Diabetes - Type 2 Community
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Can Eating Too Little Carbs Cause Problems

Hi, This is my second post.  After days of tears I decided I need to fight for this disease.  This morning I had a piece of bread + soy milk + almond.  I think it would be around 10g of carbs.  I took one cup of blueberries 2 hours later.  My lunch consisted rice and vegi and tofu, esimated to be 20-25 carbs.  After lunch I had some almonds and 1 cup blueberries.  For dinner I will have about 35 carbs rice and vegi and chicken.  I will walk 30 mins after that.  Am I taking too little carbs.  What problems will it cause by having too little carbs?  If I keep doing this forever will I have diabetes complications?  I think I consider myself pre-diabetes at this point and yet I need to be confirmed by the doctor. Thanks a lot.
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559053 tn?1274916974
Why we need carbohydrates http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&hs=Lkg&q=why+we+need+carbs&btnG=Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

Avatar universal
Um, I will avoid the whole "need carbs" vs "need no carbs" argument for this post... but... with diabetes, it really is important to have a clear idea of what one is eating in terms of nutritional content and carbs especially, and regular self-testing to see how those carbs change your blood sugar. If the amounts of food you listed are correct, then the amount of carb you estimated seems to be very low (example, your breakfast; I would estimate that one slice of bread at 15 carbs on its own...)  Regardless, the best way to "know" how what you are eating is having an effect is to test your blood sugar ... for at least two weeks, keep a diary of what you eat, and record your blood sugar tests, including "fasting" meaning within an hour of waking up (before eating anything) and then testing everytime before you eat, one hour after, and two hours after... and that will really clue you in to what foods "work" for your body and what doesn't...  I *know* that stinks (trust me) but there's really no other way to seriously figure out what foods help or hurt...
Avatar universal

I agree with Pete919 that they only way you will know for sure what effect various foods are having on your blood sugar levels is to test. Of course you need carbohydrates in your diet!  The question is what type and how much.  

You mention bread and rice, but you do not say what type of bread and rice.  If they are not *whole grain* (eg whole grain bread and brown rice) you are missing the fiber and many other vital nutrients found in complex carbs, and practically guaranteeing a rapid spike in blood sugar.

For breakfast, add a tablespoon of nut butter (almond butter is more nutritious and more easily digested vs. peanut butter) to your whole grain toast, or a slice or two of lean turkey bacon or turkey sausage.  What about eggs?  They are an excellent inexpensive protein source.

Also, blueberries are a great fruit, and high in antioxidants, but again, add some variety.  Blackberries, for example, have the most fiber of almost any fruit.  If you can't get fresh, buy them frozen.  Add a half cup to hot whole grain cereal, such as oatmeal, and sprinkle with some chopped almonds and a dash of soy milk.

It's very important to include a balanced amount of fiber, healthy fats and lean protein in every meal, along with carbohydrates.  This will help you keep your blood glucose levels even, you will feel more satisfied, and you will certainly be healthier.  

Is there a reason you are eating so much rice?  Even if it is brown rice, I would vary this more.  Also include a small handful of nuts in your diet every day - excellent source of fiber, minerals, and healthy fats.  

Hope this helps!  - Vonalda Utterback, CN
Avatar universal

Thanks so much for your information.  I read an article that eating too little rice cause major diseases such as cancer.  I eat brown rice and all wheat bread.  For the past two weeks I have lost 4 or 5 pounds so I am 110 pounds now and 5.3" for height.  However, I feel dizzy most of the time.  I am thinking I overdo myself.  I eat little and walk half or one hour each day. I tested one time when I was dizzy and the reading was 91(I ate something at the grocery store before that. The meter makes me very nervous so I try not to test often).  I am wondering what cause my dizziness. My blood pressure has always been very low, such as 90/60.  Does diabetes cause low blood pressure?  Also I am thinking if I should lose more weight, like another 5 pounds.  Does that help?  I am as thin as before pregnancy however I have some mid-body fat that I did not have before.

