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Why I am on a restrictive, low-carb diabetic diet

On the surface, eliminating as many carbs as possible from your diet when you have a disease like diabetes makes sense. Yes, it makes sense, but is restricting carbohydrate intake beneficial for the overall long-term health of an individual with diabetes?

Carbohydrate consumption varies based upon the individual, making it difficult to create a cookie cutter plan that fits everyone's needs. However, there are some general guidelines that can be followed. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has guidelines on meal planning, advocating a diet with 45 percent to 50 percent of total calories from carbohydrates. The ADA's nutrition position statement notes that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of digestible carbohydrate is 130 grams.

Restricting carbohydrate intake to less than 130g/day is not recommended. The reason for this recommended level of carbohydrate intake includes the body's need for the water-soluble vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber that foods with carbohydrates can provide. The body requires a base level of carbohydrates, and glucose is a source of energy for the body, notably the brain and central nervous system.

Why I choose to limit my carbohydrate intake

Personally, I am on very restrictive, low-carb diet. My total carbs intake is less than 10g a day.

Why? I find it easier to keep track of my wayward blood glucose levels by restricting my carb consumption. To get the desired amount of energy from the carbohydrate deficit, I have increased my protein and fat intake.

But, what does this mean long-term?

A 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, "Restricted-carbohydrate diets in patients with type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis," notes there is no clear conclusion regarding the risks and benefits of restricting carbohydrates for patients with diabetes.

For now, I am sticking with my low-carb diabetic diet. I believe 130g of carbs per day is simply too much. By no means am I a medical professional, but just someone trying my best to keep diabetes in check. Until researchers come out with a study on the long-term effects of a low-carb diet on diabetics, I am sticking with my choice.

It hasn't let me down yet.

NOTE: Before making any dietary changes, be sure to talk them over with your physician or other members of your health care team.

About Ronnie Gregory

Ronnie Gregory is a blogger and avid health activist. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in his teens and has dedicated his life to helping others who are living with this devastating disease. He blogs about diabetes management and other health activities at The Poor Diabetic Blog www.thepoordiabetic.com

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