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Carbs so confused

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Maybird, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Maybird

    Maybird · Guest

    The more I read the more confused I become. I still cannot get my head around carbs and why type 2 need to have a low carb diet.I thought it was only about cutting sugar down
    I have the book Carbs and Cals but still does not mean much to me only telling you how many carbs are in foods but no help as to how many I need
    I am only prediabetic now but my GP advised me to see the DN for some diet advice She asked me about what I ate and
    said as I have a fairly low sugar diet already that is good ..not got much of a sweet tooth... and I have a good low fat diet with plenty of veg and fruit because of raised cholesterol so to keep on with that. She never told me to cut anything out and the only thing she said about carbs was that it is better to have wholemeal rather than white carbs which I do with bread and rolls anyway and I hardly ever eat pasta or rice.. not keen on them.. but she never said anything about restricting carbs,the first I heard about that was on this forum ...I do not need to loose weight I am under 9 stone and don't want to loose any more which I think I would if I cut the carbs

    I have been testing my BG for the last couple of weeks and whatever I have eaten I seem to get more or less the same results on average in the 6's when I get up and then in the 5's 2 hours after a meal. Couple of times I have been in the 7's first thing in the morning.I have not tested after every meal just after breakfast and evening meal. I have stopped testing now for the time being it is to stressful.
    I can see why DN's and doctors are not keen on type 2's and prediabetics testing as it just seems to confuse and worry us more
     
  2. aqualung

    aqualung Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Being new to all this myself I can only advise you on the limited knowledge I have which as you can see from my previous posts I am still confused!!

    I would say that with readings of 5/6 what you are eating is OK for your bs. The reason for cutting out carbs is that they turn to sugar. I had a dominos pizza last week with chips and my bs was 11 the highest it has been so to me that shows that high carbs raise my bs so I have cut out pasta, bread, rice and potatoes.

    The proof that what I am doing is right (or wrong) to me will be when I go for my retest in December/January. I assume that if my daily bs levels are OK then my Ha1bc will be too but maybe I am being overly optimistic.

    As I said I am new and I am sure someone more knowledgeable and experienced will be along and explain it all much better and probably contradict everything I have said (although I hope not!)
     
  3. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. Yes, aqualung has made the point that all carbs are turned to glucose in the blood; not just sugar which is just another carb. Diabetics have a problem with metabolising carbs properly hence they need to be controlled to the extent that your blood sugar is within the right range. Your readings are good and sort of pre-diabetic so no need to get stressed at those levels. You might want to test every couple of weeks or so just to keep an eye on the blood sugar and to see how well the reduced carbs are doing. It's good you have low/normal weight. Don't worry too much about increasing fats to maintain body weight if needed. There is a growing view that the low-fat thing is based on bad data and that cholesterol is based more on genes and excess carbs than fat intake. You can always have 'good' fats such as fish and so on.
     
  4. IanD

    IanD Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If you are NOT confused, you haven't understood the complexity of the diabetic condition.....

    In particular, you will get high carb diet advice from DUK & health professionals that ensure that diabetes progresses - they know it & tell that "diabetes is progressive."

    Then take the low carb diet advice from many on this forum, & find, like me that the progression & problems caused by a high carb diet can be reversed.

    Confused still? Get advice from long term diabetics, NOT from health professionals!
     
  5. Maybird

    Maybird · Guest


    I have not really cut out anything I still eat potatoes..mostly new potatoes and jackets and chips very occasionally and bread I always have 2 slices of toast in the morning with whatever else I am having with it and none of them seem to raise my BG levels
     
  6. Maybird

    Maybird · Guest

    That sounds so bad why would the health professionals give you advice that is wrong and why would they want your diabetes to progress.I have never been a high carb eater so not much to cut down on

    My son is type 1 but of course he is not able to give me any advice as he eats anything he wants to and controls it with his insulin dosage It seems type 2 is far more difficult to manage
     
  7. Maybird

    Maybird · Guest


    I can see from the book Carbs and Cals that some food is very low in carbs and some is high but what would be an acceptable level of carbs in any one food
     
  8. Maybird

    Maybird · Guest

    The highest my BG level was after a meal in the last two weeks was 10.2 after I had a meal of homemade chicken casserole in a white wine sauce with sweet potato and cabbage then I had perssimon...sharon fruit... with greek yogurt in the Carbs and Cals book it gives a whole persimmon as 27 g of carbs and 116 cals I can see against other fruits that is very high so probably the reason for my high BG for that meal
     
  9. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Maybird

    The first thing is to know what blood glucose levels we are looking for.

    NICE guidelines (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) give the following target ranges:

    Non-diabetic:

    3.5 - 5.5 fasting/before meals;
    less than 8 mmol/l 2 hours after meals.


    Type 2 diabetic:

    4 - 7 before meals/fasting
    less than 8.5, 2 hours after

    So you see, the targets for a well-controlled Type 2 diabetic are only a little higher than for a non-diabetic. If your control is this good, you stand much less chance of getting the dreaded "diabetic complications".

    I like to keep my levels within the non-diabetic range, and I can achieve this by restricting my carbohydrate intake to less than 50g per day, using the Atkins diet (my personal choice). The fewer carbs I eat, the more weight I lose - a full 4 stone up to this last Easter, 3 years after diagnosis.

