19 Responses

  1. Why I Don’t Love Low-Carb
    Why I Don’t Love Low-Carb August 6, 2008 at 6:32 am |

    [...] Original Diabetes Mine – the all things diabetes blog [...]

  2. Sara
    Sara August 6, 2008 at 6:40 am | | Reply

    I think I want that shirt!

  3. tmana
    tmana August 6, 2008 at 7:38 am | | Reply

    I’m Type 2 and I don’t particularly buy into low-carb, either. Lower carb, yeah — just like lower fat and lower calories, where adiposity is an issue. Healthy carbs, now, is an issue I can very much get into. Lots of fresh fruits, fresh veggies, a moderate amount of whole grains and legumes…

  4. mollyjade
    mollyjade August 6, 2008 at 8:00 am | | Reply

    I think we need a different term than low carb. When people ask, I say I eat a “managed carb” diet. I eat more carbohydrates than the low carb people, but I put a lot of thought into what kinds, how much, and when.

  5. Rachel
    Rachel August 6, 2008 at 8:01 am | | Reply

    I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    As a type 2 who has come to enjoy exercise, I find I can’t do the low-carb thing without struggling to finish a workout. I need whole grains and fruit to get through my day (but not at breakfast thanks to the dawn phenomenon) and through the workouts I expect of myself.

    And my husband agrees, too, I’m sure. Eating a moderate number of carbs at each meal tends to keep his blood sugar levels more stable throughout the day.

  6. Scott K. Johnson
    Scott K. Johnson August 6, 2008 at 8:18 am | | Reply

    Word up Amy T!

  7. Cheerleader
    Cheerleader August 6, 2008 at 8:26 am | | Reply

    True, true, true. My experience as a child, whose most pleasurable memories revolved around marshmallow roasts on bonfires, cobblers made from fresh-picked blackberries, warm slices of homemade bread dripping in butter, and hand-churned icecream, or heck–just a cone from the icecream truck…what can I say, those carefree days are gone forever. But…there is pure beauty to a char-roasted artichoke dribbled with olive oil, a piece of hot cornbread, ripe sliced tomatoes, tender green beans, winter squash soup with ginger, onions, garlic and coconut milk…the list goes on and on. But to be able to enjoy a steaming bowl of sticky rice, and then seconds…it sucks, it does, when this is not a realistic option without having to shoot up on double amounts of insulin. What has become important, for me, is to still enjoy food, even if it means putting more time and effort, and it goes without saying, money, into it. It’s just a pity that they can put a man on the moon, but they can’t find a cure for this disease. It can be totally frustrating. I just try to stay positive. Still trying.

  8. Rian
    Rian August 6, 2008 at 10:50 am | | Reply

    I am so tried of nutritionism. My design educator will tell me to “eat low-carb” and then two seconds later to “keep my cholesterol down”. All the while pondering her pizza and ice cream lunch plans. If you cannot eat carbs and you cannot eat things containing cholesterol your left with iceberg lettuce with all the flavor of crunchy water.

    My weight is not a problem and my cholesterol is perfectly fine for a non-diabetic. So my solution has been to not worry about the carbs or the cholesterol and focus on eating good quality food. I use meat and protein for flavor instead of as the base of meals and have had a lot of success.

    The best encouragement I have had was talking through two books with my wife. We both read Michael Pollan’s books “The Omivore’s Dilemna” and “In Defense of Eating”. And the ideas have served us incredibly well. There was some initial frustration as whole chunks of the grocery store where eliminated, but as I realized those where the foods that contained the most ingredient complexity, the harder foods to calculate, I felt more in control.

    The best part is I’m not on some weird fad diet that everyone instinctively knows is out of whack. I’m eating simple food and enjoying it for a change instead of feeling like it is a chore.

    Now if only the medical community would stop trying to pimp pharmaceuticals I don’t need.

  9. George
    George August 6, 2008 at 10:51 am | | Reply

    I love that shirt and I agree 100%!

