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AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
11/5/13 2:38 P

Russell, I do eat around 100 G carbs per day and have been doing so for about three years. I have gone from borderline diabetes to having a fasting blood sugar of 80--a full 20 points below even the pre-diabetes level. My A1C was 5.1 the last time I had it checked.

So yes, a moderate carb diet has, in my case, alleviated symptoms. Most of my carbs are coming from veggies, whole grains, legumes and minimal fruit.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 12,081
11/4/13 5:30 P

And the last word goes to me!

Eh, it's already been said.

11/4/13 5:22 P

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how to treat and manage diabetes.
I wish you the best, truly I do.
Let us know when you feel you have reached your desired level of success.

Keep Sparking.
Dietitian Becky

And...I too am leaving this thread.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
11/4/13 8:45 A

Naypooie - Sorry, I think we agree on the issue, but I think I stated it more forcefully than you would have. So I may contradict you, and get very close to what our dietitian is suggesting.

Becky - I am not trying to be argumentative, and never said it was a big mistake. What I said though was that depending on the goal, the success of what we call the diabetic diet is not that great. The only way you can say it is a success is by using lowered expectations. If your goal is to have a 6.8 Hemoglobin A1C, and be on meds for the rest of your life, then by all means, it is an improvement over 300 blood sugars. Eventually, you will switch to Insulin, experience blindness, kidney failure, and amputation. I would not consider this to be a treatment that " does work; and it works well, very well ". I think we vary on how much success we wish the patient to have. I think we should aim for a cessation of medication, with low blood sugar.

The previous post where you seemed to be suggesting that I somehow had a different experience than others, which is skewing my results irks me. My doctors are just following the protocol they are supposed to, they are not rogue doctors who have strayed from the beaten path. Talking to hundreds of diabetics has shown me that most diabetics tend to have the exact same results/experiences. I reject your premise that my situation is unique.

You are trying to suggest that what I have experienced isn't necessarily what would happen to other if they followed a low carb diet. I find it amusing that we cut carbs to deal with diabetes, but when it just lowers the number on your meter, the first option wasn't to just cut the carbs again. So it WAS the solution, but it didn't work quite good enough, so I just keep the carb levels the same, and hope with patience, it works?

Sure this is simplistic, but it is true. A person who sees lower blood sugars at 150 grams a day, will see even lower blood sugars at 75, and even lower at 25. I hope we can agree on that at least. We may not need to go as low, which can be debated, but the idea that lowering carbs, lowers blood sugars has to agreed on, or else we just can't even debate. Of course, there are other factors, like glycemic index, consumption of protein ( which can be converted to glucose ), but someone who eats half the carbs will have a lower blood sugar most likely. This is what diabetics are taught at their training. Less carbs, and healthier carbs.

My basic point is that once we have cleaned up the types of carbs, and reduced them to the levels our doctors said ( around 150 ), what happens if we are still on medication, and having high morning blood sugar, and poking our fingers 4 X a day, hoping the number on the tiny screen doesn't say 207, and you have no reason why? Do we continue, and hope for success by repetition?

I doubt I will convince you that the results you are seeing aren't success, but improvement, because that would mean you would have to say it isn't working. That would lead to the next question, what will work? Your answer to that would have to be .. I don't know.

What really is the problem here, and this is way over your head Becky, is that no one wants to admit that they don't have the answer. They are embarrassed that they aren't solving the problem. They put forth a solution, and the results aren't what they expected, so they just blame the patients, and say that the diet works. Your job is to repeat that, which I understand.

The problem is social media.. the actual patients.. the ones at direct risk, don't share your optimism. They can now interact with each other, and they seem to notice that while others with diabetes may be seeing improvement, the ones seeing the most improvement seem to be the ones who are consuming even less carbs, and avoiding certain ones completely.

Since the standard treatment of PCOS seems to be lowering blood sugars, and taking Metformin, I thought that may have some relevance, since that is the same treatment for diabetes.

I am in no way suggesting treatment for anyone. I am merely stating that some people are looking for different options on their own, and finding much more success.

I can't think of many other diseases that we manage. I have high BP, and have halved my medication twice, but won't consider it success, until I am off my meds completely, with low BP. I have done this with cholesterol, and diabetes, so I consider that to be success. I am not sure why that should not be the goal for everyone. We may never reach that goal, but shouldn't we actually define success correctly? It all comes back to what a person who has diabetes wants to accomplish. What is their definition of success?

Maybe I am wrong, and people today are getting off their diabetes meds completely, with Hemoglobin A1C's under 5.5, by following the low GI/diabetic diet. If so, no need to even consider low carb. Same for people with PCOS, following the same treatment. The goal is low blood sugars. If you can do that with 150 grams a day, why would you go any lower?

If however you are one of the " few who may need to go lower on the carb scale, or lower at certain meals/snacks, or limit certain foods due to the glycemic index. ", you may need to try some " tweaking ". I am sure Miley Cyrus can show you how.

I just have to add that it is amazing that of all the diabetics I have talked to, those " few ", tend to be the overwhelming majority.

