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A broad church - low carb is not the only way

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Just a gentle reminder to members that our forum is supposed to be a friendly and supportive place, which encourages members to find their own way through the available options to find a diabetes management approach that meets their ambitions, and is appealing and sustainable for them.

While there may be some common ground between approaches, there is no one way that works for everyone, and is appropriate for every situation. Specifically carbohydrates are not inherently ‘bad’, and should not be unfairly demonised any more than any other macronutrient. Some people will have a very low tolerance for carbohydrates, and may need to be particularly careful, and that's absolutely fine if it's the apporach that works for them, but that isn't necessarily the case for everyone. Everything in moderation, except laughter as AlanS used to say.

Former admin @Northerner has previously expressed this much more eloquently, but it feels worth repeating. Be kind to each other. And share your own experiences, but be gentle and sensitive to other views and approaches. Thanks for keeping the forum a friendly and helpful place.

We have had a few occasions recently where a conflict has occurred because of inappropriate advice being given, particularly when given to new members. I just wanted to make clear that the approach to dealing with these posts is to use the Report option so that the Moderators can be alerted to them and act accordingly - we get a red flag on our screens and this can then take us directly to the post in question, plus your reasons for reporting it, so we can act on it. Confronting members giving the advice in the thread can lead to unhelpful conflict that the new member will certainly not wish to see on their thread and leave a tangle of posts for the Moderators to sort out, or if that can't be done sensibly, the thread closed - which is the last thing we want to see.​
What do I mean about 'inappropriate advice'? This is advice that seeks to instantly pitch the new member into some drastic dietary or lifestyle changes that may simply upset or worry them more and leave them even more confused than they were before they posted. There are, of course, many strategies for managing diabetes, particularly Type 2, but our approach here should always be to reassure the new member and provide them with information and strategies that will help them understand how diabetes affects them personally and guide them to sustainable management of their condition. It's a bit of a cliché, but diabetes really is a marathon, not a sprint - there is no point in going off hell for leather for the first 'mile' and then collapsing in a heap with 25 miles left to go because no-one explained how to train yourself properly to manage the whole distance.​
We are not against diets such as LCHF and Atkins (for example) by any means - they have proven extremely successful for a lot of people - but they are not the only solution, nor are they necessary for a lot of people. I appreciate that some people may have instantly turned to radical changes and found it worked very well for them, but until you know much more about your audience, you should not assume it will work for them - and may possibly be dangerous, since you can't possibly know what other issues a person may have.​
The Moderators will assess and act on any reported posts, however well-meaning they are intended to be (and I know that the majority are only posted with the best of intentions).​
This is a good community, and it is important that all members do their best to keep it friendly, informative and supportive, thank you :)
 
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Ditto

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
That's why I like to read the menu thread because we're all diabetic but we all eat so differently it's fascinating. :)

YMMV at all times.
 

Lucyr

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thanks for saying this. I think one thing that I’ve recently had personal experience of that members often don’t realise, is that sudden radical changes, especially where the member has a high a1c, can cause retinopathy. This has recently happened to me with a 24 point drop in a1c.

New members will very rarely be aware of this risk and so it’s absolutely vital that us more experienced members encourage new members to make gradual changes to their diet and lifestyle, finding a diet that works for them over time and not making sudden changes that could cause them more problems. As said above, the best diet is the diet the individual can maintain for life and that is different for every person.
 

Kaylz

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
If this is anything to do with my comment on someone's post I wasn't pushing low carb (and wouldn't due to my past of developing an eating disorder due to the pushiness of low carb on here) I was just suggesting things that would make them feel fuller for longer and it just so happened they were low carb xx
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
If this is anything to do with my comment on someone's post I wasn't pushing low carb (and wouldn't due to my past of developing an eating disorder due to the pushiness of low carb on here) I was just suggesting things that would make them feel fuller for longer and it just so happened they were low carb xx

Not at all @Kaylz.

This isn’t directed at anyone in particular, more a suggestion that the *way* any suggestions are made from people’s own experiences is softened, particularly for new members, and also takes account that very low carb may be an approach that doesn’t appeal, doesn’t work, or has already been tried by some posters. :)
 

Leadinglights

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I am new on here but in my months of browsing I have always thought how patient and sympathetic people are in their replies but refreshing that sometimes the responses don't beat around the bush when people are not taking their situation seriously. I know some people are a lot more fragile and sensitive when receiving their diagnosis but they will get lots of support here especially as G Ps are exhausted with coping with all the consequences of Covid and are struggling to offer help.
I have just seen the title of a new book (unrelated to diabetes) 'No one can change your life except for you' but I thought it could easily apply.
 

