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 Many Carbs For Type 1 Diabetics?
If you have type 1 diabetes, you should be eating extremely low carb, right? This keeps your insulin requirements to a minimum and assures the best possible blood sugar control, according to intuition and the personal experience of many PWDs. But guess what? New research does not agree. Yesterday, diabetes nutrition expert Hope Warshaw sent me an email flagging a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which concludes that — get this — "Among intensively treated patients with type 1 diabetes, diets higher in fat and saturated fat and lower in carbohydrate are associated with worse glycemic control, independent of exercise and BMI." The researchers, including Dr. David Nathan of DCCT fame, followed 532 subjects for five years in this study, the first to closely examine "the association of diet composition with subsequent HbA1c concentrations" in Type 1s who use insulin in various quantities throughout the day. The substitution of fat for carbohydrate was associated with higher A1c levels, about a full percentage point, if I'm reading the study correctly. Both Warshaw and the study authors seem to indicate that this data lends credence to the ADA recommendations that between 45% and 60% of a diabetic's diet should be carbohydrates. WtF?* * Excuse my language again, but can it really be that we're all totally misled in our knowledge (belief?) that low-carb=better BG control. I think not. I printed out the study and took a copy with me to my endo appointment yesterday. She looked the document over and chuckled. Research is so nebulous, we agreed. "You can find all sorts of associations supporting contradictory hypotheses," she said. Ain't it the truth! But here's the really smart thing she said: "The way that carbohydrates effect people with di Continue reading >>
What To Eat When You Have Type 1 Diabetes
It's important to eat a healthy diet when you have type 1 diabetes. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy tasty food, including some of your favorites. With type 1 diabetes, your body stops making insulin. So you take insulin every day either through shots or a pump. It’s also key to track your blood sugar levels. Insulin is only part of the picture. Diet and exercise also play important roles in helping keep your blood sugar levels stable. When you make healthy food choices and eat consistent amounts through the day, it can help control your sugars. It can also lower your chance of diabetes-related problems like heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. Some experts used to think there was a "diabetes diet." They thought people with diabetes had to avoid all foods with sugars or stop eating certain other foods. But when you have type 1, you can eat the same healthy diet as everyone else. Follow some general guidelines: Eat less unhealthy fat. Cut back on the saturated fats you find in high-fat meats like bacon and regular ground beef, as well as full-fat dairy like whole milk and butter. Unhealthy fats raise your chance of heart disease. With diabetes, you face higher-than-average odds of getting heart disease. Make smart food choices to lower that risk. Get enough fiber. It may help control your blood sugar. You can get fiber from whole grains, beans, and fruits and vegetables. Try to get 25-30 grams a day. Those high-fiber foods are always better choices than low-fiber carbs such as refined 'white' grains and processed sugary foods. Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. You get them from many foods, like grains (pasta, bread, crackers, and cookies), fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and sugars. Carbs raise your blood sugar levels faster than Continue reading >>
Carbohydrates And Diabetes
en espaolLos carbohidratos y la diabetes Keeping your blood sugar levels on track means watching what you eat, plus taking medicines like insulin if you need to. Your doctor may also have mentioned that you should keep track of how many carbohydrates (carbs) you eat. But what exactly are carbohydrates and how do they affect your blood sugar? The foods we eat contain nutrients that provide energy and other things the body needs, and one of these is carbohydrates . The two main forms of carbohydrates are: sugars such as fructose, glucose, and lactose starches, which are found in foods such as starchy vegetables (like potatoes or corn), grains, rice, breads, and cereals The body breaks down or converts most carbohydrates into the sugar glucose . Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, and with the help of a hormone called insulin it travels into the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. People with diabetes have problems with insulin that can cause blood sugar levels to rise. For people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas loses the ability to make insulin. For people with type 2 diabetes, the body can't respond normally to the insulin that is made. Because the body turns carbohydrates into glucose, eating carbohydrates makes blood sugar levels rise. But that doesn't mean you should avoid carbohydrates if you have diabetes. Carbohydrates are a healthy and important part of a nutritious diet. Some carbohydrates have more health benefits than others, though. For example, whole-grain foods and fruits are healthier choices than candy and soda because they provide fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients. Fiber is important because it helps you feel full and keeps your digestive system working properly. In fact, eating lots of fiber can even help to slow the body's ab Continue reading >>
