The "right" amount of carbs

I did read his book years ago and couldn’t stand it at the time (I don’t generally like books that try to “push” one be-all-end-all perspective on the reader), but maybe it’s worth taking another read now that I’m more receptive to the idea of low carb.

As annoying as the pump is, my control on the pump is actually a LOT better than my control was before. I have a major dawn phenomenon and on Lantus the only way to have any semblance of control over my morning readings was to get up every night at 3 AM and take some Humalog, and I also used to have frequent overnight lows if I exercised the day before. On the pump my morning readings are almost always in range even if the rest of my day continues to be a bit chaotic (though, again, not as chaotic as on shots). I think if I ever did shots again I would have to figure out some combination of Apidra, Levemir (wasn’t available when I was on Lantus), and NPH to control my morning blood sugars … but right now the idea of going back to something like that makes me shudder. :slight_smile:

I have heard several people say they don’t eat wheat, but my question is if you don’t eat wheat, what do you eat other than meat and veggies? I already don’t have a lot of dairy—sometimes I’ll have yogurt, but I don’t drink regular milk at all other than sometimes in lattes (like yesterday), and I do have a bit of half and half in my coffee (I’d like to be able to drink that black someday!).

The other reason to lower carbs is to avoid being as big as I used to be?

I don’t eat anything other than good quality meat, fat, and veggies. This way of eating is so healthy and satiating that I only need two meals and a small snack per day. (You can eat more if you like - I just find it more convenient and it just happens to work for me.) I feel much better eating this way then I ever did eating wheat and grains, and the good blood sugar management is just another fantastic side affect. I no longer have acne, I lost weight, sleep better, no longer have allergies, and the list goes on and on.

If you’re turned off by Bernstein’s approach, I also highly recommend you read The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson, and The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. Both offer great insight as to why to avoid wheat - there are reasons ten times more than just being diabetic, and it might give you a broader understanding as to what food does to your body. Both books are actually fun to read as well.

And, by all means, if you’re getting better control on the pump than stick with it! That’s great!

I liked Gary Taubes’ “Why We Get Fat”. Although it doesn’t realy talk too much about diabetes, it is pretty breezy reading and was very interesting to me as a I liked the “history of science” perspective.

Tricky question. Eating “lower carb” (i.e., under 150g/day) has generally resulted in my BGs being more stable. But by “more stable” I mean having numbers that are consistently under 220. Before switching to a lower-carb diet, I was frequently spiking upwards of 300 after some meals and crashing hard, especially when I ate things like bread, rice, or pasta. The numbers you show are, for me, a good day - no serious lows, and no really crazy highs. I find it really hard to get through the day without having to give myself at least one correction.

The other benefit I’ve found to sticking to a lower-carb diet is that my lows come on slower and are easier to detect. Personally, I think what happens is that when we T1s try to eat a “normal” diet (i.e., one high in carbs with things like bread, rice, and pasta), the margin for error is just too big. If I bolus for a meal containing 75g carbs, I am far more likely to make a mistake in the carb counting and am therefore more likely to have a serious low later on. In addition, foods like bread, rice, and pasta digest slowly and cause spikes hours later. If I have these foods, I’m often chasing highs and lows for hours. For me, this was not only causing a really nasty glucocoaster ride, but was also resulting in weight gain, because I was then treating lows when I wasn’t even hungry.

I’m reading “Why We Get Fat” right now (per your recommendation, I think!) and will check out the other books. I like reading widely on a subject and then I can choose myself what I think is right instead of being “told” by an author.

Part of the reason I’m trying to eat lower carb is to try and lose weight (I seem to be—very slowly but it’s at least something). I was just hoping it would also improve my BGs more. I agree that when I eat more carbs I spike into the 250+ range pretty regularly and at least I’m not having that, but I find it almost impossible not to go over 200 or under 70 (or, more often, both) in a day. And I KNOW I shouldn’t compare myself to others but I look at many people here who say they stay between 80-120 over 80% of the time and have an A1c of 5.5% and I’m just like, how can they do that when I’m finding it almost impossible just to meet a goal of 70-200 each day and an A1c around 6.5?