I just totally disagree with your presentation of how the fight against diabetes is going, and what the goal should be . Based on the results we are looking for, we can both state we have seen success. What diabetics need to ask, is what is my goal? How can I best achieve it? Does my doctor share those same goals, or have lowered expectations to define success?

I look forward to your responses as always, even as we disagree. Both sides of an argument need to be made. Hopefully, I haven't been uncivil.

One thing I would like to have answered, since I am unfamiliar with PCOS, is.. Is it in any way related to diabetes, since it gets the same treatment?

Also, I won't be responding to this thread anymore. I think my point has been made, and will let you have the last word, and would just say that while my thinking on the subject tends towards low carb, I would not suggest that diabetics just start Atkins tomorrow, since their can be side effects such as low blood sugars to worry about. I, in no way expect anyone to make a decision based on my discussions on this thread, but I just want to clear that up, so our dietitian doesn't suggest that is my intent.

I hope everyone with diabetes, OR PCOS, finds true success in treating their condition.

11/4/13 7:20 A

You are correct....Russell said the diabetic diet was a "huge failure".
That is the point that I wanted to correct on this thread. For the majority of the population with diabetes, a carbohydrate controlled diet that works toward achieving/maintaining a healthier weight (even 6-8% weight loss) will work wonders for the adult with type 2 diabetes.

This was really my only concern.


NAYPOOIE Posts: 12,081
11/3/13 11:14 P

I did not (and certain Russell did not) say it was a huge mistake. The point being made was that most experts won't suggest going lower carb if that 40%+ carb isn't working.

11/3/13 3:32 P

Sorry, but research shows that for the majority of people ---a well planned, carbohydrate controlled eating plan does work; and it works well, very well. Yes, there are a few who may need to go lower on the carb scale, or lower at certain meals/snacks, or limit certain foods due to the glycemic index. This is all part of the "Tweaking process" done by the certified diabetes educator to bring about the best blood sugar control. However, for the masses, a carbohydrate controlled eating plans works wonders---this is usually with about 40-50% of one's calories coming from carbohydrates.

Yes, there is research that shows health benefits also with an even lower carb diet. With weight loss, and better blood sugar control---one's heart health is not compromised. Working with the individual, the educator can determine the appropriate interventions and goals. imply to the population here at Sparkpeople that the carbohydrate controlled diet plan is a huge mistake is misleading and inappropriate. This site supports the research, work, and recommendation guidelines of the American Diabetes Association.

NAYPOOIE Posts: 12,081
11/3/13 3:01 P

Motivation is certainly an individual thing, but I think Russell's primary point here is that diabetics are being prescribed a diet that just won't do what needs to be done for most diabetics, and when it doesn't work the 'experts' who prescribed it refuse to try something else.

It may be true that most people won't do low carb well enough to fix their problems (it IS hard, surrounded by tasty carbage), but most people just aren't being given the option. Unless some 'non-expert' points them at Atkins or something similar, they just keep struggling with the official diet that just won't work for them.

11/3/13 12:49 P

Dear Russell--
You and I have had conversations before. I have told you in the past, that I feel saddened that you had appointments with your doctor and diabetes educator that were not to your liking and did not result in the health benefits you desired. I have also told you how pleased I am that you have found a plan that meets not only your health needs, but also a plan that you feel you can live with for years to come.

The point of my post, is that with 15 million members at Sparkpeople---we need to get them into treatment that meets their needs----and for someone with diabetes the plan should be--- "meeting with a diabetes educator." The key is to help each person individually with their plan, taking baby steps and moving them forward as best possible.

Perhaps you have a "good idea" for the young pregnant woman that I met with last week who has just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and refuses to give up her 7 regular pops consumed daily. Yes we talked about diet, exercise, but primarily medication---it may be the only step she is willing to take to keep the baby out of danger. Is this the only time this has occurred in my professional life???---hardly. I find it very sad indeed.

Please realize that not everyone has the great motivation that you have. Getting people to take steps toward better health may be small compared to the giant steps you have taken. But as a health coach, one must often start with baby steps. The carbohydrate counting diabetes eating plan works! It provides for great flexibility, which most people need. Can it be more restrictive for folks like you? Of course it can. But does it need to be that restrictive for most people? No. And if it was made that restrictive for everyone, I feel that we would have even less compliance.


11/3/13 8:26 A

Well said Russell. Did you just break 200# ? 199 that's awesome!

It's silly. All you need to do is use a glucometer for a couple days to realize how eating sugars and starches have a profound effect on blood sugars. Everyone should use one for a week to see how different foods effect their blood sugar levels and adjust their diet accordingly.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
11/3/13 7:10 A

I think it is time for us to stop nitpicking the words used. Yes, some people are achieving decent results, and some people see success on the diabetic diet suggest by doctors. Talk to any large group of diabetics however, and a vast majority will talk about how they do get LOWER blood sugars, but it is not predictable, meaning sometimes they have a 200 blood sugar when they ate according to plan. They also struggle to get below a 7.0 A1C. The worst thing is that instead of noting that this occurs, most doctors just assume that the patient didn't follow the plan, since the plan " isn't a failure ". They place the blame on the patient.

