1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

How Low Carb is Low Carb

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by Cinderella56, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. Cinderella56

    Cinderella56 Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Hello All

    New to Diabetes type two and was diagnosed at the end of February.. I am not overweight only weigh 9 and a half stone and am 5 foot 4 inches tall.. I exercise a lot and do not eat unhealthy foods that much.. but I had gestational diabetes three times and Diabetes runs in the family. So I don't need to lose much weight if any.. I have started by cutting carbs and cutting all the puds cakes etc but not sure how low I can go. with the starchy carbs.. I have read the David Cavan book and am trying to only eat 30g of carbs at each meal.. mostly this is working as I am testing after my main meal to see how my BS is and most of the time its under 9 sometimes lower nearer 7.. however at times it is 10 or ll.. so not sure if I am doing ok or not. But if I go lower I run out of steam and don't have the energy I need for my exercise ( Aqua classes swimming and walking .. and not just to the shops .. usually 2 to 4 mile walks.

    Thanks
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,107
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Welcome @Cinderella56

    So long as you're eating lots of healthy fats and moderate amounts of protein with your low carb ketogenic diet and staying away from sugar, grains, and unhealthy, highly refined, high omega 6, vegetable oils, and greatly limiting starchy legumes and root vegetables and sugary fruits, you'll do okay - (small amounts of low carb fruit - (lemons, limes, and grapefruit) - and berries - (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries) are fine.

    Hopefully you're eating a salad with lots of greens and a vinaigrette dressing of extra virgin olive oil and vinegar a few times a week, also non-starchy, above ground vegetables with all your meals.

    What you may not know is that it's not just carbs that cause glucose spikes, protein does too. In general, you want to limit protein intake to 1 gram per kilogram of lean body mass weight per day, and distribute it throughout all meals.

    Another consideration is reducing stress. I walk too, but not if my body is telling me to take a day off. Walking, swimming is good. Keep doing it, but don't over do it. You'll find that as you become more insulin sensitive, you'll be able to knock a higher than normal glucose level down with just 15 - 20 minutes of walking.

    Another important consideration is your nutrient status. Most of us need to supplement with a minimum of vitamin D3, fish oil, magnesium, and zinc. If you're eating a vegan or vegetarian diet, I'd add a vitamin B12, possibly a B-complex initially. A good quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is helpful too. If you're D3 levels are really low - (you'll need to get tested) - you'll need to take a lot of vitamin D3 (with vitamin K2 to keep calcium out of your arteries while temporarily increasing your intake of higher doses of D3).

    Most people are deficient in the minerals magnesium and zinc, particularly those of us who have diabetes. Those who also have a thyroid condition often benefit from taking selenium too.

    You can research most of this through Google. It's always good to do your own research.

    Keep walking, keep swimming, keep monitoring your glucose levels and adjusting your eating as needed.

    I started on a 30 - 40 gram carbohydrate diet 27 months ago. Today I eat closer to 40 - 50 grams a day, and can knock a high glucose level down if I take a 20 minute walk an hour and a half after my meal as needed.

    From what you've written, it sounds like you're on track with learning how to manage you diabetes. You've come to the right place with questions. Keep reading and asking questions. Again, welcome! :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
    #2 Winnie53, Jun 2, 2017 at 5:42 PM
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  3. Deespee23

    Deespee23 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Hi Cinderella

    Some might consider 30g carbs per meal to be excessive.....I aim for under 20g per day and am doing OK on it.....at 90g carbs per day you will never get into ketosis and start to burn fat instead of carbs - maybe this is why you feel kna**ered when you take exercise? I go to gym (1 1/2hrs on bike, rower, weights & 1/2hr swim) 3x a week and seem to be doing all right.

    If you try reducing your carbs again, I'm sure your BS will improve as well. What I try to do is check the amount of carbs per 100g on packaged foods - I don't eat anything more than 4.5g.

    Hope this helps

    D23
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,107
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Oops, 30 grams carbohydrate per meal is too high for many of us. Missed that detail. Apologies...
     
