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Carbohydrates And Diabetes Type 2

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Carbohydrate And Insulin Resistance

Sugar 101: Carbohydrates and Type 2 Diabetes

Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are conditions of glucose intolerance and therefore carbohydrate intolerance.

In prediabetes, and the first decade or so of type 2 diabetes, the body is over-producing insulin and this typically accompanies weight gain.

This over-production of insulin is the driver of insulin resistance and the development or progression of type 2 diabetes.

To work towards reversing this progressio, you need to turn down the insulin tap. As carbohydrate is the greatest stimulant of insulin production, it makes perfect sense to cut down on carbohydrate intake.

People with type 1 diabetes on a high carbohydrate diet may also develop insulin resistance. This is possible to detect if you notice you are injecting high amounts of insulin on a daily basis.

Can I Eat Sweets And Other Foods And Drinks With Added Sugars

Yes, you can eat sweets and other foods and drinks with added sugars. However, you should limit your intake of these high-carbohydrate foods and drinks because they are often high in calories and low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans are wiser choices.

Instead of eating sweets every day, try eating them in small amounts once in a while so you dont fill up on foods that are low in nutrition. Ask your dietitian or diabetes educator about including sweets in your eating plan.

Many Of Us Rely On Carbohydrates As Our Main Source Of Energy Carbohydrate

All the carbohydrates you eat and drink are broken down into glucose. The type, and amount, you consume can make a difference to your blood glucose levels and diabetes management.

There are different ways to describe carbohydrates. One way of doing this is to group them into those that contain mostly starch , and those that contain mostly sugars, such as fruits , some dairy foods , sweets, chocolate, sugary drinks and desserts.

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Knowing How Much Carbs Is In You Food

If youre living with diabetes, and take insulin, youll need to take that into account when eating carbs. Learn about which foods contain carbohydrates, how to estimate carbohydrate portions and how to monitor their effect on blood glucose levels.

There are special courses available, such as the DAFNE course for people with Type 1 diabetes, which your diabetes healthcare team can tell you about.

Our downloadable PDF e-book, Carbs Count, provides an introduction to carbohydrate counting and insulin dose adjustment. It takes you through the essential information, with practical examples and exercises. You can .

Gut Microbiota T2d And Carbohydrates

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Moreover, a specific bacterium that has been associated with T2D and obesity is mucus-colonizing Akkermansia muciniphila. Recently, Yassour et al. found that gut microbiota of individuals with obesity and insulin resistance show a decreased abundance of A. muciniphila . Consistently, in another study, higher levels of A. muciniphila and greater microbial diversity were associated with a better metabolic status in overweight and obese individuals, and higher levels of A. muciniphila could induce a better improvement in glucose homeostasis after a calorie restriction diet .

Furthermore, another difference was reported in a study conducted on 277 nondiabetic Danish individuals. In this study, the authors found that in the serum metabolome of individuals with insulin resistance there were more branched-chain amino acids due to an increase in Prevotella copri and Bacteroides vulgatus in their gut microbiota . P. copri and B. vulgatus are considered the main producers of BCAAs and could be implicated in insulin resistance. Experimentally, it has been demonstrated that P. copri promotes insulin resistance and glucose intolerance and may increase serum levels of BCAAs in mice .

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How Many Carbs Are Right For You

To determine the right amount of carb grams to aim for in your eating plan, choose one of the categories below that best matches your stature, weight status, weight goals and activity level.

Consider the targets a starting point. Get a referral from your primary care provider or endocrinologist to meet with a dietitian and diabetes educator, and/or to attend a diabetes self-management education and support program to determine the best goals for your health.

Category 1: A Woman of Small Stature Who Wants to Lose Weight

Youâre a woman who wants to lose weight, is small in stature and/or gets limited exercise. Consider the following:

Height: 4â10â to 5â2â³

Daily calorie range: 2,300â2,800

Carb grams/day range*: 259â455 grams

Carb grams/meal range : 86â151 grams

*Based on 45â65% of calories from carbohydrate.

Note: Men who are under 65 years of age, moderate to large in stature, at a healthy weight and get a lot of exercise may need more calories and grams of carbohydrate.

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Sugar Starch And Fiber Are All Carbs

Carbohydrates come in three forms: sugar, starch, and fiber. Getting the right balance of sugars, starches, and fiber is key to keeping blood sugars in a healthy range. It helps to know that:

  • Added sugars raise the blood sugar quickly. Foods with added sugar make blood sugars spike. You might see sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, sucrose, or fructose listed on the food label. Foods that naturally contain sugar dont cause blood sugar to rise as quickly as added sugars and are more nutritious.
  • Some starches raise the blood sugar slowly. In general, starches that are less processed tend to raise the blood sugar more slowly. These include foods like brown rice, lentils, and oatmeal. Foods that are processed a lot, like white rice and white bread, raise the blood sugar quickly.
  • Fiber helps slow down sugar absorption. A diet with plenty of fiber can help people with diabetes keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range. The fiber in foods helps carbs break into sugar slower. So there’s less of a peak when blood sugar spikes. Good sources are whole fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Fiber also helps you feel full, and it keeps the digestive system running smoothly.

