How Many Carbs Per Day For A Diabetic?
Did you know that one of the most commonly asked questions we get is: how many carbs per day is best for a diabetic to eat? No doubt that's why you're here reading this as well, right? And like many other people you may be totally confused by that question. That's not surprising because the amount of carbs recommended does vary depending on where you read it. Why is this? Well, there is no specific recommendation for carbs, that's why there are so many different numbers. However, there is good scientific evidence to suggest what's best. But unfortunately, that information is not getting out to the public (to YOU) as fast as it should. Luckily though, here at Diabetes Meal Plans, we pride ourselves on sharing up-to-date evidence-based info because we want you to get the best results. And we're proud to say what we share works: Sheryl says: “My doctor’s report was best ever: A1c was normal for the first time since I was diagnosed diabetic in 2007; My LDL was 60; my total cholesterol was 130. My lab results were improved across the board. Best news: I am taking less diabetic meds, and my weight is within 5 lbs of normal BMI. I am a believer in what you have written, and I’m grateful to have a site I can trust.” Here at Diabetes Meal Plans we encourage a low carb diet because research shows that lower carb diets produce far more effective results than traditional low fat diets. As you read on, be prepared to have some of your longheld diet beliefs shattered. But also be prepared to be amazed by the possibilities. Because with a few dietary changes, you can reverse* your diabetes and live your life anew! Rethinking ‘Mainstream' Carb Recommendations Over the years it’s been pretty common practice to recommend a low fat, high carbohydrate diet to people with type 2 Continue reading >>
> Meal Plans And Diabetes
Kids with diabetes benefit from a healthy diet the same as everyone else. Although kids with diabetes don't have to follow a special diabetes diet, they may need to pay more attention to when they eat and how much is on their plates. Meal planning goals for kids with diabetes often are the same as those for other kids: They need foods that help them have overall good health, normal growth, and a healthy weight. But kids with diabetes also have to balance their intake of carbohydrates (carbs) with their insulin and activity levels to keep blood sugar levels under control, and they should eat foods that help keep the levels of lipids (fats like cholesterol and triglycerides) in the blood in a healthy range. Doing so can help prevent some of the long-term health problems that diabetes can cause. Kids with diabetes face the same food challenges as everyone else — mainly, sticking with healthy eating habits. You need to know what's in the foods you're serving and eating. It's easy to guess what some foods contain, but others are more of a challenge. So look to food labels to find a food's ingredients, nutritional information, and calories. Be sure to look for information on carbs, which can affect blood sugar levels. Usually, they're clearly listed on food labels in grams. The two main forms of carbs are sugars and starches. Types of sugars include fructose (sugar found in fruit and some baked goods), glucose (the main sugar in our bodies that's also found in foods like cake, cookies, and soft drinks), and lactose (sugar found in milk and yogurt). Starches include vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas; grains, rice, and cereals; and breads. The body breaks down or converts most carbs into glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream. As the glucose level rises in the Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should My Pre-diabetic Husband Eat Each Day?
My husband has been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. What amount of carbs should he eat per day? I know that carbs are bad for him, but as they are in most foods, it's hard to be totally carb free. Also, we both eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, so what about the sugars they contain? Dr. Gourmet Says.... I am sorry for your husband's new diagnosis. For many the issue of having "pre-diabetes" or "insulin intolerance" is one that can be controlled through making changes in diet and exercise. In a lot of cases weight is a major factor and losing weight is key. First and foremost, carbohydrates are not bad. The issue is that most folks today eat far too many calories and end up eating a lot of carbohydrates. Often this is in the form of low quality carbs like the simple sugars in soda, candy, etc.. The key is for your husband to eat high quality calories no matter whether those calories come from carbohydrates, protein or fats. For instance, both Coca Cola and oatmeal are full of carbohydrates. The Coke contains 35 grams of carbs all in the form of simple sugar. That's about 150 calories that is drunk and used pretty quickly by the body and has been shown in research to not satisfy hunger well. In many cases folks drink that extra 35 grams of carbohydrates along with a meal and it is simply added calories that they don't need. On the other hand, a half cup of dry oatmeal has about 25 grams of carbohydrate. This is a large serving and even with a teaspoon of sugar on top (4 grams carbs) this is not many more calories than the soda. It is, however, filling, satisfying, and really good for you. There's 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein and tons of vitamins and minerals. We know that in the case of diabetics eating oatmeal and other high fiber (good quality carbohydrate Continue reading >>
How Low Is Low Carb?