  5. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

    Messages:
    8,248
    Likes Received:
    4,973
    Trophy Points:
    198
    You might feel better if you add more fat to your diet. Fats - that includes oils as well are essential elements of a healthy diet - despite what has been repeated so often in the recent past, can be used for energy, is particularly good food for the brain, and most significant for T2 diabetics, doesn't trigger the release of insulin.
    I know that I had a maximum of 80gm of carb a day when I was using Atkins for weight control, but I could not eat cereals potatoes, legumes or high fructose fruits - still can't as they make my blood glucose go high and stay high for a long time.
    I have normal levels as I cut out all the foods I could not eat and maintain my weight, and then tried to keep my highest readings under 8 mmol/l after a few weeks I saw levels dropping and now I have maximums closer to 7.
     
  6. Squire Fulwood

    Squire Fulwood Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,058
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Trophy Points:
    178
    How high? You could use your meter and if a meal offends thee pluck it out, or modify it so you are happy with your sugar levels.
    Your sugar levels might be OK with some foods that are not OK for other people. You should experiment.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  7. Mr_Pot

    Mr_Pot Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,906
    Likes Received:
    1,797
    Trophy Points:
    178
    That seems to be a lot of information for somebody starting out! I just cut out anything obviously sweet, cakes deserts etc and the usual starches bread, potatoes, rice pasta. I have never tried to be ketogenic, restricted protein or taken any supplements My HbA1c dropped from 53 to 38 in 3 months on about 70g of carbs a day. My advice would be to start simply, see how you get on for a few weeks and adjust accordingly.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,987
    Likes Received:
    7,623
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Surely not everyone needs, or desires, to be in ketosis. I average about 20g per meal with an occasional snack which puts my intake up to approx 90g per day - my FBS is between the high 4s and low 5s and am usually down to 6.0 2 hours after meals. I just tend to eat what I know will not affect my BS too much inc small amounts of bread and potatoes.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
  9. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,987
    Likes Received:
    7,623
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hi @Cinderella56 welcome to the forum. The only advice I can give is eat to your meter - use it to guide you as to what you can eat without affecting your BS. We are all individuals and what works for one person will not for somebody else. I seem to be luckier than many on here in that I can eat more 'carby' foods such as bread and potatoes and, through testing, have managed to determine which type suits me best. My average carb intake is about 90g per day which is still relatively low carb and I eat full fat but do not worry too much if I have a higher carb meal than usual. That said I enjoy nothing more than a big plate of salad with either ham, cheese, smoked mackerall or home made scotch egg and some Greek yoghurt with berries for dessert!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    9,780
    Likes Received:
    7,400
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Low carb can be up to 130g carbs a day :)

    How many you personally should have is informed by your after meal blood tests. Some Type 2s here eat minimal carbs but others can manage more.

    The advice is to Eat To Your Meter :)
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  11. sheepie123

    sheepie123 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    48
    I second this I stick to around 100g of carbs spaced out throughout the day with some snacks 15g. Though I use the 100g of carbs like a bank.

    E.g. A short term spike is not going to kill me so If I save the 100g for a very bad meal its ok as its only going to have risen once that day. Or alternatively I can have some slightly more bland (cheesy) meals at around 20 - 30g depending if I want 3 meals or 2.

    I also if its going to be a bad meal like a sunday roast with yorkies / gravy and potatoes go for a walk for 1hr after so that it tackles the rise effectively.

    Its a balance you can have more carbs you just need them burned immediately.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,604
    Likes Received:
    3,270
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Agree. Ketosis is NOT essential, but it helps with weight loss (not a desired effect for the OP) and for reducing fatty livers (NAFLD). It also helps us to deal with the occasional hypo event that may occur until any medication adjustments are complete, since most of us using LC find we need to reduce our prescription meds. But it is possible to reduce bgl to good levels without ketosis if that is your design aim.

