carbs? how many, what are bad carbs?

By ngtowl117 Latest Reply 2012-01-10 09:15:11 -0600
Started 2011-12-04 16:08:01 -0600

I was recently diagnosed with type 2 and have gone on metformin and diet restrictions. So far I am doing good on the diet and taking the meds, its only been 3 days, but I am confused about how many and what type of carbs to eat. The web sites I go to all have conflicting carb #'s. Help

36 replies

bargawi 2012-01-08 04:51:39 -0600 Report

well what is your highet and weight " do yousuffer obesty or centeral obesity. do you do sport daily walking for 3klm or four? what is your bs level when you eat whole grain and starch on food . controlling dibates depnds on food qualtiy and quantity and activity . to regulate the rythem of metabolisim and mechanism . if you can reply to me iwill simply guide you to the way of how to control and eat the perfect food .some times i need to prescribe for you additional natural herb that work as an insulin to increase your blood sugar risistance . I am waiting for helping you dear
best regards

jenugen 2012-01-07 12:03:25 -0600 Report

I, too, was really confused when I was first diagnosed. My diagnosis came on the heels of a stroke. Fortunately my dieticians and doctor were amazing. They sat down with me explaining what was involved with managing my diet. talk to your diabetes doctor and do not let them blow you off. They are one of the best places to help you be successful. The internet and this website are also great and they hav e helped me. Don't give up.

Sly Kitty
Sly Kitty 2012-01-07 11:01:02 -0600 Report

What works for me is a protein (one piece of chicken breast) and two veggies (broccoli & green beans) this is for example. For snacks I will have a handful of berries or 2 tblsp of peanut butter on sections of a small apple. If I eat any amount of carbs or starches my blood sugar will go too high. I cannot eat pasta or breads or potatoes & it doesn't matter if they are whole grain or not. I am someone who struggles with portion sizes and to eat only a half cup of pasta or one slice of pizza is something I know I cannot do so I stay away from it. If you eat veggies of any kind you cannot go wrong, just make sure you are not deep frying them or adding butter or sugar or salt to them. My mother always added a little olive oil to veggies for flavor & you can always use herbs for flavor. You can eat a small apple or orange or a handful of nuts as snacks. Ideally, you should have no more than 25 gm of carbs every 2 hours. You should take in between 15 - 25 grams every couple of hours is by the book so to speak. Good Luck,

TeriG 2012-01-07 10:15:16 -0600 Report

Immediately after my diagnosis, I took a class offered by my local hospital which was extremely informative with information I could use right away. I was 100% more informative than I was prior. With this information, I have lost 80 lb and have kept my A1C to 5.5 and lower for over a year now… When I thought my pasta meals were over, I now know I can mange to eat pasta within reason and still maintain the correct carb intake…while I hate this diagnosis, it has saved my life. Check with your local hospital. You'll be well informed! Good luck!

mlfh 2012-01-08 11:01:27 -0600 Report

I agree with Terig, take a class at a hospital or go to a Registered Dietitian in your area. I found one through the following web site I to was on metformin (500mg) at first and I am now on Januiva which is more expensive but I found a coupon and get it for $7 a month. My AIC has been 5.6, 5.2 and more recently 5.1 I have lost 75lbs over the last year and on the road to a better life.

BEARCATJER 2012-01-07 09:33:21 -0600 Report

When i was initially diagnosed with type 2 ..4 years ago..i went into shut down mode on all my previous bad eating habits…ice cream, candy bars, donuts , pizza etc. because i was really shocked …and scared to find out i had diabetes. I lost 25 lbs in a very short time…to the point where i looked sick per my wife and friends and felt sort of weak ,too. I started twice a day testing and my goal was always to test under 100 for my blood sugar. As time went on i began to rely a lot on my quarterly A1c percentage score which continued to improve. Finally , after testing 5.9% for 3 straight quarters, my family doctor told me to "lighten up" a little …so i did. Since that time although i have typically run average BS scores of 110 -115 my A1c % has gone down further. I have never had to resort to medication and still exercise a lot like i did before i learned of the diabetes and since.
Notwithstanding the above, i worry constantly about my ave BS test scores being in the 110-115 range but I actually dont know what average score I should be shooting for. I just know that my "diet" isnt nearly as low in carbs as it was during the ist couple of years , but i figure the A1c test is the gold standard , or so i have been told, so while i worry about it a lot…I dont really know if i should or what would be a "good" average BS test score average for me.

I guess what i have done for 4 years has worked well ,but i still dont feel very confident about it , primarily because my eating habits during the past couple of years havent been as "careful" as they were during the first couple of years.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what ave BS score i should consider at good vs bad ? Is an average of 110-115 generally ok, whatever that means?


