At Last: Diabetes Research Recommends a Low-Carb Diet

By TLTanner Latest Reply 2014-09-10 00:41:32 -0500
Started 2014-08-20 14:15:03 -0500

For years, diabetics have been told to eat a certain amount of carbs and that you had to have them with every meal. Now, they are telling us what a lot of diabetics already found out, that we CAN eat a low-carb diet.

What are you thoughts and reactions on this "new" development? Have you been following the typical ADA Diabetic Diet or a low-carb diet? How has it affected you, your blood sugars and how you feel?

51 replies

Sharkey233 2014-09-09 22:37:02 -0500 Report

Low carb diets aren't really good for long-term fat loss. The thing is, they do work initially as when you eliminate carbs from your diet, several pounds of water is also lost right away which gives these diets the appearance of being effective. For most people, as soon as you start taking carbs again, most of the weight simply comes back.

Fad diets are all pretty unhealthy and ultimately fail because they cannot be maintained long-term. There simply is no easy substitute for a healthy balanced diet and exercise. As mentioned above, it's a matter of taking in fewer calories than you expend, but not to the Nth degree (taking on too few calories is also detrimental).

jayabee52 2014-09-10 00:41:32 -0500 Report

Howdy Sharkey
What you seem to be speaking to is NO carb meal plans and I agree with you that those are not sustainable.

However to what TL was referring was LOW carb meal plans.

I have been on a high protein low carb meal plan for over 3 yrs and have maintained a 65 lb loss (over 5 months) now for over 3 yrs. Are you seriously claiming that those 65 lbs was all water? And I have maintained this weight for over 3 yrs. I have been eating carbs (and calories) all along so by what you claim I should be gaining weight like gangbusters.

Excuse me Sharkey, I shall keep my own counsel, thank you.


haoleboy 2014-09-09 22:50:28 -0500 Report

Define long-term. Over the past few years (5+) I have been on a low carb diet and gone from 325 pounds to a low of 158, currently 164 looking to get to 170.
You seem to imply that a low carb "diet" is not sustainable, healthy nor balanced. Certainly not true. Also the old calorie in calorie out theory of weight maintenance has been called in to question in that there is evidence that the "container" by which a calorie is delivered has a lot to do with the ultimate affect that calorie has on our weight.

winkieunc 2014-08-26 06:42:15 -0500 Report

I have been type 1 for 22 years. Last year, I had started a sugar fast, the advance plan from Maximized Living. It is organic meats, veggies, and some fruits. I was able to cut my basal rate by 10 units, drop my A1C to 6.2(my lowest), lose 35 pounds, and cut my bolus insulin. I have never felt better. I have so much energy on a low carb diet.

Nick1962 2014-08-24 16:47:35 -0500 Report

When I started my low carb diet 7 years ago I did it solely to lose weight. I was freshly diagnosed and figured that diabetes could wait until I got my weight under control (if anything could be done about it). Luckily both were helped immensely and I’m in the best shape of my life due to a low carb diet.

I’ve tried many diets, tested, adjusted, and still maintain a modified paleo-type low carb diet is best for me AND my diabetes, to which my doctor agrees. The ADA needs to do a better job of researching us Guinea pigs here in the field rather than just editing the text on their ancient scrolls in their ivory tower.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2014-08-22 18:46:33 -0500 Report

Low carb has kept my BG good without meds.
Mainly (as others have posted) by avoiding or at east limiting starchy carbs, sugary carbs, and grain carbs. When I tried the ADA way there were a lot more high BGs with sudden crashes due to the metformin.
Not having tingly toes makes me happy. Less stress over roller coaster BG levels and side effects of metformin makes me happy. Even learning to bake with nut and seed flours has made me happy. Kitchen disasters when an experiment goes bad…does not make either me or my hubby happy. But they are becoming fewer and farther between.

IronOre 2014-08-21 21:37:47 -0500 Report

I think there are people who are eating so few carbs that they are actually hurting themselves.
So where did you get your information from?

jayabee52 2014-08-22 12:22:18 -0500 Report

Teresa forgot to put the link in the original discussion so she posted the link to the study as a reply. So the link is way down at the bottom of these replies.

TLTanner 2014-08-22 16:41:23 -0500 Report

I don't know how to edit them to add the link to the original post. Do you, James?


TLTanner 2014-08-22 17:03:40 -0500 Report

Yes, but it's not there on the original post/article/discussion at the top of the page. It is there with all my replies to it or to others, but the original topic.

