By lavenderchild Latest Reply 2012-12-10 19:22:06 -0600
Started 2012-11-10 07:06:48 -0600

Hello Everyone, I hope you are all having a lovely weekend and hope you are all doing well.. For those that are having a hard time I am sending lot's of Aussie hugs and for those that are doing well a high 5 to you and great news!

As my subject says I am wondering about Carb's. Since I found out that I have Type 2 in July and have done so much reading it's a wonder my eye's have not gone square..LOL. I have from the week I found out I have been doing low carb and have lost over 32 KG'S (I only have 5kg's to get to my own goal weight and hope to get to this weight by christmas, new year) and it's working extremely well for me not only for my weight but for my diabetes my numbers are coming down and my 14 day average have been in the mid 5's to 6's (in the USA I think that's around 90 to 100). I allow myself around 50-60 grams of carbs a day give or take depends on the day. I have heard so many educators be it dietitians or educators (even my own) say you must at least have 130 grames a day.

My question is how many carbs a day should we really have? I suppose I have answered my own question when I think about it but would really love your feed back.

Take Care everyone..

43 replies

Type1Lou 2012-12-04 12:12:23 -0600 Report

Each person's carb requirement may be different depending on metabolism, activity level, age, body size…you get the idea. I subscribe wholeheartedly to the low-carb approach and have found that for my 5'3" small frame, I am able to maintain a body weight of 120 lbs and my A1c levels in the 6's by limiting my carbs to 120 grams per day. Some people find they need fewer carbs than that and others can tolerate more. Carbs are definitely to key to good diabetes management and you need to find what works well for you specifically. A turning point for me was reading Dr Richard Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution". He advocated a low/no carb approach long before the mainstream medical community accepted that carbs were a critical factor in good BG control. He, himself, is a Type 1 diabetic. Congratulations on your excellent results and motivation.

Mr. A1c
Mr. A1c 2012-12-03 22:21:49 -0600 Report

You don't NEED any carbs. Your body gets all the blood sugar it needs and can make any of the carbohydrate it uses from protein and fat. Not to say that you should not eat any carb, certainly you don't want to get more energy from animal fat, but the idea that you must ingest carbohydrate to be healthy is nonsense. So, don't be afraid to at least experiment with a zero carb diet, especially if you are trying to lose weight.

Nick1962 2012-12-04 11:26:41 -0600 Report

I will have to respectfully disagree with this. Carbs are necessary as one of the three macronutrients we live on (the other two are protein and fat). Fat is responsible for hormone production, protein is for building and maintaining organs and tissue, and carbs provide energy. If you eliminate carbs from your diet, you are depending on fat and protein for fuel, therefore reducing them from their intended uses. If your lifestyle is very routine with the same things occurring each and every day (like the hunter/gatherers), you could live off protein and fat alone. Unfortunately, our lives aren’t like that and carbs give us energy at the times we need it rather than relying on the metered doses from protein and fat.
Yes, a diet can be very low carb (like the Inuit’s diet has been for centuries), but “zero” carb is a fallacy in our current diet. Everything we consume contains carbs, some just are listed as zero because they are under the FDA limit for being counted. You’d pretty much have to have a diet of nothing but fish to qualify as a zero carb diet. Even oral medications contain carbs. I take a fish oil supplement that is 15 carbs per pill (it’s in the gel the shell of the tablet is made of). Even when I was at my lowest carb level, with all the half grams here and half grams there, and the ones not listed like in meds, I was still taking in 30 grams per day.