So what is the goal of a person with diabetes? Is it to have a slightly elevated Hemoglobin A1C, stay on Metformin for years, till they have to switch to Insulin? Hope they run out the clock before suffering from blindness, kidney failure, and amputations? First we must define success, before we can judge whether it is working. To me, success is getting low blood sugars, getting off meds, and not having to poke my finger 4 -6X a day. In other words, not having to do all the things I had to do when the disease was first noticed. I am NOT saying that everyone will achieve those results, but they should be the ultimate goal.

So if the goal is to be a " latent diabetic ", and we judge success by the percentage of people achieving success, or by how close people get to success by percentage.. we can compare diets to how they affect diabetics. In my experience, AND observation most diabetics achieve limited success on the diabetic diet suggested by doctors. It doesn't give them the results they were looking for. Frustration would be the #1 word to describe how they feel. So why should people continue to follow a diet that is a failure, or has a low percentage of meaningful success?

I'm not sure if you are diabetic Becky, but if someone is a diabetic, and is following the diet suggested, and seeing poor results, wouldn't they be expected to search for an alternate plan to achieve success? I did, and I don't think my frustration, and search for something better is unique. I think most diabetics realize that the diabetic diet is not going to get them the results they and their doctor set as goals, within 2-3 years, but that it is obviously better than the SAD, which caused their diabetes, along with genetics. They reduce carbs by almost 30-50%, and see better blood sugars. So when it only has limited success, the first question one would ask is " Cutting carbs once helped drop blood sugars, so why not cut them again? " I know this, because at 2 months, during my diabetic training class, I asked, and was actually yelled at by the instructor.. I'm guessing for blasphemy?

I wasted 7 years trying to get blood sugars under control this way, and while I think today they are doing better, with more attention paid to glycemic index, the progress is slow. I actually acted on my ideas, much to the chagrin of my doctors. Now they marvel at my success. By cutting carbs more, I got off all meds with 12 months. I could have been off them in 3. The drop in my blood sugars took 1 day, and unless I ate off plan, they never went over 110.. 1 day! My only problem was that I was learning through trial and error, having low blood sugars and then eating fruit/ carbs to counteract that, and having cravings, and binges.

At that point, I have to admit, I saw a dietitian for 6 months, and learned to space my carbs out some. She tried to up my carbs, and did so with some success. We argued a lot, but she helped me achieve balance, which is why my frustration at most dietitians refusing to budge on this diet. The success rate of low carb would be much higher if they had help to do it correctly.

The reason this may be worth discussion on this thread, is that the treatment for PCOS seems to be similar to diabetes. They use Metformin, and aim for lower blood sugars, which seem to be elevated for people with it. Correct me if I am wrong...??

If so, then success at diabetes, MAY mean that if a diet can result in lower, steady blood sugars in diabetics, it could help people with PCOS do the same. Unless it is your argument that by eating low carb/low glycemic, you won't see lower blood sugars.

The only concern at that point is health due to low carb, or whatever diet can achieve good results. I do not contend that low carb is the only diet that could help lower, and stabilize blood sugars, just what worked for me. So a diet that achieved results, must not harm/cause other health issues. Of course, many of the treatments suggested by doctors cause serious side affects, but that would just be argumentative. We will stick to a stricter level of scrutiny than doctors. So where is the mountain of evidence that low carb is dangerous? Anyone?

There is none. There is rumor, and guesses, but no one can actually link low carb to any problem. If I use rumors, or guess at things, I am criticized, and reminded that I am not an " expert ". I guess experts can just say things without proof. Come to think of it, SP members can do the same thing on these boards, as long as they agree with the site. Where are you when people say " You need carbs for your brain to function! ", or " Low carb is dangerous! " ?? I guess blanket statements are only wrong if I put forth a different point of view.

What would it say about me, if I achieved success, and kept mum about it? Should I just sit here and not discuss my results in lowering my blood sugars substantially? Should I watch people struggle, with even the possibility that they could see results similar to mine, which would have a huge benefit?

I am not suggesting that anyone run out and start low carb, but as far as I can tell, and I would wager most diabetics would too.. the diet suggested has been " the opposite of success. Use whatever word makes you happy. The more important question that should be asked about the experts, is: Why are the results of low carb being ignored? Why aren't they looking for something with a better success rate? Why did they settle on one that has such a low success rate?

True, my results can't be transferred to other people, even though thousands of people have similar results, with no harmful side effects, but it isn't like the medical establishment has a decent plan either. I at least have gotten my Hemoglobin A1C below 5.5 for 2 years with no meds. Why should we listen to people who suggest a diet, on which almost no one achieves those goals?

This discussion needs to happen. We have multiple diseases/conditions that can be improved by lowering blood sugars, and the only factors are the amount of carbs, and the glycemic index of these carbs for most of these patients. We can clean up carbs and drop them in half, but if it comes up short still, why can't lowering carbs again be the solution?