Thank you for pointing that out though as I did not even see it at the bottom of my replies. LOL Strike one for the blind lady! Ha ha ha… :-D

jayabee52 2014-08-25 03:46:50 -0500 Report

The only way it can be done is to go to the "Feedback" link and ask the tech ppl to insert it into the original. But sometimes it doesn't get done.

An alternative way to keep the link visible would be to copy and past the link to a new reply to the discussion. I've done something like that saying in the new reply "bringing the link to the top". It is crude but it does the same thing essentially. That means you'd have to see new postings and every so often (5 or 10 posts) bring the link to the top again.

haoleboy 2014-08-22 17:31:07 -0500 Report

my apologies … you are right. no apparent way to edit original postings … I have run up against thatin the past … frustrating.

GabbyPA 2014-08-26 09:01:39 -0500 Report

You can always contact me if you want something changed in your original post. I can fix things for you. But you have to be the originator of the post. I cannot edit it at the behest of others except for vulgarity.

TLTanner 2014-08-26 11:11:29 -0500 Report

Thank you Gabby for letting us know that information! Could you please put the link in the original post for me?

Thank you,


Vhm 2014-08-21 18:57:08 -0500 Report

I agree with all comments here. I write to add what I've said before: We are all different. Test different amounts and types of foods. Read and study every thing you can: books, magazines, and yes, on line blogs. Listen to your doctor. Cobble bits together and do what works for YOU. Shelve the rest away in the back of your brain for future consideration.

I eat a lot of carbs. But I clarify: non-starch vegetables. Tons of greens, eggplant, cucumber, yellow squash and zucchini, peppers, etc. And yes, tomatoes that are now in season. I eliminated, or nearly so, all starch: potato, sweet potato, artichokes, beets; all rice; all pasta; and grain carbs with limited and few exceptions (such as 1/2 cup old fashion oats IF morning BG is less than 80 and only on a Saturday or Sunday morning). I eliminated all non-berry fruits (except tomatoes, in season.)

So, you've gotta do what works for you! Everyone has a personal "line in the sand," i.e., I will not give up "X."

God bless and good luck to all!

Pegsy 2014-08-23 08:22:10 -0500 Report

Our diets are very similar. I do indulge in the occasion small amount of potato and brown rice and seem to be able to get away with that once in a while. When it comes to fruit, I can eat grapes without issue as well as small amounts of banana but not cherries. Go figure. It is a learning experience every single day.

ReaderReader12 2014-08-23 07:06:00 -0500 Report

I like what you posted and I totally agree. I have made some really big changes and they were not that hard to do. I do not eat bread, pasta, rice, fast food, I feel I am only limited by what my head can't think to try. I am using cauliflower instead of pasta in some cases, or zucchini in other cases. I didn't even know how to spell those veggies a little over a month ago let alone eat them and say I love to eat them. I have not bought any candy either.

I feel so much better. I am so happy to have found my path and am learning what my personal "line is the sand is".

This is for the rest of my life and i will not ever, ever give up on me.

TLTanner 2014-08-21 12:41:53 -0500 Report

Everyone that has commented has given some really great advice and suggestions, IMHO. It has made me rethink my diet. I've been following what the nutritionists and health care providers have been telling me and it seems that they are in the wrong. Should have gone with my gut instincts, no pun intended. LOL

It appears that I'm eating way too many carbs! Ok, on to plan B! :-)

Thank you all for your comments! It was a good article to post and get some conversation going on a topic we are all pretty familiar with but the medical profession doesn't seem to be.


Pegsy 2014-08-23 08:24:20 -0500 Report

This was my experience as well. If I ate the way I was told I would be on a LOT more meds and still wouldn't have the control I have now. It is mind boggling how difficult it is to get the health care community to catch up with what is common knowledge to most diabetics.

MoeGig 2014-08-21 11:52:02 -0500 Report

People tend to forget the goal: An A1c in the 6's. Whatever you have to do to achieve that is what you have to do. You may want to eat a few carbs, but you have to know your disease well enough to accurately correct with insulin. Other people may not know their body's metabolism well enough to know how to adjust accurately. In that case low/no carbs is the easiest solution to achieve the goal. If your A1c is 7 or more, you have to pull the emergency switch a go No-Carb which will get you down (unless your meds are totally wrong). Figure out where you are and go from there.

negg2 2014-08-21 06:32:14 -0500 Report

Duh. I've been low carbing a la Dr. Richard Bernstein for years and doing great, in every respect. Feeling great. My body cannot process carbs. I have to avoid them! Simple as that.

