Low Carb Diet For Diabetes: A Comprehensive Guide

Low carb diet is a dietary approach that has gained popularity in recent years for managing diabetes. But what exactly is a low carb diet, and how can it benefit those with diabetes? In this article, we’ll delve deep into the science and practicalities of low carb eating for diabetes management.

low carb diet for diabetes
Low carb diet for diabetes

What is diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin (Type 1) or cannot effectively use the insulin it produces (Type 2). This leads to elevated blood sugar levels, which, over time, can cause significant health complications, from heart disease to kidney damage.

Diabetes friendly recipes
Low Sodium Meatballs With Ground Turkey
Low Sodium Chili With Ground Beef & Beans
Healthy And Zesty Quinoa Salad
Ground Chicken Bolognese Sauce With Pasta
Easy Mushroom Pesto Pasta
Easy Roasted Carrots And Green Beans

Understanding the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels

Carbohydrates are found in foods like bread, pasta, fruits, vegetables, sugary treats, etc. When consumed, carbohydrates break down into glucose, the main source of energy for our bodies, raising blood sugar. Because of this, carbohydrates play a central role in diabetes management. Their intake directly influences blood sugar levels, making their understanding and management crucial for those with diabetes. Let’s explore in depth the relationship between carbohydrates and diabetes management.

The basics of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are organic compounds found in many foods and come in various forms:

  • Simple Carbohydrates (Sugars): These are quickly digested and absorbed, leading to rapid spikes in blood sugar. Examples include table sugar, honey, and the natural sugars in fruits and milk. Limiting simple carbohydrates, especially from processed sources, can help prevent sudden and high spikes in blood sugar.
  • Complex Carbohydrates (Starches): Found in foods like grains, potatoes, and beans, these take longer to digest, leading to a more gradual increase in blood sugar. Opt for whole, unprocessed sources of complex carbohydrates. The fiber in these foods can further help moderate blood sugar responses.
  • Fiber: A type of carbohydrate that isn’t easily digested by the body. It doesn’t raise blood sugar, and it can even help manage it by slowing the absorption of other carbohydrates. Aim to include fiber-rich foods in every meal. Examples include leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.

How carbohydrates affect blood sugar

When you consume carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks them down into simple sugars, primarily glucose. This glucose enters the bloodstream, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels. In response:

  • Insulin Release: The pancreas releases insulin, a hormone that signals cells to absorb glucose from the bloodstream.
  • Glucose Utilization: Cells use glucose for energy or store it for later use.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: As cells absorb glucose, blood sugar levels begin to drop back to a baseline level.

For individuals with diabetes, this process is disrupted due to either insufficient insulin production (Type 1 Diabetes) or insulin resistance (Type 2 Diabetes), leading to prolonged elevated blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrates and diabetes management

Here are a few tips on how to monitor your carbohydrate intake for better diabetes management, especially if you’re considering a low carb diet:

  • Glycemic Index (GI): This is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI cause rapid spikes, while those with a low GI result in a slower, more steady increase. Incorporating more low-GI foods can help stabilize blood sugar.
  • Carb Counting: Many individuals with diabetes count the grams of carbohydrates they consume to manage their blood sugar better. This method can be especially useful for those on insulin therapy.
  • Whole Foods Over Processed: Whole, unprocessed carbohydrate sources, like whole grains and vegetables, typically have more fiber and a lower GI compared to their processed counterparts.