I know I shouldn’t compare, but it drives me crazy sometimes! Especially because often when I’ve posted to various forums venting about it, at least half the responses are always, “Eat fewer carbs.” So I think I’m just finding it doubly frustrating that even THAT doesn’t seem to make much of a difference for me. I’ve had many people say I should just settle for whatever level of control I can achieve with reasonable effort, and that makes sense to me because I don’t want to go crazy … but it’s MUCH easier said than done. It’s like telling a student they should be satisfied with C+'s as long as they are putting in their best effort, when they see everyone else around them getting A’s with that same level of effort. Easy to say, hard to do!

But I am determined to stick to it and to give it a good run (and hopefully the weight loss will continue).

I so understand what you are saying/feeling, Jen. I just read another post about someone staying between 78 and 83 (slight exaggeration) and wanted to yell, “you don’t have MY diabetes!”. I have posted on here before about the fact that there is something ineffable I call “the luck of the draw” where some of us can work really hard and get only moderate results and some of us don’t have to do much to shine. Aside from that we all make choices of what we are willing to do. Just like a student who is happy with B’s when A’s would take tons more work. Be reassured, Jen, that everyone else is not getting A’s. Some are getting A;s, sure, but others get B’s, C’s, D’s and F’s and some work really hard for what they get.

Hi Jen ,

I am not sure , if this will help you …this is how yesterday was for me, while doing the 10 k walk /run in Kelowna , BC …started out a bit low ( that did not help ) …had lowered my temp basal to 45 percent ( darn the warning about low battery within the first hour !!) and kept getting warnings ( wearing my MM CGMS ) …shut off the delivery of basal …all looked well during …poked finger at the end,( 5.3 x 18 ) gave a small bolus as I have done in the past …BUT after 2 hours after the finish " it " went up and up …and had a hard time getting numbers down …IF only my brain had said to me : change infusion site NOW …I finally listened early this morning . Just asking if you leave your sites in beyond the appropiate time for you ??..

This is why I say …having diabetes is WORK all of the time .

I would say to keep at it. It’s very challenging to lose weight. When I started working on that BIG project, my A1C went up from where it had been, to like 7.7. These days, I don’t stay between 70 and 120, that’s my goal most of the time. I’m psychologically flexible enough, or oblivious enough, that if I miss, I shrug and move on and fix things. Or really I swear at my meter and fix things. Is your BG getting worse while you’re experimenting? If it’s not, take the pounds you are losing and be really proud of them. I was pissed as hell that my time in the race yesterday sucked ■■■ but I’m still very proud that I brutalized myself for 2 hours and finished.

I am sort of planning on trying to cut carbs dramatically in a couple weeks as I’m having (umbilical) hernia surgery. I was gonna try today but am totally zonked out and, once again, splurged this evening. I don’t usually run high in the evening as my tactic is to take a huge shot and cover the excess with beer. This is, of course, not recommended by anyone with any sense but seems to work ok, given that I don’t get out much these days, more because I’m old and nested than b/c of diabetes?

I know not all get A’s … I just needed to rant. :slight_smile: It doesn’t help that I just read a post on another forum about someone making a big deal about a 20 point difference in their numbers throughout the day. I am seriously lucky if I can get under a 150 point difference in my numbers during the day (and it’s very rare!), and find posts like that soooooo annoying sometimes!

I think it also doesn’t help that everywhere I turn people are posting about complications and about how “anything above 140” and “daily variability” are so important. I don’t know why, but lately I have been thinking more about that and how I really do not want complications if I can avoid it. Maybe it’s because I’ve had diabetes for 20 years this year and I keep thinking that that’s a long time and I have almost double those years again before I hit retirement age. That is a LONG time! I really would like to figure out a way to have a decent level of control (goals above) and yet still have a life outside this disease! (And now I’ll go back to thinking about this one day at a time instead of thinking about the next 40 years.)

Congrats on finishing the race! That is awesome. We have a road race type run in our city every year that 60,000 or so people attend. My goal is to at least walk it next year (April). I doubt I could run or even jog 10k but there is a walking category so that is okay. I’ve never done it so it’ll be exciting.

