jayabee52

Q:

Is there anything for which I need to be watching while on my meal plan? I am a type 2 and am controlling my BG levels through my low carb/high protein menu plans. No diabetes meds of any kind. In large part, I've been very successful. I started February 2011 and by May 2011, my A1c was 5.5 and I had a weight loss of about 50 lbs. Also, howdy and WELCOME to DiabeticConnect!

Amy Campbell

A:

Thanks! Joslin Diabetes Center is excited to be working with DiabeticConnect. Research shows that low-carb/high-protein eating plans can be helpful for some people who want to lose weight and better manage their diabetes. However, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First, while people tend to lose more weight initially on a low-carb plan vs. a lowfat plan, at one year out, there’s no significant difference in the amount of weight loss on either plan. And we don’t know enough about high-protein diets in terms of long-term safety. Second, the body requires some carbohydrate for fuel. The Recommended Daily Allowance for carbohydrate is set at 130 grams. It’s likely that we can get by on less than 130 grams, but it may not be wise to cut carbs to levels much lower than that. Third, it’s hard to get all the nutrients that you need on a low-carb plan. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and yogurt (which are carbohydrate foods) provide important nutrients, including antioxidants that are necessary for overall health and for prevention of diseases such as heart disease, some types of cancer and osteoporosis. Fourth, high-protein diets have been linked with higher LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, kidney stones, and even bad breath! Be sure to fit some plant protein sources in your eating plan, such as soy and legumes, rather than always choosing animal sources. Anyone with liver or kidney disease should not undertake a high-protein plan without first consulting with their healthcare provider. Finally, whatever eating plan you choose, make sure it’s safe and that it’s a plan that you can stay with. Many people find this way of eating to be challenging to follow over the long run because it restricts many different types of foods. It’s a good idea to meet with a registered dietitian, if you haven’t already, to review your eating plan and make sure you’re getting all the nutrients that you need.