Chefette 2012-01-08 18:31:47 -0600 Report

The American Diabetic Association suggest a BS score between 80 and 120 and an A1C of 7 or below. You are doing a *FABULOUS* job!!!! :)

BEARCATJER 2012-01-08 20:15:04 -0600 Report

wow…i like you! thanks for the kudos. I know im trying…best i can do .

Chefette 2012-01-08 21:00:36 -0600 Report

A pat on the back is deserved. :) Keep up the good work. Don't worry so much about 'looking sickly'. It takes time to adjust to a new body image. I still can't believe how small my clothes are these days…
Just take care of you to the best of your ability and you'll keep those pills and shots at bay!

Caroltoo 2012-01-07 19:45:30 -0600 Report

AMA states 80-100 is normal; above 100 is impared; diabetic is 126. Normal used to be 80-110. Lower is probably better, and as you get better control you will want to try to stay around 85-90, but it's not usually where we first start. Get in the healthy range, then tweek the control and go for optimal.

Post-prandial readings of 140 and under are considered safe. Some docs place that number as high as 170-180 in the early weeks when you are learning control. Once you are doing this for a while, you will probably find keeping it down becomes kind of a "fun" challenge … see how good you can do.

Freecardio 2012-01-07 18:59:07 -0600 Report

Hi Bearcatjer,

Optimally your blood sugar should be around 85, more than 100 is called impaired fasting glucose, and any gradual rise above the optimal can eventually lead to trouble. There is a book by Richard Bernstein MD, Diabetes Solution, which will answer your question very clearly.

BEARCATJER 2012-01-08 09:34:59 -0600 Report

wow…i have almost never had a reading of 85. if i did consistently accomplish that i would weigh about 160,maybe less and when i initially had my weight down to 170 i was sickly looking and didnt feel very healthy. I will check out that book. Thanks so much for your help.

Caroltoo 2012-01-08 20:41:04 -0600 Report

Me neither, but I know I am doing well regardless because I keep a tight/small range of readings.

kalebspawpaw 2012-01-07 10:56:23 -0600 Report

between 70 and 130 should be fine,your a1c should stay around 5 at 110 115 range..

BEARCATJER 2012-01-08 09:38:29 -0600 Report

thanks for the info. I always thought that if your A1c % is less than 6% you are considered as technically non-diabetic. Is that not true? I figure that if i am at 5.6% now with an ave BS score of 1101-15 I'm doing fine,but if i am kidding myself I need to understand why etc. My family doc always says i am doiing fine in managing my diabetes.

Freecardio 2012-01-08 10:18:38 -0600 Report

True, "technically" not diabetic, which would correspond to a HbA1c of 6.5 or blood sugar of 126mg/dL or more.

HbA1c more than 5.6 is consistent with "pre-diabetes". There is no cut off however between optimal and diabetes. Beyond the normal HbA1c of less than 5, there is a gradual and continuous worsening of outcome. By the time the diagnosis of "diabetes" is made with HbA1c of 6.5 or more, or fasting blood glucose of 126 or more, significant loss of pancreatic beta cells has occurred, and development of atherosclerosis has been provoked for years.

The elevated insulin levels cause as much or more damage to your blood vessels than the blood sugars, and the effects of "postprandial", that is after eating blood sugars, are dangerous too. Persistent high insulin levels can keep the blood sugar rises dampened. When the blood sugars are persistently high then the " Microvascular" , small vessels of the eye retina and kidneys become even more provoked.

The goal should be to gain control over insulin levels AND glucose levels. You can do that with proper diet and proper exercise, along with other adjunctive therapies "proper" diet and exercise aren't enough.

A HbA1c of 6 should not be acceptable to you. Aim for much lower.

Dr Bernsteins book does a good job of explaining this better than I can. Be your own advocate as you are, and keep seeking what is best for you. Read the book then discuss it with your doctor.

BEARCATJER 2012-01-08 15:34:04 -0600 Report

thanks. not sure i fully understand everything you are saying,but in general I guess it boils down to my not doing as well as I thought I was. i had a heart attack 17 years ago and have been fine ever since per my annual visits to my cardiologist and stress treadmill test. I have been taking both cholesterol and mild blood pressure meds for years as well, long before i was ever diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I work out 4-5 times per week, play golf 3 times a week and kayak fish in a lake where i live. But what you are saying suggests I need to do more to maintain a lower level of average BS and A1c scores Thanks again.

jayabee52 2011-12-04 17:17:49 -0600 Report

I want to WELCOME you to Diabetic connect. (Sorry you qualify for inclusion in the little "family" we have here)

Am the James to which Carol mentioned below (at least I think I am LoL!). Each of us is unique in how our bodies metabolize foods, drinks and medications. So how my body reacts to a piece of pie, or a vegetable or anything else, is unique to me and I cannot tell you how your body "ought" to react to the same substance.

