Low Carb Diets

Discussion in 'Low carb diet' started by Charlotte, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. Charlotte

    Charlotte Administrator
    Staff Member Forum Admin Moderator

    May 20, 2014
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    DiabetesCommunity.com has no agenda to promote any particular dietary approach towards controlling diabetes. However, many members have found a low carbohydrate diet to be uniquely beneficial. As newbies often have many questions about low carb diets and since they are rarely discussed by health professionals, this thread will attempt to answer some of those most commonly asked.

    Why low carb?

    The root cause of many diabetes complications is an elevated blood glucose level. While some medications can help to reduce blood glucose, a reduction of foods in the diet which significantly raise levels in the first place can itself be sufficient to normalise them. Medications can therefore often be reduced (in consultation with healthcare professionals) and in some cases (type 2 diabetics only) eliminated altogether.

    Which foods are restricted?

    Lowering the intake of obvious sugars, such as not putting sugar in coffee, is clearly beneficial in controlling blood glucose. However, starchy carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes and foods containing processed flours are also metabolised by the body to produce large amounts of glucose. As they contain very few micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) low carb diets often reduce or eliminate only these foods.

    Which foods are included?

    A low carb diet is not necessarily low in all carbohydrate foods, simply those which disrupt blood glucose and insulin levels. Many contain large quantities of vegetables, with the exception of some starchy root vegetables. Typically, they also include nuts and some fruits. Generally, they include the healthy natural and unprocessed foods similar to those eaten in populations where diabetes and heart disease are rarely found. In this category comes meat, fish, eggs and dairy foods including butter and cream. Vegetarian protein sources such as tofu, Quorn and textured vegetable protein (TVP) can also be included.

    The impact of particular foods on blood glucose can vary greatly between individuals and testing after meals is recommended to figure out which foods to safely include in your diet.

    In broad terms, carbohydrates have a large impact on blood glucose levels, protein much less, and fats have little if any effect.

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