Treatment Of Diabetes: The Diabetic Diet
The mainstays of diabetes treatment are: Working towards obtaining ideal body weight Following a diabetic diet Regular exercise Diabetic medication if needed Note: Type 1 diabetes must be treated with insulin; if you have type 2 diabetes, you may not need to take insulin. This involves injecting insulin under the skin for it to work. Insulin cannot be taken as a pill because the digestive juices in the stomach would destroy the insulin before it could work. Scientists are looking for new ways to give insulin. But today, shots are the only method. There are, however, new methods to give the shots. Insulin pumps are now being widely used and many people are having great results. In this Article Working towards obtaining ideal body weight An estimate of ideal body weight can be calculated using this formula: For women: Start with 100 pounds for 5 feet tall. Add 5 pounds for every inch over 5 feet. If you are under 5 feet, subtract 5 pounds for each inch under 5 feet. This will give you your ideal weight. If you have a large frame, add 10%. If you have a small frame, subtract 10%. A good way to decide your frame size is to look at your wrist size compared to other women's. Example: A woman who is 5' 4" tall and has a large frame 100 pounds + 20 pounds (4 inches times 5 pounds per inch) = 120 pounds. Add 10% for large frame (in this case 10% of 120 pounds is 12 pounds). 120 pounds + 12 pounds = 132 pounds ideal body weight. For men: Start with 106 pounds for a height of 5 foot. Add 6 pounds for every inch above 5 foot. For a large frame, add 10%. For a small frame, subtract 10%. (See above for further details.) Learn More about Treating Type 2 Diabetes The Diabetic Diet Diet is very important in diabetes. There are differing philosophies on what is the best diet but below is Continue reading >>
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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 >>
Low Carb For People With Type 1 Diabetes
Putting type 2 into remission with low carb Low-carbohydrate diets can be very beneficial for people with type 1 diabetes . Reducing carbohydrate intake can help to largely eliminate the spikes and crashes in sugar levels that are common on higher carb diets. Whilst low-carb diets may not be for everyone, those that maintain the diet tend to achieve very good blood glucose control and enjoy a renewed sense of confidence and well-being. A pioneer in the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets for type 1 diabetes is engineer-turned-physician Dr. Richard K. Bernstein. Low-carb diets can also help children that are overweight to lose weight and reduce the risk of developing chronic health problems including type 2 diabetes and heart problems. Bernsteins approach is based around his law of small numbers which states that that smaller doses of insulin will result in smaller errors of judgment and therefore improved blood glucose control . To illustrate his approach, if you inject 10 units of insulin to cover your lunch but make up to a 25% error, you could end up injecting up to 2.5 units too many or too few which could lead to much too high or low blood sugar levels . By contrast an injection of 4 units of insulin with the same error would result in on over- or under-dose of up to 1 unit. In this case, any error wont be as problematic or dangerous as it would be for the 10-unit dose. We all have different needs and lifestyles so its best to find a level of carbohydrate that works well for you. For example, one person may wish to continue eating some starchy foods, such as bread and rice, but in smaller quantities and may therefore aim for a carbohydrate intake of 100-150g per day. Another person may wish to cut out starchy foods altogether, particularly if theyre wanting to lo Continue reading >>
Carbohydrate Controlled Diets