Really I recommend that you pay attention to your Dr and a Registered dietician (RD) or a Certified Diabetes educator (CDE). They can give you valuable, good, basic information but then come back here and learn how to teak that information into something which works for YOU! and YOUR metbolism!! Most Drs, RDs and CDEs are not People with Diabetes (PWDs). They cannot really know the ins and the outs of living with and trying to control this affliction. And it CAN be controlled if you have the will to do it.

But you have to take it in "baby steps". We all learned how to walk that way. I don't think a child learning how to walk began by running a marathon, but eventually they could. Managing one's diabetes is rather like running that marathon. Eventually you'll get to the finish line, but often not till you've trained (learning how your body reacts to substances) and learning the basics of diabetes care. (how to walk) And while I hope it does not happen to you, there may be a time or two where you fall down. And that is not so bad unless you stay down (go into denial or burnout and don't take care of yourself and your diabetes).

When it is good to be here for here you can talk with people who know from experiences (both good and bad) how to walk the walk rather than just talk the walk. You can come here to vent your frustrations, find support and inspiration and get information how to better manage this condition which we all share.

EDIT: Regarding the carbs the general consensus is 45 per meal for a female and 60 for a male. But I had decided in Feb 2011 to try an experement and try to manage my diabetes without meds. I have discontinued eating breads of any kind and otherwise eat a low carb high protein meal plan. It has been quite sucessful for me. And sometime I may tell you more about it. but first get that basic diabetetes education which is needed. (end edit)

Blessings to you and yours


ngtowl117 2011-12-04 18:31:46 -0600 Report

Thank you, and Carol too, for the advice. Right now is a very scary time for me. I found a website (spark people) that has a daily meal counter. It makes it easy for me to see what I've had, carb, calorie, protien, etc., daily. It tells me that I can have about 216 carb, this includes 3 meals and 2 snacks. I have been under the limit so far, but was just curiious. My dr told me to start an 1800 calorie diet, but didn't give me any other instructions. I don't have insurance so an RD or CDE are not within my limits right now. I do appreciate the information that you gave me though. Will be taking 'baby steps". Wish me luck, and God Bless

jayabee52 2011-12-05 04:06:12 -0600 Report

Yes it can be a scary time, Celeste! ( I think most People With Diabetes (PWDs) are when first Dx'd.) I know I was too, 16 years ago. I dealt with it by going numb and dumb about it and not taking taking proper care of myself. After all I had a growing family to support! I had all kinds of excuses, and I am paying the price for those excuses with my complications from diabetes.

I pray that you are smarter than I was about the care of my condition. If you control it well from the beginning you can postpone or stop complications altogether. You can live a long, complication free and happier life with good control of your Blood Glucose (BG) levels early on in your Dx.

One thing you may wish to keep in mind about Spark people site, is it is intended to give advice on nutrition and excercise to the general population not necessarily to counsel PWDs. (I think it is more focused on body builders and fitness enthusiasts, from the emails I get in my inbox regularly.) I keep it active for the tips on exercise I get.

In fact when I signed up a couple years ago they had at that time a disclaimer that it was not geared to PWDs nutritional needs (don't know if it is there now). So you need to keep that in mind when they say 216 grams of carbs.

Generally speaking lady PWDs should focus more on carbs than calories and have no more than 45 grams of carb per meal. so if my math is correct, — and it may not be as I have the version of dislexia for numbers: "discalculia". — that makes about 135 carbs per day. So at 216 you MAY have trouble keeping your BG levels and perhaps your weight down.

I will do better than merely wish you luck, I will pray God's richest blessings shower on you and on yours!


Christy26426 2011-12-05 01:26:17 -0600 Report

I'm new too I did take the class they gave out a book that is very helpful on counting carbs you can find it at Wal mart I believe its about $6 if you can spare the money that book is a very good ideal (calorie fat & carbohydrate counter)

ngtowl117 2011-12-05 20:37:59 -0600 Report

Thanks for the info on the carb book. I will definitly look into it when I am at Wal mart next time. My head is swimming with info and trying to sort it out gives me a headache. Have a blessed day

jayabee52 2011-12-05 03:33:10 -0600 Report

Howdy Christy! WELCOME to DiabeticConnect! (sorry you qualify for inclusion in our "little family")

That's a good suggestion! There are also some online too. And if I remember correctly Spark people has something like it too online.

Thanks for your comment.

Blessings to you and yours


Caroltoo 2011-12-04 19:21:34 -0600 Report

Certainly wish you luck. If you find you don't lose weight or don't bring your BG down, try fewer carbs as an option.

Young1s 2011-12-04 19:10:33 -0600 Report

I like Spark too but find that soemtime they don't list a specific food(s) that I may be looking for. I love their food journal/tracking system though. You may also want to check out the Calorie King website. You can use their Nutrinal Facts info and other limited things for free. Otherwise, you have to sign up for their membership to access anything else. Not worth the bucks for me.