What happens if the OP follows the normal diet for PCOS, and sees limited success? Should she just continue with the plan? The practice today seems to be that doctors recommend a diet, and if you fail, YOU are a failure, not the diet. No one goes back and checks the success rate, or the level of improvement to see if the diet actually worked. It becomes dogma, and even when others achieve much better results on a different diet, with no health problems, they stick to saying that the diet is " great ". If that is true, then the patients are failing. I think calling the victims failures, is much worse than calling the diet a failure. Also, when it comes to health, there is no in between. it is either failure or success. We tend to be PC, but for those who are suffering from a disease aren't looking for better, they are looking for best.

Technically, I am still diabetic, but I live my life no different than other people when it comes to blood sugars. Mine are stable, and low, with no meds. If that is the goal of the person, then low carb can achieve it. It seems to me that we all agree that lower blood sugars is desirable for diabetics, and people with PCOS, but can't agree that eating a low carb diet will achieve lower blood sugars. That defies logic. So if we can lower blood sugars with low carb, and expect positive results from lowering blood sugars, why is low carb not the suggested diet for these people?

It is time for people to go to their doctor ( Both you and I agree on this point at least ), but I say demand to know what the goals of all these diets are, and set up a timetable to see if the goals are met. I do not think that if these goals aren't met, then you have a second option though. You merely would tweak the diet, no matter how poor the results are, since that is the diet that works. I am merely suggesting that there might be another option, if conventional " wisdom " does not work.

There is one option of who is failing us, that no one dares to speak of : the "experts ". They aren't infallible, and the results are horrible over the last 40 years. They may have meant well, but results matter.

An SP member who knows that there is a better option, and not going to be quiet just because I may use a word that someone doesn't agree with.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 11/3/2013 (07:13)
11/2/13 5:29 P

While "great" is a relative term; I was using the term as I do with clients. Each person is an individual with individual intervention goals. For some that may mean a 6-8% weight loss, for another --an A1C within a normal/healthy range, for another it may mean a decrease in medication. Not everyone should have the same goal, or the same plan. When coaching healthier habits it is important to discover where the individual is "and" where they want to be. It is important to set goals that are specific, measurable, obtainable, doable, important to the individual, timely, realistic, etc, etc. For each individual this will be different. Great results for one person, are different than great results for another----yet both can be Great.

I also ask that you do "not" make blanket statements such as the "diabetic diet" is a huge failure. This in inaccurate. This site supports and encourages our members with diabetes to work with a diabetes educator to determine the most appropriate treatment plan. This would include a form of carbohydrate counting. It would include follow up testing. It would include tweaking as needed. It would include contact with the doctor regarding medications, the diet, the complete treatment plan. Your statement of "It only pays attention to total carbs per meal, with no concern for glycemic index, or avoidance of certain foods." is not current or accurate information.
Our members often need to seek the resources from health professionals ---and that includes diabetes education, and the current diet plan for blood sugar control that comes from a certified diabetes educator.

your SP Registered Dietitian

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
11/2/13 11:35 A

Certhia..The problem is that " low carb " crispbreads/bread spike the blood sugars. It is labeled low carb, but is not. There are many products like this.. sugar free, or with sugar alcohols that still act the same as regular. Diet pop is not okay, even though it is 0 calorie, and 0 carb. Even Atkins products, like his bars, and shakes are garbage, but since he died, there is a bunch of " low carb " food sabotaging the diet to make money off of it. The Atkins diet proposed today isn't the same as it was.

Like I said before, and will repeat, low carb is more complicated than just the number of carbs.

If it is not on the approved list of foods, even if it has 0 carbs, it is NOT low carb. This is why so many people fail on low carb. The type of carbs matter. Another example would be peas.. pretty low carb, but just because something is a vegetable, relatively low carb, and sounds healthy doesn't mean it is low carb. This is why the " diabetic diet " is such a huge failure. It only pays attention to total carbs per meal, with no concern for glycemic index, or avoidance of certain foods. By doing low carb incorrectly you also fail, and along with that, you get none of the health benefits.

Becky - Define great results. Did the symptoms go away? I only ask because my doctor thought I was having " great " results on the diabetic diet, because I reduced my Hemoglobin A1C, but with low carb I have been off my meds, and it is 5.1-5.4 for over 3 years. "Great " is relative. If symptoms get better by lowering carbs, or even just eating better carbs, does anyone know if going even lower on carbs will be more beneficial? Or has no one tried yet?

I am guessing her doctor meant more like 25 g a meal, not 25 grams a day, but she should clarify that, and if the doctor means 25 grams a day, then she should look at a low carb plan, not just stay below a certain number of carbs, OR get a new doctor if she just isn't going that low on carbs.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 11/2/2013 (11:38)
10/31/13 8:18 P

1. I agree with all the others who have suggested asking your doctor for a referral to see a Registered Dietitian.
2. 25 grams of carb is not a standard nutrition recommendation for someone with PCOS. I have seen great results when about 40% of calories are coming from carbs. That is basically using your SP calorie range and eating at the low end of your carb range OR slightly below the range.
3. You say you have lost 30# in the past and then gained it back. So your body will lose weight---the key is keeping it off. What happened during these other weight loss attempts? What brought about the weight loss and then the weight gain?

