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how many carbs per day?

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approximatly how many carbs a day do you eat? I'm really confused by the term "low carb". It seems to range anywhere from 20-30 carbs per day to 20-30 carbs per meal.Which do you consider low carb?



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Hi pattikins13 and Welcome to DF!

A good question but not easily answered... you will find it much discussed here on DF but the bottom line is: it very much depends on you :)

At one extreme the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Carbohydrate is around 300g per day, at the other extreme is the idea that we do not need to eat ANY carbohydrates... the body can make all it needs from Protein.

For example: Is dietary carbohydrate essential for human nutrition?

Many here find the standard dietitian recommendations on carb intake (often around 60-70g per meal plus some more for snacks) not very helpful; in terms of managing Blood Glucose.

In my view anything less than 150g carbs/day could be considered "low-carb" but many here are on much less. My approach is to find a natural level.. for example if you tried to eat more than say 100g carbs per day using only green leafy veg you would spend all day chewing ;) ... whereas 100g of carbs in the from of soft drinks and doughnuts is easily attained... so you see it is not just the quantity but perhaps more importantly, the quality of those carbohydrates and what they come "wrapped" in :)

Here is my usual spiel on diet (in this case it simply means "what I eat", as opposed to a drastic short-term weight-loss change)...

Real whole food, is the order of the day... preferably local and in-season, grown/reared on nutrient rich land... grass-fed beef and pastured chickens for example. This means eat whole (unprocessed, unpackaged, unadulterated) food, which includes a natural balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates (as well as vitamins, minerals etc...) ...there really is no need to be afraid of fat... it's gotten a bad rap.

Those of us with Diabetes need to pay particular attention to the foods which have the most effect on our Blood Glucose (BG) levels. There are obvious things to watch out for like candy, cola, cakes and sweets (these are high in refined/concentrated carbohydrates)... next in line are the "white" foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, breakfast cereal... but even something assumed to be healthy like orange juice has about as much sugar as a cola... fat reduced milk can have an higher proportion of lactose (sugar), especially in low-fat products such as yogurts which may have High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) added to replace the fat... and so it goes on. That does not mean you need to feel deprived or hungry to eat this way, not by any means. You may even find you can work in an occasional family cake... for example. The keyword there being "occasional" as it used to be when our Grandparents baked cakes only for Birthdays etc... not everyday (muffins, donuts, pastries) for breakfast.

You'll often see here on DF the phrase "eat to your meter" and this deceptively simple message is very wise... test around your food and figure out what works best for YOU.

I'd suggest that BG control be your primary aim -- reducing excess fat mass, improving cholesterol/lipids, hypertension etc... all these tend to improve with more normal BGs.

Some ideas for snacks... I'm big on nuts, cheese, dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher), pork rinds/scratchings, cold meats, boiled eggs, peanut butter.

While we are encouraged to eat "so many servings of fruit and veg daily", many of these can spike our BGs so test, test test... for many of us, green leafy vegetables seem to work best... but you may also help reduce/slow the BG spike by mixing foods... for example: instead of eating an apple by itself, try just half the apple in slices with some peanut butter or cheese... or have a few berries with some cream.

In terms of activity.. I am not big on setting unrealistic "exercise" goals... flogging yourself at the gym... unless you feel especially motivated to do it. I think you are better off with something sustainable in the long term. There are many health benefits of activity but I'm not convinced that losing weight is a major one. I do believe in building activity into your daily routine (rather than finding excuses for missing the gym).. take the stairs, park further away, get off the bus a stop earlier... go for a walk at lunchtime... take "smoke breaks" at work where you walk around the block instead. Physical activity can help with your BG numbers as it tends to lower Insulin Resistance (IR) , as well as using up glucose but as with food, it is advisable to test and see how it affects you.




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Thank you for your response. I have so very much to learn.:)



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Don't forget when you are counting carbs and eating to your meter to READ THE INGREDIENT LIST ON THE LABEL!!!

Portion sizes are deceptive and it doesn't matter what the label or nutrition panel says, if there is a carb in the ingredients then it has carbs so beware.

Also beware of "natural" and the like as something being better. Using peanut butter (mentioned as a snack food) as an example, 2 national brands sitting on the shelf next to each other, both say natural, one brand has peanuts and salt as ingredients, the other has peanuts, dessicated cane juice (ie uncooked cane sugar), palm oil and salt. Go figure. Needless to say the second one is likely to have a bad effect on on your BGL
As always YMMV!

Diagnosed: July 3 2008
A1C- 7/08= 10.6 :eek: 11/08 = 5.6 5/09= 5.3 11/09 = 5.6 :D
triglycerides - 7/08 = 192 :( 11/2008 = 84 11/09 = 66 :D
HDL - 7/08 = 46 :( 11/2008 = 74 11/09 = 79 :D
LDL - 7/08 = 106 :( 11/2008 = 80 11/09 = 65 :D

Low Carb Diet (15-50g/day)
Metformin ER 500mg 2x day
Neurontin 800mg 3x day
Meloxicam 15mg 1x day (arthritis)
Multivitamin, B12, fish oil



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I consider my way of eating to be moderately low carb. I aim for 70-100g weekdays & about 100g on weekends when I have much less structure in my life.

What's important is not low carb, moderately low carb, or not low carb - what's important is what works for YOU! Test & eat to your meter - it will be your best guide.

Dx T2 Sept 1999
Latest A1c 6.1 (April 2010)
Metformin 2000 mg daily
Lantus 20 units daily
Ramipril 10 mg daily
Multivitamin, B-12, D-3,
R-ALA/biotin, Omega-3 (chia oil)



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I agree, it's more what works for YOU than what some label says. I tend to do 50 - 75 a day. Considering that the FDA recommends 300g of carbs a day for the normal American diet, I think that anything lower than that is good. I even consider 150, at half the recommendation, to be low carb.

