June 4, 2015

Some Suggestions for Low-carb Food Plans

David Spero, who writes for Diabetes Self-Management has two interesting blogs from
May 13 and May 20 about low-carb food plans. David used a comment from two years ago, by a reader who wrote: “I think a good definition of low carb would be the amount of carbs per day that you can safely eat and maintain your blood sugar in the normal range at all times.” I think this is very applicable, although others use numbers of grams of carbohydrates. I would encourage you to read both as I am not including a lot from either of his blogs.

I agree with the comment David chose and numbers only confuse the issue and may not be what you body chemistry is able to tolerate. Some are able to tolerate a larger number of carbohydrates while many can only tolerate a lower number. You have to find the low-carb food plan that fits your chemistry and body needs. That said, the range generally used for low carb varies from 30 grams to 100 grams of carbohydrates.

One note that is important to know - when I use carb(s) or carbohydrates, all numbers are in grams and I do not use the carb value often used of one carb equals 15 grams.  Many people say they are consuming 6-12-12 or a total of 30 grams of carbohydrates. Other people use different combinations for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some add snacks to this, but I prefer not. I usually consume 20-5-(10 to 25).

One habit most of us eating low carb have in common is we do not eat processed foods, grains of any type, and starchy vegetables. You should decide for yourself how low you want to go, depending on your meter readings and how you feel.

When is comes to determining the carbohydrate count of unpackaged foods, I have found that this free website can help. The two links I use are this for entering the recipe and this for making a grocery list. I have used both with success. Others may wish to use the link David provides in his blog. I would also encourage you to read the link to the study he listed.

Another author about low carb is David Mendosa and I would encourage your to read at least two of the blogs he has. The first is about carbs and their relationship to inflammation. The second is about the challenges of eating low-carb. These two blogs should help in your decision of eating low-carb.

The importance of this for people with type 2 diabetes cannot be emphasized enough and if you wish to manage your diabetes, you would be well served to read all the links provided in the blogs by David Spero and David Mendosa.


David Mendosa said...

This is a really useful post for everyone with diabetes, Bob. I really like the comment that you cite that "a good definition of low carb would be the amount of carbs per day that you can safely eat and maintain your blood sugar in the normal range at all times." The next question of course is what is a normal range. We know that in terms of the A1C level it is 6.0 or below. How much below 6.0 is, however, uncertain. I think that it is probably close to 5.0, but Dr. Bernstein says that it is as low as 4.5. Taking his value as the normal level and converting it to a fingerstick measure, using the calculator at http://professional.diabetes.org/GlucoseCalculator.aspx , "The equivalent of 4.5 % A1C is 82 mg/dl eAG." In fact as I remember, Dr. Bernstein writes that our blood sugar level should not ever exceed 83 mg/dl. That certainly isn't easy, but we can take it as a goal.

Bob Fenton said...

Normal is a difficult measurement to be sure. That is one reason I seldom put a number to it. I can agree with less than 6.0% for an A1c and know many that are able to get close to 5.0, but I end up with a few too many readings below 70 mg/dl when I work to hard to bet below 6.0. Now that both my wife and I both have type 2 diabetes, food plans are changing slowly and I am seeing more steady blood glucose readings which is helping.