Blood Glucose Control: A Balancing Act
Optimizing glycemic control in type 1 diabetes can be extremely challenging but is essential to prevent life-threatening, short-term complications such as DKA. Long-term glycemic control is also important to reduce the risk of microvascular complications and perhaps macrovascular complications . However, preventing hyperglycemia comes with the risk of inducing frequent or severe hypoglycemia, which can lead to lower quality of life, hospitalization, coma, and death.
Much of the challenge in maintaining euglycemia in patients with diabetes lies in the difficulty in matching carbohydrate intake with insulin administration, owing to errors in estimating the carbohydrate content in meals, variable insulin absorption, timing of insulin administration, and gastroparesis. Given these complicating factors, it is plausible that low carbohydrate intake and resulting lower prandial insulin bolus requirements may lead to better glycemic control, less blood glucose variability, and improved quality of life.
Organic Tofu & Tempeh
Although vegetarians might have a tougher time getting protein in their diet, Anziani recommends organic tofu. Tofus absorbs the flavor of whatever it is cooked with, making it extremely versatile. Another high-protein option is tempeh, a fermented soy protein that can replace animal protein. However, those with a thyroid condition should only consume tofu or tempeh two to three times a week.
What Side Effects Exist On A Low Carb Diet
Side effects that can be commonly experienced on a low carb diet include:
- Possible nutrient deficiencies
Hypoglycemia may occur if you take insulin or tablets that can cause low blood sugar. If you take medications that can cause hypos, its particularly important to discuss precautions to prevent hypos before starting a low carb diet.
- Read more on Low Carb Diet Side Effects
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Potential Dangers Linked To Lchf Diet
Increased levels of ketones in the blood are seen when the bodys primary energy source gets altered from carbs to fats. This dietary ketosis is very much dissimilar from ketoacidosis, which is an exceptionally risky state.
An excess of ketones in the blood causes diabetic ketoacidosis . DKA is more common in diabetes type 1 where the blood sugar is too high and the condition may emerge from a deficiency of insulin.
Even though rare, DKA can occur in type 2 diabetes as well in the presence of an excess of ketones. When a person feels sick while on a low-carb diet, may also get this condition.
If the person is having a low carb-high fat diet, then he or she must test blood sugar levels all through the day. This ensures a regular tracking of the sugar levels within their target range. The ADA suggests ketones testing if any persons blood glucose is higher than 240 mg/dL. It can be done at home with urine strips.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a kind of medical emergency. If any person experiences the symptoms of DKA, its advisable to see a doctor without any delay. Complications may give rise to diabetic coma.
The symptoms of DKA can be:
- Breathing problems
- Fruity smelling breath
Low Carb Carrot Cinnamon Bread
This indulgent yet guilt-free tea-time treat is crazy easy to make, and each serving contains 5 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber so you can enjoy it without throwing off your blood sugar. And your guests will love it, too!
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Plan Out Your Portion Size
Although many snacks are sold in large bags, the suggested portion sizes are usually small. Sticking to the recommended portion size on the Nutrition Facts panel will help you keep calories, sugar, and sodium in check. If you have trouble sticking to the portion size, buy snacks that are pre-portioned into single servings, like individually wrapped bars or 100-calorie packs.
Daves Killer Bread Good Seed Thin
Net carbs: 10 g
Review score: 3.5 stars
Daves Killer Bread is another brand youll see on most supermarket shelves, at least if youre in California. Its supposedly the most sold organic bread in the US.
I choose the Good Seed Thin-sliced bread for this review simply because it was the one with the lowest net-carb count my local store had available.
It definitely looks and feels like any ordinary slice of sandwich bread but I thought the slices were a little on the small size. I also found the taste a little too sweet and it hit my blood sugar pretty hard, which just didnt work for me, so I dont see myself buying this again.
Its a wheat and seed bread and also has a few grams of added sugar so it wont work for those looking to avoid gluten.
Net carbs: 12 g
Review score: 3.5 stars
This is not the bread with the lowest carb count but it has been a staple of mine for years. It has a mild almost nutty flavor and it toats and smells just like a whole grain muffin.
Its made completely out of sprouted grains without any flour so it has a lower glycemic index than regular bread . That means that it should give less of a blood sugar spike than regular bread as it gets converted into glucose in the bloodstream slower. However, I often notice a relatively steep blood sugar impact when I eat this bread.
The serving size is the only other thing that really bothers me about this bread, as a serving is only ½ a muffin.
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Dinner: Salmon With Veggies
- 1/2 cup sautéed zucchini
- 1 cup sautéed mushrooms
To complement your meal and for dessert:
Total digestible carbs: 14 grams
Total digestible carbs for the day: 37 grams
A meal plan to manage diabetes should space carbs evenly over three meals. Each meal should contain a balance of protein, healthy fats, and a small amount of carbs, mostly from vegetables.
