Posted by: karen | 2012/11/13


Carb intake

My dad is a diabetic and inject himself daily the doctor send him to a dietician and told him to count his carbohydrades but did not tell him how much he must use per day because previously he injected to much insulin and got fatter and fatter now by counting the carbs still does not make sense to me if he eats 90g of carb per day he really needs to lose weight Please can you help me to give them the correct eating plan i said not more than 50g of carb per day is more than enough for him he is 72 years of age weight is 118kg and not active at all.

Expert's Reply


Diabetes expert

Dear Karen
At the age of 72 your father is not for tight glucose control as this would cause more problems than good. The aim would be to keep his HbA1C between 7.5 to 8.5% which would mean his fasting glucose levels should be about 7 and after meal readings of less than about 12. If his levels are in this range, then he doesn't require more treatment in terms of glucose lowering. For weight loss, the current SA guidelines suggest that one can use a low fat, low carb or Mediterranean diet. When it comes to weight loss, then it is the amount of calories that matter most as opposed to the type of calories. I would be very hesitant and certainly very careful in a 72 year old on insulin using a low carb diet, as there would be a high risk of hypoglycemia, and he would need to be monitored very carefully. When looking at the amount of carbs, I also wouldn’t go lower than 50g as this would be in the ketogenic range, and hence would suggest about 100g.

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