What do you want to know about nutrition?

Watching TV, playing video games, etc. LOL. When I first started hanging around here I was told off by some of the lower carb people who exercise all the time after calling them potted plants and, since I was off that week, tried skipping a lot of carbs and running like 30 miles and didn’t notice any appreciable deficit in my energy or performance.

I take two bottles of Gatorade when I run, one w/ 45G of carbs/ oz and one with 10 and they both perk me up pretty readily when it’s hot out which makes me think that it’s more the electrolytes/ water than the carbs? I dunno though. I have not read all that much about it, other than the Taubes book recently and my own completely unscientific experiments.

I’ve blathered about this before but there was a “pre-race carb loading” diet in MrsAcidRock’s “Fitness” magazine that weighed in at 513 G of carbs. I should dig it up and post what it was. I also calculated the ExCarbs according to the tables in “Pumping Insulin” before my last race and it wanted me to eat or cut back about 90G of carbs which was neither reasonable nor prudent. I had like 15 and was fine and had a nice race.

That is too funny, that I recalled the 42 days, but not who posted it! Many of the people that were first started on Lantus have made the switch over the years as doc’s found out that Levemir worked best for most people. And Lantus tends to sting!

I’ve only used Lantas for basal insulin, and it’s worked fine for me, but I do not like the sting. The funny thing is that the sting is not consistent. Sometime there is no sting; other times it is mild, and other times…YEOW !

And I learned something too because I’d always thought all the pen insulins were 28 days! But I’m one of those who switched to Levemir and found it had more consistent action as well. Now I’m on the pump though and the basal insulins seem very approximate compared to varying your basal for any hour of the day by as little as .025!

Hi, AR…I don’t know if you happened to see my earlier post…I think here. I have been going to classes with a newly diagnosed friend who is a T2 and they told ME, that I SHOULD BE able to eat 30-40 carbs per meal! Golly when I was put on my meds, I couldn’t handle 7. If I eat 20 that is a SPLURGE! 35 is a HUGE serving of pasta. To eat that many carbs several times per day is just mind boggling to me at this point in my life.

I actually DID eat a whole serving of pasta recently and I felt totally gross. Apart from what it did to my BG (I wanted to experiment and I could NOT handle it)…but golly…it felt horrible…maybe 1/2 that would have been okay. And my package says a serving of Barilla spaghetti has 42 carbs. I used to eat that at a sitting with NO problem! Yikes!

I eat pretty big meals in the evening, not > 20 most of the time during the day. I still occasionally have an Italian Beef and Fries from Portillo’s, about 110G of carbs.

You may want to ask your Doc for levemir! I am hoping to try it soon!

So interesting, Moss Dog…I tried very hard for years to lose weight as I aged. I am 61.5 inches tall, female and past menopause.

I became diabetic and elimated many foods (carbs) from my diet…kept exercise up…so I eat mostly lean protein and veggies - though I am on an insulin booster (oral. a DPP-4 inhibitor) and I exercise…I have dropped 39 pounds since last October…some of it is due to the appetite supression of going off of a depression drug…but the rest is purely diet and exercise and I am certain that reduction of carbs is a part of it.

And, let’s face it…at age 58…my metabolism is slower than when I was 25…but now I’m having trouble NOT losing more weight… I don’t really want to go below 110…but not sure how to stop myself if I continue to exercise and keep my current exercise habits…it just seems to be melting off without the carbs…it’s down now to a pound a month…but still it’s a pound a month and I cannot afford to lose a 12 pounds a year on a continous basis now…

I suppose eventually it will stop…

You know I have been thinking about this a lot. I suspect young thin people who eat tons of carbs like that have a highly active storage and mobilization system. When they gorge on carbs a bunch is stored as fat (obviously not perceptable) and gets easily mobilized for energy when their last “gorge” has been a while ago. Since it is so effecient especially at the mobilization there is never any real or perceived weight (or in this case fat) gain. Dunno but seems plausible.

I would like to see your proposed book discuss how to follow a vegetarian diet with diabetes. When I was first diagnosed, I couldn’t find much on this; I feared I would be living an Atkins-like existence. With time, I’ve larned how to have satisfying lower-carb meals.
I’m a huge fan of your book --extremely helpful to me in the months after dx.
Keep up your great work!