  10. Leah
    Leah August 6, 2008 at 11:15 am | | Reply

    I agree too. It sucks! Like you, I was diagnosed in my 30′s (only 1.5 years ago) and I must say the food adjustments were and still are my biggest issue. Not that I binged on carbs before, but I think it’s my God given right to be able to have pizza and beer on a Friday night without having this huge guilt over me. And I find now I want things I never wanted before just b/c I think I can’t/shouldn’t have them. Pancakes from IHOP, cinnamon rolls from those bad placed in the mall/airport, bread pudding. Ahhh, it is torture.

  11. Florian
    Florian August 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm | | Reply

    I cut back on carbs when I started on my Animas 2020 pump with Apidra in order to get “normal blood sugar numbers”….. 100 +/-50 for me, while trying different settings for basal rate, I:C ratios, Insulin Sensitivity, etc. I was hoping to use the ezCarb and ezBG buttons to calculate insulin boluses to meet my BG target of 110. As it turns out I went from 184 lbs to 174 lbs in about a month on my reduced carbs eating plan. So then I tried the “no white Carbs” eating plan and substituted low glycemic index carbs for all the high glycemic carbs. Now things are working well and with weight resistance training I am adding some lean muscle and putting the weight back.

  12. Bonny C Damocles
    Bonny C Damocles August 6, 2008 at 6:43 pm | | Reply

    Believe it or not, since two weeks after my diagnosis as a type 2 in July 1991 (my diagnosis fasting sugar reading was a sky-high 468 mg/dl), I have been eating unrestricted amount of heart-healthy carbs (fresh fruits, vegetables, basmati rice, pasta, beans, nuts). During the first 2 weeks after my diagnosis was the time I discovered that running the stairs (exercise) a total of 2 hours/day (4 to 6 sessions, 1 before each meal and 1 before bed) was the perfect medication for my t2d. Surely, my unavoidable after-meal sugars have always been high but they were fast and short-lived. Every time I take a sugar reading 2 hours before my next meal, it is always in the normal range.

    The 2-hour daily total of exercise was later reduced to 45 minutes, then increased to 1 hour and lately increased to 80 minutes/day.

    More than 17 years later, I have no diabetes complications yet. In fact, I feel healthier, stronger, and much younger than my actual age of 72.5. All my A1c’s were from a low of 5.3% to a high of 6.3%. The one I got on June 3, 2008 was 5.7%.

  13. vicki
    vicki August 6, 2008 at 8:10 pm | | Reply

    Being diabetic means making choices. Type 1s have more options than type 2s because we CAN eat those carby things if we dose properly for them. But I try to keep Dr. Bernstein’s adage in mind: Small amounts, small mistakes. I haven’t eaten rice or pizza since my type 1 diagnosis 10+ years ago — but then, I never ate a lot of those foods before diabetes, anyway.

    A “standard” dose of insulin, as prescribed by many doctors, isn’t likely to allow for carby foods without high spikes resulting, but if you know how to dose to carbs, it can be done.

    For type 2s trying to control with diet and exercise, careful carb watching is essential if you want to avoid complications. For type 2s on pills, you still need to be very, very careful.

    I still stay away from bread, cakes, cereals. But yes, I do like fruit and I eat a limited amount and dose insulin matched to carbs.

    The sneaky thing about diabetes is, you can indulge yourself now and the consequences won’t show up for years. But once they’ve arrived, there’s no turning back.

    Personally speaking, my sight and my kidneys and my heart health mean more to me than instant gratification with “forbidden” foods. But that’s just me.

  14. Tink
    Tink August 6, 2008 at 10:16 pm | | Reply

    Totally in agreement. THe biggest problem that I have with a low carb diet, is that I start craving carbs so bad that eventually, I’ll gorge – obviously not a good thing, so I have to keep it in check. But, it really does suck a lot of the time. Especially when going out to eat. Everything is concentrated on low fat, low calorie – I don’t care about that. Maybe I should open a low carb restaurant.

  15. LaurenK
    LaurenK August 6, 2008 at 10:54 pm | | Reply

    I eat tons of carbs and have a very good under-6 A1c. I am a vegan so it’s pretty much all carbs all the time for me, with the exception of salads and tofu dishes.