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How Does Food Affect Blood Sugar Levels

Many factors, including exercise, stress, and illness, affect your blood sugar levels. That said, one of the largest factors is what you eat.

Of the three macronutrients carbs, protein, and fat carbs have the greatest effect on blood sugar. Thats because your body breaks down carbs into sugar, which enters your bloodstream.

This occurs with all digestible carbs, including refined sources like chips and cookies as well as whole, unprocessed sources like fruits and vegetables.

When people with diabetes eat foods high in carbs, their blood sugar levels can surge. High carb intake typically requires high doses of insulin or diabetes medication to manage blood sugar.

Given that people with type 1 diabetes are unable to produce insulin, they need to inject insulin several times a day, regardless of what they eat. However, eating fewer carbs can significantly reduce their mealtime insulin dosage.


Your body breaks down certain carbs into sugar, which enters your bloodstream. People with diabetes who eat a lot of carbs require insulin or diabetes medication to keep their blood sugar from rising too much.

What Happens When Carbohydrate Is Eaten

Adult Type 2 Diabetes – 5. Carbohydrate Counting and Label Reading

When carbohydrate is eaten, it gets broken down by digestion directly into glucose and is then absorbed into the blood.

The body then sends out insulin to move glucose out of the blood. Insulin will either move glucose into working cells such as the muscles or organs, or store the glucose as body fat.

More carbohydrate being eaten ultimately means there is more chance of having excess glucose that will need to be stored as fat.

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The Importance Of Recording Your Blood Glucose

Log books and data collection are a crucial part of keeping your diabetes under control. When you write down the number it is easier to see your blood sugar patterns and know when you are on target or, conversely, why you are not on target. For most people, trying to remember multiple blood sugar numbers and what was happening at the same time as the blood sugar check is difficult and often inaccurate.

Depending upon your type of treatment you may need to check you blood sugar once every few days or multiple times a day. If you are treated with diet alone, and your blood sugar is under control, you only may need to check every few days. In contrast, if your blood sugar is not well controlled and you are starting medications or taking insulin or pills that increase you insulin levels you should check multiple times a day. When taking insulin, you also need to record your insulin dose, and usually your food and carbohydrate intake and activity level. Ask you doctor for blood sugar monitoring and log book recommendations that are specific for you.

There are three ways people commonly fill out the log books. Each method is listed below.

Crash Course In Carbs

Foods that contain carbohydrates include:

  • Grains, such as breads, cereals, pasta, and rice
  • Fruits and fruit juices
  • Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt
  • Sweets, such as cookies, pastries, cakes and candy
  • Snack foods, such as potato chips

To find the carb content of a food, check the amount of total carbohydrate on the food label. Be sure to look at the serving amount as well. If youre eating twice as much as the listed serving, youll need to double the total carbs. If a food doesnt have a label, there are many apps and books available to help you track carbs. One great free tool is MyFoodAdvisor from the American Diabetes Association. At first, you may need to look up almost everything. But with time, youll start to learn how many carbs are in your favorite foods and dishes.

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What Happens When We Eat Carbohydrates Protein And Fat

âYour blood insulin responds very differently to different macronutrients. Fat does not impact blood insulin levels. Carbs have a high impact, and protein impacts them moderately, but fat has no impact.

Carbs and fats can both provide energy for the bodyâbut not at the same time. When carbs are abundant in the diet, carbs function as the preferred fuel source. But when carbs are limited in the diet, fat becomes the preferred fuel source.

When you reduce your intake of one macronutrient, you have to increase your intake of at least one other macronutrient to avoid feeling hungry and not have enough energy.

In a low carb, high-fat diet, fat provides you with the energy your body needs, and it also reduces hunger and cravings.

The History And Safety Of Ketogenic Diets

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There are cultures who have thrived for centuries on high-fat, low-carb diets, such as the Masai warriors and Inuits.

Ketogenic diets have been used as medical treatments for a long timeâspecifically, to treat children with epilepsy. In the past 20 years, many endurance athletes have started adopting low carb and ketogenic diets for improved performance.

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What Is A Carbohydrate

Itâs one of the main energy sources in many foods, including bread, pasta, fruit, and starches. When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into glucose in the blood. You may know this as blood sugar.

The body allows for only 1 teaspoon of sugar per 5 liters of blood, but there are 9 teaspoons in a cup of cooked rice.

The excess glucose in your blood is pulled out by the hormone insulin. In a person with a high carbohydrate tolerance, this process works well and excess blood sugar is promptly removed.

In a person with carbohydrate intolerance, type 2 diabetes, or prediabetes, this system breaks down. The body loses its insulin sensitivity and more and more insulin is required to remove the excess blood sugar. As a result, blood sugar levels remain high and insulin levels are high as well, and these high insulin levels can make your body even less sensitive to insulin.

âThe result? The cycle will happen over and over again and the problem will get worse.

Type 2 Diabetes And Carbohydrates: Everything You Need To Know

All of the food you eat is made up of just three main nutrients: fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Carbohydrates in food and drinks break down into glucose in the body. When people without diabetes eat carbs, their blood sugar rises, and the insulin response kicks in to move the blood sugar to the cells for fuel.

But in people with type 2 diabetes, the insulin response doesnt work properly, and your blood glucose levels remain elevated. The three types of carbohydrates are fiber, starch, and sugarand these carbs are not created equal.

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Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria

Relevant articles with all of the following inclusion criteria were included: published prospective cohort studies conducted in the general population reported carbohydrate consumption and LCDS as exposure considered T2D incidence as the outcomes of interest provided estimates of the effect size in the form of relative risk, hazard ratio or rate ratio with corresponding 95% confidence intervals for2 quantitative categories of carbohydrate consumption or LCDS and provided the numbers of cases and non-cases or person-years in each category of dietary carbohydrate or LCDS. Studies that reported continuous estimation from the associations were also included. For duplicate publications form the same cohort, the one with the greater number of cases was included in our meta-analysis. We excluded letters, comments, reviews and meta-analyses, and ecologic studies. We also did not include studies that were performed on children or adolescences or those that were conducted among patients with type one diabetes. All outcomes were classified based on the World Health Organizations international classification of disease criteria.

What If Youre Making Healthy Choices And Still Have High Blood Sugar

Potatoes, Carbs, and Type 2 Diabetes

According to American Diabetes Association guidelines, most people with type 2 diabetes should start taking a blood glucose-lowering medication, typically metformin , as soon as they are diagnosed.

Most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have had blood sugar levels in the diabetes range for months if not years before diagnosis. Donât think of taking blood glucose-lowering medication as failing. Type 2 diabetes, with prediabetes as its starting point, is a progressive disease during which people slowly lose their insulin-making capabilities over time. Itâs of no health value to severely restrict the amount of carbs you eat to manage your blood sugar levels and/or to delay medication. The recommended course of action to stay healthy with type 2 diabetes is to get blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure numbers under control soon after the time of diagnosis-and maintain target goals-adjusting diet and medication as needed.

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Cutting Carbs Put My Diabetes In Remission

Dave Rowat, 61, a private hire driver, lives with his wife Michele, 56, a cleaner, in Southport. He says:

I was shocked when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes early last year after a routine blood test for my enlarged prostate.

When I mentioned I was always thirsty, the nurse recognised this as a symptom of type 2 and a test confirmed this. My blood sugar reading was 108mmol/mol, so it was quite severe.

My GP prescribed metformin and a statin for high cholesterol and said Id have to be on medication all my life. I was keen to try another option, but I was told I couldnt reverse it.

My wife was being seen by Dr David Unwin and I swapped to his practice.

At that time I couldnt lift the shopping or walk more than 100 feet without being out of breath. I weighed 18st 10lb and my tops were XXXL.

Dr Unwin told me I had a great chance to turn my life around but that I needed to lose weight.

I had to cut out bread, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes and eat mostly protein, green veg and full-fat dairy. I used to be known as Two Cakes Dave because of my sweet tooth, but I cannot believe how easy its been. I am genuinely not hungry.

Just 16 weeks later, my blood sugar reading was 40 putting my diabetes into remission my weight was 15st 11lb and I was a size XL.

I just wish that Id done this 30 years ago. I feel reborn.

Two people in the study, who had been struggling with type 2 diabetes for 15 years, even managed to put themselves into drug-free remission.

What Are The Different Types Of Carbs

There are 3 types of carbs:

  • Sugars, such as the natural sugar in fruit and milk or the added sugar in soda and many other packaged foods.
  • Starches, including wheat, oats, and other grains starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes and dried beans, lentils, and peas.
  • Fiber, the part of plant foods that isnt digested but helps you stay healthy.
  • Sugars and starches raise your blood sugar, but fiber doesnt.

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    Characteristics Of Included Studies

    Characteristics of the included studies are provided in Supplementary Table . In total, 607,882 participants with an age range between 19 and 79 years were included. The length of the follow-up periods ranged from 3 to 24 years. Six studies were conducted in women,,,,,, three in men,,, and the rest were in mixed. Six studies were conducted in the United States,,,,,, and 12 in other countries including, UK, Australia,, Korea,, Japan,, Germany, Finland, China and Netherlands. To assess dietary carbohydrate intake and LCDS, all studies used a food frequency questionnaire, except two studies that used a diet history questionnaire and a 7-day food diary. Most studies controlled for important conventional confounders including physical activity , smoking status , energy intake , BMI , and alcohol consumption . Only a few studies included in this meta-analysis did not adjust for energy intake and BMI,. Ten studies did not adjust for fiber intake,,,,,,,,,. Looking at the variation of NOS score, 13 studies out of 18 studies were rated high quality ,,,,,,,,,,,,, and the others were rated to have moderate quality ,,,, with none rated as low quality. Characteristics of primary cohort studies are presented in Supplementary Table and reported effect sizes of type 2 diabetes across categories of dietary carbohydrate intake and LCDS are indicated in Supplementary Tables and , respectively.

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