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 >>
Excess protein can mean excess calories and fat. It's best to get what you need from low-fat protein sources like lean meats, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products, and tofu. Protein is an essential part of your diet — and your body. But too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Most meats have fat as well as protein. So excess protein from animal sources can mean excess calories and fat — which means a greater chance at gaining weight. Proteins are found in: Poultry Fish and shellfish Eggs Dairy products, like cottage cheese and regular cheese Plant-based proteins, like beans, nuts and tofu The best advice about protein? Get what you need from low-fat protein sources like lean meats, poultry and fish, low fat or nonfat dairy products, and vegetarian protein sources like tofu. How much protein do I need each day? For most people with diabetes, the amount of protein you need is the same as for people without diabetes. The National Institutes of Medicine recommend protein should typically provide 10-35% of total calories. The average intake for adults in the U.S. and Canada is about 15% of total calories. For most people, this amounts to 6 to 8 ounces of lean meat, poultry or fish daily. Think of a 3-ounce portion of protein as the size of a deck of playing cards. Aim for including roughly two of these in your diet daily. If you have kidney problems, you may need to limit how much protein you eat. Excess protein can make kidney damage worse. Your registered dietitian can help select the amount of protein that is right for you. Are All Proteins Created Equal? The source of protein is something else to consider – because some proteins are higher in calories and fats than others. Saturated fats and cholesterol are found in many protein-rich foods, contributing to bl Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Should A Person With Diabetes Eat?
How Much Protein Should a Person With Diabetes Eat? Protein itself does not have much of an effect on blood sugar levels, though the food the protein is in may. Typically, people with diabetes don't need any more protein than people who don't have diabetes. There are, however, times when less protein isbetter. Protein is one of three essential macronutrients; the other twoare fat and carbohydrate. These are needed in large amounts to maintain health and vital functions. The body uses protein to build, repair, and maintain most of your body's tissues and organs. Proteins are also necessary for immune system function and they help some additional physiological processes. As long as your kidneys are healthy, about 15 to 20 percent of your daily calories should come from protein. This is the same amount suggested for a balanced non-diabetic diet. About 45 to 50 percent of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates and the rest should come from fat. A person who needs 2,000 calories per day needs about 75 to 100 grams protein per day. It would be more accurate, however, to use the standard formula of 0.8 grams protein per kilogram of body weight. To do the kilogram conversion, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, that is equal to 68 kilograms. Divide that by 0.8 and you get a protein goal of 85 grams. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines , it is recommended to eat 5 1/2 ounces of protein-rich food each day. Foods that are high in protein include meat, fish, seafood, chicken, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds. One-half chicken breast has 29 grams protein A 3-ounce portion of steak has 26 grams protein When choosing proteins for a diabetic diet, the concern is more with the fats and carbohydrates that these foods Continue reading >>
Protein Controversies In Diabetes
Diabetes SpectrumVolume 13 Number 3, 2000, Page 132 Marion J. Franz, MS, RD, LD, CDE In Brief People with diabetes are frequently given advice about protein that has no scientific basis. In addition, although weight is lost when individuals follow a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet, there is no evidence that such diets are followed long-term or that there is less recidivism than with other low-calorie diets. People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who are in poor metabolic control may have increased protein requirements. However, the usual amount of protein consumed by people with diabetes adequately compensates for the increased protein catabolism. People with diabetes need adequate and accurate information about protein on which to base their food decisions. In the United States, ~16% of the average adult consumption of calories is from protein, and this has varied little from 1909 to the present.1 Protein intake is also fairly consistent across all ages from infancy to older age. A daily intake of 2,500 calories contributes ~100 g of protein—about twice what is needed to replace protein lost on a daily basis. Excess amino acids must be converted into other storage products or oxidized as fuel. Therefore, in theory, the excess ingested protein could, through the process of gluconeogenesis, produce glucose. This would mean that 100 g of protein could produce ~50 g of glucose. This has been the basis of the statement that if about half of ingested protein is converted to glucose, protein will have one-half the effect of carbohydrate on blood glucose levels. However, this belief has been challenged.2-4 Protein controversies exist either because research has not provided conclusive answers or because professionals are not aware of the research. This article will review Continue reading >>
Fat Grams—how Much Fat Should You Eat Per Day?
