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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Carbs for Diabetic?
Created on: 02/06/14 02:27 PM Views: 759 Replies: 2
Carbs for Diabetic?
Posted Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 2:27 PM

All the vegan books comment on how you can avoid diabetes by changing your diet. OK, I get that. However, my Mom is a diabetic (doesn't need insulin though) and all her info that the doctors have given her tell her to limit carbs including the whole grain varieties. So - I'm confused!

RE: Carbs for Diabetic?
Posted Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 4:39 PM

Hi Whimzee

I think this quote from the American Diabetes Association says it best.



Is it Safe for Someone With Diabetes to Follow a Vegetarian Diet?

Yes! A vegetarian diet is a healthy option, even if you have diabetes. Research supports that following this type of diet can help prevent and manage diabetes. In fact, research on vegan diets has found that carbohydrate and calorie restrictions were not necessary and still promoted weight loss and lowered participants' A1C.

Vegan diets are naturally higher in fiber, much lower in saturated fat, and cholesterol-free when compared to a traditional American diet. The high fiber in this diet may help you feel full for a longer time after eating and may help you eat less over all. When fiber intake is greater than 50 grams per day on a vegan diet, it may help lower blood glucose levels.

It sounds like the info your doctor's passing around is a little outdated.

Wash your back

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

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