It also depends on your goals. If you're trying to go into ketosis for some quick weight loss, you'll be shooting for closer to the 20-30-50 or so a day. If you're just trying to maintain good blood sugars, then it will vary wildly.

Good luck to you. :)


A1c: 7/10/12 = 5.7 ; 4/16/10 = 5.0 ; 12/31/09 = 4.9 ; 8/13/09 (Dx) = 9.5

(Hopefully soon to be again) Low Carber @ < 75g per day




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I had no idea 300g a day was recommended for normal folks! OMG!

I just went to the dietician 2 weeks ago and she put me on 1600 calories per day, and 195g carbs, split up as follows:
6:45am wakeup
7:30am breakfast 40g
10-10:30am snack 15g
1pm lunch 40g
3:30-4pm snack 30g
7pm dinner 40g
10-11pm snack 30g
bedtime 12pm

The goal was to keep the carbs as even as possible, to prevent spikes.

I think that for me, 195g is fine for maintenance, but not low enough for weight loss.

I am struggling to get my basal down, and the 2hr pp down, which points to too many carbs.

Getting the carbs down while trying to feed a picky family cheaply has been hard for me...
Good luck!
Diagnosed Ty2 on 3/5/10
A1C 10.1 on 3/6/10
5.5 on 5/27/10 :D
glipizide 10mg 2xday (now off)
lisinopril 20mg (next med to go!)
prevastain sodium 20mg (off due to knee pain)
rantidine 150mg (weaned off)
iron 65mg
now taking omega3 fish oils



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Now this is just my opinion.
I tend to feel "low carb" is anytime you lower carbs in an attempt to accomplish a specific goal such as weight loss or BG control
About cost. I don't think lowering carbs (for yourself) adds to the cost of food. Not many of the good foods cost more than pizza, beer, hamburgers, fries and ice cream.
I cook for my family. Some of what I eat, sometime not. I cook them baked potatoes - I eat beans.

I eat less than 60-70 a day. It becomes easy and is normal after a while. As you focus on the foods which are better for BG control and you learn about carbs in different foods, I just don't buy or think about cooking them for myself.

I know this is you and not me - you must evaluate your treatment program. But 195 carbs a day sounds very high - did I miss it - are you on meds - oral or insulin?

If you are on 195, How is it doing for your numbers. Are they coming down or do they seem to remain somewhat higher - say 120-140 or more at 2 hrs?
Later, Larry
10.7 - BG 246 - 08/07/2009
7.4 - BG 94 - 10/07/2009
6.2 - BG 96 - 11/11/2009
5.8 BG 92 - 1/05/2010
5.7 BG 87 - 05/03/2010

No Meds, just diet - so far!

I came into this world with nothing, and I've been able to keep most of that.


A week of paddling instruction is worth a lifetime of "paddling around."




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My meter tells me how many max. carbs per meal - under 10g for breakfast, up to 30 for lunch and up to 55 for dinner. Snacks are between 0 and 17g, depending on how my numbers are running that day and what activities are planned after. My average daily g carbs is around 80.




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50 is my limit.
last a1c 5.5. /5.8

low carb

quinipril- 5 mg day
novolog 70/30

my lipid profile is finally amazing.




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80 a day works quite well for me.


Type 2 for 21 years, pumping 8 years Metformin and Apidra. No Complications.




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I always manage to keep my carb count under 1000.
Actually I moved from a carb number to eating good carbs. I only limit the bad carbs. If I get a sub on whole grain bread, I scoop out the bread and leave the crust, then double up on all the veggies except olives and jalapenos only because they are not fond of me
Diabetes is a condition that you have to manage or it will manage you. The care team is only there in a supporting role



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It is a very personal number and there is no correct answer. Each one of us do what is necessary to get good BG control. So your meter will be your good friend. :)

For me, my dietitian put me on a 225g plan for 1,800 calaries per day. I average around 200g of carbs per day instead. I am maintaining my weight, OK, I should loose a few pound. ;)
DX 02/2002, Minimed 530G(751) w/CGMS on Humalog
Aspirin 81mg + Lipitor 10mg + Losartan 50mg
03/2017 A1C 6.1 Chol=135 Trig=80 HDL=39 LDL=80
08/2016 A1C 5.9 Chol=161 Trig=80 HDL=47 LDL=98
03/2016 A1C 5.9 Chol=153 Trig=90 HDL=50 LDL=85




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Well the amount of carbs to eat per meal depends on:

1) How much insulin your pancreas produces

2) How efficiently your digestive tract breaksdown carbs and the glycemic index of the meal.

3) The quantity of such carbs in 2)

4) Your metabolism and level of excercise.

5) Your target 2hr pp.

In my case I have a target of 110 2hr pp. What works for me is 30-45g/meal(nothing of a higher glycemic index than old fashion oatmeal), 30 min, brisk walk 3 times a week.

That works for me.

The way I did it was to keep bringing carbs down per meal till I got under 110 2hr pp. It was around 22- 30 grams/meal.

I then started excercising, brisk walks. After about 1 month I was able to handle 30-45g meal.

It has been proven that moderate excercise increases the efficiency of insulin and reduces fats in the blood stream which reduces insulin resistance.

Look up fatty liver and excercise.

So keep bring down carbs and increase excercise till you feel comfortable.

Don't be surprised if you can handle more or LESS!!! :eek:

Also don't be surprised if you need meds or insulin.