Many agree: People with diabetes should eat a low-carb diet. Last week we looked at what “carbs” are. But what is meant by “low?” How much carbohydrate should you eat? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, (PDF) recommend that healthy people get 50–65% of their calories from carbohydrates. A study posted on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Web site agrees. For a woman eating a below-average 2,000 calories a day, 50–65% would be 250–325 grams of carb a day. The Dietary Guidelines call for “a balanced diet that includes six one-ounce (28.3 g) servings of grain foods each day.” This would mean 170 grams of carbohydrate from grains alone each day. And the average American diet includes many other carb sources. Most men eat closer to 3,000 calories a day, so their numbers would be higher. Sixty percent of 3,000 would be 1,800 calories, equivalent to 450 grams of carbohydrate each day. Anything less than the recommended range is sometimes considered “low-carb.” Most popular low-carb diets, like Atkins, South Beach, Zone, and Protein Power, are much lower, from 45% of calories down to 5%. Many diabetes experts recommend somewhat lower carb intakes than ADA does. On our site, dietitian Jacquie Craig wrote, “Most people need between 30–75 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15–30 grams for snacks.” So that sounds like between 120 and 300 grams a day. Dr. Richard Bernstein, an MD with Type 1 diabetes and a long-time advocate of the low-carb approach to diabetes, suggests much lower intakes. He says eat 6 grams of carbs at breakfast, and snacks, 12 grams each at lunch and dinner. So that would be about 40 grams of carbs per day. If 12 grams per meal sounds like a small amount, it is. It’s about the amount in an average slice of bread. An Continue reading >>
Meal Planning Tips For People With Type 2 Diabetes
Putting It All Together If you have diabetes, SparkPeople highly recommends that you work directly with a Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator to receive comprehensive training in diabetes self-management. Together you can develop a diabetes meal plan based on your health goals, tastes, and lifestyle—as well as the latest guidelines for healthy eating. Below are examples of two different meal planning systems; your registered dietitian can help you decide which is best for you. 1. Carbohydrate Counting is the most accurate meal planning system for controlling blood sugar levels. Essentially, carbohydrate counting is a way to “budget” the amount of carbohydrate eaten at any meal or snack. This method allows you to choose any type of carbohydrate foods, as long as the portion size you choose allows you stay within your goal “budget.” In general, about half of your daily calories should come from carbohydrate foods. However, if you have diabetes, it is important to eat roughly the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal. Commonly recommended “budgets” are 30 to 45 grams (2 to 3 servings) of carbohydrate per meal for women and 45 to 60 grams (3-4 servings) per meal for men. Both women and men should limit snacks to 15 to 30 grams (1 to 2 servings) of carbohydrates. (Click here for a printable reference chart of carbohydrate servings.) Your Registered Dietitian will determine the right amount of carbohydrates for you, along with guidelines for protein and fat intake. In addition to carbohydrate budgeting, it is important to space your meals and snacks evenly throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable. Experts recommend waiting at least two hours (but no more than five hours) between meals and snacks during the day. This will help preve Continue reading >>
Achieving A 6.0 A1c By Eating 40 Grams Of Carb Per Meal
“6.0.” I didn’t think I heard him correctly. I asked my endocrinologist to repeat himself. “I said 6.0%. You’re A1C was 6.0%.” My mouth gaped in astonishment. Practically non-diabetic. The lowest A1C I have ever had in my 10+ years of type 1 diabetes. How Did I Do It? Over the past ten years since my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes, I would consider myself a “good diabetic.” That means multiple fingersticks a day, remembering to bolus at mealtimes, and an overall idea of what kinds of foods were entering my body. My A1C hovered between 6.8-7.4% — which my doctors thought was just fine. I had a strong desire to lower my A1C but nothing in the past seemed to significantly work. About a year ago, I began medical school and became inspired to take better control of my diabetes. I began doing a lot of reading on the subject and started to toy with the idea of lowering my carb intake. There have not been many (if any) conclusive studies on the effects of low-carb diets in type 1 diabetics, yet I had a hunch that something like that could be my long desired solution. I decided to perform a six-month-long clinical trial, testing the effects of a low-carb diet on a particular type 1 diabetic — me. The Rules I recognized that diabetes is a lifelong condition and that any new diet I would undertake would have to be sustainable over a long period of time. Many popular diets only allow minuscule portions of daily carbs and I knew that would not be maintainable long term. I didn’t want my diet to be unbearable and rebound. I therefore decided at the start that my diet was not to lose weight, and was not to start eating healthier. I allowed myself to eat cookies, cake etc. (although I did naturally end up eating more vegetables in order to stick to the rules of th Continue reading >>
