Looking for advice on starting a lower carb diet.

By sandyfrazzini Latest Reply 2014-11-16 21:47:31 -0600
Started 2014-11-02 10:11:35 -0600

Hi, I haven't been on for a little while, I have been sick with whatever is going around along with other health issues. I am mostly feeling back to normal now. I have been a Type 1 diabetic for 32 years now and have been on the pump for about eight years. I have never really had great control and am looking to change that. I just get frustrated with all the high's and low's and it makes me not test for a while, and other times I will test 5-6 times a day. I am trying to figure out if a lower carb diet would be a good idea for me to try, I would also like to lose some weight. How did any of you decide to start with low carb and what kind of things do you eat for each meal. I also cook for my husband, my dad and my two teenage kids and it seems like spaghetti costs less and goes a lot further. Just looking for some ideas before I talk to my endocrinologist.

15 replies

Michael V Baker
Michael V Baker 2014-11-16 14:00:00 -0600 Report

Via the writing comments from Gabby, Jayabee52 and others below that are minimizing carboydrates and especially GRAIN is a great reinforcement of what I discovered 6 months ago also, Thank You. Realizing now, after 45 years with this diabetes challenge and perpetually experiencing BGs of 80-130 mg/dl perpetually, especially after meals is so so Cool. I have lost 30 lbs without further dieting or beyond my daily exercise. Grain, in my opinion is a 'bad bad' food to ingest for most anyone, whether 0 gluten or not. Vegatables, Legumes, Proteins, and complex sugar fruits are my regimented non-spike food groups. Stop eating bread is easy, just STOP, but, keep close CGM checks as you progress. Do not believe I will ever turn back now, So many benefits…

sandyfrazzini 2014-11-04 14:56:27 -0600 Report

Thank you all for your suggestions, there are some really great ideas. I agree about the pasta sauce, it's the best part and I will be trying it over veggies. Has anyone ever used cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes? I have yet to try it but I hear it's pretty good. I see my endocrinologist on 11-12 and I will ask to speak with a diatician. Thank you James I will check out your plan and let you know.

Stuart1966 2014-11-04 06:55:19 -0600 Report

Hello Sandy:
Usually avoid dietary questions like the latest plagues. That said, I'm never a fan of restricting or severely limiting food. Long run (IMHV) never works for most folks.

Your teens will eat the pasta and the BOX it came in too. (Maybe the plastic bag which you brought it home in as well I'd wager) [sic. teenagers are a most awesome display of eating known to man. Great white sharks, shoals of piranha, a pride of hungry lions have nothing on teens in terms of eating]

Some can make such a pretty restricted approach work. However Id offer its likely far easier to become conscious (ie measure) of our portions and come at the issue from that direction.

Don't have to change much, simply force yourself to be conscious, aware of the precise portions you are eating. After two weeks look at your well-kept records and make some tiny changes. Too radical a change for nearly anything, tends to create far more trouble than it usually solves.

A variation of the new years resolution games… IMHO,

Good luck let us know where things land for you

Type1Lou 2014-11-03 15:34:52 -0600 Report

I have had diabetes for 38 years but only started pumping in 2011. In the early 2000's, I read Dr Richard Bernstein's book "Diabetes Solution. It was a turning point for me and I began to reduce my carbs after reading it. I was able to lose some weight as a result and get better control of my BG's. My last A1c was 6.6. I test on average 8 times a day. I've found that if I limit my carb intake to 120 total grams daily, I am able to maintain my weight at 120 lbs. I am a 65 year old moderately active female who is 5'3" tall. My husband loves spaghetti and I still make it for him but, instead of the pasta, on MY plate, I put the sauce over french style green beans…most of the taste is in the sauce and I never miss the pasta, nor the pasta carbs. I also eat lots of salads for my meals. For me, low carb is the key to better control.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-11-03 10:58:32 -0600 Report

Hi Sandy, after reading your discussion I decided to add my 2
cents worth. I've been on a low carb diet
6 months, fast becoming 7 months. I've lost 78 #. I was recently in the

hospital. and they took my weight. But, regardless of. weight loss,feel better on a daily low carb diet. I have my cravings but I find ways to work around it. Like, for example, I use vegetables in place of pasta to have my
Sauce on. But beware, your sauce may hold hidden carbs. After a while it
becomes natural to eat that way. You can still go out and eat. Just remember to keep your meal mainly a protein, then your vegies and a salad?
I don't feel deprived or hungry. I keep my carbs low below 50 so I can allow myself a piece of fruit. You might get a funny look when you say no
potatoes please. But you know you can get used to that. Maybe even 2 sides of vegetables. If you wish to talk more about it, just drop me a post.
I wish you success on your upcoming meal plan change. Just keep in mind, this is your life we're talking about. Just one more thing, welcome
back to Dc. Even we experieced diabetics will learn something new here.
and they weighed me. But, regardless of my weight loss

