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Low carb snacking and type 1

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by helensaramay, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    My understanding of the logic behind eating low carb when taking insulin as someone with type 1 (and no insulin resistance) is to reduce insulin doses and, therefore, reduce errors in dose and timing which may lead to hypos or highs. The idea that the effect of cummulative errors on small numbers is much less than the effect of cummulative errors on large numbers.

    I am a non-low carb grazer and have always been. My diabetes management is pretty good (Hb1AC in the 40s) and I have no need to lose weight.
    I have been experimenting with low carb snacking to reduce my insulin stacking. Although I have not had any problems through insulin stacking, it makes it harder to predict my BG before exercising so thought low carb snacks such as protein bars and nuts should reequire less insulin leading to less rollercoastering BG and less insulin on board when I hit the gym.

    However, low carb high protein snacks, such as nuts or skyr-style yoghurts, are causing my BG to spike. I believe this is due to glycogenesis so have started taking 50% insulin for the protein as well as the insulin for the carbs. This has resulted in me taking as much insulin as I would when not eating low carb and wondering why I am bothering with the low carb snacks.

    I do not eat meat so low carb high fat snack options are limited - I feel unwell if I eat cheese every day. And have no intention to give up snacking as this would cause me to lose weight.

    I am interested in input from others with type 1 on their experience of low carb eating - do you find it low carb snacks reduce your insulin dose at all?
     
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  2. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I’ve found is that for many people there’s no such thing as a “free food” wrt insulin, unless you’re eating lumps of butter or spoonfuls of mayo or coconut oil.

    I don’t need to dose for eggs and fatty fish - would they be an option to try? Hard boiled eggs (sometimes as a mayo), smoked salmon and smoked mackerel fillets don’t need insulin, I’ve found. Their rise is so slight/gentle that my basal seems to take care of it. Cooked asparagus and mushrooms also have little to no effect. My friends who make jerky do varieties of mushroom and tofu that I love, and don’t spike me. http://cowleysfinefoods.co.uk/vegan/jerky.html
     
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  3. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I snack on tea and coffee with cream during the day, nothing else. (It will be the thing I have to cut back on to lose weight, which I'm finding the motivation hard to do.)
    I'd be interested in finding other snacks that didn't require insulin or exercise.
     
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  4. Marie 2

    Marie 2 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I will have to dose for the protein in my new protein drink I got. I bought it so I could have a protein boost without carbs so it wouldn't affect my BG's as much................those days where my Bg's aren't behaving or a protein boost without eating and dosing, like after swimming before lunch type of thing.
    That did not work well, my Bg's skyrocketed, I am thinking they are useless for the reason I bought them. They are still a good source of protein, but I am not used to bolusing for protein so they probably will spend some time in the pantry. It will be a guessing game to the proper dosing for me unless I combine it with a high carb meal lol...............
     
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  5. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I occasionally have a protein shake made with pea protein powder and almond milk and have to dose for it. Both the small amount of carbs and half the protein.
     
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  6. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    I have never snacked, so can't help, but I know from some posts that being a type 1 can be difficult to balance BG, with certain snacks, such as nuts, without Insulin.
     
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  7. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    @helensaramay - I appreciate I'm not T1, but surely your statement that giving up snacks would lead to weight gain is only likely if that also means you are eating reducing your intake of nourishment to below your weight balance point? Were you to increase your meal portion size a little or add a dollop of cream, or cream cheese (or whatever) of your choosing to sauces, for example, could help fill the void? Alternatives could be adding a few toasted nuts, for a bit of crunch,say.

    I have never snacked, so when I wanted to stop losing weight, and these days if I lose some unintentionall, I just concentrate of adding a little more at mealtimes, and maybe a little more mil in drinks, and eventually it goes back on.

    Just a thought.
     
  8. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    I don't inject for low carb snacks (cheeses, meats, olives, a tomato) and they don't seem to affect my numbers. On the other hand, there's usually a bit of active bolus going on so it could be that's mopping up the effect.
     