What happens if diabetics don’t eat carbs

If diabetics don’t eat carbohydrates, several things can happen, depending on the type of diabetes, the medications they are on, and other individual factors. Here’s a general overview:

  • Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar): Diabetics who take insulin or certain oral medications that increase insulin production (like sulfonylureas) are at risk of hypoglycemia if they don’t eat carbohydrates. Insulin and these medications work by lowering blood sugar, and if there aren’t enough carbohydrates consumed to balance the effect of the medication, blood sugar can drop too low. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, sweating, confusion, blurred vision, and, in severe cases, unconsciousness or seizures.
  • Ketosis or Ketoacidosis: When the body doesn’t get enough carbohydrates, it starts breaking down fats for energy, producing ketones as a byproduct. In small amounts, ketones can be used as an alternative energy source by the body. However, in type 1 diabetics, if insulin levels are too low, the body can produce a dangerous amount of ketones, leading to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a life-threatening condition. Symptoms of DKA include excessive thirst, frequent urination, nausea, abdominal pain, rapid breathing, and fruity-scented breath. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop ketosis if they consume very low carbohydrates, but they are generally at a lower risk of DKA compared to type 1 diabetics.
  • Deficiency of Essential Minerals and Vitamins: Completely avoiding carbohydrates can lead to missing out on essential minerals and vitamins found in carbohydrate-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can result in deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Glycogen Depletion: Carbohydrates are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. If diabetics don’t eat enough carbohydrates, these stores can be depleted, leading to fatigue, reduced exercise performance, and muscle cramps.
  • Altered Gut Health: Dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate, plays a crucial role in gut health. A lack of fiber can lead to constipation and may negatively impact the gut microbiome.
woman with diabetes
Woman with diabetes

What is a low carb diet

A low carb diet, as the name suggests, limits the intake of carbohydrates, primarily found in sugary foods, pastas, and bread. Instead, the diet emphasizes foods high in protein, fat, and green vegetables. The idea is to reduce the amount of glucose entering the bloodstream from food, thereby aiding in blood sugar control.

Low carb diet offers flexibility, letting you select a carbohydrate amount that aligns with your diabetes management and lifestyle. Here’s a breakdown of daily carb intake categories:

  • Moderate carb: 130 to 225g
  • Low carb: less than 130g
  • Very low carb: less than 30g (often referred to as ketogenic)

Typically, reducing your carb intake can lead to weight loss and decreased sugar levels. It’s crucial to find the carb level that’s right for you.

The low carb diet, while seemingly straightforward in its principle of reducing carbohydrate intake, is layered with nuances that can significantly impact its effectiveness and sustainability. Let’s delve into these intricacies, the potential benefits, and the challenges one might face, and offer actionable insights for those considering this dietary path.

Nuances of the low carb diet

  1. Variations: Not all low carb diets are the same. There’s the ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbs; the Atkins diet, with its phases of carb intake; and the low carb Mediterranean diet, which incorporates more plant-based foods.
  2. Quality Over Quantity: It’s not just about reducing carbs but focusing on their quality. Whole, unprocessed carbs from vegetables, nuts, and seeds are different from those in sugary drinks and processed foods.
  3. Adaptation Phase: When starting a low carb diet, the body undergoes a metabolic shift from using glucose as a primary fuel to using fat. This transition can come with symptoms, often referred to as the “keto flu.”

Can diabetes be reversed with a low carb diet?

The term “reversed” when referring to diabetes can be somewhat controversial and might be better described as “remission.” Remission means that blood sugar levels are consistently within the normal range. It doesn’t mean the disease is cured, but rather that it’s well managed and is not currently presenting symptoms.

There is evidence suggesting that a low carb diet can be effective in managing and even achieving remission of type 2 diabetes for some people. Here’s what the research has shown:

  • Blood Sugar Control: A low carb diet can lead to improved blood sugar control, reducing the need for medications in some people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Weight Loss: Many people with type 2 diabetes can achieve significant weight loss on a low carb diet, which can further improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.
  • Improved Lipid Profiles: Some individuals on low carb diets see improvements in triglyceride levels, which can reduce cardiovascular risk.
  • Reduction or Elimination of Medications: Some people with type 2 diabetes have been able to reduce or even discontinue their diabetes medications after adopting a low carb diet. However, this should always be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

However, it’s essential to note:

  • Not One-Size-Fits-All: While many people benefit from a low carb diet, it might not be suitable or effective for everyone. Individual responses can vary.
  • Type 1 vs. Type 2: The discussion here primarily pertains to type 2 diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes can also follow a low carb diet, but the considerations and outcomes are different.
  • Long-Term Effects: The long-term effects of very low carb diets are still a topic of research. Some concerns include potential nutrient deficiencies or the long-term impact on heart health.
  • Consultation: Before making significant changes to one’s diet, especially when dealing with a condition like diabetes, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional.

