Ginger Vieira was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 13, celiac disease a year later, and fibromyalgia in 2014. Ginger provides great insights into life with multiple chronic illnesses, including how to make the most of your life despite your health setbacks.
If you're struggling to lower your blood sugars on a daily basis, reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat every day will have a big impact. The trickiest part of reducing your carb intake, though, is knowing how to replace those calories properly so you don't find yourself starving and feeling deprived.
First of all, when trying to reduce your daily carbs, remember you don't have to eliminate all of them! Sometimes, we have enthusiasm and excitement for something and we go a little overboard. What happens? After a few days of trying to eat zero carb rather than lower carb, you'll want to eat every carbohydrate in sight due to feeling so deprived.
So, what's the solution?
Research has shown that improving your fat and protein intake from healthy sources such as grass-fed meats, eggs, nut butters, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, and some seed oils like olive will lead to greater insulin sensitivity, less inflammation, more weight loss, improved cholesterol, and better blood sugars.
A sample day of diabetic-friendly eating
Here's an example of what a day of 50 to 75 grams of carbs might look like:
Breakfast: Smoothie with 3/4 cup blueberries, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 cup JayRobb egg-white protein powder, 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk, ice
Lunch: 1 plain Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, cashews), baby carrots and hummus, 1 string cheese
Snack: 1 large apple with 2 tablespoons peanut butter
Dinner: Pork chop in homemade maple syrup/olive oil/Worcestershire sauce with asparagus and 1/2 sweet potato
Dessert: 4 squares of 70% dark cocoa chocolate
If you look at this day, it's full of fruit, vegetables, protein, healthy fats, and even dessert! And this adds up to barely 75 grams of carbohydrates. If you wanted to have a more carb-heavy dessert, you could easily leave out the sweet potato and save those carbs for something else.
Just remember, eating fewer carbohydrates does not mean you have to feel deprived and hungry. You can even have days where you plan to eat 150 to 200 grams of carbs once or twice a week and include some old treats you might be missing.
Remember: you don't have to make a drastic lifestyle change in order to improve your blood sugars and live a healthier life with diabetes!