Vonny

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thanks for saying this. I think one thing that I’ve recently had personal experience of that members often don’t realise, is that sudden radical changes, especially where the member has a high a1c, can cause retinopathy. This has recently happened to me with a 24 point drop in a1c.

New members will very rarely be aware of this risk and so it’s absolutely vital that us more experienced members encourage new members to make gradual changes to their diet and lifestyle, finding a diet that works for them over time and not making sudden changes that could cause them more problems. As said above, the best diet is the diet the individual can maintain for life and that is different for every person.
This is one of the reasons I wish I'd found this forum before I completely ditched the simple carbs! Fortunately my drastic reduction doesn't seem to have had any adverse effect on my eyes. The reason I stopped eating all forms of spuds, bread, pasta and rice was that my ex (with whom I am still friends) lost shedloads of weight by giving these up. When I realised how much I weighed at diagnosis, I just stopped eating them. Had I been aware of the above I'd probably have been a bit kinder to myself and reduced them gently instead of rushing in like a bull in a china shop! :rolleyes:
 

Leadinglights

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I think in hindsight I may have reduced by carbs rather too quickly as I am having a few vision issues but I thought that as my HbA1C was only 50mmol/mol so not dreadfully high, that reducing carbs to less than 70g per day would not be a problem and wasn't aware at the time it might affect eyes. I came down to 42 mmol/mol in 3 months which didn't seem quick compared to some people's achievements. But I suppose it was my own decision to do that.
 

SueEK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2

Loobyloo

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
This is one of the reasons I wish I'd found this forum before I completely ditched the simple carbs! Fortunately my drastic reduction doesn't seem to have had any adverse effect on my eyes. The reason I stopped eating all forms of spuds, bread, pasta and rice was that my ex (with whom I am still friends) lost shedloads of weight by giving these up. When I realised how much I weighed at diagnosis, I just stopped eating them. Had I been aware of the above I'd probably have been a bit kinder to myself and reduced them gently instead of rushing in like a bull in a china shop! :rolleyes:
Completely agree Vonny Hcp need to advise people on this even if they have no time to give full guidance on diets etc. I did the same as you and hope no damage done.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Completely agree Vonny Hcp need to advise people on this even if they have no time to give full guidance on diets etc. I did the same as you and hope no damage done.
Most HCPs advise against low carb diets and tend to promote the "Eat Well" plate. Many of them have no idea that low carb diets are as effective at lowering BG levels as they are because they rarely get feedback from people who follow them because they know the GPs and nurses frown upon them. You can't really blame them for not warning people about something that they have probably not foreseen as a problem. If you follow their "Eat Well" guidance your BG will likely not reduce dramatically anyway.
Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of low carb but I don't think you can pillory HCPs for not warning you of something that you do contrary to their advice. Maybe we need to be blaming ourselves/each other for being too evangelical about low carb.... which I guess is the crux of this thread.
 

Lilian

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thanks for saying this. I think one thing that I’ve recently had personal experience of that members often don’t realise, is that sudden radical changes, especially where the member has a high a1c, can cause retinopathy. This has recently happened to me with a 24 point drop in a1c.

New members will very rarely be aware of this risk and so it’s absolutely vital that us more experienced members encourage new members to make gradual changes to their diet and lifestyle, finding a diet that works for them over time and not making sudden changes that could cause them more problems. As said above, the best diet is the diet the individual can maintain for life and that is different for every person.
When I was first put on insulin the nurse explained to me that they want me to reduce HbA1c gradually because of that very reason. Pity they are not told this at the same time as being diagnosed.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Demonising food groups isn’t sensible. It can also be off-putting to some casual lurkers here - both the evangelical tone of ‘one true diet’, and the limited options for people who like to eat a few carbs, have read other diets that can help diabetes, or have a particular dietary requirement.

I also don’t like the idea of shaming people for, for example, eating porridge. It’s unhelpful and upsetting for some people. It’s also relevant that many people who are diagnosed with diabetes have a feeling of shame and self-blame anyway. Also, eating disorders are more prevalent in people with diabetes, and some of the comments I’ve read here and elsewhere could be the little shove that pushes someone over into an eating disorder.

Moreover, diabetes isn’t the only thing we should be thinking about. It’s no good having a great HbA1C if you’re increasing your risk of heart problems. Read the statistics - they’re scary.

Finally, LCHF is not the only diet out there and there are plenty of other diets that should be mentioned as options if people want to explore them. We’re all different and one size doesn’t fit all.