    Personally I have done the fat adaption phase, and now generally run without keto since I do not have to carb count or be super strict with diet. So as advised above, take it gently and eat to meter, Log your results and what meals and snax you have, and use that to identify the heavy hitters for elimination. Increased fat intake helps an LC diet by suppressing appetite, giving a saeity feeling, and providing energy even when glucose levels are low.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. Deespee23

    Deespee23 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    208
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Would not disagree with this sentiment at all...."low carb" can be a broad church (no, not that programme on the telly where everyone gets killed:bookworm:) and what works for some isn't great for others....so yea, use your meter to track down what works for you and use that as a point to start from.
     
  14. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,107
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Good morning @Cinderella56 I was gone all day yesterday so just now getting back on the forum. :)

    Again, apologies for misreading your post which resulted in a lot of push back against the ketogenic diet. Not what I intended.

    Now that I understand that you're eating 90 carbs a day, not 30, my advice will be different. I'm in the US so I'm going to convert your numbers here so I don't make further mistakes... :oops:

    Weight 9.5 stone (133 pounds); height 5'4"; BMI 22.8 (normal)
    Post meal glucose levels: most of the time it's 9 mmol/L (163 mg/dL), sometimes lower, nearer 7 mmol/L (126 mg/dL), however at times it is 10 mmol/L (180 mg/dL) or 11 mmol/L ( 198 mg/dL). If I go lower, I run out of steam and don't have energy I need for my exercise - (aqua classes, swimming, walking; usually walks 2 to 4 miles).

    I have a few questions for you...

    What was your A1c at or following your diagnosis? And how long have you been eating 90 carbs a day?

    It's hard to know if you're doing okay or not at 90 carbs a day. If you've been eating low carb for a month or longer, you likely will benefit from reducing your carbs further.

    I agree with everyone here. We're all so individual. "Eat to your meter" is excellent advice. And there are many with type 2 diabetes who have restored their glucose levels to non-diabetic status without doing the low carbohydrate ketogenic diet (50 carbs or less). Perhaps you can too. :)

    Sugar, grains, starchy legumes and root vegetables, and sugary fruits all convert to glucose very quickly, as does protein in excess of what your body needs at any meal.

    I encourage you to log what you're eating with your 2-hour glucose level so over time you can begin learning how carbs and protein affect your glucose levels and begin making adjustments. To begin, eliminate any sugary beverages if you haven't already. Let me know if you'd like a recipe for a low carb lemonade; it's wonderful. :)

    Include healthy fats with all meals to slow the absorption of the carbs and to replace the calories lost by cutting back on the carbs: butter from grass fed cows, ghee, extra virgin olive oil, organic, virgin coconut oil, raw nuts, green olives, avocado, free range chicken with skin on, pastured, grass fed beef with fat. If you are able to eat dairy, heavy cream (not sure what it's called in the UK), plain, full fat yogurt, hard cheeses.

    If you're still eating sandwiches, try eating your sandwich contents with one piece of bread instead of two, or better yet, eat your sandwich contents as a salad without the bread. If you're still eating pasta, try eating what you eat on top of the pasta with only 1/2 or 1/4 of the pasta you'd normally eat, or better yet, replace the pasta with spiralized or cubed courgettes (zucchini) or yellow squash (yellow crookneck squash). If you're still eating root vegetables or legumes, eat no more than a quarter cup at a time with your meal. If you're still eating fruit, eat smaller amounts instead - (I cut an orange in half and eat one 1/2" slice at a time after meals for a treat, then store the remaining orange in a covered bowl in the refrigerator) - or replace with low carb berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and black berries; lemon and lime can be juiced and used to make beverages with pure stevia - (liquid or powder) - and water or sparkling water.

    And again, watch the protein intake. I'm similar in size to you so only have one egg for breakfast, usually with lots of vegetables, butter, and a small amount of cheddar cheese made from raw milk from pastured cows. I rarely eat more than 3 ounces serving of poultry or meat for lunch or dinner.

    If you eat grains for breakfast, try eating eggs instead every other morning and see what happens.