Caroltoo 2011-12-04 16:29:57 -0600 Report

It's true, there is much confusing and conflicting information. I find I do best when I eat in a day, the number of carbs (45) that many doctors tell you to eat at each meal. For me it just doesn't work and is not healthy.

We are all different. Go with you doctor's plan and get an appointment to see a nutritionist as a starting point. Then work with them to adapt the general information that they give you to create a specific plan that works for you. It will be different than mine or Peggy's or James. It will be yours.

jigsaw 2011-12-23 15:44:18 -0600 Report

Beautifully expressed, Amen!

Oneshotbandit 2012-01-09 14:26:05 -0600 Report

I too am new to Diabetes (Type 2). I read from the ADA website that you should be around 80-130 (fasting & <180 1-1/2 to 2 hours after meals. My hospital wants me to be 90-120 before & <160 afterand another organizatiuon wants people to be ~100! I was so mad as why no one is on the same page!!!! It's been 12 weeks and I've lost 25#, but I've NEVER had a BS reading less then 96, but had 2 that were 182 & 192(no mo' crabcakes). In 3 wks I go for my 3 month A1C reading. My avg. BS is around 127. Which IMO is fine. I don't mean to be an A-hole BUT this is a whole different lifestyle and being half Japanese It's downright maddening!!!! My Dietician has me on 1800 cal.'s per day, 75 mg carbs per meal (x3) no snacks. If I need a snack in the evening 15 mg carbs!

jayabee52 2012-01-09 15:22:04 -0600 Report

Howdy Oneshot! WELCOME to DiabeticConnect!

Yes it is frustrating that the diabetes "authorities" do not agree with one another about where lines should be drawn as far as Blood Glucose (BG) levels. But in a way there is kind of a freedom in that disagreement. I can choose my own definition of "normal" BG levels, and as long as they fit within the parameters of the authorities I am OK.

I did notice what I think is a typo in your listing of carbs your dietician (is this one a Registered dietician (RD)? is this one a certified diabetes educator(CDE)? You typed 75 mg for a meal and 30 mg for a snack. You must be starving on those low amounts of carbs. Usually carbs are measured in grams and a milligram is 1/1000th of a gram That's mighty light eating.

the usual way that I (and many of the folks here) eat carbs is 30 - 45g for men, and for ladies it is less (Drawing a blank right now) And we often don't consider calories, as it is the carbs consumed which affect out BG levels, where as substances like fat which have a higher calorie content per gram than carbohydrates and protein, fat does not affect one's BG levels at all.

Well it is a whole different lifestyle for anybody to be a Person With Diabetes, even this mix of german, french and a little american indian too.

I just sent you a friend invite. Please accept!

to your better health


Oneshotbandit 2012-01-10 07:18:09 -0600 Report

jayabee52, yer correct, my bad. Also I checked the info on the "snack" and it is 15 grams. Also my BP is hovering around 99/67, isn't this a bit low or okay? Thx for all the rplies!

jayabee52 2012-01-10 09:15:11 -0600 Report

I would say that is about optimal BP, IMO! I don't think I'd aim for lower. Mine has traditionally been all over the map.

jigsaw 2012-01-09 15:19:39 -0600 Report

Here is the answerfrom ask the expert! Hope it helps.

Dr. William Sullivan answered jigsaw's question.

What would be an acceptable blood glucose reading for a type 2 diabetic approximately 2hours after eating a meal? I have discussed this with several doctors, and their answers differ. They all agree on keeping ones a1c below 7 to cut down the chhances of diabetic complications, but there seems to be a wide range of differences with doctors concerning safe and healthy blood glucose levels. Curious to know your opinions and advice.

Physician Joslin Physician
Dr. Bill Sullivan has been an endocrinologist at Joslin Clinic since 1990.
Yes. There are some differences in opinion on the acceptable blood glucose readings for 2 hours after meals – for a person with type 2 diabetes. There are several endocrine organizations that have guidelines for blood glucose control. AACE (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists) recommends a 2-hours post-meal glucose of under 140. Joslin Diabetes Center and the ADA (American Diabetes Association), on the other hand, recommend a peak post-meal blood glucose level (1-2 hours after the beginning of the meal) of less than 180. Most of the scientific evidence supports a post-meal blood glucose of less than 180 as a goal, although some would argue that lower (less than 140) would be ideal. At the present time, I would recommend 2-hour glucose of less than 180 mg for most individuals. Also, it is important to emphasize that blood glucose goals need to be individualized. This is especially true in older adults and individuals with other serious medical problems.

jigsaw 2012-01-09 15:13:25 -0600 Report

I had the same question regarding bloodsugar before and after meals. Go to the home page under ask a expert at the top right hand corner. Drop down the question section until you come to the same question as asked by me. It was answered quite clearly by Dr. Sullivan. It all makes sense now!