Blood Sugars and carbs

By in2health Latest Reply 2010-11-04 21:22:07 -0500
Started 2010-11-04 09:46:07 -0500

Well, after 55 years of good health I have now been diagnosed Type II diabetes. Only now am I starting to read up on the issues related to diabetes and am getting some contradicting info on the number of carbs a person should have at a meal, a day, etc. Some sites say 20-carbs per meal while others say up to 200 per day.

Is everything about this disease a "gray area" or are there clear cut guidelines?

13 replies

RAYT721 2010-11-04 13:25:28 -0500 Report

The best way to determine a safe and sane carb count for your body is with your meter. I find the recommended allowances to be too much for me but, again, that's just me. There are people who can eat bagels while they don't agree with me and yet I can eat things that others are spiked by. The body needs carbs so I disagree with the no carb menu plans (aka diet) but important to realize that what works for one person can't and won't for another. I find better success in my menu plan (aka diet) with smaller meals more frequently. The keys to the carb counts should be viewed on a per meal basis rather than per day. It's not like you get to collect the points like in a Scrabble game. Keep journals of your food and you'll know in time what works and what doesn't work for you. Let your meter be your friend.

sNerTs1 2010-11-04 12:11:17 -0500 Report

ahhh the diet! Im horrible with diets, no two ways around that. My doctor gave me a diet to follow with counting carbs for two reasons, one is for weight loss the other is to keep my sugars at a respectable level. He also told me to read a book of which he thought I wouldnt, to his surprise I did and found it enlightening as to how the sugar cycles work and what to do when.

I look at my neighbor who is insulin dependent and hear that his sugars hang in the 300s a lot of times, then watch him eat and know why. First off I have never been on Insulin so I cannot adjust like others can. He eats a baked potato for dinner and a glass of red wine. I would never. He eats oatmeal for every breakfast, not a small bowl either, its quite healthy. He also weighs a lot less than I do. He can afford to eat more carbs but its WHAT carbs he is eating that are playing games with his sugars and A1C.

I eat the right carbs the "good carbs" and stick with that. If I eat more than my allotted amount, that is ok! I just make sure that I wash everything down with water and take a nice walk. That helps to keep me level and I feel good either way.

Just listen to your body and test yourself until you find out what exactly works and what doesnt, then stick with it. Nobody knows better than you do. =)

jayabee52 2010-11-04 16:09:08 -0500 Report

Well then DON'T DIET if that causes a mental block. Put together a sensible meal plan which corresponds to your nutritional needs and stick with it.

sNerTs1 2010-11-04 16:53:57 -0500 Report

dont what?? i dont know that word la la la !! I like Rays examples of that word like "menu plan" that works for me. Seriously though, I do NOT diet, I watch what I eat, what carbs I take in and read my meter and learn. That is what works for me =) Thank you.

whitetigress 2010-11-04 10:57:24 -0500 Report

Here are some websites you can go to for more info: the NDIC:
this is the national institute of diabetes information and clearinghouse

and for diabetic diet management advice

Generally, eating about 45g of carbs for the main meals (3) and 15g of carb in a snack. If you are eating your next meal around 3 hours after your last meal (not snack) due to commitments or appointments, then you do not need a snack.

Unfortunately, the "diabetes diet" is not supposed to be a low carb diet. Complex carbohydrates are essential as it is the primary fuel for our bodies and our brain. Our brain uses glucose exclusively and that can be gained from complex carbohydrates. It is also essential for the amount of energy we have. Choosing healthy carbs is key. The higher the fiber in your diet, the lower the BS will be - honest!

in2health 2010-11-04 10:40:06 -0500 Report

Thanks for the information and everything is helpful to this point. My doctor hasn't yet suggested a CDE but perhaps I should start the process to finding one. Me has placed me on two medications, 1) Actos 15mg/day and 2) Janumet 2x/day..At this rate my sugars are still running at 135+ but up to 200+ and return.

My weight is at 230/lbs but I am 6'2" tall so not obese in my view. I would like to get down to around 195/lbs and believe the diting will help me get off the meds.

I'm calling my insurance today to confirm coverage and start looking for a professional today.

CaliKo 2010-11-04 10:05:59 -0500 Report

Greetings, and welcome to the site. I hear your pain, I was almost 52 when I was diagnosed two years ago next month. Annoying, isn't it?
That's a popular question you have, and no, there's not one answer to it. I'm not on meds yet, and that may change the answer, I'm not sure. I went to classes with a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and what she did was this. Everyone got a one-on-one meeting with her, she weighed us and asked how much we'd like to weigh (and she checked her healthy weight range chart) and then asked questions about exercise habits. Then she figured out how many calories we should have in a day for our level of activity to support the weight we'd like to be, and then applied a formula for figuring out how the daily calories breaks down into grams of carbs, grams of fat and ounces of protein per day. My plan is for up to 1250 calories, 120-150 grams of carbs per day. The carbs should be divided evenly throughout the day, the goal being to keep your blood sugar levels as even as possible. (Did you get a meter?) I average 30 grams of carbs for each of three meals, and 15 grams of carbs for each snack. It's good to have some protein or fat with it to help slow down the absorption of carbs into your system. Almost all of my carbs are complex whole grain or fruit and vegetable carbs. My plan is supposed to support a 135 pound person.
Good luck!

Biek 2010-11-04 10:01:38 -0500 Report

It depends on what you're eating. Fiber is critical. My dietician advised me to eat no more than 40 grams carbs per meal. As you add up your carbs if there is fiber in the amount of 5 grams or more you can deduct that number from the number of carbs you're eating.

Ie…(numbers are ficticious)

Romain lettuce 2 cups 30 grams of carbs. Fiber 6 grams net carb intake 24 grams.

Anything less than 5 grams you canot deduct.

Good luck.

If anyone else has anything different I would be interested to know.



kdroberts 2010-11-04 10:19:11 -0500 Report

Deducting fiber is one of those hit or miss things. Some say you can deduct 50% of the total, some say 50% of anything above 5g and some say the same thing you were told. The problem is that everyone is different so even though you were told you can deduct the fiber, when you eat and test your blood sugar you may find you cannot for all or some foods. It all boils down to the way food is labeled in the US. Most countries don't include fiber in the carbohydrate count and actually measure it, the US uses a deduction method so they don't actually measure everything. Then they lump a bunch off stuff together after things like protein and fat have been accounted for and call it carbohydrate. It also doesn't help that you are able to round up or down if you have .5 of something. For instance 0.5g of fat can be labeled as fat free, 0.5g of fiber can be labeled as 1g. Other countries don't allow this.

Biek 2010-11-04 11:51:43 -0500 Report

I agree, it seems everything is based on how YOU as an individual handle it. You have to test and test again to find what works for you. Thanks

kdroberts 2010-11-04 09:53:27 -0500 Report

It's not a gray area, it's pretty cut and dry. However, it's only cut and dry on an individual basis so you have to figure it out yourself using your glucose meter. Some people eat about 30g per day, some eat a lot more. It really depends on what your body can handle, what your lifestyle is and what your goals are.

Read this and see what you think.