Should I be following a low carb diet with type 2 diabetes

Featured Video Play Icon
Hey all, Should I follow a low carb diet? This has been a topic that has come to me quite frequently recently. It makes sense. Carbohydrates are the foods which spike glucose levels. Therefore, following a low carb diet should prevent spikes in your glucose levels. The question really is though, do you need to go on a low carb diet to achieve good glycaemic control or even remission? Remember, many people eat carbohydrates and do not develop diabetes. In fact, they are a source of good nutrition. From experience, the problem is more to do with eating too many carbohydrates and the wrong type of carbohydrates. If your type 2 diabetes has come about due to lifestyle factors such as weight gain, the solution is weight loss, not necessarily a low carb diet. You may find a low carb diet is the means you use to achieve this but your glucose levels will likely settle down just as well regardless of how you lose weight. I’ve done a quick video on this above with some further thoughts below.

The right type of carbs

Some low carb diets such as keto diets can have people avoiding healthy foods like fruit and vegetables. This are nutritious foods that don’t need to be avoided. Fruit may need to be portion controlled but ultimately they can be enjoyed. Keto diets avoid carbs which makes the body break down its fat stores. Fat needs to be broken down in the body so it can be used for energy. However, when fat is broken down it forms various different molecules one of which is ketones. Ketones can be used as an alternative fuel source to glucose in the body. Normally glucose fuels the muscles but is also the primary fuel source for the brain and central nervous system (CNS). Hence why people can feel irritable when they are low in glucose. Ketones can also be used by the brain and CNS for fuel but they are a second choice fuel. In other words, the brain and CNS prefer glucose. This type of diet usually means high intakes of fat and protein because these compensate for the lack of carbohydrate. This means high intakes of meat, fish, dairy, some vegetables and little to no fruit or starchy carbohydrates. Therefore, various nutrients lack in this diet. One major nutrient being fibre because fibre is only available with vegetable, fruit and starchy carbohydrates. This can reduce gut health, increase the risk of conditions such as bowel cancer in the future and lead to consultation.

A more practical approach

Personally, I think it’s more about eating the right type of carbohydrates rather than aiming to go low carb or even induce ketosis. The right type of carbohydrates are the nutritious slow realising carbohydrates. I’ve blogged on these before which you can find here.  As a quick summary the right type of carbohydrates are vegetables, fruit, beans, pulses, lentils, oats and wholegrain starchy carbohydrates. This is where the nutrients are and these are slow releasing or contain little carbohydrates. The unhealthier versions of carbohydrates like white varieties of bread, pasta, rice, processed sugar, cakes, biscuits, sweets etc. These lack nutrients and are not great for glucose levels.

Easy food swaps

To adopt a diet high in good carbohydrates is quite simple. It doesn’t need a full diet overhaul but rather some simple substitutions. Changing from white rice to alternatives like brown rice, basmati rice, quinoa and/or pearl barely etc can make a big difference. Switching baked potatoes for sweet potatoes or new potatoes can help improve glucose levels as they are a more slowly releasing source of carbohydrate. New potatoes can be particularly useful because it helps reduce the total amount of carbohydrate at your meal. Other patients have had success with replacing the above foods with vegetable options. For example, instead of using 100% pasta with spaghetti bolognese, change this for courgetti or strips of vegetables. This can be a complete swap or a split of pasta to vegetable. Another example is using cauliflower rice alongside or instead of actual rice. Often the taste is not noticed if you flavour your food or have it with foods like bolognese. You can also reduce your intake of starchy carbohydrates and replace these with vegetables. So the portions and proportions of your meals changes rather than the actual meals themselves. A good example is reducing the number of roast potatoes on a Sunday roast and replacing with vegetable options. Usually we recommend at least 50% of a meal is made up of vegetables.

Correct carbs & portions are key

Therefore, carbohydrates aren’t evil. It’s more about choosing the correct types of carbohydrates and watching the portions of them. In practice we recommend starchy carbohydrates should be no more than a quarter of your meal. As mentioned, vegetables should be the predominant factor on your plate ideally. Try to bulk your meals out with beans, pulses, lentils and vegetables. This helps keep the calorie content low, reduces the carb content of the meal and helps you along to achieve the 30g of fibre per day which is the current recommendation.

People who may benefit from low carb

There are some patients who are inactive or their diabetes has progressed quite far who may benefit from a lower carbohydrate intake. This is because they either don’t use up enough energy to convert enough glucose to fuel or their bodies cannot use glucose due to severe insulin resistance.

Have you noticed

When we discuss low carb diets we are coming from a starting point of eating too many carbs. When you look at the actual recommendations a low carb diet is actually just a normal carb diet in most cases. However, when talking about very low carb diets and ketogenic diets, this is what I say is unnecessary. Remember, some people will need more carbs than others. If you are active, your carb requirement will be higher than others. I explain this concept in the video above.

Need more help

If you need more support we offer a range of 1:1 consultancy services and online programmes focused on helping you improve your glucose control and health for the long term. These include our type 2 diabetes recovery programme, type 1 glucose stability programme and winning weight loss programme. Go to the pages using the links above or in the headers or get in touch if you have questions.

2 thoughts on “Should I be following a low carb diet with type 2 diabetes”

  1. Love turns out to be New Zealand’s favourite rom

    Single workers aged 35+, Who are seeking foroperates dating brands eDarling and AttractiveFloorball: NZ To Host World Cup Of Floorball In 2022In a major coup for a minnow nation in the ecu dominated sport of floorball, New moldova dating Zealand has won the rights to host one of the sport’s marque arena events. many more,National Voyage proceeds on: Tuia 250 EndsTuia 250 has unleashed an unstoppable desire to keep continue and continue the krero about who we are, Say the co chairs of the Tuia 250 National corresponding Committee, Dame Jenny Shipley additionally Hoturoa Barclay Kerr. a great deal,always:NZ Govt Tuia 250 ending is only the beginningTuia 250 Final stop for Tuia 250 Voyage celebrates past and future Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla arrival in Capital Image Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla arrival in CapitalNetball: Maria Folau RetiresSilver Ferns great Maria Folau has called time on an illustrious vocation, can see her go down in history as one of Netball’s best ever shooters. alot more,similarly:Netball NZ Silver Ferns Make Changes For Netball international locations CupImage linkTe Papa: New chief executive From Its Own StaffCourtney Johnston has been appointed as the new leader of Te Papa. Ms Johnston will take up the role keep away from 2019. Since its founding, Te Papa has had a dual management model, And as Tumu Whakarae leader, Johnston will share the management of Te Papa with Kaihaut Dr Arapata Hakiwai. a bit more,simultaneously:Te Papa Courtney Johnston will lead Te Papa into a new eraCreative NZ Creative NZ board appointmentsOver 150 productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has LaunchedThe next festival will be held at 40 venues all over beautiful moldova Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, And includes every genre achieveable theatre, comedy, zumba, music, Clowning, Cabaret, cosmetic art, childrens shows and more! a lot of,on top of that:Auckland Fringe Auckland Fringe advertise New Festival DirectorNZ Comedy Guild 2019 NZ Comedy Guild Awards handed outHoward Davis: Three Stocking Stuffers from Te Papa PressTe Papa has published three incredibly informative and beautifully produced volumes that describe the people and cultures encountered during Cook’s voyages and the Mori cultural treasures he discovered there. additionally.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: