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Question
Posted by: Lorin | 2011/09/07

Diabetic Low-carb

Hi DietDoc

I am was diagnosed in Aug 2011, and are working hard to get my blood-sugar under control. I am an engineer, and have decided to use my scientific mind to help. What I have done is to test my glucose before, 1 hour after and 2 hours after each meal, writing down what I ate. Observing the results I have found that if a limit my carb intake, I manage to keep my BG under 6. I aim to eat between 50-100g of carbs per day, and it works! I even lost 5 kg over the last month! (I must say I am obese, starting weight 125kg, 167cm height) I am also on 500mg Glucophage 1 per day.

Yesterday I joined the gym. I want to start spinning classes, I aim to cycle the 94.7 next year.

I need some advice on what to snack before and after spin class?

What I currently eat is:
Breakfast: 2 eggs boiled or Plain Yoghurt and whey protein drink. (I have tried oats sweetened with Xilitol, sends my BG > 7.5)
Snack: Strawberries / berries and Mixed nuts. (I try not to eat fruit other than berries as it seems to drive my BG sky high > 7.5)
Lunch: Meat and veggies / tuna salad / biltong and salad
Snack: Protein bar / biltong (no fat) / Cookies (home-made with egg, ground almonds, peanut-butter and xilitol)
Dinner: Veggies and meat.
Snack: Whey protein shake / cookies as above.

Hope to hear from you soon

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Lorin
I am sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with diabetes (type-2 I presume?). Eating a very-low-carb diet will keep your blood glucose levels low, but the problem is that the human 'machine' runs on carbs as a primary energy source even if you are diabetic. So I am concerned about the following: a) Will this diet you are using provide you with enough energy to start doing intensive exercise? b) Are you not ingesting more kJ than required for weightloss (that latter should improve your BG and other symptoms), c) Are you going to develop deficiencies of nutrients such as vitamin C and certain B complex vitamins? d) Is you intake of 'hidden' fat from the protein not going to exacerbate raised blood fat levels which often accompany diabetes, e) Will you get severely constipated if you don't ingest any dietary fibre? All these concerns are addressed by what is know as a low-fat, low-glycaemic index (GI) diet which is usually prescribed for patients with diabetes or insulin resistance (IR). Such a diet contains appreciable amounts of low-GI carbs which would provide you with fuel for exercise, dietary fibre to prevent constipation, B complex vits, etc. However, the application of the low-fat, low-GI diet can be tricky which is why it is essential for all patients with diabetes or IR to consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will help you get acquainted with the low-fat, low-GI diet and also explain how to distribute the low-GI carbs over the day so that you do not lack energy. For your own sake, please consult a registered dietitian. To read more about the GI and diabetes, click on 'Diet’nFood' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index'. Also click on ‘Food as Medicine' on the Diet Site and then on ‘Type 2 diabetes’.
Do start doing exercise as soon as possible, but first check with the doctor who diagnosed your diabetes as to what type of exercise you are allowed to do.
Holding thumbs that you can start losing and will be able to control your blood glucose and energy levels with a more balanced diet.
Best regards
DietDoc

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Lorin | 2011/09/07

I forgot to add,

I am currently breastfeeding my 10 month old son. I do drink about 3 cups of decaf coffee a day (splash of milk no sugar)

I am currently not exercising, but wanting to start spinning tomorrow.

Reply to Lorin
Posted by: DietDoc | 2011/09/07

Dear Lorin
I am sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with diabetes (type-2 I presume?). Eating a very-low-carb diet will keep your blood glucose levels low, but the problem is that the human 'machine' runs on carbs as a primary energy source even if you are diabetic. So I am concerned about the following: a) Will this diet you are using provide you with enough energy to start doing intensive exercise? b) Are you not ingesting more kJ than required for weightloss (that latter should improve your BG and other symptoms), c) Are you going to develop deficiencies of nutrients such as vitamin C and certain B complex vitamins? d) Is you intake of 'hidden' fat from the protein not going to exacerbate raised blood fat levels which often accompany diabetes, e) Will you get severely constipated if you don't ingest any dietary fibre? All these concerns are addressed by what is know as a low-fat, low-glycaemic index (GI) diet which is usually prescribed for patients with diabetes or insulin resistance (IR). Such a diet contains appreciable amounts of low-GI carbs which would provide you with fuel for exercise, dietary fibre to prevent constipation, B complex vits, etc. However, the application of the low-fat, low-GI diet can be tricky which is why it is essential for all patients with diabetes or IR to consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will help you get acquainted with the low-fat, low-GI diet and also explain how to distribute the low-GI carbs over the day so that you do not lack energy. For your own sake, please consult a registered dietitian. To read more about the GI and diabetes, click on 'Diet’nFood' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index'. Also click on ‘Food as Medicine' on the Diet Site and then on ‘Type 2 diabetes’.
Do start doing exercise as soon as possible, but first check with the doctor who diagnosed your diabetes as to what type of exercise you are allowed to do.
Holding thumbs that you can start losing and will be able to control your blood glucose and energy levels with a more balanced diet.
Best regards
DietDoc

Reply to DietDoc

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