Your SP Registered Dietitian

ALIBELLA81 Posts: 48
10/31/13 8:09 P

I also have PCOS and I highly recommend trying to see a nutritionist. I went and saw one and it was helpful,she gave me a range of carbs I should aim for per meal and snack. If you see one they can help you with your eating choices. I think your dr is wrong about the carbs. Have they suggested Metformin to help manage the pcos? I've been taking it and I do notice the difference although it could be better but that is because of my choices. Good luck!

CERTHIA SparkPoints: (22,539)
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10/31/13 5:58 A

You are preaching to the choir here. I'm well aware what regular bread/pops/juice will do to blood-glucose. I edited my post to make clear that what I used in my menu are low-carb cripsbreads. I am NOT suggesting conventional high-fiber wheat/rye crispbreads, but high-fat gluten-free low-carb ones.

So, do I really believe that eating vegan, gluten-free and LCHF will be easy? Nope, it would probably be very reliant on nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast and tofu for protein, and that will probably get old fast. I just wanted to show that it IS possible. But supplementing will be needed. Would I recommend it? Nope, perhaps if I could add fish, but then it would no longer be vegan. OP asked if it was possible to eat low-carb, gluten-free and vegan, so I took the challenge. And I do agree with you, OP should see her doctor again. Ask him/her all her questions, and ask for a referral to see a dietician.

I don't think you could find one item on my menu that will bring most people out of ketosis eaten in the amounts I suggested. (Perhaps withholding the raspberries, still1/2 a cup paired with nuts should be ok for most people) To make absolutely sure ketosis is maintained, one could just skip the snack and use more oil cooking the dinner and dressing the salad to get calories back up to over 1600.

Edited by: CERTHIA at: 11/1/2013 (08:30)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
10/30/13 9:06 P

The problem is that we have a group of diseases that seem to be caused by high carbs/high blood sugars. Obesity, diabetes,gout, P.C.O.S., cancer, and heart disease are being linked more and more each day to eating sugar, and high glycemic, and processed carbs.

Like diabetes, the diet recommended is moderate carb, as they show a sign of improvement I am guessing by reducing carbs/ or certain types of foods, the same as in diabetics.

My personal problem with your last statement is if that level is low enough. Are people's symptoms disappearing when they eat 100 grams a day, or just improving, like it does with diabetics? If I had listened to what is " about right ", I would still be 360 lbs, and averaging 300 blood sugars, and be on my meds.. " managing " the disease.

Her doctor may have found that by cutting down to 25 grams a day, that his patients reduce, or eliminate the symptoms, and is trying to share that with his patient.

I am not saying that she should just do 25 grams a day EITHER. Maybe the doctor is meaning 25 grams a meal as suggested, but at the very least, a call to the doctor to clarify is the answer, not just picking an option, and wasting months trying out a diet that may be totally useless.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/30/13 3:13 P

25 G carbs per day is not a standard recommendation for PCOS. 25 G carbs/meal + 1 snack is about right for a total of 100 G total carbs (not net carbs) per day.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
10/30/13 2:03 P

Certhia - There is more to doing low carb, than just NET carbs.. There are a list of foods that you can't eat ANY of. You can eat 25 NET carbs, and still not get into ketosis, which may be what her doctor is trying to do. If all you were worried about was net carbs, you can have a 12 oz. Pepsi, and 2 lbs of meat, and be low carb, but those 16.8 grams of sugar will ruin it, and you will not lose weight, or get into ketosis.

The goal isn't to just deny yourself the pleasure of eating carbs, but to do so with a purpose. Eating low glycemic carbs, and avoiding starches and sugars.This keeps blood sugars from spiking, and allows you to get into ketosis, and no longer feel cravings,and switch to fat burning. A piece of bread would destroy your diet. If you get a copy of Atkins book, it actually lists every food you are allowed to eat. At no point are crispbreads allowed, except maybe the Maintenance phase. There are some differences with most low carb plans, but not any that promote eating this way.

AzulViolet - The problem is that she is trying to change her diet to help with PCOS. Yes, 150 g, and 25 g a day are very different, but she needs to find out if 25 will be of a benefit, and whether 150 g a day would be worthless. I am diabetic, and 25 grams a day has helped me get off meds, and maintain a 5.3 Hg A1C for over 3 years. Eating 150 grams a day left me averaging 300 blood sugars, and weighing 361 lbs. There IS a HUGE difference.

So she needs to know if 25 grams is necessary to be of benefit, and then if so, decide if she is willing to go that low. A list of improvements expected might be in order. If the PCOS can be put into remission, then she may decide to stay at 25 grams. If the benefit is minimal, probably not. Those are things she needs to learn from her doctor, not just choose to do a milder version of the diet he prescribed.

Then a list of foods, and a diet plan/menu can be set by her doctor, OR a dietitian. My worry is that a consensus of people might just agree that a moderate carb version would be better, and the OP just does it, and 6 months from now, finds that it was a waste since 150 grams a day has no benefit.

It may come down to a choice between having PCOS symptoms, or giving up vegan to do low carb @ 25 grams a day.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 10/30/2013 (14:16)
AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/30/13 11:43 A

25 g carbs/day and 150-200 g/carbs per day are TOTALLY different worlds.

