Guidance regarding amount of carbs per day

LornaV

Member
This is one thing I’m really confused about - here in Belgium I’m told to eat everything as low fat as possible. Is the sugar content more important than the fat content? I’ve been surviving on no fat no sugar natural fromage frais or yogurt with raspberries and some sweetner.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
@LornaV It is the carbohydrate content that you need to be looking at on labels. Forget the sugar although in yoghurt the carbs will be mostly sugar.... but for all foods, just look at the carbohydrate content because that includes the sugar and starches and they all break down to glucose in the digestive system and cause us diabetics problems.

As regards fat, in my opinion, it is the low fat advice which is at least partly responsible for this huge diabetic epidemic we are part of. Fat is satisfying. It takes longer to digest and so it keeps you fuller for longer and provides slow release energy. Carbohydrates break down really quickly and give you a surge of blood glucose but are often as quick to disappear leaving you wanting more. There is now a growing wave of scientific thought that the low fat advice which was developed 70 years ago and has been the mainstay of dietary advice pretty much around the world since then, was based on flawed research. The food industry has developed a lucrative business of producing low fat products and added extra sugar or starches(both cheaper products) to improve the flavour and texture because low fat products are not so attractive, which has meant that we have become accustomed to things being sweeter than they should be.

The difficulty is that governments have spent 70 years telling us to eat low fat to prevent cardiovascular disease, but we are getting diabetes instead which then puts us at higher risk of CV, Eating too many carbs also leads to obesity. Once you cut the carbs out and eat more fat, you don't put on weight because you don't want to eat huge amounts of fat because it is rich and filling, whereas the more carbs you eat, the more you want. It is very difficult to turn the tide on this huge juggernaut of low fat advice which has been perpetuated all our lives, so it is not surprising that your Health Care Professionals (HCPs) are still advising "low fat" to diabetics instead of "low carb higher fat" which makes more sense.

I was really sceptical about this last year when people here on the forum started suggesting eating more fat which was totally against the advice I had been given by the nurse and dietician, but I did some research and decided to give it a try and I feel so much better for eating very low carb and high fat foods and my cholesterol is starting to come down, which is contrary to everything we have been lead to believe. I am now convinced this is the answer for me.
I very rarely get cravings now whereas I used to be gnawing my knuckles for my next bar of chocolate or bag of sweets or biscuits and could not stop at just one or even 2 or 3..... never happy until the packet was empty.
I love that I am now in control of what I eat and can easily refuse chocolates or cake when they are being passed round in front of me. This is, in itself, a total revelation. It doesn't happen overnight as it takes time for your body to get used to running on fat instead of carbs as it's main source of fuel, but once it has adjusted, you just don't crave it anymore

When you get over your sweet tooth, you will find creamy natural Greek yoghurt tastes delicious without adding sugar and putting cream in your coffee instead of milk means you no longer need sweetener in it. The cream has less carbs than milk and again the fat helps to keep you from feeling hungry. Eventually you will find that you need to eat far less if you eat more fat. Things like a chunk of cheese instead of a biscuit or piece of cake is more satisfying. Amazingly, I don't feel deprived because I have my little luxuries like cream in my morning coffee.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
This is one thing I’m really confused about - here in Belgium I’m told to eat everything as low fat as possible. Is the sugar content more important than the fat content? I’ve been surviving on no fat no sugar natural fromage frais or yogurt with raspberries and some sweetner.
Are you sure the no fat no sugar fromage frais are truly so, even 16 years ago I was advised to avoid low fat foods, as even then it was known they were made more palatable by adding sugar.
 

LornaV

Member
Hi

Testing once a day will tell you little to nothing about which foods you can get away with and which you need to reduce portion size or eliminate. BG varies quite significantly through the day, even for a non diabetic. What you are looking for is your BG response to food. To find this, you need to test before each meal and then 2 hours after eating it. The 2 hour point afterwards is usually roughly the point at which your BG will peak as a result of the food, although if it was a particularly fatty meal like pizza, the peak can occur later. If your BG rises by 3 or more(but ideally no more than 2) at that 2 hour point after eating, then you ate too many carbs and need to reduce the carb content of that meal.