Avatar universal
Hi I am a Registered Dietitian, Are you on any meds?     Have you taken any fasting blood glucose tests?   What is your concern for Diabetes?  
Avatar universal
Yes, eating too little carbs can mess with our brains / circadian clock, our metabolism and any autoimmune processes going on. Yes, you should have your a1c checked and do a postprandial test too. When determining how much calories you need use the mifflin  st jeor equation which is considered the most accurate then from here you calculate your macros. Meaning what percentage will your diet be fat, protein, and carbs. A good diet for the prevention and management of DMT2 is the Mediterranean diet. This diet is 50% carbs and then you can play around with your fat and protein intake giving one 20% and/ or one 30%. Your macros have to equal 100%.
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231441 tn?1333896366
Low carb diets can work very well for managing diabetes.  Low carb diet can have carbs amount as low as about 5% of 20 - 30 g of carbs per day.  These carbs will come mostly from non-starchy veges.

You can check out Dr Richard Bernstein Diabetes University on U-tube.    You can also check out keto groups such as ketogains, which focus on adequate protein, limiting carbs, and healthy fats for energy balance.  

There is no essential requirement for carbohydrates (it is just Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen).  There are essential fatty acids (fats) and essential amino acids (proteins) which must be consumed from food.

Bottom line is eat a variety of unprocessed natural foods.  Get enough protein.  If you are diabetic avoid sugars and excess carbs.  You can use your blood sugar meter to determine how much carbs you can handle.  Normal blood sugars should be in the range of 70 - 120 (3.8 - 6.6), with sugars mostly being in the 80s and 90s (4.4s - 5.0s ).  
15242955 tn?1534442061
I am diagnosed with Diabetes type2 by a board  certified endocrinologist.    I was told about  the glycemic index.   Basically the lower on the index safer for diabetics to eat.  IOW The low gycemic  food won't raise your  blood sugar as much as a high glyecemic index food.       Most complex carbs are low and simple carbs are high.  
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The only concern that I have for diabetes is that I never get it, and so far, so good. :)
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A good starting place for people with diabetes is to have roughly 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal. Not enough carbs can mean low blood sugar, which can lead to hypoglycemia. ... If you don't have enough glucose (energy) from carbs to burn, your body will start burning fat.
Too much insulin is what causes low blood sugars, not too little carbs.   Burning fats for energy (dietary or body) instead of large amounts of carbs is a very safe tool for managing diabetes.   Continual intake of carbs drives high insulin levels for people with insulin resistance; this may then cause lows... the management should be cutting carbs (and eating foods that do not stimulate such a strong insulin response)… to give more stable blood sugars.

I am T1Diabetic.  I eat 5 to 12 g of carbs for my 3 meals a day and I do not snack.   I also eat about 120g of protein and about 75g of fat each day, mostly from unprocessed natural foods (meats, eggs, nuts, cheese, unsweetened greek yoghurt).  I also eat a wide range of non-starchy vegetables and non-sweet fruits (eggplant, zucchini, green beans, cucumber, capsicum).   I do not eat starchy veges, sweet fruits, grains, added sugars, or milk.  I have been doing this for 10 years now and am going strong.

I use insulin; about 30 units a day.  I rarely get low blood sugars (and have not had a low blood sugar requiring assistance in 10 years) because I balance my insulin against the foods that I eat, and my a1c is typically at about 5.0.

There is no absolute requirement to eat 45 to 60 g of carbs per day.  In fact if I ate this much carbs I would continually be chasing high blood sugars (it is very hard to accurately dose insulin for 45 - 60 g of carbs, and to also match the digestion) and then trying to avoid subsequent lows.

I focus on foods that have protein and naturally occurring fats.  So certainly my body is burning fats preferentially to carbs.  However, I am not worries about restricting carbs because I know that my body, aside from the small amounts of carbs I eat, can also make all of the glucose that it needs from protein.

Cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. are all normal on this way of eating.  

ADA has recently released a new consensus statement that acknowledges that low carb diet is an effective management approach (combined with appropriate meds).

Hope this helps!
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