Print The Carbohydrate Calculator estimates the percentage of carbohydrates a person should consume each day. While this estimate varies depending on a number of factors, the Institute of Medicine recommends that a minimum of 130 grams of carbohydrates be consumed daily for adults. Other sources recommend that carbohydrates should comprise 40-75% of daily caloric intake. Types of Carbohydrates Carbohydrates are one of three primary macronutrients that provide energy, along with fats and proteins. Carbohydrates are often classified as either simple (monosaccharides and disaccharides) or complex (polysaccharides or oligosaccharides), originally to create a distinction between sugars and other carbohydrates. However, there are many foods that contain multiple types of carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, which can make the classification of certain foods ambiguous. Although carbohydrates are not essential nutrients (nutrients required for normal physiological function that the body cannot synthesize), they are an efficient source of energy that can potentially reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes if consumed in controlled amounts.1 The three main types of carbohydrates are sugar, starch, and fiber: Sugars are the simplest form of carbohydrates and can be found naturally in fruits, dairy, and vegetables; they can also be found in processed form in candy, cookies, cakes, and many beverages. Starches are complex carbohydrates that can be found naturally in many types of beans, vegetables, and grains. Fibers are complex carbohydrates that can be found in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and many types of beans. Generally, complex carbohydrates have greater nutritional benefit than simple carbohydrates. Added sugars have little nutritio Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes – Know Your Carbs
It’s been a busy week for 17-year-old Lauren Stanford. She had powder puff practice, a Model United Nations meeting, soccer practice, and a dinner date with her dad. In between all these activities she still managed to go to the gym four times and work a few shifts at her part-time job. On top of all that, Lauren took time each day (as she does every day) to manage the carbohydrates in her diet. This is a major priority for Lauren because, since being diagnosed at age 6, she has been living with type 1 diabetes. Actively involved in JDRF’s Children’s Congress, Lauren is an advocate for diabetes awareness and a strong proponent for diabetes research. Diabetes: Know Your Carbs It’s important for people with type 1 diabetes to know how many carbs they eat. That way they can match their insulin dose with what they eat and ultimately have better control over blood sugar levels. Foods that are highest in carbohydrates are starches, fruits, and dairy, as well as combination-type foods like beans and rice, lasagna, and pizza. Non-starchy vegetables like carrots also contain carbs, but in smaller amounts (5 grams per serving). Each serving of starch, fruit, and milk contain 15 grams of carbs. A serving size can be one slice of bread, a small container of unsweetened yogurt or a 1/2 cup of strawberries. Protein and fat do not contain carbs. Lauren says she often overhears her friends talking about how many carbs are in different foods. “I want to interrupt and say there are way more carbs in them than you think!” she says. Lauren has had plenty of practice reading labels and watching portion sizes. Even though she now uses an insulin pump, which gives her a lot of flexibility with food, carb counting has stuck with her. She’s comfortable calling herself “a label r Continue reading >>
How To Count Carbs In 10 Common Foods
What are carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are sugar-based molecules found in many foods, from cookies to cantaloupes. If you have diabetes, planning your carb intake—and sticking to the plan—is critical to keep blood sugar on an even keel and to cut your risk of diabetes-related problems like heart disease and stroke. Whether or not you have diabetes, you should aim to get about half your calories from complex carbohydrates (which are high in fiber), 20-25% from protein, and no more than 30% from fat, says Lalita Kaul, PhD, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. How to read a food label The Nutrition Facts label lists the total amount of carbohydrates per serving, including carbs from fiber, sugar, and sugar alcohols. (If you're counting carbs in your diet, be aware that 15 grams of carbohydrates count as one serving.) Sugar alcohols are often used in sugar-free foods, although they still deliver calories and carbs. Sugar alcohols and fiber don't affect blood sugar as much as other carbs, because they're not completely absorbed. If food contains sugar alcohol or 5 or more grams of fiber, you can subtract half of the grams of these ingredients from the number of total carbs. (See more details at the American Diabetes Association and University of California, San Francisco.) How many carbs per day? If you eat 2,000 calories a day, you should consume about 250 grams of complex carbohydrates per day. A good starting place for people with diabetes is to have roughly 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal and 15 to 30 grams for snacks. While snacks are key for people with diabetes who use insulin or pills that increase insulin production (otherwise, they run the risk of low blood sugar), they aren’t essential for non-insulin users. The goal for anyone with diab Continue reading >>
Carbohydrate Counting 101
