RE: Carbs for Diabetic?
Posted Friday, February 7, 2014 at 9:04 AM
I'm glad you found us! I had one of our certified diabetes educators weigh in on this one:
Type 2 diabetes is where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin doesn’t work very well (insulin resistance). Insulin is the key that puts glucose into the cells so the body can use it for energy. Carbohydrates (including whole grains) raises blood glucose levels. Traditional approaches to managing diabetes is to control blood glucose levels by limiting carbohydrate portions, increasing physical activity, and utilizing medications (either oral or insulin or a combination of both). Most responsible health care professionals will work to control carbohydrate portions, not completely eliminating them. However, some feel that the best way is to eliminate carbohydrates completely. It works because if you consume no carbohydrates, blood glucose levels will not increase. However, this approach may actually make the diabetes worse by increasing that insulin resistance due to the high intakes of saturated fats.
A whole-foods, low-fat plant-based diet changes all this by making the insulin work better. For some people they can reduce or eliminate their medications. It is only effective when you eliminate all animal products and high fat foods (including vegetable oils). Cultures where they eat generous amounts of whole grains, vegetables, starchy vegetables, legumes and fruits have very low rates of type 2 diabetes. Anyone with type 2 diabetes who would like to try this approach should work with their healthcare provider to modify diabetes medications as needed. This approach is so effective it may cause low blood glucose levels which can be dangerous.
Meghan Jardine, RD, CDE
Assoc Director of Diabetes Nutrition Education
Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education