Low-Carb Diet and Blood Glucose Levels - Diabetes Health Page

Low-Carb Diet and Blood Glucose Levels

By Gabriela | Diabetes

Low-Carb Diet and Blood Glucose Levels

Diabetes is a disease that makes it more difficult, and even sometimes impossible, for the body to process carbohydrates effectively. When we consume carbs normally, the body breaks them down into small parts of glucose, which later becomes blood sugar.

According to studies, a low-carb diet can help keep blood sugar levels in check. In fact, long before the discovery of insulin, low-carb diets were a standard way for people to treat this chronic condition. And, these diets seemed to have a lasting effect.

But, only if the patient adhered to the diet. In one research, participants with type 2 diabetes focused on consuming a low-carb diet for a span of 6 months. In addition, they managed to control their condition for three days.

Furthermore, a similar study had people with type 1 follow a low-carb diet. Those who managed to adhere to the diet for 4 years, managed to improve their blood sugar levels significantly.

How Much Carb is Enough?

The ideal intake of carbs for people with poor blood glucose control is a slightly controversial topic. According to research, people drastically improved their blood sugar levels and lost weight when they restricted themselves to 20g of carbs per day.

However, different research shows that a moderate restriction of carbs, like 70 to 90 g, can also be an effective way to treat the disease. But, it all depends on the body’s tolerance.

What to Eat and Avoid

For those who want to follow a low-carb diet, here are the foods they should focus on. Firstly, it is important to consume high-quality whole foods. These foods can help the body deal with the cravings and keep it full regardless of what they are currently eating.

Foods to Eat

Make sure to consume plenty of proteins in every meal. Here is a list of some of the best protein-rich foods:

Foods to Consume in Moderation

We can eat the following foods but in moderate quantities. We have to consider our personal carb tolerance before we consume more than the recommended amounts of these foods.

  • Cottage cheese (half a cup);
  • Flax or chia seeds (two tablespoons);
  • Berries (one cup);
  • Dark chocolate with a minimum of 85% cocoa (30g);
  • Greek yogurt plain (one cup);
  • Liquor (1.5oz);
  • Peanuts and nuts (30-60g);
  • Winter squash (1cup);
  • White or dry red wine (4oz).

To make up for the lost sodium, eat olives, broth, or other low-carb foods that are salty.

Therefore, feel free to add salt to meals. However, those who have heart, kidneys, or blood pressure problems should make sure to consult with a doctor before increasing the amount of salt in their diet.

Foods to Avoid

Because of carbs they contain, these foods can drastically increase the blood sugar levels. As a result, we recommend that people with high blood sugar levels stay away from these foods.

  • Baked goods;
  • Beer;
  • Bread;
  • Candy;
  • Cereal;
  • Corn;
  • Desserts;
  • Fruit other than berries;
  • Ice cream, etc;
  • Juice;
  • Legumes, such as lentils, peas, and some beans;
  • Milk;
  • Pasta;
  • Punch;
  • Soda;
  • Starchy vegetables;
  • Sweetened tea.

Consult With a Doctor Before Changing the Diet

When we restrict the number of carbs in the body, there will probably be a significant reduction in the blood sugar levels. As a result, insulin and medications are necessary to keep them under control.

If our medications, including insulin, are not properly adjusted for this diet, it could increase the risk of hypoglycemia. Therefore, it is crucial to take medications and insulin to keep our blood glucose levels in check.

Therefore, it is important to speak with a doctor before starting a low-carb diet.