    Fiber intake is important too to feed our gut flora (or microbiome) and to slow the absorption of carbs, though likely not by much. Fiber also binds with toxins and eliminates them from the body - (also keeps things moving through the digestive tract). These are the primary reasons I eat a variety of raw and/or cooked vegetables with all meals.

    If you drink alcohol, try switching from beer to a glass of one of the dryer red wines, or drink spirits with water.

    One of the barriers of glucose monitoring regularly and frequently is cost. When I first started testing, I went out and bought the highest quality meter I could find. At the store, the test strips cost 88 cents each, online 68 cents! Then someone suggested I buy the cheapest strips I could find and the meter to go with it. My cost now is only 18 cents. As a result, I now test upon awakening, pre- and post meal, and before bed...guilt free. :)

    You also mentioned the energy problem. If you choose to try the ketogenic diet, and I'm not suggesting you do, one of the benefits is increased energy after you transition from "carb burning" to "fat burning". But you can also make this work on a low carb diet too. Not sure how to do that, but I'd suggest eating a whole food, like a half or whole apple or some type of small root vegetable - (I love yams) - 30 to 60 minutes before you begin your exercise. That will supply you with plenty of glucose. :)

    Let us know how you're coming along. And again, welcome to the forum. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    #14 Winnie53, Jun 3, 2017 at 7:13 PM
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  15. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,107
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Okay, now that I've hopefully restored at least some of my credibility here...hopefully... I'd like to speak to the push back against the ketogenic diet...

    Do all diabetics need to be on the ketogenic diet? No, absolutely not.

    That said, for those of us who live with severe insulin resistance, who did not know about the low carb high fat diet until our diabetes had progressed and worsened over many years, the ketogenic diet is reversing complications and restoring health.

    I facilitate a diabetes support, education, and walking group. Now in my mid-50's, up until recently, I was the youngest member of the group. Our oldest member is in their mid-80's.

    Of the 10 members associated with our group, 4 have been hospitalized in the last 60 days. Me for vertigo, two for a life threatening, hypertensive episode, and one for eye surgery. The middle two, who had been doing well over the past year, had taken on new responsibilities and hadn't been following the diets that had worked for them as closely as normal.

    And to top that, I got a call this week from an old acquaintance who has diabetes, had been eating poorly recently, and landed in the hospital with a life threatening infection (and high glucose levels). I knew the acquaintance had diabetes, but was led to believe it was well controlled.

    I've been on the ketogenic diet alternating with periods on the low carbohydrate diet for 27 months. My peak weight was 180 pounds, my current weight is 145 pounds, so I have more weight to lose. Just doing it slowly. A1c was 9.9% at diagnosis, 5.4% when last checked.

    If I have one cookie, or one small slice of pizza, my glucose level will hit 180 - 200 mg/dL (7.9 - 8.6 mmol/L). At those levels, if sustained over time, the body is being damaged. Thankfully, the human body is amazing, and much of that damage can be undone with diet, thoughtfully chosen nutritional supplements, and physical exercise, but diet is foundational.

    You can't exercise your way out of diabetes as shown again and again by athletes and you can't supplement your way out of it either (though you can use physical activity to knock down a high glucose level and you can use supplements to treat nutritional deficiencies due to a variety of causes).

    Yes, do talk here about the diet and strategies that work well for you, but please refrain from discouraging anyone from doing the ketogenic diet.

    The original poster may do fine on the low carbohydrate diet with additional adjustments or may need to do the ketogenic diet for a period of time. Don't know. It's best to keep all options open. Eating this way is different but not in any way a sacrifice, but it does take time and effort to learn, more easily done with support from you all here.

