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Low Carb Diet


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#1 helena

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 01:11 AM

The information on the web and numerous books is quite confusing, suggested recipes are pretty much awful or contradictory. And i'm surprised to find almost no info on either eG or CH...
So i wonder if anybody here on MF has a personal experience on the diet, supplements and other stuff that works. Or any advice for that matter...
Very much appreciated, thank you.
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#2 GrantK

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:03 AM

I'm insulin resistant and flirting with type 2 diabetes (and other weight-related issues) so I need to eat low carb. I just pick low carb vegetables and eat more of them instead of starches. I don't think you need special low-carb recipes to create a good menu. I take two fiber pills daily which does help ameliorate one of the side effects of the diet. Also, eating small portions more frequently helps too, as does not eliminating fat. I don't go nuts on the high-fat foods, but don't avoid them either. Counting carb intake is essential though. It's easy to go over the daily allotment without realizing it. Read labels too. A lot of stuff has "hidden" carbs in it (corn syrup or sugar) that needs to be taken into account. It's an adjustment, but I find I am much less hungry when I eat this way rather than "normally." It sucks though in that my favorite foods are starches and desserts but life isn't fair. I strayed badly the past two years, with predictable results, but am back on it now.
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#3 Suzanne F

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:12 AM

I'm also very interested, since I'm facing the prospect of a low-carb diet. sad.gif Is there a place for whole grains? What about -- dare I say it -- beans? What are the vegetables to avoid?

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#4 helena

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:08 AM

Grant, this is great info confirming some ideas i have and suggeting others!

QUOTE
Is there a place for whole grains? What about -- dare I say it -- beans? What are the vegetables to avoid?


Suzanne, exactly - this is what i called controversial ingredients - depending on who you read - Dr Bernstein's diet pretty much disallows all of vegetables (and fruits of course), and grains except for as i recall barley.

Now, what's about supplements? Cinnamon anyone?
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#5 Suzanne F

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:16 AM

Sure, I can see cutting out foods with little nutrative value, like desserts, but I'm highly suspicious of any diet that disallows a whole group of foods such as fruits and/or vegetables. Where is one supposed to get the nutrients they contain?

I don't want to seem obsessed with this, but . . . -- Sneakeater, August 13, 2014

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#6 helena

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:24 AM

QUOTE
Where is one supposed to get the nutrients they contain?


well, diabetes is deadly - and the wrong food can kill you no? So as Grant suggested you can get fibers from supplements, thus cutting your need in beans and whole grains smile.gif
"farangs are full of surprises. It's the erudition that impresses her, not the quality of the evidence." Bangkok 8

#7 SamanthaF

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:16 AM

QUOTE(Suzanne F @ Nov 19 2008, 03:16 AM) View Post
Sure, I can see cutting out foods with little nutrative value, like desserts, but I'm highly suspicious of any diet that disallows a whole group of foods such as fruits and/or vegetables. Where is one supposed to get the nutrients they contain?


Generally low carb diets only disallows root veggies. Greens etc.. are good. You can get everything you need without adding supplements. Cauliflower has much more Vit C than oranges...

Fruit is useless water and sugar.
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#8 foodie52

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 12:28 PM

The South Beach diet is well balanced and as long as you ignore the desserts section which will suck because it's a no sugar diet and they use Splenda and such, you'll do well.

I've found that, if you take all white foods out of your diet, that's a good start. Cinnamon is reputed to be helpful in lowering blood sugar, as is hibiscus tea (a quart a day).

For the record, I am NOT a nutritionist.
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#9 ghostrider

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:03 PM

Helena, I know what you mean. I've been focused on this for quite a while, having been pre-diabetic for about 3 years & then crossing the line around 2 months ago. (I'm assuming that you're interested in this a/c blood sugar issues of your own. Anyway Suzanne F & GrantK are in this boat too so I'll continue from that perspective.) I crossed the line for a # of reasons, one of which was a sudden lack of exercise. I also wasn't sticking rigorously to the guidelines I'm going to lay out below for those 3 years; I have been sticking to them since the diagnosis & my blood sugar levels have dropped - still high but now down to pre-diabetic levels again - so something in them is working, for me.

When I was stuck in hospital for 4 days at the end of October, I wound up in a captive-audiience consultation with the staff nutritionist. She gave me a low-carb diet plan book, something about a "Carb Exchange Diet." It's absolute gibberish. I still don't know what a carb exchange is. It's almost useless, though it gives you some idea of good vs. bad foods & portion sizes.

The key things are to maintain a low blood sugar levels & to avoid blood-sugar spikes from what you eat. With regard to the latter, the Glycemic Index of the foods you eat is as important as the carb content. The GI measures how quickly the sugar in foods is absorbed into your blood; you want a slow absorption rate = a low GI number.

I got some books on diabetes & blood sugar from my library several years ago. One of them proved to be written almost entirely for women, lots of stuff about female physioloogy & comparatively little about the male body & so forth, but it did have an excellent chapter on GI. It also had a very good reference chart of the GI numbers on all sorts of foods, which I photocopied & have had taped to my refrigerator ever since. It's very interesting: beans run the gamut of high to low, depending on variety. Lentils are terrific. Plain baked potatoes aren't all that bad, surprisingly, though "avoid white foods" is a good general rule. I'll try to run down the name of that book later today, I cropped the chart so that I don't have the title on it.

Another key is timing & size of meals. The current wisdom is that it's best to have 5-6 small meals or snacks each day rather than 3 big ones, all with an eye to keeping your blood sugar levels as constant as possible. The book I mentioned above says it's essential to eat something every 5 hours even if you aren't sticking to a rigorously scheduled diet; go any longer than 5 hours & you can start a crash/spike cycle that will take you further down the road toward full-blown diabetes.