    Rather sadly, I then discovered that I can now increase my carb intake to about 100g per day and still keep my BGs in the non-diabetic range. I eat wholegrain carbs and low GI carbs, avoiding fast-acting carbs such as white bread, mashed potato and sugary baked goods. I can eat controlled portions of berry fruits and an occasional apple. I think a very low carb rest period has done my pancreas a lot of good :wink: .

    So why am I sad about this, if my BGs are still where I want them? Well, since last April I have put on about 10lbs. It seems my metabolism simply cannot handle carbohydrates :( , and I must still have a good deal of insulin resistance. So I am going to get through Christmas as best I can and then back to 30g - 50g carb daily. If I put much more weight on, my internal fat will increase and smother my poor old pancreas again. Then my BGs will be on the way up again :roll:

    We are all different, and no Type 2s are exactly the same. I am best on a very low carb diet, and try to eat foods with less than 5g carb per 100g (read the labels). Others can get the same results with more, usually Low Glycaemic Index, carbs. That's why the advice that Daisy1 gives to newbies has such an emphasis on testing. You need to find out which foods you can safely eat without spiking, and which you should avoid. Most of us are best if we restrict our carbohydrate intake a bit - probably no more than 150g as a daily maximum (IMHO).

    Generally I eat no carbs until lunch (omelette for breakfast), and then try to keep under 20g carb at both lunch and dinner. If you must have carbs for breakfast, go for a sugar-free cereal or whole grain seeded bread. Eggs, bacon and low-carb sausages are all fine. Some people can eat porridge without any problem. Avoid sugar and use (eg) Splenda powder sugar substitute instead.

    Lunch can be a salad with meat or fish, or even a salad sandwich using that seeded bread again, with meat or fish as you like. Find a fruit you can safely eat - use your meter to find out which. I can't eat bananas, for instance, but I can manage a small apple. Evening meal - meat, fish or a casserole with plenty of low carb veg eg leeks, cabbage, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower etc. Avoid sweet corn and keep "underground" veg to a minimum. Portion control is essential with things like rice, pasta and potatoes. Go for wholemeal pasta and brown rice, and weigh them to calculate the carbs. If you need a pudding - you can get sugar-free jelly, or have berries with cream.

    Don't avoid fat; just don't go mad with it. It is high calorie, and combined with (eg) flour puts weight on me at least! However, it has no carbs, so you can safely have a little butter on your veg and cream on your berries.

    If you start out on 150g of carb daily, you can divide that any way you want - though I wouldn't load it all onto your evening meal :shock: . Maybe try 30-40-50, which leaves you 30g spare for low-carb snacks.

    I hope this helps a little. The main thing is, use your meter lots at the beginning, to find out which foods you can eat. Once you know, you'll build your diet round them, and not need to test anything like as much.

    Keep smiling :D

    Viv 8)
     
  10. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi Maybird. Viviennem has given some good advice. The real problem foods for high carbs tend to be chilled Indian Meals which can be 80gm plus of carbs. Obviously sugary desserts need watching. I tend to go for 150/180gm/day max of carbs which leaves after breakfast, lunch and a tea-time snack around 80gmcarbs for an evening meal including dessert, yoghurt or fruit.

    So why do health professional give bad advice to T2s? It's a combination of things. Firstly GPs cover an enormous range of conditions and so do nurses. They are therefore expert in very few things. The diabetes training they receive is relatively poor (I know that from my new diabetes GP who said some pretty stupid things when she had come off the course despite being a good GP). The training is all based on the 'Establishment' view which is often out of date and often not science-based. I've seen scientific non-sense in one report from the Royal College of Surgeons ref low-carbing. Diabetes UK provides T2 diet advice from the stone age. Many of these institutions copy each others advice hence the 'have plenty of Starchy carbs' advice many repeat. It's a sad state of the profession when so few of them question proffered advice and don't learn from the patients they treat. I have an excellent DN so they are not all bad. Also don't forget that the food industry has a great influence behind the scenes with many of these organisations and they make their money out of sugar-loaded and highly refined white flour foods. T1s are much better served than T2s and I've sort of been both!
     
  11. Maybird

    Maybird · Guest

     
  12. Paul_c

    Paul_c Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I aim for under 6 before meals and under 6.5 two hours after

    low-carb high-fat enables me to do this, that and also having purchased my own meter to discover what I can get away with.
     
  13. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention higher fasting levels in the morning. This is because the liver gives us a shot of stored glucose as we wake, to get us going. People with a correctly functioning pancreas deal with this immediately - the pancreas produces insulin to cover the extra glucose and use it up in the muscle cells, for energy.

    Pre-diabetics and Type 2s, who have varying levels of insulin production and/or insulin resistance, find the glucose still swanning around in our blood, giving us a higher reading than a non-diabetic. This is the "Dawn Phenomenon"; it's also why the GP needs us fasting for a blood test; the higher reading means either that the pancreas isn't functioning properly, or that we have insulin resistance.

    It took me more than 6 months, after diagnosis, to get my morning fasting level in the respectable mid-5s, so don't worry about that too much at the moment. The most important readings are before and two hours after food. If your level before eating is (say) 5.5, it should be back to about 5.7 - 6.00 two hours after. If it's a fair bit higher, something in the meal has spiked you.

    I too like my food, Maybird. I also like red wine! :oops: Type 2 diabetes isn't the end of everything. We can still have our favourite things, only not in previous quantities. We just have to be aware of what too many "treats" will do to us in the long run, if we over-indulge. I even have fish and chips (about 4 times a year); though I haven't eaten pizza or pasta since diagnosis, and I love them both.

    Viv 8)
     
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