I too used to be like you and could eat my weight in sweets without getting sick and snacked between meals or whilst I was cooking. Since I started following a low carb, high fat way of eating I rarely feel hungry because the fat takes longer to digest than carbs, so it makes me feel fuller for longer and provides slow release energy and I often don't bother with lunch because I just don't need it. I eat so much less food than I used to but I eat good quality food. It has been a total revelation to no longer have those cravings and be so dependent on/obsessed with food but still very much enjoy what I eat. Over Christmas, people were eating chocolates and offering me some and it was not difficult to refuse..... this is pretty much a miracle as far as I am concerned as I was a chocoholic. It takes 2-3 months for your body and mind to come to terms with low carb eating but for me it has been quite liberating as I feel like I have control again.

For me it was important to find low carb snacks that I enjoyed, particularly in the early days, so for those occasions when you feel hungry or a bit nauseous, have a chunk of cheese or some nuts (walnuts or brazils or hazelnuts are lowest carb) or some veggie crudités with sour cream and chive dip or a boiled egg with a dollop of full fat mayonnaise or a few olives if you like them or a slice of ham with some creamy coleslaw.

We have spent our whole lives being told that fat is bad and to eat low fat, but because of the absence of fat in our diet we feel hungry more often and want to eat more and the thing we eat more of is carbs. Those carbs make us want to eat more carbs and our bodies produce insulin to deal with the glucose from those carbs but we are not doing enough exercise to burn them off so the body stores them as fat and eventually either our pancreas gets weary of producing so much insulin and starts to falter or our body starts to become immune to all hat insulin (insulin resistance) or we have no more capacity to store the glucose as fat, so there is resistance from the cells in accepting it.... and we get diabetes. The answer seems quite logical to eat less carbs and more fat...... there is also a growing school of thought that the research 70years ago on which the low fat dietary advice was based may well have been flawed and in any case. the obesity we now suffer as a society is leading people to higher risk of Cardiovascular problems than eating fat ever did. Surprisingly, fat does not in itself make you fat because it is self limiting..... you really don't want to eat too much of it as it is rich and you get full quickly, whereas 2-3 hours after eating carbs you are often looking for a top up/snack because your body stashed the glucose away and your BG levels are dropping.

Hopefully some of that makes sense.

I was very sceptical of eating more fat, but my weight is now stable at a normal BMI, I no longer feel hungry all the time and best of all, I enjoy my food.... I just don't feel the need to eat a lot of the rubbish throughout the day. For me now, on a very low carb diet, an occasional apple (with cheese) or banana (usually with a large helping of cream) is a huge treat and I really appreciate and savour them.... far more than I ever did before and more than I ever did with a packet of sweets. NB. The fatty food (cheese or cream) with the fruit slows the release of glucose from the fructose in the fruit, so you don't get a big BG spike from it.
This is amazing news for me being new to the whole diabetes thing. I’ve read on US sites about keto diets and cutting down carbs while eating more fat, but honestly was quite sceptical. The way you explain it makes sense, and gives me hope of getting rid of my sweet tooth and binging tendencies when I get fed up of following all the stringent rules.
 

BeOdd

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
@LornaV It is the carbohydrate content that you need to be looking at on labels. Forget the sugar although in yoghurt the carbs will be mostly sugar.... but for all foods, just look at the carbohydrate content because that includes the sugar and starches and they all break down to glucose in the digestive system and cause us diabetics problems.

As regards fat, in my opinion, it is the low fat advice which is at least partly responsible for this huge diabetic epidemic we are part of. Fat is satisfying. It takes longer to digest and so it keeps you fuller for longer and provides slow release energy. Carbohydrates break down really quickly and give you a surge of blood glucose but are often as quick to disappear leaving you wanting more. There is now a growing wave of scientific thought that the low fat advice which was developed 70 years ago and has been the mainstay of dietary advice pretty much around the world since then, was based on flawed research. The food industry has developed a lucrative business of producing low fat products and added extra sugar or starches(both cheaper products) to improve the flavour and texture because low fat products are not so attractive, which has meant that we have become accustomed to things being sweeter than they should be.

