When your doctor asks you to be on a low-carbohydrate diet, do you understand what that means?
For individuals with diabetes, anything that points towards the prevention of hyperglycemia is received with open hands, but just before diving in really deep, it’s quite important to lay down some basics about a low-carb diet.
A regular diet would normally provide for about 225 grams to 330 grams of carbohydrates, calculated of course based on age, gender, physical activities, and so on.
A low carbohydrate diet, therefore, means that the amount of carbohydrates is drastically reduced to about 130 grams or less per day. This is done with close monitoring to also ensure substantial amounts of high proteins, healthy sources of carbohydrates, and healthy choices of fat, just to make sure we never have to get to malnutrition.
Important to note
We are talking about reducing the amount of carbohydrates and not restricting them, because when you start a low-carbohydrate diet, some of your body tissues and organs may not be happy, and then you may start to experience a lot of fatigue.
Yes, your body can burn proteins and fats for energy, but the organs like the brain do depend on glucose for proper functioning, and that Is why we are basically talking about reducing and not completely restricting.
Which Carbohydrates are you taking?
Even if it’s a low carbohydrate diet, the question remains, which carbohydrates? For a diabetic individual, complex carbohydrates are recommended over simple carbohydrates because of the glycemic index aspect.
The complex carbohydrates only ensure that the glucose from all these foods you are taking doesn’t go into your blood system very fast rather moderately hence preventing sudden hyperglycemia, and that is a good thing. The simple carbohydrates usually from all these over-processed foods are the poison here because they shoot your glucose levels very fast, and that is not good. This now means that the choice you make of which carbohydrates to eat is very important.
So with all these benefits at hand, we definitely now have to start thinking of how we are going to achieve it. Every time you start a diet, you surely have to make some changes, and in this case, to achieve a low carbohydrate diet we will have to ;
- Cut off sweetened/over-processed drinks.
- Choose high-protein foods rather than high-carbohydrate foods.
- Eat less refined bread, brown bread is always so much better.
- Eat at home, so you can monitor your carbohydrate intake.
- Choose low-carbohydrate snacks like groundnuts and boiled eggs.
- Stop the use of energy drinks.
- Reduce the intake of packaged snacks that may contain lots of added sugars, sodium, and fats.
After all that master the art of portion control, using your hands, your plate, and even the food pyramid.
What are the benefits of a low-carbohydrate diet?
A low carbohydrate diet is good for a diabetic patient, that is, in attaining full control of the blood glucose levels.
Weight loss, because usually when you consume too many carbohydrates, the excess glucose after breaking down now get stored as fat in our bodies, so now reducing the amount of carbohydrates will help a great deal.
Good control of your blood pressure and eventually prevention of most cardiovascular diseases like heart diseases, heart attacks, and stroke.
Whenever a diet looks too good and result-oriented, we tend to make certain mistakes along the way;
- Taking too much protein in place of carbohydrates can quickly bring in allergic reactions among other digestion problems.
- Cutting Off Fats completely, usually for faster results, especially for weight loss, remember you still need healthy fats for total nourishment.
- Giving Up, This is why behavior change is a process that you have to embrace slowly but surely
YES, A low carbohydrate diet can help manage diabetes, only with the intake of healthy sources of carbohydrates, high proteins, and healthy fats.