What is "enough " carbs?

After being DXed 3 months ago and taking Metformin for that long, My Dr said I could come off the Metformin as my numbers are well within the AACE guidelines. But my Nutritionst says I’m not getting enough carbs. ( I had got to 30-45 per day in order to get the BG numbers down) The past 3 days I’ve increased to 60 or so a day, but the BG levels have gone up a little also. ( 113 fasting this morning and 167 2 hours post lunch) Is there such a thing as 2 few carbs if one is not hungry?

My team (primary care dr, endo,dietician, eye dr, dentist, respritory therapist) all are emphatic that the minimum is 130 carbs per day. I am a T1, so YMMV,but they “say” they tell both their T1 and T2 the same. I see big differences in other things besides BG id I go under that amount. I have fairly good control, and failry low standard deviation (they think that is almost more important)

I think everyone has an opinion and that everyones bodies and other ills make a true magic number improbable at best.

just my 2 cents

There are two dissenting camps on this front. Some say that any less than 130g is dangerous to good kidney functioning. Others say that more than 30-45g and you’re chasing food with medication and pushing your sugars higher. We have people in our community who feel very differently about it. You might check out the books that low-carb diabetes advocate Dr. Richard Bernstein has written, such as Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. If low carb works for you and you have healthy kidneys, you’re likely fine. Personally, I love my carbs and enjoy 30-45 per meal.

Personally, I think the obsession with getting enough carbs is garbage, especially since most of the carbs we eat (bread, pasta, cereal) are loaded with added sugar (even whole wheat bread). So I say fight your nutritionist, you certainly don’t NEED carbs.

I’m really into the work of Gary Taubes, who talks about carbs in our diet. He’s got great research, check out this lecture if you have time - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4362041487661765149

You should also factor in protein; approximately half of the protein you digest gets converted into glucose (albeit over a longer time frame so it’s much better on your numbers). This makes up for any lack of carbs.

I agree with Sam. 130 daily carbs is high. I was told the 130 carb thing, too, as many of us were. The class I took with a dietician stated that less than 120 would basically adversely effect the brain. Guess our ancient ancestors must have been brain damaged because eating high carb is a relatively recent development:)

I stopped going to diabetic ed classes because they pushed a high carb diet. I don’t listen to my doctor’s advice about this either. My numbers & control are much better low carb. I feel much better as well. I stay within 30-40 a day. Of course, you’ve got to get enough protein & good fats especially if you’re active, though the protein needs that are generally accepted tend to be on the high side, too.

The first diabetic ed class available after my diagnosis wasn’t available for about three months, so in the meantime I did tons of reading – Dr. Bernstein, Gretchen’s book and others. Then I got to the class and was told I MUST eat at least 150-200 grams of carb per day or I would be brain damaged. At the end of the class I was given a large bag full of diabetic energy bars, sugar free oatmeal packets and pudding snacks, and coupons for low-carb bread and tortillas. On the bag was a big General Foods logo with some “partnership” info about their commitment to the diabetic community …

Needless to say I’ve been doing most of my own education since then, along with my doctor, who has said that as little as 30 grams a day will be fine as long as I’m meticulous about the nutritional content.

I don’t eat that low-carb right now but am moving in that direction again. For me, about 75 a day (plus exercise and 500 mg of metformin) keeps my BG where I like it. No brain damage to report so far.

Now you have learned why smart people with diabetes avoid nutritionists. They are poorly educated and not at all in touch with recent research.

I have been eating under 100 grams a day for 10 years and under 60 g a day for 7 of those years before I was able to get a prescription for insulin. I managed to publish a bunch of books, suggesting my brain was working perfectly. Never the less nutritionists still believe that eating less than 120 g of carbs a day will “keep your brain from functioning.”

This is based on a misunderstanding. But so is most nutritionist advice.

Eat to your meter, keep your blood sugars low enough to avoid danger, and ten years from now you can call up that nutritionist and ask her how many of the patients who TOOK her advice to add carbs are still complication free, as you will be.

I’m in year eleven. No neuropathy, no retionopathy, and no protein in urine, thanks to following those AACE guidelines–before they were AACE guidelines but were just a radical proposal that came up in an online support group!

Thank-you all for your comments. I’ve done a lot of research and come the same conclusions that most of you have, I don’t need to increase my carbs by much, if at all. If I’ve done the calculations right ( thank-you Blood Sugar 101) my A1C is 5.6 and I’m pleased with that. Will have it done at the lab next week. Meanwhile I won’t be too concerned about having a whole slice of whole wheat toast instead of just half as long as the BG numbers stay down!

Jenny, you are the person who started me on the path of being my own diabetes educator (I’m the Tina you quoted on the back of your book, remember me? I emailed you last year …). Thanks so much again for all you do for this community, and for staying active on the boards. You’re my #1 diabetes rock star!

I guess I am out of the loop. Do nutritionists really say that you need to eat 150-200 gr of carb or you will be brain damaged??? Personally most of the nutritionist I have seen appear to have an eating disorder so I find it some what funny. On top of it look at America, every day one see’s an article in the paper or on the web about kids and grown ups being over weight!!

I eat 75 -85 grams of carbs a day. I eat a lot of salad and vegi’s along with lean protein. I do yoga and exercise almost every day and I feel great. I have cut out bread, rice, pasta and potato from my diet. I have a little here and there but nothing like I used to eat. My BG is so much easier to manage and I am seeing my endo soon so I can’t wait to see my A1c and to ask here about this so called one must eat X amount of carbs or else!!

Thanks for the great posts everyone!! I am off to search for info on brain damage!!! Maybe that is why I never googled it before because my brain is in fact damaged!!

Yep, amazing, isn’t it! I was told this by several different dieticians/nutritionists–the brain needs at least this many carbs to function properly. Less leads to “brain starvation.” Was all I could do not to laugh, though I’m sure the look of disgust on my face said volumes. It was even in a ridiculous book they gave me to read when I was discharged from the hospital. Never finished reading this book. Hey, maybe it’s because I’m brain damaged, too!

When I was diagnosed (DKA) in the hospital, I wouldn’t eat the food. Didn’t know squat about carbs or diabetes, but I couldn’t believe that so much white food could be good for me. Kept asking the nurses–are you sure this is a diabetic meal? When I didn’t finish my food, I got lectured how I needed to eat more to get my strength back.

The diabetic education center in the hospital where I took diabetes ed classes (I’m a proud d ed dropout!), had bowls of candy in the waiting room. Pure junk that no one should eat. I asked about that & they said it was in case anyone needed a snack or was having a hypo.

The nutritionist & diabetes nurse I was assigned looked like they had eating disorders also:)