Weekly Planner For A Low Carb Meal Plan For Diabetes
Low carb meal plan for diabetes Mixed greens
Breakfast- 1 serving of hard-boiled eggs with roasted kale
Snack- 1 serving of mixed greens with olive oil and lemon salad dressing
Lunch- 1 serving of green smoothie with almonds
Dinner- 1 serving of cucumber avocado salad with grilled chicken breast
low carb meal plan for diabetes toasted nuts
Breakfast- 1 serving of scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes
Snack- 1 serving of baby carrots with hummus
Lunch- 1 serving of cauliflower rice with grilled tofu
Snack- 1 serving of mixed green salad with toasted nuts
Dinner- 1 serving of stir-fried chicken stuffed with low-fat cheese and vegetables
Low carb meal plan for diabetes Zucchini noodles
Breakfast- 1 serving of scrambled eggs with a green smoothie
Snack- 1 serving of nonfat Greek yogurt with pecans
Lunch- 1 serving of smoked turkey with zucchini noodles
Snack- 1 serving of tex mex tuna salad
Dinner- 1 serving of whole-grain pasta with lemon chicken and grilled veggies
Low carb meal plan for diabetes Eggplant lasagna
Breakfast- 1 serving of spinach and tomato scramble with mixed greens
Snack- 1 serving of baby carrots with hummus
Lunch- 1 serving of eggplant lasagna with smoked salmon
Snack- 1 serving of non-fat Greek yogurt with 1 banana
Dinner- 1 serving of sliced avocadoes with mixed greens
Low carb meal plan for diabetes Spaghetti squash
Breakfast- 1 serving of cream cheese omelet with 2 strips of bacon
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Is Keto Safe If You Have Diabetes
That depends on the type of diabetes you have. In general, people with type 2 who are overweight seem to get good results safely. If you have type 1 and want to try the keto diet, itâs essential that you talk to your doctor first. Youâll need to carefully monitor your health and watch for signs of ketoacidosis. For either type, itâs a good idea to work closely with your doctor, since you may need to change your medications.
The keto diet has some side effects that are worth knowing about, too:
Hypoglycemia: Though the diet can lower A1c levels, that may mean youâre at a higher risk of blood sugar that dips too low, especially if youâre also taking medicine for your diabetes. Let your doctor or diabetes educator know if you try the keto diet. They can advise you about checking your blood sugar, taking your medicines, and what to do when your blood sugar drops too low.
Lack of nutrients: Since many foods are off-limits, including some fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, you could miss out on the important nutrients youâd get from them. Work with a nutritionist familiar with nutritional ketosis to make sure your body gets what it needs.
Liver and kidney problems: These organs help your body process fat and protein. Some experts worry that the keto diet could overwork them. Others say that if your organs are healthy, youâre probably fine.
Constipation: Since youâre not eating foods like whole grains and beans, you could miss key sources of fiber.
Living With Diabetes Does Not Mean Cutting Back On Everything You Like Learn More About The Good Carbs For Diabetics That Will Keep Your System Balanced
Suffering from diabetes does not necessarily have to be limiting. There are many ways in which you, or the person you love, can live a long and healthy lifes without having to remove every single pleasure. When it comes to food, there are many good carbs for diabetics to satisfy the cravings without putting your health at risk.
Because carbs can be divided in three major groups it is important to know and understand where exactly these come from and how your body administers its intake, in order to consume the appropriate amounts.
Starch can come in many shapes and forms, and its a huge part of products such as peas, corn, potatoes, beans, lentils and of dry products such as oats, rice and barley.
In the case of sugar, there are those natural occurring, like the ones present in milk or fruit, and the synthetic or added sugar that appear on heavy syrup, candies, certain baked goods, etc.
Finally, fiber comes from the indigestible part of plant foods such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables and fruits. These fiber is not digested, but rather passes through the intestines.
Consuming carbohydrates for diabetics with Type 2 is particularly important and should be balanced, at all times. For this reason the American Diabetes Association recommends carb counting in order to keep track of your consumption.
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Is The Keto Diet Safe For Diabetics
Since diabetes is a metabolic disorder, you may have to watch your carbohydrates and blood sugar more closely than you would if you had a fully functioning pancreas. Always involve your doctor when you want to make any changes. You may also consider working with a dietician who can monitor how your body reacts to your dietary changes and make personalized adjustments along the way.
How The Review Was Done
This is a review of ten randomized controlled trials conducted from 2008 to 2014, including a total of 1,376 participants. All the studies were combined in a meta-analysis.
- All participants had type 2 diabetes. Average age of participants was 58 and average body mass index was > 26 .
- Study participants followed diets in which carbohydrates made up less than 45% of total calories. The average target percentage was 25% carbohydrates.
- Participants reported their diet intake using food diaries and were instructed to replace carbohydrates with protein, fats or both.
