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1/25/12 2:19 P

I recently picked up the Glycemic Index diet - or low carb, and so far not too bad. I checked out "Weight Loss for Idiots" from my local library. Here is a link to Amazon:

this REALLY helped me better understand carbs, and how they work in my diet with other foods, etc. Maybe it would help you too.

AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
9/29/11 12:38 P

It's all good, sparkers! Thank you! All of the interaction is GREAT! Bearclaw - super interesting and very helpful! Seems weird how the fat / carb ratio works the way it does, almost automatically!

My doctor asked me how I was feeling as I am still a little, and I mean a little when I say little, bit swollen. I feel great and have all along, really! And I have noticed that how much I swell on a day seems related to how many carb grams I ate the day before, so I think my doctor is on the right trail with this.

BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/29/11 11:22 A

Yes, if you are going to limit your carbs, then you cannot limit your fats very much, too.

I am reminded of the math involved. If you eat 50% carbs, 30% fats, 20% proteins and consume 3000 calories per day (I was a big guy!) then that is 375 g carbs, 150 g protein and 100 g fat. If you cut 1300 calories of carbs to be in your doctor's range without cutting the others at all, you end up with 50 g carb, 150 g protein and 100 g fat or 12% carbs, 53% fat and 35% protein. So....that looks like you are going crazy on the fats when in reality you have kept the fats exactly the same! Unchanged! So, as a percentage of your daily calories, fats are going to go up if your carbs go down. you eliminate the carbs, you can take this as an opportunity to improve your fats to be from things like healthy meats, nuts, avocados, olives and such.

Many people find that they are better able to control their blood sugar, blood lipids and cravings when eating this way. Just like height, shoe size and hair color, we are all different. The way of eating that is best for us is probably different, too. Try it....see how it turns out....and if you hate it then demand changes from your doctor.

ILOVEMY2BIRDS Posts: 2,646
9/29/11 9:33 A

I really think you should get specifics from the health care provider who told you this. If not you are going to be guessing what he/she meant and may not be doing what is right. Call that provider now!

DOWNEASTB Posts: 472
9/29/11 9:16 A

Awesomein12, sounds like you're on the right track now. I started off in a similar way by cutting out wheat and sugar and eating other grains sparingly. For the first month I kept carbs around 80-100g a day. Starting month two I went down to 30-50g a day and added in HIIT workouts 3x/week and that's when my health really improved dramatically. Yes, I miss the bread and beer sometimes but the tradeoff has been worth it. My stomach and hips have never looked so good, not even when I was in my 20s. And I have so much energy now. No more headaches, insomnia or digestive problems.

Keep up the good work. It will continue to pay off for you as long as you stay away from the foods that cause inflammation and metabolic problems.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/29/11 2:52 A

well awesome.. I have been doing low carb on and off.. but last Tuesday I started again, and lost 7.25 lbs in the first week.. I eat 10-12 servings of vegetables, my fat is around 100 g..10 over range.. I eat lean beef, chicken, and fish, and get 30-50 carbs a day.Best thing is that I have gotten off my diabetes meds since last May. I am not sure if going this low is necessary for lower blood sugar ( since I wasn't that low then ), but it helps with my weight loss, and energy.

Try the lower levels, and eventually your doctor will raise the carb level, and you can add back in some foods. You can look at my food tracker on my Sparkpage for an idea of what your menu might look like. I try to keep fats lower, but I need energy from somewhere, and not many carbs. I have tried lower fat, but it just leaves you drained.

with 50 carbs , you can probably get loads of vegetables, and will be surprised to be losing weight, and having good blood sugar while eating a western omelette for breakfast.

Drink plenty of water, and evenly space out your carbs over ALL meals.

-CORAL- SparkPoints: (40,297)
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9/29/11 1:57 A

I have to shake my head and laugh when I go on these message boards and see people first telling others to talk to their doctor about their problems, and then when someone comes on to ask for help with what their doctor told them to do, discount the doctor's advice and basically call them a quack and to get another opinion. Reducing your carbs to 25 to 50 a day is certainly challenging, but with careful diligence it's possible and not harmful (obviously, or your doctor wouldn't have told you to do it). I went through a time period where I would reduce my carbs to 10g a day for several days in a row, and it was not that hard as long as you know what to eat. Reading the Atkins diet book was a great help and the low carb team here can help as well.

AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
9/29/11 1:01 A

crzyquilter, update .... I contacted my doctor yesterday, and yes, he meant 25 - 50g per day. I told him that I have not kept my grams down that low (it's tough to do!), but that the swelling we are addressing is MUCH better with the cutting back that I have done. I have been dealing with swelling for over a year but it REALLY was something to address and work on as of July this year.

AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
9/3/11 6:58 P

Haven't yet, crzyquilter. I am trying to leave town. I can double with him next week though. Been having a time trying to keep my carb grams 75 to 100! So much still to learn ....

CRZYQUILTER Posts: 4,680
9/3/11 6:26 P

Did you doublecheck with the doctor about whether he meant that amount of carbs per meal or per day? Seriously I believe he meant per meal. I'd insist on a dietician appt asap also.

DEY101 SparkPoints: (15,463)
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9/3/11 3:25 P

Do NOT try to limit your fats! if you are limiting carbs, you must eat more fat for energy.

You want the carbs you do eat to come from mostly green vegetables. Spinach, broccoli, cabbage, etc.

This is the Atkins Phase 1 (induction) foods list:
, use it a a starting point. (You might not be doing Atkins specifically, but the information is helpful)

AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
9/3/11 12:53 A

I am soooo having a time with keeping the carbs down and keeping my fats down. It's looking like 25 to 50 grams a day means absolutely no grains of any kind and no starchy veggies like corn or potatoes. I have a feeling I'll be learning a lot about the carb count in LOTS of other foods, too! So much to learn....!

Thank you everyone for your input here! I'll get this figured out and find help for my pancreas - I KNOW it!!

TONKA14 Posts: 4,947
9/2/11 12:02 P

It is important to note that while long term ketosis may not have negative outcomes for many people, there are some segments with medical conditions that it would not be safe or recommended for.

Pregnant women
People with kidney disease
People with liver disease

If you fall into one of these groups, please consult your medical provider for evaluation and recommendations.

Coach Tanya

DEY101 SparkPoints: (15,463)
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9/2/11 11:46 A

Wow. That webmd article is terrible. They usually have fairly decent info, but that is so full of bogus scaremongering! It may be biased as it states a high-protein/low-carb diet... the typical breakdown is 65/30/5 % by calories (Fat/Protein/Carbs), not the up to 50% as stated in that article. I'd be willing to wager quite a few "low-fat" traditional dieter consume way more protein that that.

Ketosis is NOT dangerous... ketones are not dangerous. You have ketones in your body right now... any time you metabolize fat you have ketones. You body has two sources of energy, glucose or ketones. You use the glucose up first because its more efficient, then your body uses the ketones. If you have more of either than you need, it gets stored as fat. This is simple physiology.

Yes, there may be some side effects... "bad" breath is sometimes reported, but easily managed... and its not your typical halitosis type... more of a fruity or acetone almost smell. Very rarely some people have kidney problems, but this is usually do to already compromised kidneys. Also, eating too much protein is probably more a factor in this than the low-carb. The gout & kidney stones were also mentioned... ALL of these can be prevented by drinking more water and supplementing with potassium if needed. Your doctor should be checking these things anyway with blood tests.

Oh, and endurance athletes can do just fine on low-carb diets:

FITCHALLENGER SparkPoints: (0)
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9/2/11 11:04 A

25 to 50 grams of carbs per day seems like phases 2 to 3 of the Atkins diet (ongoing and maintenance); in my personal opinion, it's not generally bad if taken under a controlled plan and maybe for a limited time frame.

Try to talk to your doctor about your meal specifics. Just yesterday I was advised to keep carbs under 80 grams per day. I was even given a diet plan, but when you enter the carb / protein / fat count, the diet seems off balance, with more carbs than suggested. So I agree with someone here, not all doctors are good at math.

I've been advised to reduce carbs to reduce insulin levels in the past. To me, the problem was that there was no limit on the proteins and fat, just the carbs. So in the end, I got used to eating large amounts of fat and protein and still lose weight. I believe that if you keep it in proportion and limit amounts, it might be a healthy choice.

It's OK to ask for advice and information, buy rely in your doctor and talk to him about your concerns. Make sure he is a medical specialist and ask for a second opinion if in doubt.

Edited by: FITCHALLENGER at: 9/2/2011 (11:16)
CRZYQUILTER Posts: 4,680
9/2/11 10:00 A

Long term ketosis is dangerous contrary to a pp.

