Weight Loss

How Do I Restrict Carbs And Still Eat?

Integrated Diabetes Services (IDS) provides detailed advice and coaching on diabetes management from certified diabetes educators and dieticians. They answer questions submitted by those affected by diabetes.

Q: My husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes. He was advised by his doctor to eat an extremely low-carb diet of only 30 grams of carbohydrates per day (minus fiber), and I’m concerned he’s not eating enough. How do we adjust?

A: This is a great question. If your husband was advised to follow an ultra-low-carb diet, most of the recipes in a typical cookbook will have too many carbs for him. Ultra-low-carb diets typically allow up to 50g of total carbs per day – when the fibers have been deducted.

When you receive diabetes education, make sure you work with a registered dietitian who is also a certified diabetes educator. She/he should help construct what your husband’s typical daily diet should look like, taking into account his current weight, health risks, past medical history, activity level, and current medications.

As carbohydrates are the nutrient in food that will affect blood sugar the most, it’s understandable for a medical team to focus on this with someone newly diagnosed with diabetes. It’s also important to understand how to evaluate the effect of particular carbohydrates on blood sugar levels and adjust accordingly. You’ll find that more refined and processed carbohydrates affect blood glucose rapidly (white rice, dry breakfast cereal, etc.), but foods like vegetables have a low impact on blood sugar while offering a lot of health benefits.

It would be important to sit down with someone who can discuss the impact and importance of each group of nutrients (carbs, fat, protein) with you and come up with a plan that fits your husband’s lifestyle and helps him manage his diabetes.

Submit your questions to jennifer@integrateddiabetes.com. All questions will be answered, and yours may be chosen to appear on Insulin Nation or Type 2 Nation.

Integrated Diabetes Services provides one-on-one education and glucose regulation for people who use insulin. Diabetes “coaching” services are available in-person and remotely via phone and online for children and adults. Integrated Diabetes Services offers specialized services for insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor users, athletes, pregnancy & Type 1 diabetes, and those with Type 2 diabetes who require insulin. For more information, call 1-610-642-6055, or write info@integrateddiabetes.com

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Jennifer Smith is the Director of Lifestyle and Nutrition at Integrated Diabetes Services. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Nutrition and Biology from the University of Wisconsin. She is a registered and licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified trainer on most makes/models of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems. She has lived with Type 1 diabetes since she was a child, has navigated exercise, pregnancy, and adult life with diabetes and thus has first-hand knowledge of the day-to-day events that affect diabetes management.

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