The difficulty is that governments have spent 70 years telling us to eat low fat to prevent cardiovascular disease, but we are getting diabetes instead which then puts us at higher risk of CV, Eating too many carbs also leads to obesity. Once you cut the carbs out and eat more fat, you don't put on weight because you don't want to eat huge amounts of fat because it is rich and filling, whereas the more carbs you eat, the more you want. It is very difficult to turn the tide on this huge juggernaut of low fat advice which has been perpetuated all our lives, so it is not surprising that your Health Care Professionals (HCPs) are still advising "low fat" to diabetics instead of "low carb higher fat" which makes more sense.

I was really sceptical about this last year when people here on the forum started suggesting eating more fat which was totally against the advice I had been given by the nurse and dietician, but I did some research and decided to give it a try and I feel so much better for eating very low carb and high fat foods and my cholesterol is starting to come down, which is contrary to everything we have been lead to believe. I am now convinced this is the answer for me.
I very rarely get cravings now whereas I used to be gnawing my knuckles for my next bar of chocolate or bag of sweets or biscuits and could not stop at just one or even 2 or 3..... never happy until the packet was empty.
I love that I am now in control of what I eat and can easily refuse chocolates or cake when they are being passed round in front of me. This is, in itself, a total revelation. It doesn't happen overnight as it takes time for your body to get used to running on fat instead of carbs as it's main source of fuel, but once it has adjusted, you just don't crave it anymore

When you get over your sweet tooth, you will find creamy natural Greek yoghurt tastes delicious without adding sugar and putting cream in your coffee instead of milk means you no longer need sweetener in it. The cream has less carbs than milk and again the fat helps to keep you from feeling hungry. Eventually you will find that you need to eat far less if you eat more fat. Things like a chunk of cheese instead of a biscuit or piece of cake is more satisfying. Amazingly, I don't feel deprived because I have my little luxuries like cream in my morning coffee.
Thankyou Barbara .... that confirms what I have been reading and was starting to enjoy creamy yogurt again until yesterday when I read something that made me think I was doing wrong ... we are having shopping delivered tomorrow and no prizes for guessing what yogurt I ordered low blinking fat !!!! I am so glad you wrote this Barbara! Thankyou !
 

BeOdd

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thankyou Barbara .... that confirms what I have been reading and was starting to enjoy creamy yogurt again until yesterday when I read something that made me think I was doing wrong ... we are having shopping delivered tomorrow and no prizes for guessing what yogurt I ordered low blinking fat !!!! I am so glad you wrote this Barbara! Thankyou !
Thankyou Lorna it all makes sense now! I am getting confused as to who is writing what and which order the messages are
 

Marmite

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
Being recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes ... I would like to know how many carbs I should aim for daily
As some of you will have noted I am still very confused about carbs. Just read NHS -eatwell advice which says starchy foods (potatoes, pasta, bread, cereals) should form the base of ones diet and for the last week I have been trying to reduce.! Surely good old NHS should be listened to?
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Sadly the NHS are behind the curve when it comes to modern dietary advice for diabetics. The problem with the NHS advocating low carb is partly that most people get the majority of their calories and dietary fibre from carbs and grains in particular. If people eat very low carb then the only real options are to eat more fat and protein for fuel (calories). For the past 70 years the government/NHS has been telling us that fat is bad and causes Cardio Vascular Disease. Diabetics are believed to be more at risk of CVD, so they are even more likely to tell us to eat low fat but having a large proportion of our food as protein can put a strain on other organs (as well as finances), so they persist with the wholegrain/wholemeal/brown carbs advice, rather than to encourage us to eat more fat. The thing is that the research which suggested that fat causes CVD 70 years ago is starting to look rather flawed but the government/NHS is loath to change it's policy of a lifetime in recommending low fat as it has not totally been disproved and there is a huge food industry geared to low fat products, so they are stuck with the outdated advice.

I am not a rebel by nature so it took quite a leap of faith for me to go against the NHS low fat, healthy brown carbs advice I was given but my glucose meter and my general wellbeing tells me that it was the right choice for me to go very low carb and high fat. It also helped my thinking in this respect because my Dad ate a very fatty diet with lots of butter, cream and fatty meat all his life and his heart was still strong as an ox even when his lungs gave out at 84yrs old. It was something that always puzzled me as to why his heart was so strong when his diet was supposedly so bad for heart health.