In conclusion, while a low carb diet can be a powerful tool for managing type 2 diabetes and even achieving remission in some cases, it’s essential to approach it with knowledge and under professional guidance.

How to start a  low carb  diet for diabetes

  • Start Slow: Instead of drastically cutting carbs, consider reducing them gradually to lessen initial side effects.
  • Educate Yourself: Understand the sources of good-quality carbs and incorporate them into your diet.
  • Consult a Healthcare Professional: A professional can help tailor the diet to your needs and ensure you’re getting all the essential nutrients.
  • Listen to Your Body: Everyone’s body is unique. If something feels off, consider adjusting your carb intake or seeking medical advice.
  • Join a Community: Whether online or offline, connecting with others on a similar journey can offer support, share recipes, and provide motivation.

In conclusion, while the low carb diet offers promising benefits, especially for those with diabetes, it’s essential to approach it with knowledge, preparation, and an understanding of its nuances. With the right strategy and support, it can be a transformative journey towards better health.

Benefits of a low carb diet for diabetes management

The low carb diet has gained significant traction in the diabetes community, and for good reason. Its potential benefits can be transformative for many. Here are some of the benefits of a low carb diet for those with diabetes:

Improved Blood Sugar Control

  • Mechanism: By reducing carbohydrate intake, there’s less glucose entering the bloodstream after meals. This can lead to fewer and less severe blood sugar spikes, making it easier to maintain target blood sugar levels.
  • Long-Term Impact: Consistently stable blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications, such as neuropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular issues.

Weight Loss

  • Mechanism: A low carb diet often leads to a reduced appetite, making calorie restriction more effortless. Additionally, by burning stored fat for energy, the body can shed excess weight.
  • Diabetes Management: Weight loss, especially around the abdomen, can enhance insulin sensitivity, making it easier to manage blood sugar levels. Moreover, shedding excess weight can reduce the strain on the pancreas and improve its function.
low carb weight loss
Low carb diet for weight loss

Potential mistakes of a low carb diet for diabetes

However, there are a few pitfalls to watch out for when following a low carb diet for diabetes.

Not Getting Enough Fiber

  • Why It’s a Concern: Fiber plays a crucial role in digestive health, cholesterol management, and blood sugar regulation. A drastic reduction in carbs can inadvertently lead to reduced fiber intake.
  • Solution: Emphasize non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, and cauliflower. Incorporate seeds like chia and flaxseed, and consider moderate amounts of low carb whole grains like quinoa.

Overconsumption of Animal Proteins

  • Why It’s a Concern: While protein is an essential part of a low carb diet, excessive consumption, especially of red and processed meats, can strain the kidneys and increase the risk of kidney damage. Additionally, some studies suggest a link between high red meat consumption and heart disease.
  • Solution: Diversify protein sources. Incorporate fish, poultry, and plant-based proteins like tofu and tempeh, and limit red meat. Ensure portion control and choose unprocessed options when possible.

Nutrient Deficiencies

  • Why It’s a Concern: When individuals with diabetes adopt a low carb diet, there’s a potential risk of missing out on certain essential nutrients. This is primarily because foods that are rich in carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and some legumes, are also significant sources of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. For instance, whole grains are rich in B vitamins and fiber, while fruits provide essential vitamins like vitamin C and potassium. A deficiency in these nutrients can lead to a range of health issues, from digestive problems to weakened immunity.
  • Solution: It’s crucial to ensure a diverse and balanced low carb diet. Incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense, low carb foods like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins can help fill the nutritional gaps.

