Reasons to increase carbs-- following the dieticians advice?

My father was recently diagnosed with (what we are currently assuming as) type 2 diabetes. As a person diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 21, I am still watching for signs of LADA/Type 1.5.

I just spent three weeks at home and talked to my Dad about his diabetes care a lot. Currently he is taking Metformin with breakfast and dinner. He is doing really well with his diet and exercise regimen. And his numbers were doing well (though seem to be creeping up a bit). He is eating relatively low carb, with 30-60g per meal and some 10g snacks in between. He eats healthy meals (and really watches his cholesterol too!).

This week he went to see the dietician-- she advised him that he need to increase his total carb intake as he is eating less than the “diabetic diet”. I have heard a lot of people express frustration with the advice that dieticians give to diabetics, encouraging a diet that makes it almost impossible to control blood glucose levels. BUT before i completely dismiss her advice (which my dad plans to follow for four weeks-- and document the effects), I wanted to ask you:

Is there any reason that this could be good for my dad? Is there any reason that a diabetic SHOULD increase their carbs (if they are not hungry, underweight, or having low blood sugars)???

I appreciate your advice as I am a little frustrated right now! Many thanks!

NO there is no reason for your dad to increase carbs.

Dietitians are still giving people the old low fat diet advice that has been completely discredited by dozens of quality studies. The ADA promotes high carb diets because it is funded by junk food companies and drug companies. The diabetic who eats a high carb diet is the diabetic who buys a lot of expensive meds.

If your dad sticks with his low carb diet he’ll be in great shape for years to come.

I’ve been eating between 65 and 110 grams for the last decade since my diagnosis. I have NO complications except the tendon problems I developed before I was diagnosed. My A1c is almost always in the 5% range.

My doctor keeps sending me for heart tests because as a diabetic of ten years standing he knows I “must” have heart disease by now. But I don’t. Every test I have had comes back fine.

I know dozens of people with Type 2 who have done low carb for years and have similar stories to tell. The people eating high carb diets and taking the drugs write about their neuropathy, their weight gain, their heart disease etc.

Thanks Jenny! I sent my dad your website and he learned a lot from there! So thanks for all you do!!!

My dad said that he wants to at least try her advice and see what happens. Since he checks his blood sugar regularly, I think that he will see that his numbers are higher, but he wants to at least try it…

Hopefully in four weeks, he will be back to his healthy, low carb diet that he was doing so well on!

These dietitians are so infuriating. They tell people outright lies. Someone posted elsewhere about the dietitian who told her–a Type 2 controlling with diet alone–that it was dangerous to have a blood sugar under 100 mg/dl!

Or they tell people that if they don’t eat 120 g of carbs their brain will stop working.

Or that they’ll get heart attacks from eating low carb.

Or that the protein will destroy their kidneys.

It’s all old wives’ tales. There is no data to support any of it. But they learned it in stupid dietitian school and they continue to tell it to patients. Doctors do too. And when you ask them to point to the evidence, they look at you like you have two heads since “everyone knows that.”

Thank God for the Internet.

Hi Kristin…I was going to write and ask how your father is doing. I’m glad to hear he is accepting the need for a healthy lifestyle, albeit with some confusion. It will be interesting to see what happens as he follows the dietician’s advice.

Amen. For the most part, dieticians are clueless and as low man on the medical totem pole completely cowed by drug reps and printed ADA propaganda.

Ruhl’s blog suggesting that we diabetics emmulate people with Lupus in mounting a legal challenge to the ADA is inspired. Thanks!


Actually it was people with Lyme Disease, but yes, we really do need to do something to stop the ADA claiming the authority to tell people with diabetes what to eat when their advice is so toxically influenced by their corporate sponsors, the drug and junk food companies!

–Jenny Ruhl

Lord, I can’t type. I meant to type Lyme disease – my brain was not engaged.