Tweet One area of confusion for diabetics and their diets is carbohydrates. So, should you eat carbohydrates or avoid them? Carbohydrates have a direct influence on blood sugar levels and so diets followed by people with diabetes tend to focus either on the quantity of carbohydrate intake or the speed at which carbohydrates are absorbed by the body. In the UK, patients diagnosed with diabetes are generally recommended by health professionals to follow a low GI diet rather than a low-carb diet. What is a carbohydrate controlled diet? A carbohydrate controlled diet is a diet in which carbohydrate intake is either limited or set at a particular value. Setting carbohydrate intake at set values or limits can be used by people with diabetes help stabilise blood glucose levels. Examples of carbohydrate controlled diets include: Fixed carbohydrate intakes A diet involving fixed intakes of carbohydrate through the day can help to simply diabetes control and may be helpful to people on insulin, and particularly those on fixed dose insulin regimens. Having a fixed intake of carbohydrate each day offers less flexibility in terms of meals but can offer more consistency over blood glucose control. People with type 1 diabetes will still need to have competence in carbohydrate counting. Restricted carbohydrate diets Restricted carbohydrate diets set a limit on how much carbohydrate you take in over the course of a day or for each meal. Low carbohydrate diets are a form of restricted carbohydrate diet. Restricted carbohydrate diets may specify a maximum value of carbohydrate intake. However, sometimes this is not needed, particularly if the diet suggests avoiding many of the kind of foods with higher carbohydrate intakes. How do restricted carbohydrate diets work? Restricting carbohydra Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes Nutrition
If you have type 1 diabetes , it is important to know how manycarbohydratesyou eat at a meal. This information helps you determine how much insulin you should take with your meal to maintain blood sugar (glucose) control. Carbohydrates are the main type of food that raises blood sugar. The starch, fruit and milk groups of the Food Group Pyramid for Diabetes are high in carbs. Foods in the Other Carbohydrates and Combination Food groups are also high in carbs. The vegetable group has a small amount of carbohydrates. The meat and fat groups have few or no carbs. The amount of carbohydrates you eat at each meal will determine how high your blood sugar rises after the meal.The other two major nutrients, protein and fat ,also have an effect on blood glucose levels, though it is not as rapid or great as carbohydrates. Most people with diabetes can control their blood sugar by limiting carbohydrate servings to 2-4 per meal and 1-2 per snack. A delicate balance of carbohydrate intake, insulin, and physical activity is necessary for the best blood sugar (glucose) levels. Eating carbohydrates increases your blood sugar (glucose) level. Exercise tends to decrease it (although not always). If the three factors are not in balance, you can have wide swings in blood sugar (glucose) levels. If you havetype 1 diabetesand take a fixed dose of insulin, thecarbohydratecontent of your meals and snacks should be consistent from day to day. Weight and growth patterns can help determine if a child with type 1 diabetes is getting enough nutrition. Changes in eating habits and more physical activity help improve blood sugar (glucose) control. For children with diabetes, special occasions (like birthdays or Halloween) require additional planning because of the extra sweets. You may allow your ch 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 & Diabetes
What is carbohydrate counting? Carbohydrate counting, also called carb counting, is a meal planning tool for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Carbohydrate counting involves keeping track of the amount of carbohydrate in the foods you eat each day. Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients found in food and drinks. Protein and fat are the other main nutrients. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, and fiber. Carbohydrate counting can help you control your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, levels because carbohydrates affect your blood glucose more than other nutrients. Healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, are an important part of a healthy eating plan because they can provide both energy and nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, and fiber. Fiber can help you prevent constipation, lower your cholesterol levels, and control your weight. Unhealthy carbohydrates are often food and drinks with added sugars. Although unhealthy carbohydrates can also provide energy, they have little to no nutrients. More information about which carbohydrates provide nutrients for good health and which carbohydrates do not is provided in the NIDDK health topic, Diabetes Diet and Eating. The amount of carbohydrate in foods is measured in grams. To count grams of carbohydrate in foods you eat, you’ll need to know which foods contain carbohydrates learn to estimate the number of grams of carbohydrate in the foods you eat add up the number of grams of carbohydrate from each food you eat to get your total for the day Your doctor can refer you to a dietitian or diabetes educator who can help you develop a healthy eating plan based on carbohydrate counting. Which foods contain carbohydrates? Foods that contain carbohydrates include grains, such as b Continue reading >>
How Many Carbs Should A Diabetic Eat?