Carbohydrate Counting 101 There are several different ways people with diabetes can manage their food intake to keep their blood glucose (sugar) within their target range and one such method is 'carbohydrate counting'. Carbohydrate, or carb counting is a method of calculating grams of carbohydrate consumed at meals and snacks. Foods that contain carb have the greatest effect on blood glucose compared to foods that contain protein or fat. Before starting any new treatment or meal plan, you should always consult with your diabetes care professional. What are the benefits of counting carbs? ·Counting carbohydrates is a good solution for many people with diabetes. Once you learn how to count carbs, you’ll find it easier to fit a wide variety of foods into your meal plan, including combination foods such as those in frozen dinners. For example, by checking the grams of total carbohydrate on the Nutrition Facts label on a frozen dinner, you can figure out how to fit the dinner into your carb allotment for a particular meal. Many people find carb counting to be much easier than using a more traditional exchange meal plan. ·Another benefit of counting carbohydrates is that it can bring tighter control over your glucose readings. Being as precise as possible with your carb intake and medication will help you better manage your blood glucose after meals. ·Lastly, if you take mealtime insulin, counting carbohydrates allows you to decide how much carb you want to eat at a meal, rather than having to eat a certain amount of carbohydrates, even if you do not want to. Who can use carbohydrate counting? Carbohydrate counting can be used by anyone with diabetes, not just people taking insulin. This method is also useful for people who are using more intensive methods of adjusting i Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should A Diabetic Eat In A Day?
Diabetes affects the way the body metabolizes sugar. Whether you have type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, paying close attention to the amount of carbohydrates you're eating is critical. With proper planning and education, a healthy diabetic diet -- which includes carbohydrates in moderation -- is just as satisfying as a regular one. Video of the Day How Many Carbs Can Diabetics Eat? All foods that have carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels. But some carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels more than others. By keeping track of how many carbohydrates are in foods, diabetics are better able to control their blood sugar levels and subsequently manage their diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults with diabetes consume about 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal, which adds up to 135 to 180 grams of carbohydrates per day. Note that some individuals may need more or fewer carbohydrates. Consult a registered dietitian for an individualized recommendation. The three main type of carbohydrates include starches, sugars and fiber. Starchy foods, also known as complex carbohydrates, include peas, corn, beans, grains, whole wheat pasta, oats, barley and rice. Sugars can occur naturally -- in milk and fruit, for example -- or be added during processing. Common names for sugar include table sugar, brown sugar, honey, beet sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that passes through the intestine when you consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. The general recommendation is that adults consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Fiber offers an added benefit for diabetics, because it helps control blood sugar levels by slowing the release of sugar into the bloodstream after a meal. Carbohydrate C Continue reading >>
How Much Should I Eat Daily To Control My Blood Sugar Levels With Diabetes?
The types of food you eat, when you eat them, the timing of medications and even physical activity levels can all affect blood sugar levels. A good component to type 2 diabetes management is keeping your blood sugar levels under control as best as possible. The road to management can be a challenging and winding one. The day-to-day efforts you put in trying to ensure you maintain your target blood sugar levels, can sometimes seem like minute-to-minute efforts. You’ve learned how to check your blood sugar, what medications you should take, recommendations on what you should eat, but have you learned what foods work best for you and your blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels are the one consistent factor in diabetes management that everyone, including doctors can agree require more information on how to manage them more effectively. What’s The Big Deal on Blood Sugars? Type 2 diabetes happens when your body is no longer sensitive to the insulin, or it begins to develop a delayed response to the way insulin is secreted to change your blood sugar levels. Beyond the complications associated with diabetes, high blood sugar levels can gradually do damage to all the blood vessels in the body. Over a longer period of time, these elevated blood sugars and damage can lead to a bigger problem of the loss in sensation throughout the body, particularly in the legs and feet. This condition is known as neuropathy. Deterioration of your eyesight, reduced kidney function and an elevated risk for heart disease are also potential complications. For more information read these guides: Episodes of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar put those with type 2 diabetes at just as high of a risk for complications. Loss of consciousness, confusion, risk of seizures and potential brain damage when Continue reading >>
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How Many Carbs Should Your D-kid Eat Each Day?
