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Old 03-16-2006, 09:32 AM   #1
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Unhappy Why are diabetics told to eat so many carbs? How do food and insulin affect blood #'s

(Apologies if this was covered in another thread)
My fiance' has had type2 diabetes for about 10 years, and has gained some weight within the last 2 years. She recently has seen an Endocrinologist. After being put on insulin to try to control some very high blood sugar, she was told to eat more carbs.
Every time she sees the Nurse Practitioner, she is prescribed higher doses of insulin, and told to "eat more carbs."

WHY?

If carbs cause your blood sugar to go up, why add more knowing that you will need more insulin to combat it?

The nurse even joked saying, "don't worry, we don't get kick-backs from the drug companies..."
I guess the look on my fiance's face was more telling than she thought.

I don't understand the concept behind it. I know that you need food for energy. I know that carbs are many times easy food to process and use for energy. I know that there are at least some carbs in most foods that we eat.
I just don't get the nurse and doctor's idea that eating so many carbs is so good.

Originally it was 30 grams of carbs for each of 3 meals and 15 grams of carbs for each of 3 snacks. I know that that should keep the metabolism going, but is that the only thing? You can keep eating and have more lean protein or fats or something.
What's the big deal about carbs?

Now the Nutritionist is telling her to have 45 grams of carbs for each of 3 meals and snacks, too.

About 7 years ago, she lost a bunch of weight following the Atkins diet. Her blood sugars came down to normal levels, and she was able to get off all meds. She's looking to do this again, and I want to see if this will help or hurt. Any Opinions?


So what has changed in the paradygm to cause the "more carbs" mantra?


How does it all interact?


Why do they have the more carb strategy?


If I can wrap my head around it, then we're not just flying blind and helpless. Also, everyone I know has a different take the diet/insulin interaction idea.

I know that the doctor has his diploma and absolutely knows more than I do, but I just can't seem to grasp the science of it, because it seems to go against logic and common sense.

Any ideas or experience would be helpful.

Thanks in advance...

 
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Old 03-16-2006, 01:35 PM   #2
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Mark Munday HB User
Re: Why are diabetics told to eat so many carbs? How do food and insulin affect blood

It is such a relief to come accross other people who think like I do!

You are absolutely right. There is no good reason to make carbohydrate the focus of the diet for people who can't process glucose. Which is why, IMHO, all diabetics should be on low-carb diets. It improves blood sugar control enormously. And it makes losing weight possible.

Medical professionals will tell you that carbs have to be the main source of energy because fat causes heart disease. For many years I believed this and persevered with a high-carb diet. My diabetes control just got worse and worse. And the whole time I knew intuitively that I was on the wrong tack. Then two years ago, I switched to a low-carb/high-fat diet, and things improved dramatically. My blood sugar control is now very good AND my lipid profile has actually improved. My heart disease risk is now lower than it has ever been, in spite of increasing my egg consumption from 3 eggs a week to 15-20 eaggs a week. Go figure!

All the diabetics I know who eat low-carb find that it works really well. And a small but growing group of medical professionals are abondoning the the high-carb mantra and looking for more workable alternatives. It seems that commercial interests have entrenched the high-carb belief system to the point that it has become part of the conventional wisdome. It does this through incessant advertising, research grants and lobbying with opinion leaders. And the poor diabetcs suffer the consequences.

Visit the Bernstein forum to meet other diabetics who are on a diet similar to the Atkins diet. I still eat 70-90 grams of carbs a day, mainly to maintain my body weight.

Cheers,

Mark

 
Old 03-16-2006, 05:16 PM   #3
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fishdude HB User
Re: Why are diabetics told to eat so many carbs? How do food and insulin affect blood #'s

I totally agree with Mark that a low carb diet is the way to go. I've read the Atkins and the Bernstein books and think they make very good sense. I am currently on a low carb diet and I am able to lose weight plus I maintain proper bs control. I will advise, however not to get caught up in the newer low carb diets such as South Beach and the others. As a diabetic, you really need a great deal of carb restriction and the good carb/bad carb garbage is, well, garbage!!! Even a good carb will raise your bs levels. Atkins' phase I induction and/or Bernstein's method will do quite nicely for you, I promise.

 
Old 03-23-2006, 10:55 AM   #4
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Wink Re: Why are diabetics told to eat so many carbs? How do food and insulin affect blood #'s

Hi all! Just joined this site a few minutes ago.

So glad to see discussions on type 2 diabetes.