YACHTSMAN SparkPoints: (1,587)
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9/2/11 9:44 A

Another tool that you can use to keep carbs low is to check your blood sugar levels after meals. A couple articles that can be of help about this:

"You just THINK you’re low-carb"

"One hour blood sugar: Key to carbohydrate control and reversing diabetes"

DEY101 SparkPoints: (15,463)
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9/2/11 8:40 A

The last few comments is why I strongly encourage you to join one of the Low Carb teams here on SP. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation and bias against low-carb diets.

You do not "require" any carbs from dietary sources. Your body can function perfectly well on zero carbs.

Once you transition to a ketogenic diet (the technical term for a low-carb diet), your body uses ketones for fuel. You brain can function perfectly fine using ketones... for the few metabolic processes that require glucose as fuel, your body is perfectly capable of producing its own glucose (gluconeogenesis) from the glycogen backbone of triglycerides (fat). This happens in your liver.

Human beings lived on fat and protein for millions of years before the invention of farming. Yes, they may have occasionally eaten a few berries & nuts here or there, but it was the exception rather than the norm.

FITMOMMY18 Posts: 384
9/1/11 9:17 P

... is far too little. Barely enough to make your brain function properly!

GRACEISENUF Posts: 12,805
9/1/11 8:21 P

Without reading through all the posts that seems pretty low to me. I exercise quite a bit so I know I need to eat complex/healthy carbs. I know ALL our brains need carbs to function properly.

I try to eat between 100-150 per day.

Best wishes on your journey!

AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
9/1/11 7:03 P

Thank you, everyone! I'm getting all of the feed back that I wanted and expected. Keep it coming! It's all good!

ANARIE Posts: 13,205
9/1/11 5:17 P

Even though I'm the one who suggested that the doctor might not have thought through his/her advice, I didn't mean that you should ignore it and take the advice of random strangers on the internet instead. Please don't just decide on your own to do something different. Check back with the doctor, clarify, ask questions, and if s/he doesn't have good answers, get a referral to a specialist who does know.

By the way, I've been saying "doctor," but you originally said "health care provider." If the person who gave you this advice is a chiropractor, a naturopath, etc, rather than an M.D., then definitely find yourself an internist or endocrinologist. Diabetes is nothing to mess around with; you should be getting care from someone with the right qualifications.

DEY101 SparkPoints: (15,463)
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9/1/11 4:46 P

There are several low carb teams here on SP.

You'll probably find a lot of specific answers to your questions and support from people on similar diet plans.

One thing to know about eating low-carb... you usually can't/shouldn't do both low-carb and low-fat.

As other's have said ask your doctor EXACTLY what they meant... 25-50 a day or 25-50 a meal.My bet is that they mean a traditional Low Carb diet and mean per DAY.

9/1/11 3:53 P

25-50 per meal is far more realistic. That's what my husband eats (15-30 grams at snacks, 30-45 at meals) and he's a full-blown diabetic. I generally try to eat a similar amount although I have more from time to time since my body can handle it. We also stick to "brown" carbs as often as possible, as opposed to the more refined "white" variety, since they are generally kinder on blood sugar levels. Time to ask your doctor what they were thinking, I think!

It takes some planning, but it's definitely a manageable carb quantity. The hardest part is finding restaurant meals and convenience foods that satisfy him AND don't go over his carb limits. We usually have oatmeal, scrambled eggs with veg or cottage cheese with fruit for breakfast. Wraps and salads with lean meats and lots of veg are easy lunches, and I also love to make soups (since they have less sodium than the canned variety) when the weather is cooler. Our go-to dinner is lean meat, a large salad or pile of veggies, and a serving of brown rice, quinoa or even beans. We eat plenty of other things, too, but it's a good start with a lot of possible variation. Greek yogurt, fruit, veggies with hummus, tuna with whole wheat crackers, string cheese and almonds are common snacks in our house.

REBECANOLA Posts: 3,285
9/1/11 2:46 P

I'd suggest double checking with your doctor to see exactly what he or she meant. I have heard of doctors prescribing a low carb diet for pancreatitis or if you're releasing too much insulin (but I'm not sure that's what you mean), and lowering carbs is often good for blood sugar. If your doctor does mean that range for the dat, eating 50g of carbohydrate - especially net carbs in which you subtract the amount of fiber you eat from the total count is not especially difficult and will not hurt you. But, it does mean getting rid of all the added sugar, replacing your grains with other vegetables and leafy greens, eating pretty much only whole foods, and limiting the amount and types of fruit you eat. You don't have to increase the amount of fat or protein you eat, though the percentage of your calories might go up if you're eating fewer carbs.

For me that means, salads, not sandwiches. Strawberries, not bananas. Cauliflower, not rice or potatoes. Spaghetti squash or shiritaki noodles not pasta. Even if this lower number of carbs is not what your doctor intended, making some substitutions of higher carb/grain or starchy foods can definitely be a healthy move and help you keep your carb intake in check.

TONKA14 Posts: 4,947
9/1/11 10:53 A

Per meal makes much more sense. This resource can help you as you plan as well --

Carbohydrate-Counting Chart for People with Diabetes
A Single-Serving Reference Guide

Coach Tanya

NEED2MOVE2 Posts: 1,470
9/1/11 9:52 A

25-50 per meals sounds more reasonable... Good Luck!

AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
9/1/11 9:37 A

Thanks, all! I think I'm going to try to stick to 25-50 per meal. I tried hard to keep my carbs low yesterday and still ended up with over 100 grams. It's all a learning experience - I'm certainly learning what has carbs and lots of them! Again, I am at the beginning of a pancreas in need of help and learning how to help it. I will keep gathering information from LOTS of sources and get me figured out. Anybody else?

BRIDGETTER4 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/1/11 8:23 A

I agree with everybody, something this low carb is extreme. Not neccessarily dangerous mind you but I would think your doc would be able to give you guidelines, and should!
Good luck, keep us posted, I could stand to do that for a couple of weeks! emoticon

CRZYQUILTER Posts: 4,680
9/1/11 8:21 A

I agree. I think your doctor perhaps meant that much per MEAL. My son is diabetic and eats far more than that. Definitely a visit to a registered dietician(NOT nutritionist) is in order. Usually with a doctor's prescription these visits are covered by insurance.

Edited by: CRZYQUILTER at: 9/1/2011 (11:15)
LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
9/1/11 3:02 A

I agree with Anarie. This sounds extreme and, personally, I'd go to a different doctor for a second opinion. You might also want to see a registered dietitian.

Are you sure your doctor didn't mean 25-50 grams of carbs per meal (maybe more like 50 grams at the major meals and 25 grams per snack)?

ANARIE Posts: 13,205
9/1/11 1:16 A

If your health care provider wants you to do something that extreme, then it's your health care provider's responsibility to figure out how. As you've already noticed, you can't eat things like fruit, grain, milk, or even most vegetables and still come in under that limit.

If your health care provider is not an endocrinologist or a diabetes specialist, I would ask him/her to refer you to someone who is. A lot of GPs are throwing out these numbers without themselves doing the math to see if it's possible. My mom's doctor told her to go on a diet for two weeks where she would keep carbs under 20 grams-- but she was supposed to make sure she got at least 30 grams of fiber at the same time. Her doctor didn't even understand that fiber IS a carb, much less try to figure out how many grams of carbs there are in 5 servings of fruits and veggies. (He also told her she could lose 20 pounds in those two weeks. That's well over 10% of her body weight, about 4-5 times more than is safe. Doctors don't always have a good sense of numbers.)

FATFREE531 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/1/11 12:16 A

Definitely a question for a dietician.

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 7,159
9/1/11 12:16 A

Perhaps contact a dietitian and hack all your nutrition habits out.. There may be some other stuff you have not had time to tell your doctor to need this strict diet.. A dietitian can help you get the ratios in order and help you improve your food intake in general- she also can contact your doctor and ask for more info to help you..

I found out we can be blind to own failures- it is actually positive feed back to get information and change habits we think nothing off.. I know how you feel when you think crap- that didn't work.. What now.. Ask for help! They may be able to help with other questions you have..

Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 9/1/2011 (00:17)
AWESOMEIN12 Posts: 229
8/31/11 11:59 P

My health care provider has advised me to eat 25 to 50 grams of carbs per day. Seems my pancreas is in need of some attention to help me with my blood sugar levels. How can I keep my carbs down, my proteins where they need, not go over on my fats and stay within my daily calorie allotment? I could really use some suggestions. I learned today that I will spend all 25 to 50 grams of carbs lickety split if I eat a piece of bread or some oatmeal!

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