Is a low carb diet good for diabetics

It’s essential to note that while many find success with a low carb diet, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Individual responses can vary based on factors like genetics, activity level, and the type and severity of diabetes. Some might find significant improvements, while others might see only marginal benefits.

Beyond just carbohydrate counting, a successful low carb approach for diabetes also considers the quality of foods consumed. Emphasizing whole foods, healthy fats, lean proteins, and a variety of non-starchy vegetables can lead to broader health benefits, including weight loss, improved heart health, and enhanced overall well-being.

Foods recommended for diabetics on a low carb diet

A low carb diet focuses on reducing the intake of carbohydrates, particularly refined carbs, sugars, and starchy foods. Instead, the diet emphasizes proteins, healthy fats, and non-starchy vegetables. Here’s a list of foods that are commonly consumed on a low carb diet:

Proteins

  • Meat: Beef, pork, lamb, and game meats
  • Poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck, and other birds
  • Fish: Salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, cod, haddock, and tilapia
  • Seafood: Shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, and clams
  • Eggs: Preferably free-range, pastured, or omega-3-enriched

Dairy and Dairy Alternatives

  • Cheese: Cheddar, mozzarella, brie, goat cheese, cream cheese, and many others
  • Cream: Heavy cream and sour cream
  • Yogurt: Full-fat yogurt, preferably unsweetened
  • Milk Alternatives: Almond milk, coconut milk, and other low carb milk alternatives

Healthy Fats

  • Oils: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and butter or ghee
  • Avocados: Whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
  • Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds

Non-Starchy Vegetables

  • Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, and lettuce
  • Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage
  • Others: Zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, asparagus, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions (in moderation), and mushrooms

Fruits (in moderation)

  • Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries
  • Others: Avocado (yes, it’s a fruit!), olives, and small amounts of other fruits like melon

Beverages

  • Water: Still or sparkling
  • Tea: Green, black, herbal, etc.
  • Coffee: Preferably black or with a small amount of cream or milk substitute
  • Bone Broth

Condiments and Spices

  • Herbs: Basil, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, etc.
  • Spices: Salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, etc.
  • Others: Mustard, vinegar, unsweetened ketchup, mayonnaise (preferably made with healthy oils), and other low carb condiments

Occasional Treats

  • Dark Chocolate: Preferably 70% cocoa or higher
  • Low Carb Desserts: Made with almond flour and other low carb ingredients

It’s essential to read food labels when purchasing packaged products to ensure they fit within your carbohydrate limits.

low carb diet nuts meat oil
Low carb diet nuts meat oil

Carbs diabetics should limit or avoid on a low carb diet

Here are the types of carbs that diabetics should consider limiting or avoiding:

Sugary Beverages

  • Sodas: Regular soft drinks are high in sugar and provide no nutritional value
  • Fruit Juices: Even 100% fruit juice can rapidly elevate blood sugar
  • Energy Drinks: These often contain a significant amount of sugar
  • Sweetened Teas and Coffees: Drinks with added syrups or sugars

Refined Grains

  • White Bread: Including most commercially baked bread
  • White Rice: Especially in large portions
  • White Pasta: Regular spaghetti, macaroni, etc.
  • Cereals: Especially sugary breakfast cereals

Sweets and Desserts

  • Pastries: Donuts, muffins, croissants, etc.
  • Cakes and Pies: Especially with added frosting or cream
  • Cookies: Commercially baked or those made with a lot of sugar
  • Candies: Including chocolate bars with high sugar content
  • Ice Cream: Especially varieties high in sugar

Snack Foods

  • Chips: Including potato chips and some tortilla chips
  • Crackers: Especially those made from white flour
  • Popcorn: Especially the heavily buttered or sweetened varieties

Processed and Packaged Foods

  • Instant Noodles: Often made with refined flour
  • Frozen Meals: Many are high in carbs and low in nutrients
  • Canned Soups: Some varieties can be high in carbohydrates

Some Dairy and Dairy Alternatives

  • Flavored Yogurts: Especially those with added sugars
  • Flavored Milk: Such as chocolate or strawberry milk
  • Ice Cream: As mentioned above

Fruits in Syrup

  • Canned Fruits: Especially those canned in syrup
  • Dried Fruits: These are concentrated in sugar and can raise blood sugar rapidly. Consume in moderation and be aware of portion sizes.