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  9. JAT1

    JAT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    If I have a meal or snack that's high fat low carb, I don't bolus for it or I would hypo.
     
  10. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    What high fat snacks do you eat?
    I do not eat meat so that discounts pork scratchings, jerk, etc. and I don't like cheese every day.
     
  11. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    Thanks for your thoughts @DCUKMod
    I should have explained my drinks are (carb and protein free) herbal or black tea and it does not suit my lifestyle to eat a different meal to my partner.
    I would rather snack and bolus after a workout at the gym than make larger changes.

    And, having a pump, I do not have any spare basal slopping around like @Antje77 although I remember the days fondly :)

    Whilst I am sure it is as frustrating for others like @Marie 2 it's good to know I am not alone.

    I think I will return to my good old faithful (and cheaper) muesli bars and crisps.
    Apart from when I get a chance to check out the vegetarian jerky from @Mel dCP friend.
     
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  12. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    And, having a pump, I do not have any spare basal slopping around like @Antje77 although I remember the days fondly :) [/QUOTE]

    What is spare basal slopping around? Does that mean taking more basal than one needs? Or is this a honeymoon thing.
     
  13. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    When you inject the insulin will peak and then taper off in some 3-5 hours or so. When still having some active insulin 'slopping around' it may be enough to get away with a little amount of carbs without injecting again.
    The other side of the medal is that you need to keep an eye on 'insulin stacking'. If you injected for food and you have more food an hour or 2 hours later there's still insulin going around, so you may need less insulin the second time or get a hypo.
     
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  14. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Who knew? How do you know this stuff?
     
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  15. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    I think of "spare basal" in addition to the spare bolus @Antje77 describes.

    When we calculate our basal need for slow acting insulin, we have to assume our body needs the same amount of background insulin for 24 hours (maybe less if we split basal). However, typically, we need less when we are active but calculate basal dose to keep us stable when we are least active (usually at night).
    As a result, during the day, we may have more background basal insulin on board than we need. This can "feed" our snacking needs.

    With a pump, we can adjust our basal dose for different times of the day. Typically, the basal dose on a pump is higher during the night, has a spike to deal with DP and is less during the day ... maybe with a drop when we are walking home from work.
    As a result of matching our basal dose closer to what our body needs, we have less basal insulin "slopping around" and have to bolus for every gram of carbs.

    At least, that is how it was explained to me when I went on a pump.

    (Sorry to give you more to think about @ert )
     
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  16. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Read a lot, test a lot and do some experimenting you shouldn't repeat :bag:
     
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  17. Mel dCP

    Mel dCP Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I’ve done some pretty exhaustive basal testing and I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed the right rate for most of the day - which of course means that I need to dose for everything I eat - no such thing as a free food here. But then I don’t _have_ to eat to stop going low.
     
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  18. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, ert, I recall you got miaomiao recently. I don't know which app you're using with it, but with the android xDrip+ app I use, there's a way of setting it up so that when you inject, you type the number of units in and then as time goes by the number is updated to give an estimate of the amount of active insulin on board. It also shows a line estinating the state of activity.

    These are very useful tools to have when you're making judgment calls on whether you need a correction dose or not, whether you need to bolus for a snack, and what's happening if, say, stacking for a lengthy several course meal.
     
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  19. michita

    michita Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    An interesting topic. I’m interested in gluconeogenesis. Does it happen to all when low carbing? I don’t notice any bs rise from eating proteins (I’ve been low carbing for 3 years). Will that happen to me in the future (I’m adult onset and relatively new to this business..). I snack on almonds and 90% cocoa chocolate without bs increasing. I think in general people who are low carbing snack less because they don’t feel hungry so much.
     
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  20. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    @michita I don’t know if glucogenesis happens to everyone.
    There may be a few reasons why you have no experienced this.
    - you don’t snack much
    - your insulin doses are low as relatively new to this business so still in honeymoon
    - the impact appears greater when on the pump as pumpers have no “spare basal”.

    Or it could be you’re lucky :)
     
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