Ideal blood sugar diet

What is your ideal diet for blood sugar? How much do you restrict carbs? Do you limit fat? I have been following a semi-Atkins-type diet and haven’t been restricting my fat. I no longer like this. I find that if I have fat before exercise, the exercise is not very effective at bringing down my blood sugar. There’s a theory that if the fat is being imported into muscle cells, the muscle cells don’t use glucose for energy so the glucose stays high. Sometimes too I think that I actually have better glucose control if I have a few carbs.

What works best for you?


I don’t know what the “ideal diabetic diet” is, and I think you will get as many answers to that as you have diabetics, from the Bernstein low-carbers, to the “eat whatever you want and bolus for it” to the high fat proponents and low fat proponents. It certainly depends if you have weight you need/want to lose or not and your age. But I think Dave brings up a good point to that the even given the variations in our beliefs about the “ideal diabetic diet” is that ideal one we can live with? While I personally feel the “eat whatever you want and bolus for it” is a way slippery slope, I also feel you have to be happy and comfortable with how you eat and it has to be sustainable.

For me with many years recovery from an eating disorder I absolutely must enjoy my food and I find I CAN do this at the same time I’m keeping my blood sugar under control. Most of the time I’m just within the carb range that Dave mentions above and when I occasionally go over it isn’t by too much. I’d say I’m a moderate when it comes to fat. I believe there are more health considerations that diabetes especially for us older folk and I believe in being kind to my arteries so I eat lower fat for some things such as low fat milk (makes better foam for cappuchinos anyway!), fat free yogurt and mayo. I use olive oil to cook with. I’m vegetarian so that eliminates fat from animal products. But I do love butter and I adore cheese. My favorite weekend treat breakfast is eggs benedict with asparagus and tomatoes and the hollandaise sauce is about as high fat as it goes. (that is the breakfast that exceeds the 30 grams carbs too). What’s the “ideal” diabetic diet? The one that keeps your bg in target more of the time than not and the one you can live with and enjoy.

Avoid saturated and trans fats? Yes. Research shows that diets high in saturated fats and very low in carbs actually contribute to insulin resistance (not a major problem for most type 1s, but why do anything that might encourage insulin resistance?) But the monounsaturated fats in olive oil, canola oil, and nuts are good for us.

The only thing that’s helped me is low carb. Before this, I was all over the place with highs & lows. I pretty much stick to 35 carbs a day, with the lowest carb meal being at breakfast because of dawn phenonmenon. I eat lean animal protein, lots of veggies, cheese & nuts. My diet is moderate fat. Before being diagnosed I was a vegetarian for decades, but despite every effort I couldn’t eat a vegetarian diet & have decent BG.

DN is still a child so we do not restrict carbs. Certain foods do not effect her blood sugar negatively, and not all these foods are healthy! Some healthy foods negatively effect blood sugar – think fruit. We don’t limit fruit, just serve it last and bolus a little more for it or add it in when her insulin peaks (one hour, 20 minutes). We limit the worst offenders. I would say her diet is similar to those on Weight Watchers, everything is allowed, in moderation. We limit fat in her diet as much as possible, switch out Quinoa pasta instead of regular pasta (goes right through her, no spike, and we actually have to give her 15 extra free grams of carbs per serving), try to mix the Glycemic index of her foods (not all low GI, a mix at every meal). We do not usually feed her over 70 grams at one sitting, though, for dinner, and breakfast lunch and snack are in the 30 to 50 gram range.

I must be the crazy one…I shoot for 340 carbs a day. I recently tried Weight Watchers, which my wife is one. I lasted 2 days before throwing that (system) in the garbage.

So I’ve gone back to counting exchanges, calories, and carbs. It’s working for me, so far… I also do a lot of cycling, so I need the energy. I like to drink milk, eat tortillas, fresh fruit, avocados/guacamole, etc. So many great, carbalicous flavors out there I’m not willing to give up.

Cheers all, Mike

Hi Dave,

My last A1C was a 7.2, which is up from what it had been: I’ve been between 6.1-6.7 since starting on the pump in January '08. Prior to pumping, I’d been up in the 8’s and 9’s for A1C. My recent 7.2 has forced me to re-examine what I’m doing: I’ve only been counting carbs since going on the pump. I’ve now adding calorie counting to help keep me in line, and I’ve reverted to counting exchanges, to insure I’m eating a balanced meal.

As for the riding, I try to ride around 100 miles a week. I get about 50 of that commuting to/from work (at least until our vicious ND winter sets in). The rest I do on the weekends.

Cheers, Mike