I've had an ongong debate with friends who are big devotees of the Weston A. Price school of thought. One of their tenets is a big midday meal & fasting for 12 hours every day. My friends claim that this approach + cod liver oil has cured their type 2 diabetes; the conventional wisdom says that shoiuld induce a dangerous crash/spike cycle in most people. Who knows. It's not a one-size-fits-all world & ultimately everybody has to figure out what works best for them. Tracking what you eat &, if you've got the stamina for it, monitoring your own blood sugar levels to see what works is the best approach. (Me, I've got a glucose meter now & am working towards using it. Never quite seem to have the time. Approach-avoidance issues perhaps? rolleyes.gif )

Anyhoo, fruits & veggies certainly aren't off the list, particularly if you watch your portions & pay attention to the GI ratings. I eat an orange or tangerine every morning & a piece of seasonal fruit with lunch. (You'll have to pry that peach out of my cold dead hand!) I also generally have a snack which includes fresh berries after dinner. As noted above, my blood sugar levels are dropping with this regimen. If that changes, I'll have to rethink it.

Whole grains & legumes are generally excellent. Hard to go wrong there.

There are probably GI charts on line, though I couldn't find a good one 3-4 years ago, which is why I went old school & photocopied pages from that book. There are all sorts of diet / carb counting sites if you can find one that makes sense to you. I'm trying to work out my own methodology for counting & record-keeping. For now, I'm sticking to whole grain starches, avoiding sugar (I even cut out honey) & hoping for the best while I come up with my own approach.

P.S. I've also lost 3 lbs in the last month, a happy side effect.
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#10 ghostrider

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 12:24 AM

OK this is the book I referred to above: The Sugar Solution.
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#11 helena

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 01:16 AM

ghostrider, thanks much - how could i miss your posts! unsure.gif

in today's news - subject of the thread notwithstanding - Bring Some Nuts!

QUOTE
Metabolic syndrome describes a group of health problems that includes abdominal obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high glucose levels -- all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Previous research suggests that a Mediterranean diet -- which includes lots of cereals, vegetables, fruits and olive oil, moderate consumption of fish and alcohol, and low intake of dairy, meats and sweets -- lowers the risk of metabolic syndrome.


QUOTE
Mediterranean diet with mixed nuts improves certain features of metabolic syndrome, such as oxygen-related cell damage, insulin resistance, and chronic inflammation, the researchers said

"farangs are full of surprises. It's the erudition that impresses her, not the quality of the evidence." Bangkok 8

#12 prasantrin

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:12 AM

Any new and exciting tips for controlling blood glucose levels?

Several months ago, my doctor suggested I had metabolic syndrome (as described in helena's post), and my blood glucose levels were a little high, but nothing to worry about. I now fear I have crossed the line into diabetes territory. I've noticed several changes since returning from Japan, and I have also stopped exercising. I have many of the symptoms (several in my family have type 2 diabetes, so I am very aware of what the symptoms are), and according to Clinistix, I pretty much always have some excess glucose floating around. I have set up a doctor's appointment for next week, and am bracing myself for what he will have to say.

I'm pretty sure my doctor will send me for blood tests, and if I am proven correct, he will probably send me to a dietician. From past experience, I think he'll have me focus on controlling my diet and exercising before he puts me on any meds (unless my situation is worse than I think it is), so I'm looking for help.

I have requested the book ghostie mentioned, as well as the companion cookbook. I'm a woman, so I won't mind the female-centredness so much. I love bready carbs, so it's going to be difficult for me to wrap my head (and stomach) around eating low-carb/low gi. I hate beans. I dislike many non-starchy vegetables. I like chicken (dark meat) but it really must have skin. I do like most fish, so I suppose I have that in my favour. I guess I just have to suck it up and eat all the stuff I don't like in order to avoid medication.

I have the book The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!
on request from the library, but I'm number 41 and there are only 8 copies, which means it will likely be at least 15 weeks before I get my hands on it. It's sold out on amazon.ca, though amazon.com has some in stock. Does anyone have other suggestions for reading materials? I've borrowed other low gi books in the past, but haven't been that impressed with them.

Suggestions for cookbooks that provide full meal plans would be appreciated. I'm having trouble planning meals, and as a co-worker's trainer says, "Fail to plan, plan to fail!"

Please shower me with ideas!




#13 Rail Paul

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 12:39 AM

I've been working through my inventory of Rancho beans with good effect. Soups, stews, etc as well as cutting out sugar and avoiding a lot of bread. A scoop of cheerios, oatmeal, and bran with some skim milk every morning. Adding a half hour of walking outside every day, regardless of the weather.

I feel a lot better, more active, less lethargic. Lost about 15 pounds, although that's not my objective. Definitely feel that my circulation etc has improved.

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#14 prasantrin

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:35 AM

I hate beans! I'm going to suck it up and start working them into my diet slowly. Maybe after a few months, I'll actually start liking them.

Could I ask how much oatmeal you were eating in a serving? I used to cook 60g raw oats (which is maybe 1 1/2 cups cooked) because it was what the American Heart Association recommended for lowering cholesterol. But that would be about 40g carbs in just one serving which, from what I've read, is quite a lot.

I went ahead and ordered The Blood Sugar Solution. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long before I get it. I also reserved a slew of books from the library, focusing on recipe books that have meal plans. I want a personal chef so I won't have to deal with any of the planning, but I'll just have to do it myself until I win the lottery.