By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE Fat is an important part of your diet, but figuring out how much to eat can be confusing. Over the last 50 years, everyday diets have gone from moderate-fat to low-fat, based on recommendations from health organizations. However, the 2015–2020 US Dietary Guidelines no longer specify an upper limit for how much total fat you should consume. This article takes a detailed look at different types of fat and provides suggestions for how much to eat per day. What Is Fat? Along with protein and carbs, fat is one of the three macronutrients in your diet. You consume fat in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride molecule is made up of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone. The fatty acids contain chains of carbons and hydrogens. One way fats are classified is by the length of their carbon chains: Short-chain fatty acids: Fewer than 6 carbons. Medium-chain fatty acids: 6–12 carbons. Long-chain fatty acids: 13–21 carbons. Very-long-chain fatty acids: 22 or more carbons. Most of the fats you eat are long-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids are mainly produced when bacteria ferment soluble fiber in your colon, although milk fat also contains small amounts. Long-chain and very-long-chain fats are absorbed into the bloodstream and released into the body’s cells as needed. However, short-chain and medium-chain fats are taken up directly by the liver to be used as energy. Bottom Line: Fats are one of the three macronutrients. They are absorbed from food and used by the body for energy and other functions. Functions and Benefits of Fat Fat performs a number of functions and provides several health benefits: Energy: Fat is an excellent energy source. It provides 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbs each provide 4 calo 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 >>
Can You Put A Number On Carbs?
I'd appreciate learning about how many grams of carbohydrate I should eat as a guideline to keep my glucose numbers normal. Continue reading >>
Protein And Diabetes
Tweet Protein is one of the three main energy providing macronutrients, along with carbohydrate and fat. It helps the body to grow new tissue, therefore helping to build muscle and repair damage to the body. Protein is also a constituent part of each cell of our bodies and makes up approximately a sixth of our body weight. Protein and blood glucose In addition to helping the body grow, protein can also be broken down by the body into glucose and used for energy (a process known as gluconeogenesis). Protein can be broken down into glucose by the body and the effects are more likely to be noticed if you are having meals with less carbohydrate. Protein is broken down into glucose less efficiently than carbohydrate and, as a result, any effects of protein on blood glucose levels tend to occur any where between a few hours and several hours after eating. People with type 1 diabetes, or type 2 diabetes on insulin, may need to bear the effects of protein in mind if having a largely protein based meal. It’s best to learn how your sugar levels react to such meals so that you can judge the right insulin requirements. How much protein should I be eating? The UK Food Standards Agency has a sliding scale for recommended protein intake, varying by age: 1 to 3 years: 15g 4 to 6 years: 20g 7 to 10 years: 28g 11 to 14 years: 42g 15 to 18 years: 55g 19 to 50 years: 55g Over 50 years: 53g Some diets, such as the Zone diet, advocate eating an amount of protein in proportion to your lean body mass (body weight minus body fat). Can protein be bad for you? A number of studies have found there to be correlations between intake of red meat and the development of type 2 diabetes and cancers (including lung cancer liver cancer and notably bowel cancer). The studies found that if people were con Continue reading >>
Are Protein Shakes Ok For People With Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease where the body cannot maintain normal levels of blood sugar, and blood sugar levels go too high. Blood sugars that are too high can cause symptoms such as dry mouth, increased thirst, frequent urination, tiredness, and increased urination at night. High blood sugar levels over time can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels. What people eat has a huge impact on their blood sugars. Carbohydrates found in foods cause blood sugar to go up. Foods that digest slower cause a slower rise in blood sugar, which is helpful for those with diabetes. But what about protein shakes? What is protein? The three essential macronutrients found in food are protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Protein helps to maintain, rebuild, and repair muscle. Protein is also a building block for the skin, nails, bones, and even blood. It makes up hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. Protein in foods has staying power because it digests slower than carbohydrate. Proteins do