Bfbacon 2012-12-10 12:01:34 -0600 Report

I think our perceived dietary needs are simply higher than they really are. Probably a single fruit has all the carb necessary for some of our lives. The idea that you should have a piece of toast and juice for breakfast, spaghetti for lunch, and a potato for dinner was reasonable in the old days but is outrageous in fact and is why 30% of the population is obese. It may not be healthy to eat zero carbs for too long. Nevertheless I managed it periodically during an 8 month span of dieting when I lost about 4 lbs a month. 50lb total. I was also exercising, felt amazingly clear headed and high in perceived energy! My cholesterol numbers and A1cs improved substantially. Insulin doses down by 25%.
I would insist that it is scientific fact that humans can metabolise fat into blood glucose and this is how you can eat zero carbohydrates and still be healthy.

jayabee52 2012-12-10 17:42:25 -0600 Report

You are speaking of Ketosis. I have been in Ketosis and have burned about 65 lbs of excess fat. However one must be careful not to go into Diabetic Keto acidosis.

Also, one other macronutrient which can be burned to maintain your physical life: protein. When protein is burned you lose muscle, which during the time I was in Ketosis, I probably lost muscle mass at the same time. Unfortunately our minds do not get to choose which fuel source we use to maintain our physical life. Our body chooses. I'd like to be able to choose to burn just the extra fat stores for that, but the body itself chooses how it fuels itself in the absence of carbohydrates.

After I had lost the weight, I noticed that I also had lost some muscle mass, which was distressing to me.

Acousins 2012-12-10 19:22:06 -0600 Report

I have the same problem, what I have been doing is trying to switch over to good health snacks… I have been looking everything I can find to help me with health snacks…

misty222 2012-12-04 08:24:49 -0600 Report

Thank you. One of the places I visit, there is a particular group who is always talking negatively about the doctor who writes for the website insofar as calling him an idiot. These people are always pushing the Paleo diet. This may be a good thing to a point however, with diabetes I feel you need everything in your diet, not just red meat. Too much red meat and iron is bad for you so you need to change off. I think they are the idiots. Did you ever hear of the Bangshot Group?

jayabee52 2012-12-03 23:24:23 -0600 Report

Just be careful if you try 0 carb meal plan that you don't go DKA and get into a hospital bed or a coma

JSJB 2012-12-04 03:09:07 -0600 Report

I have noticed that when I have low carbs my bg is up but if I keep it at around 130 the bg go down. For years I would go on carb diets keeping them at 60. I lost weight but probably did some damage.

jigsaw 2012-11-12 11:22:51 -0600 Report

I think most dieticians and nutritionists recommend approximately 130 grams of carbs per day. I believe they have good reason also. Not enough carbs for to long a time will do harm. Many of us with diabetes cannot keep our bg under control with the recommended amount of carbs. I believe that if you cannot eat a good amount of carbs, and achieve good bg mgmt, then either increase your exercise, or cut down your food portion size, or take meds ! Any combination of the three, or all three might be necessary for some. Cutting down excessively on carbs is a last resort since carbs are crucial and critical to energy and good health !!
I say never accept dangerously high blood glucose, but do work closely with your medical team. That is the best combo for many !!!

misty222 2012-11-12 10:50:05 -0600 Report

I, too, have cut down on carb and my blood sugars are more normal. I go to a dietician but do not agree with everything she is telling me. I know my body and I would rather get my answers via people who have diabetes. I still have a ways to go to lose weight however, I feel better and have a positive attitude.

lavenderchild 2012-12-04 04:10:18 -0600 Report

It really is an individual disease, be it Type 1 or Type 2 like myself (1 size does not fit all) as I have found this through this forum and reading many article's on my travels. It truly is and I guess if we where all the same they would have found a cure by now or getting close to it and life would be pretty boring (I mean that in the most nicest way) if we where all the same.. But then who would want any disease of any kind.. not me and I am sure know one else.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-11-12 11:29:50 -0600 Report

The best place to get answers about your diabetes is from your doctor and health management team. Diabetes is not one size fits all and what any of us are doing may be good for us and not you or others. When you take medical advice from people who are not medical professionals, you could harm your health.