GabbyPA 2014-08-21 06:06:26 -0500 Report

Its about time that research has caught up with the "researchees". It's typical, the boss never knows what the employees are going through. You would think it was a no brainer....The ADA recommends WAY too much carbohydrate intake for myself.

jayabee52 2014-08-20 17:11:29 -0500 Report

Howdy TL
I have been eating low carb and high protein for more than 3 yrs, and it has worked out marvelously. Finally a study which confirms my conclusions. It will be interesting to see what ADA will recommend now.

TLTanner 2014-08-20 17:55:26 -0500 Report

Hi James,

I, too, am very interested to see what the ADA will do. I've been trying to keep my carbs low, but I do slide every now and again.

I'm very glad it works for you. It gives incentive to the rest of us!

Thank you for sharing!


haoleboy 2014-08-20 15:05:01 -0500 Report

This begs the question: What is "Low Carb"?
Current dietary recommendations for a man are that 40-75% of energy requirements come from carbs. So for the typical guy that would be between 230 and 430 carbohydrates per day.
So for some guys 300 carbs per day would be "low carb".
For me low carb is under 50 carbs per day … that is what i aim for … certainly always under 100.

TLTanner 2014-08-20 17:57:23 -0500 Report

Haoleboy, I do believe it will be based on age, height, weight, exercise and etc. For now, I would continue doing what you are doing as long as it works for you. :-) IMHO

Thank you for sharing!


haoleboy 2014-08-20 18:30:15 -0500 Report

The RDA for carbs is a function of those factors. Factor in the variables that diabetes adds and I see no way they will ever define "low carb" so I really can't imagine the ADA changing their current recommendations.
As Lou alluded to, the benefits of low carb diet in the control of blood glucose levels has been known for many years and advocated by the likes of Dr. Bernstein and his followers … the "diabetes Industry" has just been reluctant to fully embrace the concept.
Perhaps this is slowly starting to change … but for now I remain skeptical (ok, perhaps cynical)



Type1Lou 2014-08-20 14:41:45 -0500 Report

This is long overdue IMHO. Dr Richard Bernstein touted the low-carb approach long ago (I think back in the 1970's). I read his book "Diabetes Solution in the early 2000's and have been a believer in low-carb ever since…and my BG control has benefited. The proof is in the pudding (low carb, of course).

TLTanner 2014-08-20 17:59:57 -0500 Report

LOL, Lou!

I'm thinking I need to lower my carbs even more than I already have. My complaint is when you go into the hospitals or see a new doc, they always want to know what calorie diet you are on. I roll my eyes every time!


Type1Lou 2014-08-21 08:13:07 -0500 Report

I got the same comment from my new endo last year. I just told him I don't count the calories. By counting the carbs, the calories take care of themselves. Since my A1c was in the 6's, I felt comfortable continuing my low-carb approach. Just for jollies, a few weeks back, I calculated the calories I was eating daily on my 120 gram carb per day diet and it came to around 1200 calories a day.

Type1Lou 2014-08-24 13:47:49 -0500 Report

I'm not sure I understand your question. I don't pay attention to the calories I eat but I do count each and every carbohydrate and limit my carbs to 120 total grams per day. This usually breaks out as 30 grams for breakfast and 45 grams each for lunch and dinner.

debcox 2014-08-22 00:50:48 -0500 Report

I was just diagnosed with diabetes in May of this year and was told to count carbs which I had never done before and keep them between 40-70 a meal. I thought that was a lot but followed the doctors orders. I've had a lot of people tell me that this is way too many carbs but it worked well for me the first few months. I'm now, decreasing my carb intake to 40 carbs for breakfast, and the same for lunch but dinner is usually around 70. I usually have a snack in the morning and in the evening if I'm hungry. I ride my bike 15 miles each morning before breakfast and do a 30 minute exercise video each day before lunch. I've found that I get really light-headed if I don't have the morning snack. I consider the evening snack as optional.

plumtree 2014-08-22 14:57:34 -0500 Report

If you ride a bike 15 miles daily plus other exercise I suspect you need more carbs than most of us. That's snack sounds like a necessity. Is weight loss involved with this?

debcox 2014-08-22 17:21:09 -0500 Report

Yes, I'm working on weight loss. Since Dec of last year, I've lost 46 lbs. I purchased an exercise video by Jillian Michaels and it is tough. I've been losing about 1 to 1.5 lbs a week between the two types of exercise. Most important is that I feel great. My doctor is getting ready to decrease my insulin which will be wonderful. I'm working hard to get off diabetes & blood pressure meds by June of next year.

Type1Lou 2014-08-22 11:31:04 -0500 Report

Hi Deb…it's all about finding the level that works for YOU. Diabetes is not a one size fits all condition as many here have commented. That's why blanket pronouncements by "professionals" should not be considered infallible. We are the best judges of what works for us…along with the test results of course.