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Carbs?

Discussion in 'Prediabetes' started by Brettabob_, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. Brettabob_

    Brettabob_ Prediabetes · Member

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    Hi, I've been told I'm prediabetic and I should cut down the carbs, that's it, I don't really know what means. Is this the end of the fish and chips on a Friday or bacon butty on a Sunday? Or does it mean use brown rice and wholmeal bread etc? Currently I'm at the gym 4 times a week after which I will have a bagel or sweet potato etc, am I on the right track or do I have to stop everything?
     
  2. Kim Possible

    Kim Possible Type 1 · Expert

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    Brown rice and wholemeal bread contain a similar amount of carbs as their white counterparts.
    If your advice is to reduce the overall amount of carbs, this usually means reduce the amount of bread (of any colour, with and without holes), rice, potatoes (including your chips with your fish and sweet potatoes), pizza, pasta, cereal, cakes, beer, ... These are the big hitters although there are carbs in many other foods such as fruit and vegetables.
    It is up to you how much you reduce this by. Some people on this forum follow a low carb diet and significantly reduce their carb intake to 30g or lower (a portion of chips from the chippy is typically about 120g carbs) as they find this helps them control their diabetes.
    You don't have to stop everything but it may be a good idea to look for other alternatives for some of your treats. For example, you could replace your chips with mushy peas and not eat the batter around your fish; you could have egg with your bacon instead of putting it in a butty; you could have chicken and veg instead of bagel and sweet potato.
     
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  3. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum :). I'll just tag @daisy1 as she has got a great introductory post which gives lots of the information you are looking for.
     
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  4. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

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    @Brettabob_

    Hello and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members which should be useful to you. Ask as many questions as you like and someone will be able to help.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you'll find well over 250,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.

    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:
    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates
    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a free 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:

    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to blood glucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic.

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.

    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. They're all free.
    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why
    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
     
  5. AM1874

    AM1874 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Brettabob_ .. and welcome
    You have certainly made a good move coming here. Since joining this forum, the folks here have given me so much info, advice and support that I am now much more confident about the journey ahead. So ask your questions and be assured that you will receive the answers that you need. It can all seem uphill to start with but, in my experience, it gets easier .. very quickly.

    The key point to take on board is that managing and controlling your diabetes (or pre-diabetes) through exercise, diet and testing your Blood Glucose seems to be the best way forward for many people. For me, committing to an LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) lifestyle and testing 3-5 times a day seems to be working and you'll find that there is a wealth of info, relevant advice and positive support about LCHF on the forum ..

    I see that @ daisy1 has already been in touch with you and I suggest that you read up on the Low Carb Program in the information that she has sent. You might also find the discussion on the Low Carb Diet forum helpful .. together with the following Diet Doctor websites, which will give you all the info that you need on what and what not to eat ...
    Low Carb Intro and Information and Low Carbs in 60 Seconds

    Unless you are prescribed a test meter and strips by your doctor (unlikely), it is a top priority that get yourself one and, for this, the following websites might help:
    https://homehealth-uk.com/product-category/blood-glucose/
    for the SD Codefree meter, which costs £12.98 or:
    http://spirit-healthcare.co.uk/product/tee2-blood-glucose-meter/
    who distribute the TEE 2 meter, which is free.
    I have both which I alternate for comparative purposes and I have never found any significant difference between them.

    The costs of testing comes down to the ongoing charges for test strips and lancets. Make sure that you tick the appropriate box on the on-line order form and you won't pay VAT on your meter or strips.
    For the SD Codefree, the strips are £7.69 for a pack of 50 and there are discount codes available for bulk purchases:
    5 packs x 50 use code: 264086 .. cost is £38.45
    10 packs x 50 use code: 975833 .. cost is £76.90
    For the TEE 2, the strips are £7.75 for a pack of 50 .. but there are no discount codes currently available

    I'm testing 3-5 times a day which works out at around £10 to £12 per month for either of the two packages above but, more importantly, I now know what my BG levels are .. and I can now manage them

    Hope this helps
     
    #5 AM1874, Aug 23, 2017 at 3:58 PM
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  6. Brettabob_

    Brettabob_ Prediabetes · Member

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    Thanks for the help guys, lots to take in
     
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