Why don't you agree with your dietitian? Is it because you don't want to hear what she is telling you to do? The dietitian may doctor had me see worked out of the medical center. She changed my calorie intake and carb intake which caused my blood sugar to be whacked and I gained back the weight I lost. She did this without reading the notes the doctor sent her and she did not read my medical records. I never saw her again. I have a neighbor who is a certified dietitian and together with the information I provided from my doctor we worked out a diet plan for me. I regained lost ground and have been fine ever since. You have to communicate with your medical team to find a diet plan that will be designed specifically for you.

misty222 2012-11-12 11:46:50 -0600 Report

She has put me on a sliding scale - 10 units of insulin if I am at 110 and under and it goes up from there. I find that 10 units is way too much. When I take my blood sugar before lunch and it is under 50, then I skip my lunch time insulin or cut down the amount of units and by dinner time I am anywhere from 99 - 115. I like my dietician but sometimes she doesn't know what is right for me. I have been with her since I first found out I was diabetic, about 17 years ago. I have no insurance and she has been supplying me with the equipment I need otherwise, I would not be able to afford to take care of myself. I think I should probably bring notes to our next visit and go from there. Thanks for your reply.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-11-12 12:25:15 -0600 Report

That is an excellent idea. Always write down questions and concerns you have to discuss with her and your doctor. If you keep a log of what you eat, the amount and the insulin you take then the two of you can work out a plan that will work for you. Good luck.

sloane 2012-11-11 17:25:53 -0600 Report

Great question, but remember diabetes treatment is not a one size fits all…
Your diet plan will be based on many factors including height and weight,etc… Your health care team will find a plan that suits your needs. When you are losing weight your car counts will be lower and more carbs may be added in when you reach your weight goal to maintain. Great job!

tabby9146 2012-11-11 12:21:27 -0600 Report

the diabetes educator who taught my classes told us about 60 carbs per meal, so you are about right, with what yours said. that is what I have mostly seen on this board. I myself will run too low, have some symptoms, if I don't have enough, for me, really low carb isn't good ,but about that amount or a little more, is.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-11-12 11:31:35 -0600 Report

Tabby 60 carbs per meal is industry standards. This doesn't mean 60 carbs per meal is good for all diabetics. This is why you have to work with your doctor to come up with the amount of carbs that works for you as an individual.

tabby9146 2012-11-11 12:23:37 -0600 Report

I have more than 120 per day, because I try to have two snacks per day, one between bfast and lunch, and the other between lunch and dinner, but sometimes I don't get that morning snack, depends on when I've had bfast and what I ate.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-11-12 11:39:19 -0600 Report

Tabby, I can have 60 carbs per meal. I don't eat 60 because sometimes I can't eat that much food. For snacks, I have 30 carbs. Depending on what I eat for a meal, I may not want a snack between breakfast and lunch but again that depends on my level of activity. I always have a snack before I go to bed, usually something with protein.

Diabetes is not a one size fits all disease so the 60 carbs may not work for everyone. The coworker who was diagnosed when I was could only have 45 per meal until she got her blood sugar under control. This is why it is important to talk you your medical team. The best thing lavenderchild can do is talk to her doctor about the amounts of carbs she can have per meal and for snacks.

Fefe12 2012-11-10 23:39:29 -0600 Report

I think it depends on your personal illness. I was told i could have 60 i guess grams per meal@ three a day with 15 as a snack with protein at night. Men can have 4 servings (15) being a serving. At each meal. Experiment with the amount of servings to see what raises your bs. I do well with 3 servings at each meal. Remember your morning and your nights are the important times to make sure you are eating enough carbs. Feeding your brain in the morning and longevity at night. I think if you do that you will loose weight.

lavenderchild 2012-11-10 19:38:30 -0600 Report

Thanks everyone for the replies it's interesting to read everyone's thought's on the carb debate. You have all been helpful.. I think once I hit my goal weight I will def re-evaluate my carb intake and take it from there…Again thanks

