Individuals worldwide are consuming low-carbohydrate diets to treat their diabetes. But all plant foods, aside from seeds, are carbs. So what can you eat? Is it all animal products, or are there other options?
What Foods Don’t Contain Carbs?
We understand the arguments against consuming carbs. Other than fiber, carbohydrates are either sugars or starches that break down into sugars. Since people with diabetes have little to no efficient insulin, which is essential for managing sugars (glucose), they most likely should not eat them.
But is this argument completely true? Maybe not. Vegans and vegetarians tend to eat a lot of carbohydrates, and a lot of them seem to do quite well with diabetes. Many individuals in poor nations who can not pay for meat likewise have reasonably low rates of diabetes. So what’s their trick? What are they consuming?
It appears clear that the effective ones eat very low amounts of refined sugars and basic starches. They may have small amounts of truly whole grains (not things that is marketed as “entire grain” but is actually extremely processed). They eat percentages of fruits and starchy veggies. (Diabetic low-carb expert Dr. Richard Bernstein says he hasn’t eaten a piece of fruit in decades.)
See also: How Many Carbohydrates Should I Have?
What’s left? Well, from a carb perspective, you can eat as much animal food, like meat and eggs, as you desire. They don’t have any carbohydrates (although dairy products do). You can differ that with sea animals — they do not consist of carbohydrates either.
There are probably a couple of health dangers from eating a lot meat. Your hazardous load will be greater, unless you consistently eat natural free-range meat and wild-caught, small fish. You may get too much fat if you overdo it, however supporters like Bernstein have discovered no problems for themselves or their patients.
Nevertheless, from the viewpoint of your wallet, the animals, and the world, eating so much meat is problematic. Organic, free-range meat is typically quite expensive. Low-priced, factory-farm-raised meat, fish, and eggs are full of chemicals. The animals are dealt with terribly at much of these “farms.” And it takes about fifteen pounds of animal feed (grains) to raise one pound of beef, which squanders energy and water.
To eat less meat as well as less carbohydrates seems quite a challenge. Everybody agrees on consuming high quantities of green veggies, particularly leafy ones. Nuts are likewise excellent low-carb foods. Starchy vegetables have to be consumed in small amounts.
What else besides green vegetables? Where do you get protein? In addition to nuts, I think most people’s simplest path will be soy products like tofu.
Inning accordance with About.com, a half-cup serving of firm tofu includes 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and only 2 grams of carbohydrates. In addition to tofu, a number of soy products like tempeh and miso contain a great deal of protein and few carbs.
As somebody who eats a lot of tofu, I have to admit it does not taste like much. The advantage is that it will soak up just about any flavor you place on it, so you can use a wide variety of spices and sauces. We have numerous yummy tofu dishes on our site.
What about beans?
A huge question for people who want to eat few carbohydrates and very little meat: How do beans suit? As a mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, they are sort of a perfect food, however they do have a lot of carbohydrate material, usually from 20 to 40 grams per cup, depending upon the type.
Now here’s the complicated thing — everyone will react to beans differently, and the exact same individual might respond in a different way to various kinds of beans, and different ways of preparing them. The only way to know about beans or other plant foods like squash is to monitor yourself. After eating one such food, check one hour and two hours after eating, and if your glucose does not surge, check again a bit later, in case sluggish digestion skews your numbers.
You can likewise vary the amounts you eat and see how that affects your blood sugar. You might have enough insulin for a percentage however not a bigger one. It should just take a month or 2 of severe tracking to discover what foods spike your glucose levels and how much, and which ones don’t.
I think the main factor some plant foods are healthier than others is their fiber. Often, a person with Type 2 can eat reasonable quantities of carbs, if they consist of big amounts of fiber.
The fiber slows the entry of glucose into the system. It also promotes the distal ileum (the last part of the small intestine), which promotes insulin production. Lastly, fiber enters into the large intestinal tract, where it is fermented by bacteria into a variety of healthy acids that help with diabetes and supply energy.
Here’s a brief, incomplete list of good low-carb plant foods from a number of sources. Vegetables include lettuce, green beans, artichokes, avocado, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, olives, zucchini, and small amounts of squash and bell peppers.
Fruits consist of strawberries, papaya, watermelon, blueberries, cantaloupes, and honeydew melons, and small amounts of peaches, apples, and nectarines. Essentially melons are workable because they’re primarily water, and berries tend to be OKAY since they’re primarily fiber, however you have to be careful of the amounts. Tracking is the only method to understand how they work for you.
Final note: Exercise makes a distinction. The more you work out, and the more muscle you have, the more carbs you can eat, since exercise lowers insulin resistance and muscles soak up glucose. Obviously, if you’re Type 1, you still have to inject insulin to cover what you eat.