Joelelliotthudson 2014-11-16 21:47:31 -0600 Report

Hi Valentine Lady, I am new to the community, a 54YO T2er with over 20years experience taking care of myself (Unemployment and no Obamacare = no Doctors, meds etc)
any way about vegetable pasta replacements, my favorite is the spaghetti squash (yum) a winter squash that is, when roasted, stringy like spaghetti, and it is good with just about any sauce you can put on it :) happy to share

GabbyPA 2014-11-03 07:37:26 -0600 Report

My first line of defense against carbs is cutting out the wheat products. If you have to cook spaghetti for the family, roast up some cauliflower or zucchini and have your pasta sauce over those along with the family. Some members here have used french cut green beans and really like that. (though you have to watch the carbs in your sauce) I have not succeeded in doing this 100%, but it is far less than it used to be.

Something I recently learned from a nurse is to eat at least half of your meal raw. Meaning have a protein and side cooked, but make sure to include raw low carb veggies in your meal.

A new thing I also learned from a documentary that Steve (one of our members here) shared on the site a few days ago was that eating carbohydrates often leaves you craving more, where eating whole natural foods tends to make you stop when you are full. The example given was when you eat raw almonds, you tend to stop when you are tired of eating them, but if you have honey roasted almonds, you tend to eat more because you crave the coating on the otherwise healthy nut.

The idea is to cut down on the carbs, but you have to replace it with alternative foods or you are going to go crazy and then end up craving the carbs you are trying to cut out. It takes time to overcome the power of the carbs, and if you can get through 3 weeks of reduced carbohydrate intake, it gets easier. Just keep in mind, at least it's this way for me, that one extra bite often leads back to the beginning.

lilleyheidi 2014-11-03 02:51:51 -0600 Report

Welcome back, and congrats on making the decision to take control. For me eating low carb has been the number one thing in getting my BG under control. I tend to eat a little bit lower than the "recommended" amounts, but it works for me. I highly recommend that you ask your endocrinologist for a referral to a diabetes educator/dietician who will be able to give you some ideas on meal plans for family meals that are low carb that are also budget conscious. I was a big pasta eater, due to the cost, but have found a lot of other things that can fit into my budget as well.
Stick with the group, you'll find lots of good recommendations, also, peruse the recipe section, there are lots of great recipes. GOOD LUCK.

jayabee52 2014-11-02 16:13:36 -0600 Report

Howdy Sandy
Glad to hear you are past that sickness for now.

I believe that low carb (not no carb) is the best way to go even for T 1s.

I have a low carb high protein meal plan I have been following for 3 + years. On it I lost 65 lbs over 5 months and have pretty much kept it off. I achieved an A1c of 5.5, Have been able to maintain "normal" BG (blood glucose) levels (80 to 130 mg/dl) all while discontinuing my twice daily injected insulin (NPH).

I have written my meal plan as a discussion and if you are interested I will share that link with you.

Of course I know that as a T1 you cannot do discontinue your insulin, but you can perhaps drastically lower your intake of the insulin you do need to take in.

God's best to you and yours

kirarivas 2014-11-03 12:06:40 -0600 Report

Hi James, could you please share your meal plan with me? I just found out I have diabetes and my A1c is 8.1, I have started a diet, but I'd lie if I say I know everything I need to do. My goal is to get my A1c under control by my next doctor's visit in February. Thank you, and have a great day!

vensa 2014-11-02 14:54:24 -0600 Report

Have you considered oats? That's a great addition to the recipe - Low on carb and good amount of fiber to leave you full until next meal/snack. All the best!

jayabee52 2014-11-02 16:20:02 -0600 Report

Howdy Vensa
No matter how or in which form I try Oatmeal I have not found that it helps me in any way. I will have higher BG levels after I eat it. So it is IMO a highly individual thing. I used to LOVE oatmeal and would eat it for breakfast nearly ever morning, but found that it raises my BG to unacceptable levels for me and haven't eaten oatmeal for over 3 + years. I now eat a lot of eggs which seems to fill me up and the protein keeps me full for quite some time.

God's best to you