not raise blood sugar. Periods of growth, such as during infancy and pregnancy, need more protein. Protein needs are also raised for people with injuries, those who have had surgery, or active people. Most people, including those with diabetes, are looking for healthy options to grab on the go like protein shakes or bars. While it is important to rely on packaged food products as little as possible, it is smart to have some healthier options in mind when needed. The problem with protein shakes is that they often have lots of artificial ingredients and can have as much sugar as soda. Protein requirements The total amount of protein consumed in a day is important, but so is how that intake is spread out over the day. Many people will consume a small amount at breakfast, a moderate amount at lunch, and a lar Continue reading >>
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10 Diabetes Diet Myths
Have you heard that eating too much sugar causes diabetes? Or maybe someone told you that you have to give up all your favorite foods when you’re on a diabetes diet? Well, those things aren’t true. In fact, there are plenty of myths about dieting and food. Use this guide to separate fact from fiction. MYTH. The truth is that diabetes begins when something disrupts your body's ability to turn the food you eat into energy. MYTH. If you have diabetes, you need to plan your meals, but the general idea is simple. You’ll want to keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Choose foods that work along with your activities and any medications you take. Will you need to make adjustments to what you eat? Probably. But your new way of eating may not require as many changes as you think. MYTH. Carbs are the foundation of a healthy diet whether you have diabetes or not. They do affect your blood sugar levels, which is why you’ll need to keep up with how many you eat each day. Some carbs have vitamins, minerals, and fiber. So choose those ones, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Starchy, sugary carbs are not a great choice because they have less to offer. They’re more like a flash in the pan than fuel your body can rely on. MYTH. Because carbs affect blood sugar levels so quickly, you may be tempted to eat less of them and substitute more protein. But take care to choose your protein carefully. If it comes with too much saturated fat, that’s risky for your heart’s health. Keep an eye on your portion size too. Talk to your dietitian or doctor about how much protein is right for you. MYTH. If you use insulin for your diabetes, you may learn how to adjust the amount and type you take to match the amount of food you eat. But this doesn't mean you Continue reading >>
Healthy Carbs For Diabetes
1 / 9 Making the Best Carb Choices for Diabetes "When you say 'carbohydrate,' most people think of sugar," says Meredith Nguyen, RD, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Methodist Charlton Medical Center Diabetes Self-Management Program in Dallas. But that's only half the story. Carbohydrates are also starches and valuable fiber, which are found in many nutrient-rich foods that should be part of a diabetes diet. Sugar is the basic building block that, depending on how it's organized, creates either starches or fiber. You need about 135 grams of carbohydrates every day, spread fairly evenly throughout your meals. Instead of trying to avoid carbs completely, practice planning your diabetes diet with everything in moderation. "There's nothing you can't have," Nguyen says. "The catch is that you might not like the portion size or frequency." Use this list of healthy carbohydrates to help you stay balanced. 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 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 >>
How Much Protein
My husband is just diagnosed Diabetes 2 and I have learned that it is probably good to eat protein along with the carbohydrate to help keep glucose under control. Until he can get advice from the doctor, can someone tell me how much is enough protein? Does he need a certain number of protein grams per serving of carbohydrate? Or does he just need to have "some"? There is already protein in oatmeal; is that enough or does he need to add some on the side? Most Diabetes Dietitions suggest eating a blanced diet. Read up on that. I weigh about 185 lbs and my dietition suggested a max of 180 carbs a day for me. I don't know if the two are related. In actual practice I usually eat about 40 per meal for a total of about 120 a day. Initially I wsa eating the Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers frozen meals so I could get an idea of carb count from the label and an idea of portion sizes. I keep a daily log showing my AM and PM Glucose readings, weight, and the carbs and calories I eat in each meal. If I just wing it I get lost and eat too many carbs and calories. I allow myself an occasional "crazy day". For the last couple of years my A1c clucose readings have been on the 6.1-6.3 range Continue reading >>