My BGs aren’t worse, just pretty much the same as always. I was just hoping they would get better. My meter average is stuck around 8.5 (155ish) and has been for over a month now. I would like to get that into a better range, but that’s been my goal for like over a year now and hasn’t happened except for maybe a week where I have lots of lows …

But I am so happy I am actually losing weight slowly. I think as long as that keeps up I will be able to stick to fewer carbs no problem.

There you go. One project at a time.

I would suspect that if you start working on walking a race, you might drop some more? There’s other benefits to regular walking/ exercise/ exposure to greenspace too. One of my former Tae Kwon Do buddies is a professor at the University of Illinois who has done a bunch of studies substantiating the greenspace theory. For me, a big thing has always been to have hobbies to do that I didn’t want diabetes to get involved in When I would sit around drinking bottles of whiskey and staring at strobe lights, I’d make sure I tested my BG to make sure I didn’t pass out from diabetes so I could pass out from whiskey? It was strange but it worked ok. Now, w/ the exercise stuff, I’ll test my BG at work 2 hours before I leave and adjust it to make sure it’s ok before I go home. If it drifts down, I don’t let it get in the way of a run, I just figure out a way around it but I don’t give up.

They had some visually impaired runners in Chicago too, running with “bouncers” who looked extremely tough, in bright orange shirts. When the one guy came through, it was about 19 miles into it and I was utter toast and the bouncers were like “move to the right, unintelligible, move to the right” and at first I was like “what the hell now?” but then I saw the guy, at a steady pace, totally kicking my dead ■■■ by that point, and he motored on by. I’ve read repeatedly that those kind of races are about finishing, not so much the time. I have met a lot of “time” people but I don’t think that they got much more out of it than I did? I started walking about the same time I started with the Tae Kwon Do as I knew it would take more than 2x/ week to make progress. I was totally blasted today but I got a massage and shopped for compression socks online and then went and looked at some races for next year, also April/ May. It sounds like you are making progress and are approaching it the right way. If you can cut your carbs a shade more, it may be easier to explore if some subtle adjustents to rates and ratios might help fix things?

…so you might as well get out and go for a walk/ run? I had a really crappy race but, unfortunately, diabetes was not a big part of it.

Great response acidrock …same with me …I don’t care so much about the finishing time as I do about finishing upright and smiling , keeping myself in OK shape …(as most know , I do have another purpose as well : fund raising for the CDA ) …I’ll ask Jen here if she would consider looking at the possibility to do a walk with Team Diabetes in Vancouver ,BC 2012…her home town or travel to Victoria , Kelowna …need a contact name , let me know ?? I can provide .
I also have met visually impaired walkers/runners in my travels …one lady I recall meeting in Honolulu ; she was a Team Diabetes member .

Hi Nel, I would LOVE to get involved with Team Diabetes, though I will admit to knowing pretty much nothing about it other than it’s affiliated with the CDA! I did go to some CDA “young diabetics” event a few years ago (2008, I think?) but haven’t really been involved with them so don’t know what kinds of things they do. I’m quite involved with the blind community in Canada but not so much with diabetes, but I would love to get more involved!

I have been to Victoria and Kelowna and love both cities. In fact, I’m going to Kelowna for the May long weekend 2012 to attend a conference of a blindness organization I’m involved in. I don’t know if I could somehow combine that with doing a walk if there is one in Kelowna around that time?

Anyway, please do let me know more about Team Diabetes as I have no clue!!

Jen ,

NO Kelowna Team D in May 2012 :frowning: …yes in Halifax ,Toronto and Calgary !
Team D contact in BC ( Vancouver ) is Lindsay O’Donnell e-mail


Coordinator, Team Diabetes

Canadian Diabetes Association

Phone: 604-732-1331 ext. 243 or 1-800-665-6526 ext. 243

Fax: 604-732-8444

and lots available on the web

The brochure I have in front of me shows : Vancouver Half Marathon and 5 km , June 24, 2012 …this is different from past years as it was a BMO event …with 8 km walk/runs

Hope this helps…ps I did my 11 th event , October 9