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.
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.
There Are Several Aspects In The Treatment Of Diabetes Each One With A Very Important Role
The mainstays of diabetes treatment are:
Note:;Type 1 diabetes must be treated with insulin; if you have type 2 diabetes, you may not need to take insulin. This involves injecting insulin under the skin for it to work. Insulin cannot be taken as a pill because the digestive juices in the stomach would destroy the insulin before it could work. Scientists are looking for new ways to give insulin. But today, shots are the only method. There are, however, new methods to give the shots. Insulin pumps are now being widely used and many people are having great results.
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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
How To Count Carbohydrate
Count carbohydrate and eat a balanced diet by:
- Working with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator. They can help you plan the amount of carbohydrate to include in each meal and snack, counting either grams or servings of carbohydrate.
- Eating standard portions of carbohydrate foods. Each serving size or standard portion contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate. It might be helpful to measure and weigh your food when you are first learning what makes up a standard portion.
- Eating standard portions of foods that contain protein. Foods that contain protein are an important part of a balanced diet.
- Eating less saturated fat and trans fat. A balanced diet includes healthy fat. Talk with a registered dietitian about how much fat you need in your diet.
Sample Daily Meal Plan
Start by seeing where you can limit your carbohydrate consumption. If youre regularly eating simple carbs, like sugary cereal, white bread, or other processed foods, try cutting back to see how you feel.
Its important to remember that limiting carbs doesnt mean starving yourself whenever you cut something out, youll want to replace it with a high-quality, lower-carb food to keep yourself satisfied.
Unsure where to begin? Heres what an average day of low-carb eating might look like.
A Sedentary Lifestyle And Carbs For Diabetics
Lets say youre a 60-year-old man, retired. Youre mostly at home especially with this virus going on, youre not doing anything. ;You dont want to go outside etc. Assume that you are already overweight or obese then you should really not eat more than 45 grams per meal at all. ;If you want to really control your diabetes with fewer medications then you should go down to 30 grams or below per meal for healthy carbs. For a sedentary woman in the same situation goal is 15 to 30 carbs maximum per meal. With medication help, these goals can definitely be relaxed. It all depends on how you want to manage your diabetes.
Diabetic patients can find a lot of carbohydrate alternatives for healthy eating. ;So, you can definitely avoid things with flour and highly processed carbs. ;Actually, if you avoid refined sugars and carbohydrates that are in the market today you will have very few reasons from natural sources to spike your blood sugar. ;Fruits for example will have much less effect on your blood sugars.
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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 Carbs Should You Eat If You Have Diabetes
Figuring out how many carbs to eat when you have diabetes can seem confusing.
Dietary guidelines from around the globe traditionally recommend that you get around 4560% of your daily calories from carbs if you have diabetes .
However, a growing number of experts believe that people with diabetes should eat far fewer carbs. In fact, many recommend less than half of this amount.
This article tells you how many carbs you should eat if you have diabetes.
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To Best Control Your Blood Sugar:
- Eat three meals a day, roughly 46 hours apart.
- Do not skip meals.
- Try to consistently eat the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal.
Counting calories might be something youve already done at one time or another in your life. Counting carbohydrates may be something new to you. So why is counting carbohydrates so important when you have diabetes?
Grams Of Carbs Per Day For Prediabetics
Here are some common numbers for the recommended carb intake for prediabetics per day. As you can see, they vary quite a bit!
- Under 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day: very low-carb ketogenic diet.
- 130 grams: Adequate Intake .
- 150-200 grams per day, or 30-40% of total calories on a 2,000-calorie diet: the American Diabetes Associations description of a standard low-carb diet.
- 244 grams per day: average daily intake of Americans over 20 years old.
- 300 grams per day, or 60% of total calories on a 2,000-calorie diet: the daily value that you see on nutrition labels.
- They can help you lose weight.
- They can discourage sugary foods.
- They can discourage low-nutrient, refined starches, such as white bread and pasta, and potatoes.
- They can help lower blood sugar, especially in the short term.
- They can discourage processed foods.
- They can be hard to follow over the long-term.
- They can be high in unhealthy choices, such as fatty and processed meats, butter, and cream.
- They can exclude healthy foods, such as whole grains, beans, and fruit.
- They could raise cholesterol or cause harm to your kidneys or bones.
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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.”
How Many Carbs Are Right For You
To determine the right amount of carb grams to aim for in your eating plan, choose one of the categories below that best matches your stature, weight status, weight goals and activity level.
Consider the targets a starting point. Get a referral from your primary care provider or endocrinologist to meet with a dietitian and diabetes educator, and/or to attend a diabetes self-management education and support program to determine the best goals for your health.
Category 1: A Woman of Small Stature Who Wants to Lose Weight
You’re a woman who wants to lose weight, is small in stature and/or gets limited exercise. Consider the following:
Height: 4’10” to 5’2″
Daily calorie range: 2,300â2,800
Carb grams/day range*: 259â455 grams
Carb grams/meal range : 86â151 grams
*Based on 45â65% of calories from carbohydrate.
Note: Men who are under 65 years of age, moderate to large in stature, at a healthy weight and get a lot of exercise may need more calories and grams of carbohydrate.
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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 >>
Using The Plate Method
Some people with type 2 diabetes use a less formal method of gauging how many carbs to eat. Called the plate method, it doesnt require any counting at all. Instead, you simply imagine dividing your plate in half. Then divide one side in half again.
Fill the large section with nonstarchy veggies. Fill one small section with grains, starchy veggies, or cooked beans and peas, and the other with meat or another protein food. Add a cup of low-fat milk and a piece of fruit, and youve got a balanced meal.
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Blood Sugar Levels And Carb Intake: Why It Matters
There are two main misconceptions around carbohydrates.
The first is that all carbohydrates are bad for you, and the second is that carbohydrates are the cause of diabetes.
First things first all carbohydrates are not the same. Refined carbohydrates found in artificial sweeteners enter your bloodstream quickly and can cause elevated blood glucose quickly after eating a meal.
On the other hand, whole carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are surrounded by fibers and a host of micronutrients. As a result, your digestive system absorbs glucose at a reasonable physiological rate, resulting in a slow rise in your post-meal glucose.
Second, carbohydrates are not the underlying cause of diabetes, which can be a bit confusing at first since blood glucose levels are the key measurement for people living with all forms of diabetes. Since the goal with all forms of diabetes is to regain control of your blood glucose, it seems natural to carb count.
However, its important to understand that high blood glucose levels are a symptom of diabetes, not the root cause.
The underlying cause of most struggles with diabetes is actually an excess of dietary fat, which creates insulin resistance, which in turn increases your blood glucose values in the fasting and fed state.
Insulin resistance is the direct cause of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and can be an additional complication some people experience on top of type 1 diabetes.
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 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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Eating 2050 Grams Per Day
This is where the low carb diet has bigger effects on metabolism. This is a possible range for people who want to lose weight fast, or have metabolic problems, obesity, or diabetes.
When eating less than 50 grams per day, the body will go into ketosis, supplying energy for the brain via so-called ketone bodies. This is likely to dampen your appetite and cause you to lose weight automatically.
Carbs you can eat include:
- some berries, maybe with whipped cream
- trace carbs from other foods, like avocados, nuts, and seeds
Be aware that a low carb diet doesnt mean its a no-carb diet. Theres room for plenty of low carb vegetables.