Type1Lou 2012-11-10 18:05:54 -0600 Report

I have been following a low-carb diet for a number of years now. I find I can maintain my weight at around 120 pounds which is good for my 5' 3" height. I try to limit myself to a total of 120 carbs per day. I eat 30 grams for breakfast and 45 each for lunch and dinner. Body build, size and activity all have to factor in as to what will work for you. I started curbing my carbs after reading Dr Richard Bernstein's book "Diabetes Solution" which was a definite turning point for me. Congratulations on your initiative, will-power, and results!

tabby9146 2012-11-11 12:22:34 -0600 Report

I am the same height as you, small boned, so my weight is 129-131. I've managed fortunately to stay at this weight for what will be 4 years in March. Sounds like you are doing well too.

Type1Lou 2012-11-12 11:33:58 -0600 Report

Good results! I feel I'm better managing my diabetes in the last 10 years than I did in the first 26 years. (diagnosed in 1976). For me carb control is definitely the key. (I think I've actually reversed some of the neuropathy in my feet and have staved off any vision problems so far.) Failure to manage our diabetes has too many dire results and the threat of complications keeps me motivated.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-11-10 17:21:24 -0600 Report

That is a question for your doctor. My doctor told me that I can have 60 carbs per meal and 30 for each snack. I eat less than that per meal. That also depends on how hungry I am or how active I am. If I am active I eat more because I am going to burn them up. If I am not as active, I eat less.

Carb intake can vary for each diabetic because diabetes is more individualized. You may or may not can have that many carbs per meal so you have to ask your doctor that question.

IronOre 2012-11-10 13:18:08 -0600 Report

How many carbs a day ? well, you need to discusss that with your doctor. It depends on you as well as your medicene.
I can eat around 60 carbs/meal, but it varies. I am T1 on insulin.
You really need to be careful, because too little carbs can be harmful.
Six months ago I lost a friend who was 46 years old, and T1 most of her life ~ she ate a very little amount of carbs a day.

Kirla 2012-11-10 09:30:29 -0600 Report

How many carbs you can eat is different for everyone.

Dr. Atkins believes that there’s a special number of carb that if you eat more than that you will gain weight, if you eat less you lose weight and if you eat the right amount your weight will stabilize at a certain level.

The Atkins diet is a four phase diet. Phase one you restrict carbs to a very low level for a few weeks to a couple of months. Once you lose a certain amount of weight you start to increase the amount of carbs by 5 net carbs per week for several weeks or months until you start to gain weight again. Then you reduce the amount of net carbs by 5 or 10 net carbs until you either continue to lose weight or once your at your goal weight you stabilize your weight by finding the amount of carbs it takes to eat were you are no longer losing or gaining. It’s all an experiment.

Once you know what your number is you will have to track your weight once in a while to make sure your not gaining or losing again. Your number can change and you may have to make little adjustments once in a while to hold your weight at a certain level.

I believe that most people will fall somewhere between 75 and 125 net carbs per day. A few people might have to go lower and some maybe able to eat more carbs.

When first diagnosed I was eating about 30 net carbs per day. Lost a lot of weight. Wasn’t to concerned about my weight was more interested in my blood sugar levels. Last year my weight went up and my blood sugar control hasn’t been as good as it was. Last time I figured how many carbs I was communing it was around 100 net carbs per day. Need to get on sparkpeople and analyze my diet and find a way to reduce the carbs I eat. It appears 100 is too much for me. Might even go back to phase one for a while. I got about 25 pounds to lose

Good luck

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-11-10 17:26:15 -0600 Report

Kevin, when I was first diagnosed, I asked my doctor about the Atkins diet and he told me to stay away from it. I used diet and exercise to get my blood sugar under control and lost a lot of weight. My brain is allergic to the word "diet" so as long as I watched what I ate and controlled my carbs intake, I did good. I am still losing weight but not as fast as I was. Good luck with your 25 lbs.

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