Alcohol

  • While not a carbohydrate, alcohol can interfere with blood sugar levels and diabetes medications. If consumed, it should be in moderation and with a meal.

Sauces and Condiments

  • Ketchup: Often contains added sugars
  • BBQ Sauce: Typically high in sugar
  • Sweet Dressings: Such as some varieties of French, Russian, or sweet vinaigrettes

It’s essential to note that everyone’s body is different, and the way one person’s blood sugar responds to certain foods might differ from another’s. Monitoring blood sugar levels and understanding how different foods affect those levels is crucial.

A Sample low carb diet meal plan for diabetes

Crafting a meal plan that aligns with the principles of a low carb diet while ensuring a balanced intake of nutrients is crucial for those with diabetes. Here’s a sample 2000-calorie meal plan that emphasizes nutrient-dense, low carb foods suitable for diabetes management.

Breakfast: Spinach and Feta Omelette

  • Ingredients: 3 large eggs, 1 cup spinach, 2 tbsp feta cheese, 1 tbsp olive oil, herbs, and spices (as desired).
  • Calories: ~300

Morning Snack: Avocado and Nut Mix

  • Ingredients: 1/2 medium avocado, 1 oz mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, and macadamias).
  • Calories: ~250

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad with Olive Oil Dressing

  • Ingredients: 6 oz grilled chicken breast, 2 cups mixed salad greens (lettuce, arugula, kale), 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup cucumber slices, 1/4 cup bell pepper slices, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp vinegar, herbs and spices.
  • Calories: ~550

Afternoon Snack: Greek Yogurt with Chia Seeds

  • Ingredients: 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp chia seeds, a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Calories: ~250

Dinner: Pan-Seared Salmon with Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Mash

  • Ingredients: 6 oz salmon fillet, 1 cup broccoli florets, 1 cup cauliflower (steamed and mashed with 1 tbsp butter), 1 tbsp olive oil, herbs, and spices.
  • Calories: ~550

Evening Snack: Dark Chocolate and Berries

  • Ingredients: 1 oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher), 1/2 cup mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries).Calories: ~100

Low carb diet for diabetes: key takeaways

Carbohydrates have a direct impact on blood sugar levels, making their understanding and management essential for those with diabetes. By choosing the right types of carbohydrates, monitoring their intake, and being aware of their effects, individuals can better manage their blood sugar levels and overall health. As always, individual needs can vary, so regular monitoring and consultation with healthcare professionals are paramount.

In conclusion, a low carb diet can be a powerful tool in the diabetes management toolkit. However, it’s essential to approach it with a well-informed perspective, recognizing both its potential benefits and challenges. With the right strategies and support, individuals with diabetes can harness the benefits of a low carb diet while minimizing its pitfalls.

Why is my blood sugar going up on a low carb diet?

If you’re experiencing elevated blood sugar levels while on a low-carb diet, there could be several reasons. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to get a comprehensive understanding of your specific situation. Here are some potential reasons:

Dawn Phenomenon: This is a natural rise in blood sugar that happens in the early morning hours, typically between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. It’s due to the surge in hormones, including cortisol, glucagon, and epinephrine, which cause the liver to produce more glucose.

Stress: Both physical and emotional stress can raise blood sugar levels. This is because stress hormones like cortisol increase glucose production in the liver.

Infection or Illness: Illness can cause an increase in hormones that work against insulin, leading to elevated blood sugar levels.

Medications: Some medications, including steroids and certain diuretics, can raise blood sugar levels.