Figuring out how many carbs to eat when you have diabetes can seem confusing. Meal plans created by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) provide about 45% of calories from carbs. This includes 45–60 grams per meal and 10–25 grams per snack, totaling about 135–230 grams of carbs per day. However, a growing number of experts believe people with diabetes should be eating far fewer carbs than this. In fact, many recommend fewer carbs per day than what the ADA allows per meal. This article takes a look at the research supporting low-carb diets for diabetics and provides guidance for determining optimal carb intake. Glucose, or blood sugar, is the main source of fuel for your body's cells. In people with diabetes, the body's ability to process and use blood sugar is impaired. Although there are several types of diabetes, the two most common forms are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that allows sugar from the bloodstream to enter the body's cells. Instead, insulin must be injected to ensure that sugar enters cells. Type 1 diabetes develops because of an autoimmune process in which the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells, which are called beta cells. This disease is usually diagnosed in children, but it can start at any age, even in late adulthood (1). Type 2 Diabetes Type 2 diabetes is more common, accounting for about 90% of people with diabetes. Like type 1 diabetes, it can develop in both adults and children. However, it isn't as common in children and typically occurs in people who are overweight or obese. In this form of the disease, either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body's cells are resistant to insulin's effects. Therefore, too much sugar stays 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 >>
Straight to the Point It’s important to keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a ‘diabetes diet’. With the help of your health care professionals, you can tailor your insulin treatments to suit your diet and lifestyle (you can still eat out and be spontaneous when you have type 1 diabetes!) and ensure that your blood glucose levels stay in control. A key component of managing your insulin regime is learning ‘carb-counting’. That’s because you need to match your insulin intake to your carb intake to ensure that you achieve the target range for blood glucose levels. Everyone’s insulin-to-carb ratio is different, and your health care professionals will help you figure out how many units of insulin you need for each ‘exchange’ of carbs. An ‘exchange’ is normally 10 or 15 grams of carbs, or a third of a cup of cooked pasta, two taco shells, 250ml of milk, or a slice of sandwich bread. Counting all the exchanges in a meal will help you decide how much insulin to take with each meal. Example: Jane’s health care professional recommends an insulin regime of one dose of long-acting insulin at night, and short-acting insulin for meals and corrections. She is recommended to have two units of insulin per exchange of carbs that she eats. For breakfast, Jane has two Weetbix (three exchanges) in 250ml of milk (one exchange) and a medium-sized banana (one and a half exchange). To cover this meal, Jane injects eleven units of insulin to match her insulin intake to her food intake. The important thing to remember is that carb-counting and insulin-to-carb ratios are different for everyone. Your health care professional can recommend the best insulin program for you. Want to learn more about carb counting and other type 1 diabetes topics? Continue reading >>
To best control your blood sugar: Do not skip meals. Counting calories might be something you’ve already done at one time or another in your life. Counting carbohydrates may be something new to you. So why is counting carbohydrates so important when you have diabetes? Counting carbohydrates: Keeps you in control of your blood sugar Keeps you in balance with with your medication or insulin dose Keeps you in control of food portions to manage your body weight How much carbohydrate do I need each day? Carbohydrates are measured in units called grams. Grams are a measure of weight. The total grams or amount of carbohydrate you need each day depends on your calorie goals, activity level and personal preferences. Carbohydrates generally provide 45-65% of your daily calories. For most people with type 1 diabetes, this ranges from 150-250 grams of carbohydrate a day. How you distribute this carbohydrate throughout the day can also make a difference in your blood sugar. To best control your blood sugar: Eat three meals a day, roughly 4-6 hours apart. Do not skip meals. Try to consistently eat the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal. Your registered dietitian can help you choose a carbohydrate goal and daily meal plan that keeps your food, medication and physical activity in mind. How much carbohydrate is found in the foods I eat? There are many resources you can use to count carbohydrates: The American Diabetes Association Exchange Lists for Meal Planning: Choose Your Foods lists grams of carbohydrate per exchange serving size. In this system, one carbohydrate exchange serving equals 15 grams of carbohydrate. Carbohydrate counting and food composition books are available. These resources can also be found online. Some cookbooks are available that provide nutrition informa Continue reading >>