate choices.
How Many Carbs Do Physically Active Diabetic Men Can Eat
Physically active men can have 30 to 75 gr of carbohydrates in their diabetic diet.
In this example, the patient has a very active, physical job. He is 35 and has type 1.5 diabetes . He is on one long-acting insulin and two oral agents. This individual is doing well with his lifestyle and also goes to the gym five times a week and works out one hour on those five days. I would tell this individual that my conservative goal for him could be as low as 30 grams of carbs per meal if he wants to go really low carb. This approach also will help reduce the number of diabetic medications. So, If youre very active and youre working out you must have some carbohydrates. Glucose is what your muscles are burning. If you do not eat any carbs youre going to have significant fatigue with exercise.
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Are You Eating Too Many Or Too Few Carbohydrates
People are more aware than ever of which macronutrients theyre consuming. And recently, there have been a number of diets like the Paleo diet and the ketogenic diet that focus on carbohydrate counting to specifically limit your carb intake.
The theory is that low-carb diets are effective because carbohydrates increase your blood glucose, and high levels of blood glucose can be a major concern if youre living with any form of diabetes.
The logic is simple. Remove the carbs, remove the high blood glucose, get healthy. Right?
But actually, a diet high in carbohydrates the right carbohydrates can drastically improve your health and even contribute to reversing type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance.
In this article, well explore how eating carbohydrates affect your blood glucose and your health as a whole.
Then, well explain how to manage your daily carb intake for different goals, like weight loss or insulin sensitivity, and discuss the transition to a low-fat, plant-based, whole-food diet high in whole carbohydrates a diet that has been proven to increase health and reduce your risk for chronic disease.
How Many Carbohydrates Can I Have Per Day If I Was Told To Watch My Carbs Due To Being Pre Diabetic
I dont think you got the message right, or the message is wrong. From three large studies trying to prevent pre-diabetes developing into clinical diabetes, we know that the most effective measures are lifestyle modification being lose weight exercise In losing weight we need to be eating less, lowering fat intake , less saturated fats , more fiber eat a little, cutting carbs is helpful but only part of it, modest portion, no seconds, no snacking, no cakes, no sugared soft drinks of fruit juices, no alcohol, resulting in at least 5% weight loss. According to this interesting video-cast by Gary Taubes for docs CME avoiding sugar to lose weight is quite important Eating less is far more effective for weight loss than exercise, listen to this podcast by Dr. Aseem Malhotra You cant outrun a bad diet: @DrAseemMalhotra on weight loss strategies Exercise: at least 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of intensive exercise a week. These are the percentage of less type 2 diabetes developing over the duration of the study The Da Qing Chinese diabetes prevention trial , the Finnish diabetes prevention trial and the Diabetes Prevention Program DPP Lifestyle trial the intervention was a lifestyle change see above. with quite a reduction in the rate of development of diabetes, less after 20 years in the Da Qing trial.Continue reading > >
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How Many Carbs Per Day For A Diabetic
Did you know that one of the most commonly asked questions we get is: how many carbs per day is best for a diabetic to eat?
No doubt thats why youre here reading this as well, right?
And like many other people you may be totally confused by that question.
Thats not surprising because the amount of carbs recommended does vary depending on where you read it.
Why is this?
Well, there is no specific recommendation for the amount of carbohydrate, thats why there are so many different numbers.
However, there is good scientific evidence to suggest whats best. But unfortunately, that information is not getting out to the public as fast as it should.
Luckily though, here at Diabetes Meal Plans, we pride ourselves on sharing up-to-date evidence-based info because we want you to get the best results. And were proud to say what we share works:
Here at Diabetes Meal Plans we encourage a low carb diet because research shows that lower carb diets produce far more effective results than traditional low fat diets.
As you read on, be prepared to have some of your longheld diet beliefs shattered. But also be prepared to be amazed by the possibilities. Because with a few dietary changes, you can reverse* your diabetes and live your life anew!
How Much Carbohydrate Do I Need Each Day
Carbohydrates are measured in units called grams. Grams are a measure of weight.
The total grams or amount of carbohydrate you need each day depends on your calorie goals, activity level and personal preferences.
Carbohydrates generally provide 45-65% of your daily calories.
For most people with type 1 diabetes, this ranges from 150-250 grams of carbohydrate a day. How you distribute this carbohydrate throughout the day can also make a difference in your blood sugar.
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Which Is Worse For Diabetics Sugar Or Carbs
The American Diabetes Association states that all carbs will have the same ultimate effect on blood sugar, however, complex carbs, because they are a long string of sugars, will provide a slower rise in blood sugar after all, it takes some time to break down that long string of sugars into absorbable single sugars.
Adding Fat And Protein
Making plates that contain carbs, protein, and healthy fats can help you keep your glucose levels in better balance than by eating simple or refined carbs alone.
Proteins to include as part of your healthy diet:
- Meat, such as poultry, fish, and lean red meats
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