I'm not sure where your doctor was coming from when he said 25..but 100-125 is probably a better zone to aim for. 200 is VASTLY too many--you will never lose weight at that level, no matter how well you are otherwise eating.

Honestly, I don't think that it is possible to get the specific kind of nutrition that you need on a vegan and gluten-free diet. Personally, I hate eating meat, but I cannot maintain a healthy weight without doing so. Being a vegetarian was less important to me than staying alive.

Yes, consult a nutritionist...but you are unlikely to be able to get the numbers to add up in he way that you need them to on your current diet.

Edited by: AZULVIOLETA6 at: 10/30/2013 (14:41)
NYXWOLFWALKER SparkPoints: (168,070)
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10/29/13 7:44 P

Dealing with pcos n being vegan n living gluten free isn't easy, but its dfuable as u know though the low carb deal to me isn't possible at least not that low I didn't think. I'm gluten n dairy free do to allergies n I am diabetic n have pcos to boot. Seeing a dietitian to help u develop a plan is your safest option to meet your docs goals. I know I'm averting 20 pounds a year loss myself n I average between 150 n 200 grams of carbs a day. N yes working out varies for each woman with pcos as to what works or doesn't since many of uys tednd to put on muscle faster then many other females, so its possible u have lost weight but gained muscle in the process

CERTHIA SparkPoints: (22,539)
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10/29/13 2:09 P

Those cripsbreads are less than 1 g carb each, not net carb, but carb. I am guessing the net carbs are close to 0. You can most certainly add them to a LCHF diet ;)

Fat: 5.7g
Carbohydrates: 0.9g
Protein: 2.5g

I'll gladly share the recipe, PM me if you would like it, but since it is not mine I can't add it to spark-recipes.

Edited by: CERTHIA at: 10/29/2013 (16:07)
RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
10/29/13 1:57 P

I don't think the problem is less calories, but cutting carbs enough to be low carb, while staying vegan.

I am sure Certhia did an admirable job coming up with a 24 NET gram carb menu for the day. I am sure it took quite an

I think the problem is the term low carb. For one, it is relative. I assure you that Becky Hand's version of low carb is different than mine. What is really happening when you do Atkins, is you are on HIGH FAT. I eat 25-30 % protein, and 60-65 % fat, and the rest of my carbs comes from APPROVED carbs. This doesn not mean any carbs. Crispbreads are not part of any " low carb " diet. Many vegetables, and fruits are not either. This is why people fail on low carb. They think all that matters is the number of NET carbs.

This is why you need to talk to your doctor. He has an exact plan that he thinks will help with your PCOS, and it could be completely different than anything I eat, or Certhia made up. It may be a 25 gram diet, with restrictions on the types of foods you can eat, like maybe First you need to determine if it is 25 NET or total grams, and if that number is able to be moved, or is it a requirement to help with your condition. The # 1 goal here is to make you healthier, so you need to establish that first. Second, whether there are banned, or limited foods on his version of the diet, and if you eat those, will it ruin the diet.

If he is just saying you should eat low carb, and the lower the better, you may decide to go with low carb as a dietitian would recommend. What I would consider moderate/lower carb.
This may be 100-150 NET carbs. If this will provide you some benefit, and can stick to the foods proposed as low carb acceptable, then you might be able to do it.

I sincerely doubt that you can eat 25 NET grams of carbs a day as a vegan. You should read all these posts, and make a list of questions, and go back, and make your doctor earn his pay.

ANARIE Posts: 13,205
10/29/13 1:10 P

Do you know for sure that you're gluten sensitive? The thing is, gluten is a protein. If you're eating gluten-free, you're eliminating one source of vegan PROTEIN, not carbs. It's generally found in high-carb foods, but it's not a carb itself. While many whole plant-based foods are naturally gluten-free, if you're buying gluten free products, they'll be higher in carbs and lower in protein than the regular equivalent.

I agree that it's extremely difficult to be both vegan and low-carb AND reduce calories to lose weight. It's kind of like wanting to save and invest money without increasing your income AND while paying off old debts. I think the only way you're going to be able to manage it is to get help from a registered or licensed dietitian *who specializes in vegan AND low-carb nutrition,* or at least one who expresses sympathy toward the idea. It's going to take some searching to find someone like that, because you are fighting against the rules of physics and mathematics.

CERTHIA SparkPoints: (22,539)
Fitness Minutes: (16,207)
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10/29/13 12:29 P

If that is 25g net carb (subtracting the fibers) then I guess you could get away with eating mostly seeds (sesame seeds, flax seeds), nuts, tofu and nutritional yeast for protein and adding high fiber and low GI vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and kale. But it would be crazy high in fats and fiber to eat this way (perhaps not a problem if low carb, moderate protein, high fat is the goal), and most probably lacking in more than a few nutrients.. If you attempt this, make sure you track all your micro-nutrients as well as your macros. I am guessing you will need to supplement, but perhaps not?

Edited to add; I had to try to make this work, so I tracked a menu with vegan gluten-free foods aiming for low carb. I ended up with 1,636 calories, 60 g carbs,132 g fat and 66 g protein.
Subtracting 36g of fibers from the 60g carbs will leave a net carb of 24g. I could actually eat this and enjoy it! :) (But must admit, I'm kinda tired of tofu..)