    Low-carb usually means high protein and high fat — and those are dangerous. High protein taxes the kidneys, and thins bones, which is especially serious for diabetics. High fat hastens any number of cardiovascular complications, which we all know. Our bodies are designed to run on glucose. It’s the preferred fuel of the body and the ONLY fuel of the brain. I will never buy the argument that carbs are not healthy.

  16. D
    D August 8, 2008 at 5:24 pm | | Reply

    Hey, LaurenK–what’s your evidence for high fat hastening cardiovascular complications?
    I find the basic theory of low-carb eating compelling–That is, that man hasn’t evolved to eat large quantities of carbs on a daily basis. The neo-lithic revolution occurred only 10,000 years ago, and much less in some parts of the world, which is arguably too little time for the human body to have adapted to digest carbs from grains. And our body wasn’t designed, of course!–it adapted and evolved, and your liver can secrete glucose for the brain even if you’re only eating fats (great for the brain) and protein and limited amounts of carbs.
    Bonny–Interesting about the stair climbing. I know exercise is essential and it’s always cool to hear how different people get it done.

  17. Jimmy Moore
    Jimmy Moore August 11, 2008 at 1:21 pm | | Reply

    THANKS for your honesty on this, Amy. But my reasons for low-carbing go much deeper than mere weight loss. Sure, I don’t have the same issues of controlling my blood sugars like you do being a Type 1 diabetic and neither am I a Type 2. But I do have an out-of-control insulin problem that goes crazy when I consume too many carbohydrates for my body and that high insulin in turn leads to weight gain and other health problems. If embracing a controlled-carbohydrate dietary approach helps keep all of that in check, then I can’t help but be excited about it and wanting to tell the whole world what this way of eating has done for me (and will do for them!). Again, THANK YOU for being so open about how you truly feel. I’ve found over time that all those foods I thought I could never live without are a distant thing of the past. Here’s hoping you get there, too!

  18. Lauren
    Lauren August 12, 2008 at 7:30 pm | | Reply

    D, the liver does not have an unlimited ability to “secrete” glucose. When carbohydrate intake is severely restricted and your glycogen stores are gone, ketosis sets in. Also, while certain types of fats (omegas 3 and 6) are thought to be beneficial to the brain, the recommended daily amounts are comparatively small, slightly over a gram. Also, I don’t know a single heart attack patient who has been advised to follow a high-fat high-protein diet. Diets that promote cardiovascular health are low-fat, vegetarian, and high-fiber.

    Humans first domesticated animals in the neolithic era, and certain populations evolved the ability to digest animal milk (the enzyme lactase) between now and then. I’d argue that even before the neolithic era humans were eating lots of carbohydrate, especially in the form of fruit.

    Carbohydates are part of a healthy diet, for diabetics and non-diabetics alike.

  19. D
    D August 12, 2008 at 10:09 pm | | Reply

    Lauren–I don’t think heart attack patients should set the standard for what most humans, especially diabetics, should eat. The evidence in support of a low-fat, vegetarian, high-fiber diet is not at all conclusive. In a major study of heart attack risk, involving over 40,000 women, the results showed that “reducing the amount of fat in your diet INCREASES your risk of cardiovascular disease.”* Another study shows that it’s high blood sugar–not high cholesterol–that correlates with increased rates of heart attack.***
    It’s true that the accepted wisdom is that fat is bad, that carbohydrates are good, etc., but show me the evidence. Archeological data suggests that humans became shorter, more diseased, more malnourished, and lived shorter lives upon adopting an agricultural diet and lifestyle rich with carbs.** Humans live longer lives today, sure, but it is substantially due to mitigation of natural threats and the rise of modern medicine–and not because we’ve all begun to start our days with a bowl of Wheaties.
    Some human populations have adapted to digest lactose, and others seem to have adapted to eat some grains, but let’s not get carried away here. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that carbohydrates in non-small numbers cause a wide variety of health problems, again, especially among diabetics (and pre-diabetics).
    I am still trying to understand what a diabetic should eat, but my sense is that eating more than small quantities of carbohydrates everyday does more harm than good.


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