Thanks, Deborah. Your idea is a good one. The proposed book will focus on biochemistry of dieting rather than discussions of different diet plans, but nothing has been finalized yet.

If you’ve come up with good low-carb vegetarian recipies, I hope you’re sharing them somewhere, as it’s very difficult to do low-carb vegetarian. The daughter of the coauthor of the diet book I helped with, “The Four Corners Diet,” is vegetarian, so she was very sensitive to the needs of non-meat eaters and some of her recipes were marked as suitable for vegetarians, although I realize there are different types of vegetarianism.

Thanks again.

If protein hurts kidneys.

If you mean people without kidney disease, the answer is no. This has been demonstrated numerous times but, in nutrition, there is no double jeopardy. I am not a physician but for people with kidney disease, the type of kidney disease will determine what the physician thinks you should eat. For people with diabetes, my understanding is that the greatest threat to the kidneys is the continued diabetes.

The real question behind the question is “is the Atkins diet going to kill me?” The people who ask this question already know the answer so the question will never go away, but the “low, carbohydrate, high protein diet” that sets them off, is only high in protein compared to a low protein diet which is not recommended. Protein tends to be a stable part of the human diet. During the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, protein intake remained about the same. Low carbohydrate diets are higher in fat although, again, only in comparison with the low fat recommendations which never had a basis in science and continue to have poor outcomes each time they’re tried (at taxpayers’ expense). In practice, low carbohydrate diets are primarily therapeutic and the reduction in carbohydrate is the major cause but part of the benefit comes from the fact that most people don’t put anything back in. If your dinner is steak, potatoes and broccoli and you take out the potatoes, most people will not add more steak even if they can afford it. Our poll ( http://bit.ly/sQacjp ) of the low carber forums suggested that, in fact, most people will add more broccoli.

There probably are cases of people making themselves sick from over-consuming protein but, if they have normal kidneys, it is unlikely that this is the major problem.

Bottom line: If you have a kidney problem and your physician understands the need for carbohydrate restriction, they will tell you what to do. If your physician doesn’t understand the value of carbohydrate restriction, get another physician. If your physician is the one on television, get another physician.

I have seen some people doing the Atkins diet in a manner which I would question the healthiness of, like bacon eggs for breakfast, pork rinds to munch on and a large bowl of ground beef for lunch? These were mostly co-workers so I dunno what they had for dinner but it sort of seemed eerie. I’ve been talking with a buddy of mine about P90X and apparently part of the deal on that is timing carbs to fuel workouts (ha ha) and no carbs after 5:00 PM? Yikes!!

I have had unending arguments about protein in the diet and what is a healthy amount. Virtually every medical professional has quoted me the wrong guidance that high levels of protein harm your kidneys. I certainly appreciate your statement on this, it helps affirm my position.

I also think many people misunderstand how much protein they actually get in their diet. When attempting to markedly increase my dietary protein, I found it hard, I had to resort to protein supplementation. A breakfast with 3 slices of bacon and 3 fried eggs only contains 25 g of protein, in my view, about on track for a proper sustained level of 75 g/day.

But in the end, for many people, it is not the protein controversy, it is the fat controversy. The fear of fat is what scares people about low carb diets. And the misinfomration that comes from medical professionals on what consistitutes healthy fat in your diet makes their mistaken beliefs about protein look like a minor clerical error.

And perhaps this is the biggest contribution a book like this could make, give readers a sense of the truth on what consistitutes healthy levels and kinds of protein and fats in your diet.

ps. And I also adhere to the idea that we handle carbs better after exercise. Many bodybuilders follow a low carb diet, only eating carbs in the meal right after their workout.

Dear Gretchen:

Your book, "The First Year" was my first experience to the world of diabetes. Thank you for the preliminary education in the condition that I have deemed "The Roller Coaster Disease" and subtitled "Buckle Up!" ... I am, for one, looking forward to a new book helping us make sense of the condition that sometimes makes no sense.

What would I like to see in a nutrition book?

First of all, thank you for asking. I wish more authors would ask that upfront rather than waiting for the reviews. By asking your audience while in the planning stage, you will find the questions that readers are looking for the answers to.

