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Thread: Treating Diabetes with a Low-Carb diet

  1. #21
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I've seen several people report an unpleasant aftertaste to some artificial sweeteners; stevia in particular (though I think some of that may be ingredients added to make the sweetener "pour like sugar", etc. and some of it may be genetic, like the individuals who find the herb cilantro tastes like soap to them). There also are recent studies indicating that, in diabetics, even some artificial sweeteners promote the same digestive reaction as sugar.

    So I've pretty much sworn off artificial sweeteners myself. If a recipe for a roast calls for, say, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and I think it's important to the taste of the dish, I'll put in the brown sugar; my portion of it will have just a smidge of "real" sugar and I don't need to think about what the artificial sweeteners may be doing to the dish or to me. I don't drink diet pop and my only "sweet" is >80% dark chocolate. But I'll say that's by my choice.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  2. #22
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Geila: Some of those quotes are pure genius!

  3. #23
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    Geila: Some of those quotes are pure genius!
    I know, right!? I laughed so hard and I really needed that today.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Hi Steve - thanks for answering my questions, it helps a lot. I'm happy to hear that I might see a difference in just one week. My A1c is currently 12.7 so while I'm remaining optimistic I'm starting to accept the fact that I might have to go on meds at least for a while. I will still do a 2 week trial phase, and get my fasting glucose tested but my numbers are just so high that I'm changing my expectations a bit so that I won't be too disappointed if I can't get the numbers down as much as they need to be. If my fasting glucose numbers come way down then I would feel more comfortable pushing the meds out longer. All those test showing I might have kidney damage are scaring me.

    I did some low-carb shopping on Friday and I'm officially on day 2 of my low-carb diet. I spent today prepping lots of stuff to have on hand ready to eat or ready to cook. I put some chicken legs in a garlic and olive oil marinade to be grilled in a couple of days, I have a big batch of bone broth bubbling away right now, and I have some seasoned beef patties ready for the grill. Also bought lots of low-carb veggies and some Italian sausage to have in the freezer for later in the week. Oh, and pork rinds! Had some of those last night as a snack and they were very satisfying. Today I had grilled steak for lunch with some sauteed mushrooms and I have not had any food cravings at all. Pretty soon I will have some of the grilled patties with romaine lettuce.

    I haven't used my tester yet - the doctor's going to show me how to use it tomorrow. I'm hoping for a low number!

    Oh wait, you said it's a 3-month average. Well that's going to be anti-climatic!

  5. #25
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Hi, Geila. It sounds like you're on your way!

    With an A1c in that range, preparing for meds is smart, though I will say that I know of people who've moved their A1c from over 10 to under 6 just on diet and exercise. However, I can't speak to any specific medical challenges they might or might not have in addition to their diabetes; that can complicate things.

    Keep in mind that the fasting blood glucose number tends to come down slower than the others so I would recommend keeping track of all your readings to get a more complete picture of how you're doing. Write 'em down, make a spreadsheet, use an app. Whatever works for you.

    I will suggest that, if you're not already, you read labels for pretty much any prepared food you buy. Pork rinds are great (someday you may find out how well they can sub for bread crumbs) and most are carb-free but some varieties (like BBQ) have sugar added. Seasoned burgers might have carbs added in the form of potato flakes or bread crumbs used as a binder or even sugar as part of the seasoning blend. It's rather amazing just how many foods out there that have carbs that you'd never suspect had carbs.

    Hang in there; you're doing well.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  6. #26
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    I'm definitely keeping an eye out for ingredients in prepared food. I bought the plain pork rinds and I did my own seasoning of the ground beef - I made a thick sauce of fresh garlic, pepper, salt and olive oil and mixed that into the beef. And it was delicious! Tasted like steak. I did use some prepared salad dressing with my salad and I wanted to ask you about that. Do you worry about the nominal amount of sugar/carbs in salad dressing? I know that plain evoo & vinegar is best, but sometimes having a bit of variety is nice and convenient to just pull out a bottle. I saw that my dressings had 1 or 2 gr of carb for every 2 tbs of dressing. Is that something to eliminate as well?