Breakfast: Two low-carb cripsbreads with peanutbutter and a red bell pepper as a side-snack.
Lunch: Miso-soup with tofu and scallions with a low-carb cripsbread and some nuts on the side.
Dinner: Sauteed spinach with garlic, pine nuts and tofu for dinner served with a side-dish of cauliflower-rice topped with nutritional yeast.
Snack/dessert: Some raspberries and more nuts.
Evening meal: A green salad topped with nutritional yeast, sesame seeds and some walnuts, dressed in vinegar and oil.

Micros stacked up better than I had expected, but calcium, vit D and a few other vitamins and minerals are low or downright lacking, and a few others again are ridiculously high.

Edited by: CERTHIA at: 11/1/2013 (08:28)
RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
10/29/13 10:49 A

I don't believe it's possible to be vegan and low carb at the same time. Even vegetarian and low carb could be a problem. You need to get protein from somewhere, and every single source of significant amounts of vegan protein (legumes, grains, nuts, etc) also contains carbohydrates in varying amounts. (As does dairy.) And then of course you need your vegetables and fruits as well for their nutrients, so there's yet more carbohydrates on top of what you already have to eat just to get the required amount of protein. Those two ways of eating are just plain incompatible. And given the success you say you have had up to this point with vegan, and how happy you are with it as a lifestyle apparently, I can completely understand your reluctance to make so radical a change on just one person's advice who based on what you're saying may not even understand that fundamental fact of the two diet styles.

I don't know what you already eat, but maybe you could try making some smaller changes? You say your body processes simple and complex carbs the same, but maybe that's not entirely true. You've had success with gluten free, for instance, and gluten is contained in both simple and complex carbohydrates. Maybe just tweaking the proportions of what you're eating now could make a difference for you -- more protein from nuts and seeds and less from rice, for instance (just an example, again, don't know what you're eating). Or maybe you have sensitivities you haven't recognized yet - I've seen plenty of stories here about people with blood sugar issues that are triggered by one specific food yet are unaffected by others that "should" be the same or worse. If you are able to monitor that maybe that would provide some clues.

I'm no effort, just brainstorming, but I wish you the best. I had a doctor earlier this year congratulate me in one breath on eating next to no animal products (at that time), then in the next suggest that low carb might be something I could look into as well -- so I feel you on this.

Regardless of everything else, congratulations on what you have accomplished.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
10/29/13 8:58 A

I think gluten free, and low carb is easy.. the problem seems to be vegan and low carb. By definition vegan foods have carbs in them, since you don't eat any meat, eggs??

Even beans, vegetables, fruit, and dairy have some carbs. So while you might be able to get enough protein, how would you keep carbs that low?

Let's say your aim is to eat 25 grams, which = 100 calories, and you eat 1200a day. That is just 8.33 % carbs. I eat around there, but if you do that, and eat 25 % protein, which is upper range, then you have to eat 66.7% fat. Are you willing to do that?

You only get 3 sets of macronutrients, and 25-30% is the upper limit of desirable protein intake, so carb/ fat = 70% minimum.

At that point, you need to decide what YOU call low carb. I wouldn't say 30% is low carb, but I don't think vegan low carb is possible. Your goal should be to eat healthy carbs. As a low carber, I don't have any problems, with most vegetables. The problem is with bread, pasta, cereal, etc.

Some foods that you may choose to cut are corn, carrots, beets, bananas, grapes as well. A good book for you might not be about low carb, but the Glycemic Index. Choosing berries or green beans for fruits/veggies will make a difference. The types of carbs matter. You may still eat a lot of carbs, but if they are low glycemic, you may see some of the benefits of low carb. The biggest reason people eat low carb is to repair damage done in the past, and so they do it very strictly, because there is a LOT of damage.

No reason that you can't have lots of low glycemic fruits, and vegetables, along with beans, or soy ( whatever a vegan eats.. I am a meat ). You can cook those vegetables in oil to up the healthy fats, if you want to cut down on the amount of carbs. Have some avocados, or macadamia nuts if you can.

It may not be LOW carb, but it could be LOWER carb, and you definitely can get rid of the gluten. The problem with most low carb diet, is that we cut out the carbs that are " bad ", and never explore the rest of the good carbs. As a vegan, you should already be eating a much wider variety of these, so when you cut out the few carbs that may be an issue, you will be left with a much greater idea of what to eat. The only veggie I ate in the 1990's was corn, maybe once a week. So, since corn is a great evil amongst low carbers, my selection of carbs at that point was eggs, and Needless to say, I had to expand my selection of vegetables, and it is still not very diverse, but I get my 5 servings a day.

Regardless of what you label the diet, if it works for you, it is good enough. I assume the person who suggested this is a doctor? If so, you should go back, and ask for some macronutrient ratios. Do they know you are vegan? Seek a referral to a dietitian, but first find out what macros they expect, why that is important, and what results they expect.

