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Diabetes and Carbohydrates

By February 8, 2007

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When you're diagnosed with diabetes, everything you eat becomes important. Carbohydrates are the most essential factor of the food you take in. They directly affect your blood glucose almost immediately after you eat them. Some carbs affect blood glucose levels more than others. Learning about carbs and knowing how foods affect your blood sugar can help you maintain better control.

Photo by Liany Cavalaro

February 8, 2007 at 12:36 pm
(1) Ted says:

Amazing. 45 to 65% of my calories from carbs.

At least this article admits to variances and working out a personal diet plan.

When I had my blood sugar scare I was sent to a Diabetes Dietician. I was not really eating low carb before this, but slightly leaning that way after having success with the diet three years before and falling off after a year and a half.

The dietician did the ‘safe’ thing and pointed to the ADA diet, which meant I had to noticeably increase my carb intake. I stayed on it for three weeks. It was the worst three weeks of my life if you exclude the weeks draped around my emergency appendectomy. My blood sugar numbers skyrocketed and plummeted. I felt horrible, and fell asleep at my desk one afternoon, something I have never done before.

I threw out her recommendations and went back to a low carb diet I melded together from South Beach, Atkins, and other readings. I immediately felt better in 24 to 36 hours of dumping the ADA plan. After four months of experimenting and testing my blood three to five times a day, I developed for myself on my own a relatively low carb diet that works very well with consistent exercise. Itís worked well for nine months now.

Yes, I know the exercise may have been more important at this stage, but the diet is also, particularly for longer term. My numbers are below the warning levels on all counts, and my doctor is amazed. She did close ranks when I told her of my bad experiences with the dietician, but she still discussed my own developed plan with me beyond the allotted normal visit time.

The thing that ticked me off the most about the visit with the dietician, is that she clearly stated that she didnít expect me to stick to a proper diet. Then she made sure I signed up for a visit with a diabetes nurse who told me how to prolong, not prevent, eventually losing a foot and other such fun things like blindness.

I kid you not.

February 12, 2007 at 9:15 am
(2) Dan says:

I agree with Ted. I ate what was considered a “healthy” diet before, but it only left me with insatiable cravings and caused me to overeat. Even though I tried to pig out on “healthy carbs.” I just got fatter and fatter and ended up with Type 2 diabetes. Since I have cut out sugar & refined carbs, and cut way back on starches, I am doing much better. I’ve been able to get off some of my medication. My glucose meter tells me I can’t eat the way the ADA says I should and still maintain normal blood glucose. My cholesterol and blood pressure have also improved significantly since I was diagnosed (and I’m not taking cholesterol medication). Low carb, which includes plenty of non-starchy vegetables and some low sugar fruits, is the best approach for me.

February 12, 2007 at 5:45 pm
(3) Ernie Lee says:

I am disappointed that people get Diabetes2 from eating a high carbohydrate diet. My research has indicated that low GI foods don’t exist and any diet promoting “low GI” should be avoided like the plague.
Eliminate or cut down sugars- ANY sugars, and high starch foods. Substitute with proteins like fish, chicken and even red meat. Any extra saturated fats are lots healthier than sugars.

Ernie Lee

February 13, 2007 at 7:40 am
(4) Jen C says:

I think the recent information on low G.I. diets has huge potential for diabetics.
My 19-year-old daughter is diabetic and has found that adding low G.I. foods to her diet has helped her manage her blood sugar levels far better.

February 15, 2007 at 12:26 am
(5) Ernie Lee says:

When correctly applied. low glucose release foods with low Glycemic Load values are very useful for selection by diabetics. Problems occur with foods with an apparent low GI but are loaded with sugars-


Nutella with main ingredient is fructose, added as High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Milo breakfast cereal, in Australia present as sucrose.

You may not get high glucose peaks when using fructose, so normal weight Diabetics 1 sufferers will not have problems using fructose IN MODERATION.

However, people who are overweight to obese certainly don’t want the extra fatty acids produced by fructose in the liver. This is where the “low GI” diet crashes miserably.

I still think a diet low in all carbohydrates is a much healthier decision. It just makes food choices a lot easier to make.

Sorry, the science is not easy and there is little consensus amoungst the experts.

Hope helps,
Ernie Lee

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