While impossible to write every fact about every facet of nutrition and diabetes, here are a few things that I would like to have addressed without resorting to reading hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands of books, blogs and articles:

I must that I really enjoy the whole series of "Eat This, Not That" books by authors David Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men's Health, and co-author Matt Goulding. The books are simple; however, they fall short of addressing carbs or diabetes. Using that style of information, I hope your new book will present the facts and studies of nutrition which relate to various supermarket and restaurant ingredients and recipes with research to present the best of the best and worst of the worst in regards to shopping, cooking and dining.

I'd like to see recipes (or at least resources on where to find recipes) that give diabetics (or anyone looking to eat better / healthier) options for eating and dining on a shoestring budget. What are the least expensive foods that give more bang for the buck in regards to be "diabetic friendly?"

In addition to budgeting, I often look at diabetic cookbooks and magazine recipes featuring 45, 60 or more grams of carbohydrate per serving. I'd like to see options for nutritional values of less than 10 grams so I can have two or three servings without guilt on major impact on glucose.

I would like to see unbiased information on brand names such as the "Eat This, Not That" series which will say this meal is healthier than that meal; however the series avoids the topic of carbohydrates in favor of discussing calories, fat, sodium and everything BUT carbs. Gretchen, tell us what you can or should eat ... Please!

There's no doubt that the healthier and least expensive options for food are those with fewer ingredients and fewer chemicals and preservatives.

Another consideration for better nutrition should be time which is why raw foods or less processed alternatives can help with the average person or families lifestyle.

Gretchen ... Can you answer ...

What kinds of foods can be ready in minutes without resorting to opening a can or this and a jar of that?
What are the food choices to the consumer that can be made from scratch cheaper and faster than alternatives?
Why is it that bag of potato chips or meat snacks cost far more than the sale price on a well trimmed steak?
Why is it that the TV charities can feed a child for only pennies a day while my family requires several dollars a day?

The things I would like to know about food relates to Taste, Time, Money, Carb Counts, Preservatives/Substitutes, Vitamins/Minerals and concise writing. In short, Just the facts, Ma'am, Just the facts!

Thank you for the education, motivation and inspiration.
Ray Tetreault
North Royalton, Ohio

Hi Ray, Thanks for your comments. Every opinion helps.

Books like "Eat This, Not That" are aimed at the general public, trying to steer them away from fast food but not really giving superhealthy alternatives. The average person working two jobs just wants to grab something fast. We need better than that.

I helped write a diet book called "The Four Corners Diet," which is a low-carb, high-fiber, high-mono-fat diet that I think is the healthiest for people with diabetes. You can get a used copy for a penny on Amazon. It has a lot of recipes, plus a chapter on following the diet on a budget. That might be what you're looking for.

Oh yes. Re expense. I keep track of what I pay for food, and after Dx, although I was eating better food, my expenses were almost the same as before, because I wasn't eating expensive snack foods. They cost more per pound than good meat because that's how the manufacturers can make a lot of money. For me, saving money comes from simply eating less food, but good food so I enjoy it more.

Roasts and stews aren't that hard to prepare and can be frozen for quick meals later.

Ray, I forgot to mention: Stay away from "diabetic" cookbooks. They're based on the high-carb ADA diet. Instead, look for low-carb cookbooks. One of my favorites is Fran McCullough's "Low carb cookbook." Others include Sharron Long's books. A type 2 in Australia has published"What on Earth Can I Eat?: Food, Type 2 Diabetes and YOU." I haven't had a chance to read it, but he generally has good advice.

@Anthony Holko: Diet has a great impact on insulin resistance. The old yarn is wrong a least in a simple way (which is how it is spun). As you seem to have discovered fro yourself, low carb is best for reducing insulin resistance. Where the idea comes from is that saturated fatty acids (SFA) in the blood can increase IR but this does not necessarily mean from dietary fat. In fact, a low carbohydrate diet can reduce SFA in the blood compared to a high carbohydrate diet. The role of fat, to a first approximation, is relatively passive. Carbohydrate, directly or indirectly, via insulin and other hormones, determines what happens to the fat. So a high fat, high carbohydrate diet may have all kinds of adverse consequences but, it is generally due to the carbohydrate. There may be other factors but, from a practical standpoint, your best bet is to reduce carbs first.