Too Much Protein: While a low-carb diet often increases protein intake, consuming very high amounts of protein can lead to gluconeogenesis, where the liver converts amino acids (from protein) into glucose.

Lack of Exercise: Physical activity helps muscles take up glucose and use it for energy, which can help lower blood sugar levels.

Other Medical Conditions: Conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s syndrome, or acromegaly can influence blood sugar levels.

If you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels, it’s crucial to work with a healthcare professional. They can help identify the cause and recommend appropriate interventions.

What carbs don’t spike blood sugar?

Carbohydrates are the primary macronutrient that affects blood sugar (glucose) levels. However, not all carbohydrates affect blood sugar in the same way. The rate at which different carbohydrate-containing foods raise blood sugar levels is often measured using the Glycemic Index (GI). Foods with a low GI value are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized, resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar levels.
Here are some carbohydrates that generally have a lower glycemic impact:

Non-starchy Vegetables: These include leafy greens, bell peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and zucchini. They are high in fiber and low in digestible carbs.

Legumes: Beans (like black beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas), lentils, and peas tend to have a moderate to low GI, thanks to their fiber and protein content.

Whole Grains: Foods like barley, bulgur, quinoa, and steel-cut oats have a lower GI compared to many refined grains.

Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries have relatively low GI values compared to other fruits.

Dairy: Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products have carbohydrates in the form of lactose, which has a moderate GI. However, fermented dairy products like yogurt can have a lower impact on blood sugar due to their protein and fat content.

Nuts and Seeds: While they do contain some carbs, the high fat and protein content in nuts and seeds can help stabilize blood sugar. Examples include almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.

Pasta al dente: Cooking pasta until it’s just “firm to bite” can have a slightly lower GI than fully cooked pasta.

Whole Fruits: While fruits contain natural sugars, many have a moderate GI due to their fiber content. Examples include apples, pears, oranges, and peaches. However, it’s essential to consume them whole, rather than in juice form.

Remember, the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar can vary from person to person. Factors like meal composition, cooking methods, the ripeness of fruits, and individual metabolic differences can influence the glycemic response. 

Combining carbs with protein, healthy fats, and fiber can also help stabilize blood sugar levels. Monitoring your blood sugar and understanding how different foods affect you personally are crucial. 

How many carbs a day is OK for diabetics?

The optimal daily carbohydrate intake for people with diabetes varies based on several factors, including the type of diabetes, individual metabolic factors, activity levels, medications, and overall health goals. 

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) also underscores this point. The ADA highlights that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all carbohydrate recommendation for everyone with diabetes. Instead, they stress the importance of focusing on the kinds of carbohydrates consumed and how they influence blood sugar levels. The reason is that individuals with diabetes react differently to carbs, and not every carbohydrate impacts blood sugar in the same manner. However, here are some general guidelines that can help you make better choices:

General Recommendations: For many adults with diabetes, carbohydrate intake might range from 45-60 grams per meal, which translates to about 135-180 grams of carbohydrates per day across three meals. This doesn’t include potential snacks, which might add another 15-30 grams per snack, depending on individual needs.

Carb Counting: Many people with diabetes use carb counting as a tool to match their insulin doses to their carbohydrate intake. This method requires a good understanding of the carbohydrate content in foods and can be a useful approach for those on rapid-acting insulin.

Glycemic Index (GI): Some people with diabetes also consider the GI of foods. The GI measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar. Foods with a low GI are absorbed more slowly and can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Physical Activity: Those who are more physically active might require more carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores and maintain energy levels.

Type of Diabetes: People with type 1 diabetes might have different carbohydrate needs than those with type 2 diabetes. Insulin dosing, activity levels, and other factors can influence these needs.
Other Health Considerations: If someone with diabetes also has other health conditions, such as kidney disease or heart disease, dietary recommendations might be adjusted to address those concerns.

Archana Singh, PhD

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