    The food I eat on the low carb and ketogenic diet is far better in every way than what I used to eat. It's healthy, tastes great, and is very satisfying - (so long as I can have my paleo muffin made with almond flour once a week. Some old habits die hard). ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    #15 Winnie53, Jun 3, 2017 at 8:52 PM
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2017
  16. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,604
    Likes Received:
    3,270
    Trophy Points:
    198
    It is not clear who your remarks are being made about in your last 2 postings here, but one or two things are clear from what the OP has told us. Firstly they are following David Cavan, who is an advisor for this site (DCUK)
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/contributors/dr-david-cavan/
    but he is also followed on the DUK site too.
    https://forum.diabetes.org.uk/boards/threads/reverse-your-diabetes-dr-david-cavan.55224/
    Most of his work was on T1D management, but he has written about managing T2D in Reverse Your Diabetes. Now I have not read this book myself but a scan on google does not show it to be a ketogenic diet. It is sold on Amazon, and not one person who posted a review there mentions keto. I do find it to be a Low Carb diet and it is recommended by DUK, again a pointer to it not being a keto diet

    There is nothing the OP said that suggests their aim as being to go full keto either. Looking through the rest of the thread I do not see anyone who has said DO NOT DO KETO, but there are posts that suggest that an LC diet such as Paleo (which I think Cavan has used as the basis for his recipes) does not need to be full keto for them to work. A Paleo diet is not HF in the same way as LCHF, so this may explain the energy fade reported by OP, but again at 30 g carbs / meal then if one assumes 3 meals per day then this is 90g a day, which may preclude keto anyway. But the OP may be like me and only have one main meal a day,

    The OP is having difficulty getting lower carb intake at the moment due to energy fade when exercising, So when someone like you comes on the board to mandate keto as being the only real solution to consider may be just as harmful as a Naysayer. It is a bit like those on insulin who tell me I have to be on it too since I may be T1 or T1,5 not T2.

    I have no problem with you providing advice to the OP to maybe consider a full keto diet, or ways they could tweak their existing diet, I think most of us here have been doing that in our own ways, and there is more than one way to skin a cat.
     
  17. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,107
    Trophy Points:
    178
    @Oldvatr I'm totally confused. Where did I say the OP should do keto? In fact all the advice I provided in my most recent post - [no I meant the post just prior to that one, post #14, sorry] - was supportive of her continuing on the low carbohydrate diet.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,107
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I support all diets that work including the diet described in Joel Fuhrman's book, The End of Diabetes, which is a whole foods, plant based, lower fat, higher carbohydrate diet and Joe Cross' videos on how to restore health via juicing, also a higher carbohydrate diet.

    Why? Because ketogenic and low carb researchers Phinney and Volek, have stated repeatedly that 10% of their research subjects do not respond well to a low carb diet. They do better with a higher carb diet. I know people like this.

    Additionally, I myself alternate back and forth between the low carbohydrate high fat diet and the low carbohydrate ketogenic diet. I stated that in post #14.

    Oldvatr our views are actually aligned most of the time, and I greatly appreciate your thoughtful, informed contributions here. Additionally, why are you defending a book you haven't even read? Particularly when I didn't mention or attack it?

    Again, totally confused.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,604
    Likes Received:
    3,270
    Trophy Points:
    198
    It seems to be at the root of your posting. It was the following that I found worrying
    <Yes, do talk here about the diet and strategies that work well for you, but please refrain from discouraging anyone from doing the ketogenic diet.>>>

    As I just said, I was not reading this in the thread, and you seem to be taking a stand on it since you mention it twice in the post.

    However, an even earlier post of yours does convey a better appraisal of the OP questions, and is not advocating keto. I apologise if I have jumped the gun in this instance.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · BANNED

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    2,107
    Trophy Points:
    178
    All I said was please do not discourage anyone from doing a ketogenic diet. To that I'll now add, or any diet that works.

    There were three who posted, not you, on this thread that a low carb diet in the higher range works fine for them, which is fine, but they also ignored the fact that the OP is having a lot of glucose levels that are concerning. Post #15 was not directed to the OP, it was directed to those three posts.

    I appreciate your follow-up post Oldvatr. Really upset. Going for a walk to calm down. I have a lot of very ill people that I'm supporting right now. One is doing much better, but the other two are not out of the woods yet. Any of the three could have died. It's been a rough couple of weeks and I'm feeling at bit raw at the moment.
     
    • Hug Hug x 3
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook