much is enough ?

By nzingha Latest Reply 2011-05-31 19:51:35 -0500
Started 2011-05-28 14:44:09 -0500

I have this question about carbs.. my diabetes instructor tells me i am not eating enough carbs so the liver spills the sugar into my system and thats the problem.. But I hear we must avoid Carbs. How much Carbs is enough? she also says I am not eating enough…my meals are too small . I eat 3 meals a day, snack at about 10:30 am and again at about 4:00pm..even my snacks she says are not much is enough? What do you have for snacks in between meals. I now hate food…I feel like I am poisoning my body so its almost as if I am scared to eat! Does anyone else have similar experience?

28 replies

CaliKo 2011-05-30 16:00:52 -0500 Report

When I was first diagnosed, I looked at food the same way you describe. It was poison to me. It took a couple of months to get past that and realize that if I would eat by the formula the dietician gave me, the proper food is not poison. I'm not on insulin, so I can't really answer your question about how much carbs you should eat. Your instructor should have given you not only carbs amounts, but good fat and protein amounts as well as a daily calorie range for your weight and activity level. Then you just spread it out evenly in the 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks like you are already having. Good luck.

nzingha 2011-05-30 15:16:23 -0500 Report

how much carbs r u suppose to eat at each meal…especially when u r taking insulin…? I know it differs …but whats the starting quantity if u r on inculin…?

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2011-05-31 09:25:58 -0500 Report

Besides my doctor I am under the care of a diabetes nurse and she has educated me a great deal on this. You must consume 15 to 25 grams of carbs every 3 to 4 hrs. You need to read labels to know how many carbs are in what you are eating. If you take the diabetes class they will give you a list of foods that have that many grams of carbs. You may even be able to get that info on this website or at least you should. Good Luck

T.J. Purdy
T.J. Purdy 2011-05-30 08:45:57 -0500 Report

I had the exact same thoughts when I was first told I had Diabetes. But this site has really opened my eyes on my new buddy (DiABETES). I also found out that my insurance would pay for my Diabetic classes, so I went. And boy did I get alot of rock solid advice. I believe 90 carbs a meal is the cutoff for me. My snacks I stick to veggies and fruit. I also found out that taking one Cinnamon pill (twice a day) that it lowers my glucose level. And it really works. I went down an average of 20 points. Exerciseing everyday is a bigg deal also. I hated exerciseing but with Diabetes it gave me a purpose to exercise. And I always do better on things if I know that I am actually not waisting my time.You just have to adapt to whatever life throws your way.

nzingha 2011-05-30 09:07:01 -0500 Report

yes u r right…i thought i had diabetes before… but that was not the real thing.. i used to just take tablets, excercise and eat moderately… now its full blown and having a hard time reigning it back in.. its giving me hell bringing down back the levels…! body feels like its falling a part… but slowly but surely i'll sort it out…this site helps a lot good to get other people's views.. thnks

Kirla 2011-05-29 10:19:36 -0500 Report

When diagnosed I was eating about 30 grams of carbs per day. I now eat about 75 grams of carbs per day. I have read some posts where some diabetics can eat as many as 125 and still have good blood sugar control. I don’t believe in the 45-60 grams per meal and 15-30 grams per snack. If I did that I would have to take insulin or meds and I like not having to take meds.

I found I can eat most foods that contain less than 5-6 net carbs per serving. I found controlling blood sugar real easy. Just remember were all different and we all need to find what works for us. If after cutting carbs to 30 grams a day and you still have high blood sugar your pancreas may have taken a lot of damage.

I have found that following Atkins works pretty good for me. Instead of reading the scale to figure how many carbs I can eat I use my blood sugar meter to let me know if I ate to many carbs. Just remember you can gain weight on a low carb diet. I went from 190 to about 220 in about 2 years eating low carb. I need to start planning my meals with sparkpeople nutrition analyzer to keep my calories below 2200 a day. Didn’t have a problem until I started drinking the beer.

I have found that mornings are the worse time of day for my blood sugar. I now just drink a low carb protein shake when I first get up and for a mid morning snack I eat one serving of peanuts or sunflower seeds. Lunch is my biggest meal. I find I can eat lots of carbs at lunch. As long as I don’t eat any food that contains more than 5-6 net carbs per serving. Supper is just a salad most days with some soy pasta and chicken or fish if I still feel hungry. Lately been eating my low carb ice cream I make with my ice cream machine.

This is what I post for new people and people looking for help controlling there blood sugar. It has worked for me and I believe it can help most people.

Feb 2009 I was diagnosed with a fasting blood sugar of 366 and A1C of 14.1. Started to eat a salad every day at supper. Also started to eat lots of low carb vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumbers, spinach, pickles and sauerkraut. Started to drink 8+ glasses of water every day.

I then bought a meter and started to test my blood sugar before and after each meal. At first I was testing 2 hours after each meal and when my numbers dropped a lot I started testing 1 hour after meals. I was testing 5-7 times a day. I cut back or eliminated foods that spiked my blood sugar more than 50 points after eating.

By testing I found that foods like bread and most foods made of grains along with pasta, rice, corn, potatoes, oatmeal, cereals, chips, crackers, cakes, cookies, candy, soda, fruits, fruit juices, milk and most foods that contain more than 5-6 net carbs per serving as found on the package label all spiked my blood sugar. Some people can cut back on these foods and some people like me have to stop eating them.

After about 6-8 weeks my blood sugar readings were almost normal levels. After 7 weeks I quit all meds and my numbers continued to get better and better. My A1C has remained below 6 for 2 years now.

I found by reducing and eliminating high carb starchy foods helped me a lot. By adding small amounts of chicken, beef, pork or a hard boiled egg to my meals helped reduce blood sugar spikes also.

Good luck

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2011-05-31 09:37:08 -0500 Report

Well, I do know Atkins has improved their diet adding veggies, but Atkins has too much meat for me because I am not a meat lover. I have found that men do well on the Atkins diet. I love veggies, but also love carbs. Whole grains are lower in carbs do to the fiber ratio. Atkins is probably a good choice for diabetics, I just don't like the taste of artifical sweetners and wonder why so many produces out there need any sweetners. I am not fond of sweet as much as I am of salty. I have difficulty finding anything I like that is high in protein. Too much protein and I end up with gout. That is the worst thing to me even though I take meds for that too my body has difficulty metabolizing high protein foods.

mcomp 2011-05-30 08:17:14 -0500 Report

Hi Kevin, understand all you wrote and wish you the very best of Luck! Could you please let me know if your morning shake is Atkins? For sure, their products do have low carbs, but don't know if the 'sweetners' used would spike my bs. Thank you so much!

Kirla 2011-05-30 10:58:32 -0500 Report

I used Atkins for several months. I tried the EAS brand of low carb protein drinks. I liked them too. I now use the EAS Whey protein powder shake. I buy it at Bjs for 28 dollars for a 5 pound bag. Mix it with water. All of the drinks above are good and have 1-2 net carbs per serving. I still use Atkins for when I need something quick and don’t have time to make a regular meal. I buy them by the case for 10 dollars at Bjs on sale. I always have a couple of cases just in case I need something while a way from home. By testing I found that the low carb protein shakes work great for first thing in the morning. Walmart sells the Atkins shakes for 5-6 dollars for 4. EAS is maybe a little cheaper.

Tigereyze209 2011-05-29 12:10:18 -0500 Report

That is about what they recommended for me, except I was eating WAY too many carbs, and putting on weight as a result. Needless to say, my blood sugar was just going nuts too.
What you listed was for a grown man, woman have lower numbers, but my diabetic tech did not hand me that chart, since it did not apply to me.
I follow it pretty close now (between 40-45 carbs per meal, 10-15 carbs per snack) and my weight is going down pretty steady and my blood work is right where it needs to be.
As we often point out, everyone's body is different, and what works for one may not work for another, and vice-versa.
You put a LOT of good info in you post, thanks.

mcomp 2011-05-29 08:13:35 -0500 Report

Was diagnosed in March, so very new at this and just wanting to help. My nutrionist (who is not diabetic) told me I could have 45 grms of carbs @ breakfast, lunch and dinner. She also said 15 carbs with 2 snacks a day. At first I was given Metformin 500 mgs 2x a day. Am now on 1,000 mgs 2x a day. Last week went for my second a1c..results will be in on Tuesday. Reading every label with anything I ingest has helped and I keep my carbs lower then recommended.
Please don't be afraid to eat as I have learned, if I don't, my bs readings are all over the place. Have also learned too much protein is not good. Water is a blessing, please hydrate! And lastly, have found 'wraps' that are 6 carbs, a snack w/ hummus is great! Any Sandwich on a restaurant menu can be wrapped too!
For meals, I add chicken or just veggies (but add cheese.) Have found Dreamfield's
pasta is only 5 grams of carbs per serving, simply saute some shrimp or chicken with in-season herbs, tasty and filling. Always adding a salad & veggies w/meals has
helped. Not a seasoned diabetic, still learning, always reading, but trying to relax
and feeling good. Good Luck - & take care of you…Margie

Tigereyze209 2011-05-29 12:14:50 -0500 Report

Huh.. when they take my A1c, I get the results in about 15 minutes… I am wondering, do most folks have to wait for their results normally, or is mine a fluke that they can give me the A1c test results so quickly?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-29 17:51:24 -0500 Report

If my Dr does the test in his office theresults are in right away. If I go to the lab it takes a few days. Some insurances don't cover the Dr's office but will cover the lab.

mcomp 2011-05-30 08:20:37 -0500 Report

Thank you both for that info! Strangely enough I went to the lab for the a1c test on Thursday, results were ready Friday, but my doctor was away for the weekend and will return tomorrow, on Tuesday. Would only take 24 hours, but didn't know his office was closed on Friday and of course, today is a holiday! Ty for your replies!

nzingha 2011-05-29 08:39:18 -0500 Report

i eat them so thats not a confusion is about the carbs really - i'm scared of them…i've been recently put on makes me feel like i'm having an outta body experience i swear..i just feel weird when its injected…thnks for those leads

AuntieM234 2011-05-28 16:15:27 -0500 Report

Carbs — you can't live with 'em and ya can't live without 'em! Sometimes it feels that was, doesn't it. I'm sure melissa5786's response will be the most help to you, but I'll just say … If you make lists of good carbs and bad carbs and keep them handy for reference I think you will find it quite helpful. Remember, too, that the more you learn, the less confusion and fear you will experience. I believe educating yourself gives you power. Your diabetes instructor probably has an abundance of reference materials to share with you. Open up your mind and heart, attack them with enthusiasm and put what you learn into practice. Trust me. If you do this consistently, one day you will find everything will fall into place for you.

nzingha 2011-05-28 16:28:01 -0500 Report far sweet potato works great for me…I'm afraid of bread !

jayabee52 2011-05-28 23:07:43 -0500 Report

Bread is not necessary, IMO! Bread has pretty much been banished from my life. Check out this recent news article on substitutions for bread and other "comfort foods"

nzingha 2011-05-28 23:59:32 -0500 Report

the carbs she is referring too that i must not cut out is complex carbs…like rice, pasta,potato, here we have yams, green bananas…bread… the ones that take longer to break down in ur system!

jayabee52 2011-05-29 00:55:22 -0500 Report

complex carbs? I thought that white rice, pasta and white potatoes were simple carbs, the ones which raises your BG#s very high very fast.

melissa5786 2011-05-28 15:51:22 -0500 Report

I haven't had an issue with this, but when I was seeing a nutritionist when I was first diagnosed to told me about the Diabetic Plate method. Here is a link to one I found on the ADA website.

They also sell a lot of handy, cute dinnerware that has the portion sizes already marked out on the plate, so you know where what food goes.

I hope this helps!

nzingha 2011-05-31 19:51:35 -0500 Report

i was not happy with my numbers or my diabetic instructor who kept telling me i wasn't eating enough.. god damn.. i was eating too much! so i sought another opinion… this doc tells me to use a breakfast plate for my meals…a breakfast plate? well i did it and guess what… numbers have started to drop…!!! melissa about that cute dinnererware .. they dont have them where i live unfortunately so i guess i will have to stick to that breakfast plate! i feel like a child when i share my lunch/dinner now!lol!

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