It can seem difficult to know how many carbs you should eat when you’re diabetic.
The common rule is you get only 45-60% of calories from carbohydrates if you have diabetes.
But many scientists now say that diabetic people should eat less carbs than that. In fact, a lot recommend more than half of the amount.
The following article details the carbs you should eat when you’re diabetic.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is when your pancreas can’t make insulin, the hormone that facilitates the entering of sugar in your cells. So insulin has to be injected.
Your body’s autoimmune system attacks cells that produce cells or beta cells. This condition is usually detected at a young age, but it can also be caught at later stages in life.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the more common diabetes type with about 90% of diagnosis being it. Just like type 1, it can present itself in both children and adults. But today, it’s not as common for children as it is for obese people.
This diabetes type is when your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or that your cells have developed insulin resistance. So, a lot of sugar is in your bloodstream.
With the passage of time, your beta cells start to degrade as it tries to pump out more insulin to lower your blood sugar. They also start to degrade from high levels of sugar in your bloodstream.
Diabetes is diagnosed through elevated fasting blood sugar levels or high levels of the marker glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c, which shows blood sugar control for 2-3 months.
Before one develops type 2 diabetes, blood sugar levels can be elevated but not high enough that you get marked as diabetic. This is what’s called prediabetes.
Prediabetes is when your blood sugar level is in the 100-125 mg/dL mark and an HbA1c level of 5.7-6.4%.
While not everyone with prediabetes gets type 2 diabetes, it’s said that about 70% are going to develop this.
But people with prediabetes are also at risk for heart disease, kidney disease, and many other complications because of high blood sugar.
Food and Blood Sugar Levels
Other than food, exercise, illnesses, and stress can determine your blood sugar levels.
But what you eat is one of the major factors.
Carbs have the greatest impact on blood sugar, whether refined sources like cookies and crisps, or from fruits and vegetables.
Diabetic people who eat too many carbs can observe their blood sugar levels spiking. You’ll need a high dose of insulin when you eat a lot of carbs to manage blood sugar.
Many studies point out that if you have diabetes, you should restrict your carbs.
Low Carb, Keto Diets
Extreme low carb diets can lead to ketosis, or when your body uses fat rather than sugar as its energy source. It also leads to weight-loss.
Ketosis limits carb intake to 30 or 50 grams a day. This is only 10% calories from a 2,000-calorie diet.
Keto diets have been recommended for people way before insulin was founded in 1921.
Studies show that men who got into a keto diet have lost about 32 pounds or 14.5 kg and also had reduced triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Low Carb Diets
Low carb diets limit carb intake to 50-100 grams. In a study of people with type 1 diabetes who limited carb intake to 70 grams a day observed that their HbA1c levels drop from 7.7% on average.
A concern for this diet is hypoglycemia, or when your blood sugar is at a dangerously low level.
In a study of men with type 2 diabetes who followed a high-protein diet, they experienced a 29% reduction in blood sugar on average.
Moderate Carb Diets
There’s also the lesser extreme moderate carb diet with a limit of 100-150 grams of carbs eaten per day. These diets showed good results in diabetic people.
In a one-year study of 259 people with type 2 diabetes who were on a Mediterranean diet saw a huge reduction in HbA1c.
Finding Your Range
Research has proven time and time again that carb restriction does lower your blood sugar levels.
If you’re currently on 250 grams of carbs a day, reducing these to 150 grams will lower your blood sugar after eating.
There have been cases of people who only ate 20-50 grams of carbs a day who reduced and even removed the need for diabetes medication and insulin injections.
Foods You Need To Avoid
If you’re diabetic you need to avoid high-carb foods like breads, muffins, bagels, pasta, corn, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, milk, yogurt, fruits, cakes, pies, ice cream, cookies, pretzels, potato chips, popcorn, juices, soda, sweet iced tea, beer, and many types of fruits.
It’s always best to observe the optimal amount of carbs that will make you feel well when you’re prediabetic and diabetic. You need to take note of the foods you gravely need to avoid. You can also consider going on a Mediterranean diet, and even a vegetarian diet.
The important thing is to train yourself to the limited number of carbs you’ll need to be eating from here on out. Getting regular blood sugar tests with different carb intakes will determine the best range for your carb intake. It’s best to reach out to people who are experiencing the same thing as you.
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