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Carb levels and choices in T1

Pattidevans

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
This off topic conversation was split from another thread here: https://forum.diabetes.org.uk/boards/threads/mody-has-anyones-diagnosis-changed.96252/#post-1111097

I don’t agree that low carb is the way to go (unless you choose to) It’s unnecessary and damages insulin sensitivity, which is something I want to maintain. There’s a lot of info online about insulin sensitivity and how to maintain it.
As we so often say "every one is different". I have been moderating my carbs now for over 18 years and still have excellent insulin sensitivity. I don't cut carbs out entirely, but I've never been that fond of eating tons of carbohydrate. I eat a pasta meal about once a month, pizza is once a year and if I have a burger I only eat half the bun. However, a carb heavy meal that most people think is "normal" will skew my BGs for over 24 hours as the more carbs the more room for errors in dosing. Witness yesterday when we were at some friends' house for lunch and I had tons of carbs. FBG this morning 12.9 and I am still struggling to get the numbers down mid-afternoon.
 
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Inka

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
It depends how many carbs you count as “tons” @Pattidevans :D I’m intrigued:D If someone (not referring to you - a hypothetical someone) eats a very low level of carbs usually and then has a highish carb meal then that can push their blood sugar unnaturally high. That’s a pain when someone wants an occasional carby meal.

I’ve never had a high carb meal give me a high blood sugar for as long a time as you describe. Generally the highest I would go in the event of max carbs/carb estimates is 9ish. Sometimes if I’ve eaten vast quantities then my blood sugar will take 3 or more hours to come back down to below 7 but the effect is short lived not more than a day as you describe.

Yes, we’re all different and we’re different ages too, so that might affect our dietary choices. Also, we’re all in a variety of different circumstances eg having young children, living alone, working shifts, etc etc All those things impact on our food choices.

But, it’s not necessary to eat low carb to have good blood sugars, which was the implicit suggestion made.
 

Pattidevans

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
But, it’s not necessary to eat low carb to have good blood sugars, which was the implicit suggestion m
Maybe not, but it's easier to keep control. A lot easier for me. It transpired afterwards that the first two courses had honey as an ingredient + breadcrumbs in the meat dish which wasn't obvious. Plus rice, plus figs, plus home made ice-cream that had sugar, then on to cheese with crusty bread and a small glass of port. I just kept topping up with insulin throughout about 4 hours that the meal spanned. When someone else cooks a meal it feels impolite to go into the nitty gritty of what exactly they put in every course.
 

Inka

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Maybe not, but it's easier to keep control.

Not in my opinion - nor that of my consultant. I eat a reasonable amount of carbs, work, look after my children, and if my diet and control demanded a lot of effort I definitely wouldn’t be keen - but it doesn’t. It works well, my control is good and doesn’t take too much time or effort. If it did, I wouldn’t do it.
 

Pattidevans

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
As I said, we are all different and have different approaches. My way works for me and obviously @rebrascorer has her own way which works for her, as do you.

I know that once I moderated my carb intake my Hba1c dropped from 7.9 to 5.4 within 3 months. It's not as low now, but I am a little more lenient with myself.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Generally the highest I would go in the event of max carbs/carb estimates is 9ish. Sometimes if I’ve eaten vast quantities then my blood sugar will take 3 or more hours to come back down to below 7

Gosh that is amazing @Inka !

I can easily get into the mid-teens if I don’t get the dose or timing right with a 60-70g CHO meal. If it gets much higher I will begin to suspect a delivery error, but I’ve been at 14 several times recently with just a couple of slices of ‘different’ bread which my body seemed to take an exception to.

And some years ago I switched from 2 slices of toast in the mornings to 1, because the results were far more reliable for me.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I bolus quite ‘forcefully’ for a large meal @everydayupsanddowns I’ve said before that I don’t use my pump to calculate my bolus. I use my brain - which might or might not be a good idea :D I sometimes have a tiny bit extra bolus for a large meal because I’ve found I need it. I also split my boluses for long meals. I really hate high blood sugar!

My highest and most frustrating sugars have been from pump site failures. Then I find my blood sugar will go up overnight and I can wake at 12 or 13. The cannulas and body absorption are the weak link in the whole looping system and it frustrates me so much that even with all our effort and clever pumps, something so silly will mess things up.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
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Type 1
My highest and most frustrating sugars have been from pump site failures. Then I find my blood sugar will go up overnight and I can wake at 12 or 13. The cannulas and body absorption are the weak link in the whole looping system and it frustrates me so much that even with all our effort and clever pumps, something so silly will mess things up.

Yup! but for me that would be 18-20+ easily :eek:
 

Inka

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Yup! but for me that would be 18-20+ easily :eek:

Not nice to wake up to. My lowish blood sugars were one reason they investigated MODY. Perhaps it’s because I don’t need much insulin overnight? I will say though that even though I ‘only’ wake at 13 or whatever, it is a very stubborn high and can take a while to get down, not helped by Foot on the Floor, of course :rolleyes:
 

Pattidevans

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Gosh that is amazing @Inka !

I can easily get into the mid-teens if I don’t get the dose or timing right with a 60-70g CHO meal. If it gets much higher I will begin to suspect a delivery error, but I’ve been at 14 several times recently with just a couple of slices of ‘different’ bread which my body seemed to take an exception to.

And some years ago I switched from 2 slices of toast in the mornings to 1, because the results were far more reliable for me.
It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one Mike! I rarely eat breakfast but if I do, then I also have to limit it to one slice of bread if it’s toast.
I sometimes have a tiny bit extra bolus for a large meal because I’ve found I need it. I also split my boluses for long meals. I really hate high blood sugar!
@Inka I did in fact split my bolus for the meal. I bolussed 3 times during the course of 4 or so hours as I discovered what each course was. Plus of course you have the advantage of looping, which wasn’t previously mentioned.

In retrospect there may have been a cannula problem. I changed my pump on schedule yesterday late morning and It finally started to respond to corrections in the afternoon.

I still maintain that not going overboard with carbs gives me better overall control. Plus as I said earlier, I’m not that keen on that style of eating, preferring salads, fresh veg, interesting and varied meals cooked from scratch.

Apologies to @MiaVision for derailing this thread.
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
FWIW I'm a bit like @Inka in that if I'm in the teens so my meter calculates the correction at 1u to 3.0 on the meter reading, I'll manually increase the answer by 10%- ish but always round that answer up to the next 0.5u above, and whack that in - cos when I'm over 10-ish, I always need more insulin to do the same job.
 

Inka

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
@Pattidevans To be clear, I do not loop. I don’t even have a Libre or CGM. I mentioned looping in my post to Mike only to show that even with good tech like a pump and a looping system, it’s the cannulas that are the weak link. I mentioned this because I was talking about the occasions I had woken high due to a ‘bad’ cannula/site.

As it seems your annoyingly long-lasting high was due to a cannula issue that kind of proves my point - we are let down by tiny little components despite having the tech of a pump. It also shows, I hope, that the delicious-sounding meal you had wasn’t the cause of your persistent high.

I’m not sure what “that style of eating” refers to? I eat a variety of foods, including carbs, and I too cook from scratch and enjoy plenty of veg and salad. The implication seems to be that carbs are boring but I personally think they can add to a meal and be a good base eg I cook a yummy bulgar wheat bake with kale, preserved lemons, zaatar, etc etc. The bulgar wheat forms the base and it’s really tasty. Drooling now!
 

trophywench

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
The style of eating which involves eg a great big piled high bowlful of macaroni cheese accompanied by a whole garlic loaf. The style of eating that involves slapping a burger or hot dog, onto a brioche bun/roll accompanied by chips. ('Let them eat cake!')
 

trophywench

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Type 1
PS @Inka - my husband firmly believes kale is cattle feed and not human feed, and I would have no idea where to buy bulgar wheat or preserved lemons and never even heard the word zaatar before, let alone know what to do with any of them.
 

Inka

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
The style of eating which involves eg a great big piled high bowlful of macaroni cheese accompanied by a whole garlic loaf. The style of eating that involves slapping a burger or hot dog, onto a brioche bun/roll accompanied by chips. ('Let them eat cake!')

Good - because that’s not what I was talking about :) I wouldn’t have eaten a big plate of macaroni cheese plus a whole garlic bread even before I had Type 1.
 

Pattidevans

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Exactly and what @trophywench said was what I meant. @Inka I don't think I implied that was the way you ate. However when I worked in an office it seemed to be what most of my colleagues ate. Take aways, KFC, Mcd, Burger King and Dominos. I do think a lot of carbs are boring if they are of that ilk. They shuddered if I mentioned the way I ate, particularly on the day I walked in after lunch with a whole rabbit from the butcher.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Ah, cr*p carbs are another matter @Pattidevans I don’t think people should be eating more of those, but healthy carbs like whole oats, quinoa, rice, sourdough bread, rye bread, sweet potatoes, pulses, fruit, pasta, etc etc are an important part of my diet.

@trophywench I got my bulgar wheat in a major supermarket, along with the preserved lemons and zaatar (which is a special mix of seeds and spices) and, of course, the famous/infamous kale!
 

Pattidevans

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
FWIW I have a packet of Bulgarwheat in the cupboard which is probably out of date as hubby doesn't like it (he likes most things). I make my own preserved lemons and have za'taar in too, which I use a lot. Bread does spike me and not at all sure of it's health properties, but I eat a lot of fruit and fresh veg, occasional sweet potatoes, normal potatoes in moderation and pulses. There isn't anything "unbalanced" about my diet.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I choose my bread carefully @Pattidevans I find good sourdough blood-sugar friendly, and proper rye bread is excellent (and filling too). I do sometimes eat normal bread eg 2 or 3 slices of garlic bread, and I find that ok as part of a meal. I think I’d probably stick with the sourdough and rye bread even if I didn’t have Type 1 as I’m not really a fan of the ultra-processed bread we get so much now. Ideally, I’d make my own, of course, but I don’t have time.
 

nonethewiser

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Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I choose my bread carefully @Pattidevans I find good sourdough blood-sugar friendly, and proper rye bread is excellent (and filling too). I do sometimes eat normal bread eg 2 or 3 slices of garlic bread, and I find that ok as part of a meal. I think I’d probably stick with the sourdough and rye bread even if I didn’t have Type 1 as I’m not really a fan of the ultra-processed bread we get so much now. Ideally, I’d make my own, of course, but I don’t have time.

Here here, love sourdough & rye bread & not fan of some ultra processed ones, having said that Sainsburys do nice 18% seeded wholemeal which really like for sandwiches.
 
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