Please remember that I never give medical advice. Ask your endocrinologist or pediatrician for advice about your own child. Make your own informed decisions for your own child. Dietary Guidelines I’m going to refer to the 2010 Health.gov dietary guidelines. The 2015 guidelines are forthcoming. I’m also going to use my own child’s age and gender when referring to the suggested calories and carbs. The following two tables I’ve taken from “Dietary Guidelines For Americans, 2010” linked to above and will call it “dietary guidelines” here. According to the dietary guidelines, “Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram.” For girls aged 9-13 they recommend 1,600-2,000 calories per day if they are moderately active. Of these calories, carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of those calories. Using these numbers, and if I did my math correctly, here are the two extremes and the middle: 1,600 calories x 45% carbohydrates (at 4 calories per carb) = 180 carbs per day 1,800 calories x 55% carbohydrates (at 4 calories per carb) = 247.5 carbs per day 2,000 calories x 65% carbohydrates (at 4 calories per carb) = 325 carbs per day So really, if my child is moderately active and eats between 180 and 325 carbs in a given day, we are within the recommended guidelines. My Thoughts Sometimes when we carb count a meal I’m amazed at how many carbs it is. For instance at Wendy’s if Q is particularly hungry, she might ask for a junior hamburger (25 CHO), small chili (16 CHO), value sized fries (30 CHO) and a junior frosty (32 CHO). And every time I think, wow, that’s a lot of carbs! A hundred and three, to be exact. But what are kids who don’t have type 1 diabetes having at that same meal? They probably aren’t going for the lower carb kid-size frosty! And they are prob Continue reading >>
The Gestational Diabetes Diet: Taking Carbs From A Pregnant Lady
When I decided, at age 40, that I wanted to try to have a child, I knew I faced a few elevated risks over younger women: first and foremost, I might not be able to conceive at all. I mentally prepared myself—as much as I could, anyway—for that and other possibilities, including the higher risk of the baby having a genetic defect. So far I’ve been fortunate. The one risk I hadn’t given much thought to—the higher chance of developing gestational diabetes—is the only one that has been a factor in my pregnancy. I’m fairly healthy, I have no history of diabetes in my family, and I try to eat well—lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and few highly processed junk foods. But older pregnant women—and that means even women as young as in their late 20s, believe it or not—can have a harder time regulating insulin, leading to increased blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes, if not controlled through diet and exercise, can cause high-birth-weight babies and potentially lead to delivery complications, as well as increasing the risk that the child will develop obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life. For the mother, there’s also the risk of high blood pressure and a higher likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. I haven’t been diagnosed with gestational diabetes so far. But because my blood sugar was a little high during my early glucose tolerance test (this is given to all pregnant women around 28 weeks, but women of my age are also sometimes tested earlier), I was advised to exercise more frequently and follow a low-carbohydrate diet, the same advice given to those with the diagnosis. The last thing a pasta-loving pregnant lady with a sweet tooth wants to hear is that she should cut out carbs. I have always been skeptical of the low-carb Continue reading >>
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Patient Education: Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus And Diet (beyond The Basics)
TYPE 1 DIABETES OVERVIEW Diet and physical activity are critically important in the management of the ABCs (A1C, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol) of type 1 diabetes. To effectively manage glycated hemoglobin (A1C) and achieve stable blood sugar control, it is important to understand how to balance food intake, physical activity, and insulin. Making healthy food choices every day has both immediate and long-term effects. With education, practice, and assistance from a dietitian and/or a diabetes educator, it is possible to eat well and control diabetes. This topic discusses how to manage diet in people with type 1 diabetes. The role of diet and activity in managing blood pressure and cholesterol is reviewed separately. (See "Patient education: High blood pressure, diet, and weight (Beyond the Basics)" and "Patient education: High cholesterol and lipids (hyperlipidemia) (Beyond the Basics)".) WHY IS DIET IMPORTANT? Many factors affect how well diabetes is controlled. Many of these factors are controlled by the person with diabetes, including how much and what is eaten, how frequently the blood sugar is monitored, physical activity levels, and accuracy and consistency of medication dosing. Even small changes can affect blood sugar control. Eating a consistent amount of food every day and taking medications as directed can greatly improve blood sugar control and decrease the risk of diabetes-related complications, such as coronary artery disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. In addition, these measures impact weight control. A dietitian can help to create a food plan that is tailored to your medical needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences. TYPE 1 DIABETES AND MEAL TIMING Consistently eating at the same times every day is important for some people, especially those w Continue reading >>