    I didn't know that fasting glucose comes down more slowly. So much new stuff! Lots to learn for sure. And yes, I suspect a spreadsheet is in my near future.

  7. #27
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    Steve you have been so helpful and I shared the information with my husband. Thanks!

  8. #28
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geila View Post
    I saw that my dressings had 1 or 2 gr of carb for every 2 tbs of dressing. Is that something to eliminate as well?
    If you're trying to go ketogenic, I would. Some folks eating keto can take in no more than 20 net carbs (grams of carbs minus grams of fiber) a day to stay in ketosis so you're talking 10% of your carbs in a condiment.

    I aim toward ketogenic but I'm fine with not quite getting there (or being there full-time). So I don't worry about that small amount of carbs. This might be a problem if you're pouring out half a cup of dressing to use it as a dip but I certainly would not sweat that amount now (or maybe ever).

    Another tip:

    Eventually, there will be an occasion (funeral luncheon, catered work lunch) or social cue ("Happy birthday, dear Name-here!") which presents a lack of low-carb choices or an opportunity to cheat. I've gotten good at either just taking what I can eat (my plate may be just salad, veggies and dip, and cheese cubes) or taking the smallest piece of birthday cake I can find and eating just a couple of bites before subtly tossing the rest (if DW and I are together we will share a small piece). I've also gotten past needing to be a member of "The Clean Plate Club" if I don't get to choose my serving.

    The point I'm taking too long to make is that you don't have to pass on food that you really want to eat. But try to leave it at just a bite or two, a taste. Don't let a couple of bites lead to the whole piece or to thinking you've blown it so why even try? It makes it that much harder to recover from the cravings and from all the glucagon your liver will store.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  9. #29
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    Steve you have been so helpful and I shared the information with my husband. Thanks!
    Thanks, TT! It's good to know that hard-earned experience can be helpful to others.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  10. #30
    Senior Member Geila's Avatar
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    Well, my plan to avoid meds has gone out the window. I came home with 7 prescriptions yesterday. Yes, 7. 4 of them are to treat a stomach bacterial infection and I will only be on them for 14 days, so at least that is good news. And hopefully I will finally have relief from the gastritis that has been plaguing me these last 5 months. Lots of antibiotics are being used so I will need to address my gut flora afterwards.

    I also got blood pressure meds because my BP has gone up dramatically in response to all this health stress. Despite trying my best to relax using breathing exercises my BP remained at 158 yesterday, which is quite high. I have an appt next Monday to retest the BP.

    I was put on 2 diabetes meds and I've decided to go ahead and take them. Tests showed that I have kidney damage and that has scared me quite a bit. The meds are a low dose and the doctor said that I can reduce my carbs without any issue so my plan now is to take the meds and continue on my low-carb diet and see where we are in a few months since the glucose levels will not reflect the low-carb diet for that long anyway. Safer to get the blood sugar under control before it causes any further damage to my kidneys and God knows what else.

    My triglycerides were quite high but did respond quickly to my stopping the meds I was on and the doctor has agreed to hold off on cholesterol meds until we see how my numbers respond to a reduction in dosage.

    My switch to low-carb has been relatively easy because I'm so worried about everything else that this seems like such a minor thing by comparison. The only minor hiccup has been a craving for sweets in the evening (I have a big sweet tooth) and I've been satisfying that with a cup of flaxmilk with a packet of Splenda mixed in. The flaxmilk has a velvety texture and it's enough to feel like a sweet treat.

    For lunch today I made a quick soup of bone broth, bok choy, and bean sprouts with grilled sausage and zucchini. It was very tasty and reminded me of pho.

    My scare has motivated dh to get himself tested for everything as well, so that's another good thing. His blood sugar, cholesterol, and BP numbers have always been on the high end and he hasn't had them tested in years. His mom and my dad both died at a young age of heart disease. Hopefully we can catch him early before serious damage is done and while it can still be treated with diet.

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