Get this one, my dietician is even more old school than your Dad’s. I’ve had D for 24 years, since I was 9. She still subscribes to the exchange system even though I’ve been pumping for 12 years and counting carbs succesfully with A1c’s between 5-7. Every visit she LECTURES me that I need more meat exchanges for breakfast. Are you freakin’ kidding me? I am the daughter of a triathlete. I was a competitive gymnasts. And you’re trying to tell me to eat more bacon and sausage? What’s so wrong with cottage cheese or p-nut butter? Woman, you’ve lost your mind.

Sometimes don’t you all feel like we could do their job better than they are?

I just returned from a transatlantic flight, and had requested the “diabetic” menu items for the meals… I couldn’t believe what they gave me! Breakfast consisted of a banana (fine), a small bagel with jelly (uh…) and a cup of OJ (!!!) – I was facing what looked to me like over 100 grams of carbs, JUST for breakfast! I then looked over at the lady next to me, whose regular meal was a sweet bun, a large bagel with spread, OJ, and sweet cracker/cookies. So I guess my meal was “low carb” in comparison to hers! Good Grief! from now on I take my own.

Wow! What airline was it?

I travel often and request diabetic meals- usually they have actually been healthier (though often not low carb). Instead of a small cookie, I got a huge apple (probably with twice as much carbs as the cookie), but still I get why they did that.

I usually request the meals, mostly so that the flight attendants know that I am diabetic in case of an emergency.

I too express your concern with the dietician increasing the amount of carbs. My doctor and dietician call me the Carb Queen, lol. I put myself on the Atkins Diet before I got the pump.
My insulin requirements drastically were reduced. There are many articles out there with the notion that Carbohydrates may be linked to cancer. This concerns me. Nothing factual, just listening to the health news and journalists. I can say that when I went on Atkins, every ache and pain, and sleeplessness stopped!! Dead in its tracks. You have to keep increasing carbs, and, as a nurse, I must add that you need Carbs as a diabetic, or if you eat too much protein, it will do harm to your kidneys. So,I would watch the results, I think the amount of carbs your father was eating is a fair amount. Let me know his progress. My mother as well is taking P. O. meds for her diabetes, she does fair, but has had no teaching other than myself.

A Delta International flight (Atlanta - Munich). The trip back was just as bad.

I know that it is popular to have a low carb diet so I asked my MD why the controversy. He said that diabetics have to be easy on their kidneys as they become easily damaged from high blood glucose levels. Therefore, a high protein diet is not the best diet and hard on our kidneys. Also we should have a varied diet covering all the vitamins and minerals that we need to be healthy.
Be well and God Bless you and your family

I hate to be a crumudegon, but the thought that diabetics need to avoid a “high protein” diet to spare their kidneys has been shown to be in error. Will list links to three recent peer-reviewed medical journals presenting findings favoring a lower carbohydrate, higher protein way of eating for successful management of diabetes.

Hi, Kristin. I can’t say too much about the atkins diet or low carb at this time. However, I can tell you my experience with the ADA approved diet. when I was diagnosed 18 months ago, I was going to follow this diet, and be a good boy.
when I started it, my BS was spikeing pretty goodm but not too bad and my appetite was reasonable After starting it, my spikes almost doubled, my basal BS began to creep up, and my appetite was out of control. Three months later, Doc added metformin and that helped with the spikes and appetite. My A1C went down to 6.2, but didn’t stay there long. The next quarterly A1C was 6.6. and the last one was 7.2. At that time, She started me on glipizide. Immediately, it gave me the huge appetite and on this stuff my appetite was neartly uncontrollable. After a month, I decided glipizide was causeing more harm than it was helping and I did an experiement. I drank a Dr. Pepper. Normally, it would send my BG into the 200’s, but this time it sent me into the 400’s and it stayed over 280 for the remainder of the day.
Sorry, I am rambling. the point is the low carb diet has been effective in reducing my appetite and BG.

hope this is helpful.

Hi Kristin

My endo’s office just got a new dietitician–(I really didn’t like the old one, so this was good news for me). Anyways, when she looked at my charts, she suggested I eat more carbs/calories. Since I have two young children, she said I am probably doing a lot of running around. I took it with a grain of salt.