I am always amazed that doctors tell people to eat a certain way, but never explain why, or how to do so. It isn't good enough to say this is the diet for people with PCOS. You need macro percentages, and examples of what would work, which a dietitian could then provide for you. In the end though, you should be aiming for very EXACT goals. As a diabetic, my goal was to have a Hemoglobin A1C below 6.5, and it is 5.3, so it is working, and I have gotten off my meds. If I was still at 7.2, and on my meds, my LCHF diet would be a failure.

Results matter. Find out if you are just supposed to be better, as well as if the doctor suspects that the lower you go in carbs, the better you will feel. Your doctor may say that at 75 grams, you won't see any benefit, and in that case, you have other decisions to make. I know that at 75 grams a day, I overeat due to cravings, and my blood sugars skyrocket.

Diets fail due to vagueness. You need to know exactly what to expect, and if you don't get the results, make changes. otherwise, you will just be eating a diet, that I would say is going to be hard to do, and may see no results. Why would you want to do that?

Ask him if 25 grams a day is mandatory for results. If so, and you refuse to go that low, then you and your doctor aren't going to get along. I did Atkins, and I see others trying to do low carb at 80 g a day etc., and most of them fail, because they never get carbs low enough to get rid of cravings. Not everyone can do low carb, but if you aren't going to see any benefit with moderate carb, why do it? If you can see results at a moderate level, say 30 % carbs/protein, and 40% fat, then you might be able to stick to it.

Don't just assume the doctor knows what they are doing. Sometimes they are just absent minded, or lack information, such as you being a vegan. They may just be stupid. We treat doctors like they are all-knowing, but they make mistakes. Ask a lot of questions, and see if this is even possible, then set goals, and see if you see progress towards those goals, based on those goals.

I think you might be able to get some help on a team I am on .. SMART CARBING. It tends to be a group of people who eat a higher percentage, so I don't really have too much in common with them day to day, but they helped me a lot when it came to spacing carbs, and stopping my low blood sugars. Since a lot of the members eat 100-150 grams a day of carbs, they might have better ideas on what you would go through, and maybe there are even a few vegetarian/ vegan low carbers. I would suggest that you ask this question there, read up on glycemic Index, and schedule an appointment first to your doctor for clarification, and then probably a dietitian.

I hope you get things figured out, and find success, whatever diet that is on.

Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 10/29/2013 (08:59)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,329
10/29/13 7:12 A

the more restrictions you place on your diet, the harder it is to find anything to eat. it's theoretically not impossible to do vegan and low carb, but it is hard since most vegetarian proteins are also carbs. a few people on a messageboard i followed years ago claimed to do atkins and vegan and were quite happy with it, but i have no idea how they managed that. you can do vegan and gluten free, but it limits things. so heading to a registered dietitian should help you. if you find a good one, odds are they have helped someone with a lot of restrictions before.
if you are vegan for ethical reasons, you may want to try sourcing eggs or goat milk from someone nearby who keeps them as pets. i'm not saying you have to have eggs and milk everyday, but with all the other issues you have rotating them in occasionally could help with the boredom. and if you get them locally you can see the conditions that the animals are living in. i used to get eggs from a lady who had a flock of chickens [maybe 30?] that spent all day running around her giant [like an acre giant] garden and were really well taken care of chickens. or at least looked like they were enjoying playing tag with one another when i went to pick up eggs.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,922)
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Posts: 27,300
10/28/13 10:47 P

I just found this from the Midland Fertility Services (PCOS Diet)

Hope it is helpful


SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (256,922)
Fitness Minutes: (41,586)
Posts: 27,300
10/28/13 10:42 P

I suggest that you ask your Dr for a referral to a Registered Dietitian so that you have good qualified advice as it applies to your tastes/preferences and health. Dr's a good, but not a lot are properly qualified in Dietetics - this is a Dietitian's Specialty and what THEY train years for.

Take some printouts from your Nutrition Tracker to show him/her, so that you will get better/quicker help.

Good luck,

TURNERAC Posts: 14
10/28/13 5:51 P

It has been suggested that I attempt to do a low carb diet to lose weight & to get my PCOS under control. I am NOT KIDDING when I say that in the last 2.5 years that I exercise regularly, control portions, and I have STILL managed to bounce back and forth in weight loss and gain and lose the same 30 freaking pounds. Obviously portion control and exercise do not work for everybody. I am healthy, all my tests are great. But my WEIGHT WILL NOT come off. PERIOD. I am getting very frustrated and discouraged. I know health is not defined by weight, but I am sick and flippin tired of being this big. PCOS creates a hormone imbalance that makes weight loss difficult, at best. I noticed a difference when I went gluten free, then I went vegan and I noticed an incredible difference. But I know that weight has a major role to play in most cases of PCOS. My doctor recommended that I do low carb and suggested keeping my carbs at below 25 a day. That seems a bit overkill to me, but whatever. The problem lies in my vegan gluten free lifestyle. I am having the most difficult time finding recipe ideas or meal ideas to do for low carb on a v/gf diet! The problem with PCOS and the hormone imbalance it creates, the body has a difficult processing the complex and simple carbs as different things. So even eating beans & brown rice jacks with my system. Does anyone out there have any ideas or suggestions? No, I'm not going paleo, no I'm not going back to eating meat, no I'm going introducing dairy. Anyone able to work with that?

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