I probably had high glucose levels for many years, before I realized it.

Had a heart attack 8 years ago, then found out my average BS was 30 for last three months (at that time). 30 is the measurement in Canadian figures. For example, in our terms, a normal measurement would be below 7 fasting.

I do not take meds, but eat low carb.

I try and allow no more than 20 CHO grams per meal.

So many people think that there are carbs only in bread and potatoes, rice, and such. (the nurses and doctors insisted that I eat bread at every meal.) Simply cannot abide by that! I think the Diabetes associations have got it all wrong. The new trend is low carb!

There are carbs in lettuce, chard, green beans, peppers, cucs, etc. Many researchers believe that one does not need to eat bread, rice, potatoes, carrots, etc, but can live quite happily on the "green" foods, and meat and dairy of course.

I use no fruit juices, and only a little fruit.

The less starchy (high carb) food I eat, the more energy I have, so cannot believe that one needs high carb for energy.

The less starchy food I eat, the easier it is to keep my weight down. At first I lost about 25 pounds; could still lose a little more, but weight has stayed the same for about 5 years.

I noticed that some of my friends on meds keep gaining and gaining.

I do crave muffins, bread, etc., but lately have been drinkin lots of water and this curbs that craving.

It's hard, isn't it? My whole life changed when I got this miserable disease.

Oh that we could "pig out" on two chocolate bars, or three large slices of chocolate cake!

 
Old 03-23-2006, 03:19 PM   #5
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lane413 HB User
Re: Why are diabetics told to eat so many carbs? How do food and insulin affect blood #'s

I think the nurse practioner is referring to complex carbs. In my Basic Nutrition class at our community college, we were told diabetes need at least 135 carbs daily. This is because the brain operates on glucose and if it has to use protein for energy it could cause problems.

I hate to say it, but I do agree with you guys. My professor (she is not diabetic) became upset with me with I told her that I think the medical profession was wrong about the "carb/diabetes" connection. I practice portion control when i eat carbs.

 
Old 03-23-2006, 03:48 PM   #6
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Re: Why are diabetics told to eat so many carbs? How do food and insulin affect blood #'s

Hi Lane!

This is a very interesting question. Thanks for replying. I am really very dogmatic about carbs. I am speaking of course, as to what happens to my body and not everybody elses.

Yes, of course, it is wiser to eat whole grain or complex “anything”. But potatoes for example, metabolize very quickly into glucose and play havoc with the BS.

I am very careful when dealing with the medical profession. Some of them are very good; others don’t give a hoot about you (I know some will come down very heavily on me for this).

For example, when I went to diabetic training for 4 whole days some years ago, the specialist nurses took us to the cafeteria to show us how to pick our food. Every meal, a nurse stood by me and insisted I take two slices of bread on my tray.

She said I had to eat it. Two slices of bread and BS would go to 15! When I declined, she or he (nurse) would become somewhat angry with me and make me do it. I would take the bread and then stick it in my purse.

I seldom eat bread or other like food I profess I do not need it for my brain or otherwise. There is plenty of research on this. There are plenty of carbs in the “green” foods. There are carbs in cheese, milk, etc.

Note that I am NOT (emphasis) saying healthy people should not eat complex carbs. That is so different! I am saying that many Type 2 diabetics can live without meds, if they drastically reduce the high starch (crab) foods.

 
Old 04-05-2006, 01:16 AM   #7
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Re: Why are diabetics told to eat so many carbs? How do food and insulin affect blood #'s

This is the same question I had when I started researching this - I agree stick with complex carbs; otherwise, it's not in our best interest.

 
Old 04-05-2006, 04:47 PM   #8
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6foot3 HB User
Re: Why are diabetics told to eat so many carbs? How do food and insulin affect blood #'s

Quote:
Originally Posted by jollytree

For example, when I went to diabetic training for 4 whole days some years ago, the specialist nurses took us to the cafeteria to show us how to pick our food. Every meal, a nurse stood by me and insisted I take two slices of bread on my tray.

She said I had to eat it. Two slices of bread and BS would go to 15! When I declined, she or he (nurse) would become somewhat angry with me and make me do it. I would take the bread and then stick it in my purse.
I had to chuckle at this Jollytree...Reading what this nurse told you reminds me of another thread the other day about a Crohn's patient and the Dr. told her to eat more junk food to sooth her gut. I'd feel safer with the ''3 stooges'' i think sometimes...LOL ...
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Last edited by 6foot3; 04-05-2006 at 04:49 PM.

 
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