Anyway, I hope that sort of explains why the NHS advice differs so radically from what many people here find beneficial in pushing their diabetes into remission. The best advice any of us can give is to be guided by a blood glucose meter
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
When a dear but ancient relative goes senile - do you go along with their delusions?
It is a similar situation with the Eatwell plate - it was devised by those who believed that a healthy diet is based on carbs.
Even when there are patients suffering extreme problems, they cling to their belief in starches being good, even to the extent of declaring that it is not the fault of the diet but that the patient is non compliant.
 

Marmite

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
Well, well, very interesting, I thank you all for replying. My session 3 (by video link) is tomorrow and I will endeavour to portray this complete reversal of dietry advice.
O.k. , at the moment nhs have more pressing concerns but I will write .
 

Pine Marten

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thank you! I did an experiment today to see what I can get away with ... I was out and about so I ate battered cod, peas and chips ... it was 5.2 the day before ... last night I was 6.6 .... so I now know how naughty that was ! But it had to be done ... I need to know what favourite foods I have to avoid from here on in... but it will be worth it not to have to take medication. It shall be trial and error for the first few weeks
Hi @BeOdd, those numbers look pretty good - when exactly are you testing? To check the effect of different foods you should test just before eating and then again 2 hours after starting to eat. You are looking for no more than a rise of 2-3, so if you are 5.2 before the meal 7.2 afterwards would be ok. (Some people test at the 1 hour and 3 hour point as well, but 2 hrs is fine.)

Er, I've just realised there are many more replies before mine giving a lot of good info ... oh well, never mind!
 

Pina

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I joined a Diabetic Facebook group, where sometimes people ask about how many carbs to eat per day. Some say 120g daily, some say 100g, some say 20 - 30g daily. The last one annoyed me, how can you survive on 20 - 30g daily?
I've decided that I'm going to stick with my 100g and under per day.
Last night hubby wanted chilli, well, I just burst into tears..... I felt very sorry for myself... poor hubby felt awful. He had rice, I didn't - I did feel better later, and felt awful for making him feel awful. I must get used to eating a completely different diet.
I feel a bit lost some days.... Hey ho, tomorrow is another day.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi @Pina

So sorry that you are finding it a struggle. Going low carb takes time if you have been used to piling them onto your plate without thinking about them and there will be moments when it overwhelms you but there will also be days when it is much easier. Take your time to reduce them slowly and find low carb alternatives that you can eat instead, like cauliflower rice or cauliflower mash.
I remember I had a hissy fit last summer when my partner harvested the first roots of new potatoes from the garden and boiled up a huge pan full of them and my allowance was 3 piddly little marble sized ones that rolled around on my plate trying to avoid their butter bath. I have always loved new potatoes and whilst I didn't find it too hard to give up bread and pasta and rice (really not bothered about rice at all) potatoes have always been a favourite. I stormed out of the house in a total strop on the verge of tears because I was so frustrated and didn't even eat the 3 I had allocated myself!

The key to following a low carb way of eating is to find low carb foods which you really enjoy to replace those carbs and not restricting them, so that you might even feel a little naughty about indulging in them. Things like treating yourself to a chunk of your favourite cheese whenever you feel a bit deprived, or having coffee with double cream instead of milk.... or a square of dark chocolate with a spoonful of peanut butter or a pot of olives..... something rich and luxurious or satisfying always helps prevent me from feeling badly done to. My really guilty pleasure is a bag of pork scratchings. All of these things are fairly or very low carb. They are also high in fat and that fat helps you to feel satisfied, it also provides slow release energy and helps to slow the digestion of any carbs you do eat and it tastes good. These things might not do it for you but finding low carb treats that are to your taste is really important so that you can indulge in those moments when you start to feel deprived.
 

Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
The amount of carbs to eat each day is the amount you can cope with and still have normal blood glucose numbers. That varies between individuals, which is why many use a meter to check their blood glucose after meals to see how the meal suits them. For the first few days after diagnosis I ate hardly any carbs at all, but settled on 50 gm a day after using a meter to get my after eating levels down to 8mmol/l. Once I saw that I stuck to the same meals and saw the numbers drift downwards week by week with no further changes. In 6 months I was no longer in the diabetic range. I only need to eat twice a day now, and have two normal meals, and coffee with cream.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I joined a Diabetic Facebook group, where sometimes people ask about how many carbs to eat per day. Some say 120g daily, some say 100g, some say 20 - 30g daily. The last one annoyed me, how can you survive on 20 - 30g daily?
I've decided that I'm going to stick with my 100g and under per day.
Last night hubby wanted chilli, well, I just burst into tears..... I felt very sorry for myself... poor hubby felt awful. He had rice, I didn't - I did feel better later, and felt awful for making him feel awful. I must get used to eating a completely different diet.
I feel a bit lost some days.... Hey ho, tomorrow is another day.
I have said for a long time you have to find what works for you and can maintain long term. I used to have a small portion of rice, when the rest of the family have chilli, but for a while I have been having the chilli without the rice.
 

Pina

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Pina

So sorry that you are finding it a struggle. Going low carb takes time if you have been used to piling them onto your plate without thinking about them and there will be moments when it overwhelms you but there will also be days when it is much easier. Take your time to reduce them slowly and find low carb alternatives that you can eat instead, like cauliflower rice or cauliflower mash.
I remember I had a hissy fit last summer when my partner harvested the first roots of new potatoes from the garden and boiled up a huge pan full of them and my allowance was 3 piddly little marble sized ones that rolled around on my plate trying to avoid their butter bath. I have always loved new potatoes and whilst I didn't find it too hard to give up bread and pasta and rice (really not bothered about rice at all) potatoes have always been a favourite. I stormed out of the house in a total strop on the verge of tears because I was so frustrated and didn't even eat the 3 I had allocated myself!

The key to following a low carb way of eating is to find low carb foods which you really enjoy to replace those carbs and not restricting them, so that you might even feel a little naughty about indulging in them. Things like treating yourself to a chunk of your favourite cheese whenever you feel a bit deprived, or having coffee with double cream instead of milk.... or a square of dark chocolate with a spoonful of peanut butter or a pot of olives..... something rich and luxurious or satisfying always helps prevent me from feeling badly done to. My really guilty pleasure is a bag of pork scratchings. All of these things are fairly or very low carb. They are also high in fat and that fat helps you to feel satisfied, it also provides slow release energy and helps to slow the digestion of any carbs you do eat and it tastes good. These things might not do it for you but finding low carb treats that are to your taste is really important so that you can indulge in those moments when you start to feel deprived.
hahaha... thank you for cheering me up.... oh dear, I did and do love pasta, but haven't touched it in 6 weeks...it's killing me. I do feel much better today thanks, and am back on it. xx
 

Pina

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I have said for a long time you have to find what works for you and can maintain long term. I used to have a small portion of rice, when the rest of the family have chilli, but for a while I have been having the chilli without the rice.
thank you, i'm feeling much better today, I just have to get my head round it. I'm going to find alternatives, I was just feeling very low and abandoned. xx
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
@Pina So pleased you are feeling stronger and more in control today. It does get easier with time but it is also perfectly acceptable to fall off the wagon once in a while as long as you know how to climb back on and forgive yourself.
 

Pina

Active Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
thank you xx I'm just reading through the sheet the nurse printed out for me before I left, my HbA1c was 87, she said she wants it down to 50. I don't understand what that means, is 87 high? I've lost 1 stone since seeing her, I'm hoping that will help. With this lockdown goodness knows when I'll see her. I was to have my eyes tested at the hospital too, but that never happened.
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
thank you xx I'm just reading through the sheet the nurse printed out for me before I left, my HbA1c was 87, she said she wants it down to 50. I don't understand what that means, is 87 high? I've lost 1 stone since seeing her, I'm hoping that will help. With this lockdown goodness knows when I'll see her. I was to have my eyes tested at the hospital too, but that never happened.
87 is high 48 is the point that Diabetes is diagnosed. HBA1C is the measure of amount of glucose attached to red blood cells over the last 3 months.
 
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