Thank you for this thread @everydayupsanddowns
 
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Bloden

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
When I was first put on insulin the nurse explained to me that they want me to reduce HbA1c gradually because of that very reason. Pity they are not told this at the same time as being diagnosed.
My endo didn’t warn me. My optician told me.
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Carbs aren't demonic, they are simply dangerous in this context.
I do not - I hope - evangelise, I tell people how I managed to have normal levels and encourage working towards a similar outcome using the same methods of trying testing and trying again.
Eating a few carbs is not at all limiting, not in my experience - and who would be shaming anyone who finds that they can eat porridge?
Eating high carb foods and seeing high teen consequences a little later, well of course I would say something, how could I not?
With my father's mother dying from the consequences of diabetes mellitus when I was a youngster, I know what some people might face - one of the people on the course with me just after diagnosis was on the same path - and I really ought to have spoken to him then, not waited as he has since lost his lower leg. If I seem rather enthusiastic, there are very good reasons for it, I can assure you of that.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
But that’s the conflation, isn’t it @Drummer ? Of course, achieving a good blood sugar is crucial, but that doesn’t by default mean avoiding all carbs, nor is ‘dangerous’ a better word than ‘demonic’.

You’ve chosen a diet that suits you and that’s great, but there are other options for diet. Carbs aren’t inherently demonic, dangerous, evil or bad. To me, it’s just the equivalent of demonising fat.
 

travellor

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
But that’s the conflation, isn’t it @Drummer ? Of course, achieving a good blood sugar is crucial, but that doesn’t by default mean avoiding all carbs, nor is ‘dangerous’ a better word than ‘demonic’.

You’ve chosen a diet that suits you and that’s great, but there are other options for diet. Carbs aren’t inherently demonic, dangerous, evil or bad. To me, it’s just the equivalent of demonising fat.

I'm good with carbs.
They certainly aren't dangerous in any context to me.

And I agree testing is good, but like everything, constant testing to check, check, check, and live in fear of a rise seems to be self defeating, and to me that seems to be diabetes once again driving you for life.

I don't test to any great degree any more, I did initially, now I'm happy with my annual hba1c, and happy that I have no diabetic complications. Diabetes has left my life, in every way, not just in a rise in BG.
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Ah well - there we must agree to differ.
I must correct you on the 'avoiding all carbs' description - that is a complete exaggeration and it is also not true.
I have chosen a diet which suits many.
I am intrigued by your vocabulary and use of descriptions such as demonic, evil and evangelising. They would have got you marked down at the school debating society I enjoyed.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Ah well - there we must agree to differ.
I must correct you on the 'avoiding all carbs' description - that is a complete exaggeration and it is also not true.
I have chosen a diet which suits many.
I am intrigued by your vocabulary and use of descriptions such as demonic, evil and evangelising. They would have got you marked down at the school debating society I enjoyed.

Both “demonic” and “evangelising” were words used in this thread before I entered it @Drummer .... I simply repeated the words. You used “dangerous”. Carbs aren’t inherently dangerous. Nor evil, bad or any other synonym. Labelling them as such is wrong, as is labelling any other food group similarly.

Your diet might suit many, as you say, but the case is that other diets might suit many people too.
 

Leadinglights

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Carbs aren't demonic, they are simply dangerous in this context.
I do not - I hope - evangelise, I tell people how I managed to have normal levels and encourage working towards a similar outcome using the same methods of trying testing and trying again.
Eating a few carbs is not at all limiting, not in my experience - and who would be shaming anyone who finds that they can eat porridge?
Eating high carb foods and seeing high teen consequences a little later, well of course I would say something, how could I not?
With my father's mother dying from the consequences of diabetes mellitus when I was a youngster, I know what some people might face - one of the people on the course with me just after diagnosis was on the same path - and I really ought to have spoken to him then, not waited as he has since lost his lower leg. If I seem rather enthusiastic, there are very good reasons for it, I can assure you of that.
I have always been told I was at risk of diabetes as my father passed away at only 52 from a heart attack complicated by diabetes when I was 13, he was a lifelong vegetarian but in those days his diet was very carb based with bread and potatoes with cheese and eggs, and plenty of salads and other veg. So of course many of the foods he could have had for the diabetes he couldn't as a vegetarian. There was a nut based product called nut meat brawn which I remember as being vile but he seemed to like it.
We are now hearing the success stories of people who have taken their condition seriously but it is all to easy to take one's eye off the ball.
 
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