A Quick Guide to Low-Carb Eating for People with Diabetes
2 500 000 people in South Africa are living with diabetes, so if there is a way to help them manage this effectively and lead healthier lifestyles, it would make the world of difference. Thankfully, there is! Maintaining a good blood sugar level is a great way to reduce the risk of any complications associated with diabetes, and one of the ways to improve and maintain your blood sugar levels is by following a low-carb diet.
We share some insight into using low-carb diets to help manage diabetes.
What Role Does Food Play with Diabetes?
If you have diabetes, it means that your body is not able to process carbohydrates effectively. There are several types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2 are the most common and can be diagnosed at any age. Of all of the nutrients we consume on a daily basis, carbohydrates have the greatest impact on our blood sugar control. The body breaks these down into glucose. For those without diabetes, your blood sugar levels will remain within a normal, narrow range throughout the day, but with people who have diabetes, this is not so. In order to control their blood sugar levels, they often need to take large doses of insulin or diabetes medication when they have consumed a lot of carbs.
What is the Ideal Carbohydrate Intake for Diabetics?
While the ideal carb intake for those with diabetes is dependent on the person, studies have proven that a low-carb diet is effective. For each person, their carb intake will be different, so it is best to work with your healthcare professional to determine what the right intake is for you. As a general rule, the less carbohydrates consumed, the less your blood sugar will rise.
Which Carbohydrates will Raise your Blood Sugar Levels?
In food, carbohydrates are made up of a combination of sugar, starch and fiber. It is only the starch and sugar components that will raise blood sugar. Fiber that is found naturally in the food we eat does not break down into glucose in our bodies and doesn’t raise our blood sugar levels. In fact, if you want to find out the ‘net’ carb content of an item, you can subtract the fiber from the total carbohydrate content, which will leave you with the digestible or the net carb content. Sugar alternatives such as maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol and erythritol are often found in diet products, and these can raise blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
How can a Low-carb Diet Help?
Low-carb diets can help people will diabetes by doing the following:
- Aid in weight loss efforts
- Lower average blood glucose
- Lower the risk of hypoglycemia
- Reduce food cravings, especially for sugar
- Lower cholesterol
- Decrease the risk of long-term diabetes complications
- Give a person more energy
GO-LO’s range of low-carb products are suitable for people with diabetes and are great for the whole family. Our range covers foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, making it easier than ever to follow a low-carb diet and manage your diabetes. Visit our shop to see our products.