- Researchers measured participants carbohydrate intake, as well as blood sugar levels, weight or BMI, cholesterol levels and self-rated quality of life at least three months after starting the diet.
- Results were compared to control groups who followed the standard diet of 45-60% carbohydrates.
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What The Researchers Found
People following a low-carbohydrate diet had lower blood sugar levels than people following a higher-carbohydrate diet up to six months after starting their diets. There was a direct relationship between the percentage of dietary carbohydrates and blood sugar levels: people who ate fewer carbohydrates had lower blood sugar levels. There was also evidence that people on low-carbohydrate diets were also able to use lower doses of diabetes medication. The benefits were short-term, and it is not clear whether people are likely to adhere to low-carbohydrate diets in the long-term. The low-carbohydrate diets did not significantly improve cholesterol levels, weight or BMI, and quality of life.
Drinking Too Little Water Leaving Yourself At Risk For Dehydration
Left unchecked, going low-carb can increase the risk of dehydration, as well as electrolyte imbalances, Urbanski explains. This happens because when the body stores carbohydrates, it stores water along with it. Furthermore, in response to reduced blood sugar levels, the body doesnt produce as much insulin. In turn, the kidneys expel both water and sodium from the body, she says.
Also, if your low-carb plan involves removing a lot of sodium-laden foods like potato chips from your diet , it can also lower sodium levels.
Both dehydration and too-low sodium levels can bring on lightheadedness and dizziness, as well as keep the cells throughout the entire body from optimally functioning, she says. Keep open lines of communication with your healthcare team before loading up on salty foods, however. In people with uncontrolled high blood pressure or congestive heart failure, for example, increasing sodium intake may not be a healthy option, she says. As for water intake, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 13 cups of fluid per day for men and about 9 cups per day for women, but ask your healthcare team about the optimal amount of fluid for your individual health.
Check out Diabetes Daily’s article “How to Start a Low-Carb Diabetes Diet” for more information on this popular eating plan.
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Include Minimally Processed Fat
Fat is the macronutrient that has the least effect on blood sugar, adds richness and flavor to meals, and provides the majority of your energy needs on a low-carb diabetes diet. Remember to focus mostly on minimally processed fat sources as often as possible.
High Fasting Blood Glucose
What happens if you follow a low-carb diet and your fasting blood glucose remains high? According to experts, in some cases, this is likely to happen. But it is not necessarily cause for concern. If you follow a strict low-carb regime, you may experience a condition called “physiologic insulin resistance,” also called adaptive glucose sparing.
People who are on ketogenic diets or other very low carbohydrate programs train their bodies to use fat, rather than sugar, as fuel. If you do this effectively, your muscles start to reject sugar when it is available. That means more sugar stays in your bloodstream, even when you consume very little of it.
If this happens, work with your healthcare provider to adjust your testing regime. Testing for fasting insulin levels along with a fasting blood glucose test may provide more insight to help you manage your condition.
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What Are Carbohydrates
The function of carbohydrates is simple, they provide energy. Carbohydrates consist of several simple sugars. In the digestive tract, carbohydrates are converted into those simple sugars after which they can be used in the body. For example, the liver converts fructose and galactose into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar that is ready for use by the cells in our body. For example, glucose is an important source of energy for brain cells.
Low Carb Dairy & Eggs
For those that can tolerate dairy, it makes a great addition to a low carb keto food list. Choose full-fat dairy over fat-free or low-fat, which is higher in carbs.
Coconut cream is not dairy, but makes a great substitute and is included here. Its thick and creamy, and often works instead of heavy cream, yogurt or even sour cream in recipes.
Eggs are also not dairy, but are listed in this section for convenience. They are found in the dairy section of the grocery store, but you can still enjoy them if you are dairy-free.
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Diet Lowers Blood Glucose Sometimes Dangerously
Leow et al investigated the effects of a ketogenic diet in 11 adults with type 1 diabetes who self-initiated the diet before study recruitment. Mean HbA1c of study participants was excellent at 5.3%, and participants spent an impressive average of 74% of time within target range. However, many had a disproportionately high frequency and duration of hypoglycemic episodes.
Lennerz et al evaluated the effect of a very low carbohydrate diet on 316 patients with type 1 diabetes, using an online survey of a social media group. Average carbohydrate intake was 36 ± 15 g of carbohydrates per day for an average duration of 2.2 ± 2.9 years. Patients achieved good glucose control and reported high satisfaction. The rate of severe adverse events was low and included 7 patients with diabetes-related hospitalizations and 4 with DKA.
In their small, randomized crossover study, Ranjan et al compared 1 week each on a low-carbohydrate diet and a high-carbohydrate diet in patients with type 1 diabetes using insulin pump therapy. The low-carbohydrate diet group had significantly lower average daily blood glucose levels , longer time in euglycemia , less glycemic variability , lower total daily insulin dose , and fewer daily units of bolus insulin administered .