I wasn't sure what to title this post as. Basically I'm wondering what the best diet is for someone with diabetes type 2, they used to take injections but now have drugs instead. This person is overweight with various other ailments.
I'm asking because I thought that paleo was a great way to control blood sugar spikes. I quizzed my dad and his wife on it today (as my dads been eating croissants w/ jam for breakfast every day!) and went ape before breakfast apparently due to low blood sugar. His wife told me that my dad needs to consume a lot of sugar throughout the day. I don't understand this, surely that will make the diabetes worse as it will increase insulin resistance?
If someone could explain or shed light that would be really helpful :) - concerned daughter.
Dieticians and doctors routinely tell diabetics that they "need" the carbs so that they won't become hypoglycemic. This is because they have them on so much medication that hypoglycemia becomes an issue. Eliminate the carbs and blood sugars stabilize, and there is less need for the medications. But our health professionals have been trained that their patients need to "carb up and shoot up" instead.
Low carb and paelo is ideal, but you will be facing an uphill battle to suggest that for your dad because it goes against everything he is being told by his doctor and dietician or diabetes educator. People of our parents' generation tend to trust their health care practitioners and doubt their childrens' "woo woo" ideas.
You might try giving your parents a copy of Dr. Bernstein's Diabetic Solution. It is written by a physician of their generation and explains things very well.
For T2 diabetics then low-carb is the best diet. If you're properly low-carbing, the jump to Paleo is a small one anyway. I'd put the focus on low-carb rather than Paleo to start with, because Paleo is a pretty broad church these days, with many people enjoying "safe starches". Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "safe starch" if you are a T2 diabetic (unless you eat it in very small quantities).
All carbohydrates are bad for him - not just sugar, as they all ultimately get converted to glucose in his blood.
If I was him I'd try and limit my (net) carbohydrate intake to less than 100g a day, and test my glood glucose before and two hours after every meal. The initial aim would be to keep his BG below 140 mg/dl (or 7.8 mmol/l) at the two hour mark.
I'd cut out bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, anything made from grains and anything with sugar or flour in it. He can eat lots of meat, lots of green veg, lots of eggs, and some cheese and cream.
What drugs is he on? He might need to be careful cutting back on his carbs if he is on an pancreas stimulating drug. If he's just on metformin he'll be fine, although getting used to "normal" blood glucose levels involves headaches for the first few months.
I've being doing low-carb Paleo for the last 18 months, and my HbA1c is 4.9% (which is better than most non-diabetics). I've never felt fitter, healthier or happier. If the cured my diabetes tomorrow, I'd still never go back to the carbs (apart from some "safe starches").
A former T2 Diabetic here - I went LC-VLC and my blood glucose levels slowly went back to normal. As to whether I am 'cured' or not who knows. If I eat a large amount of carbs my body seems to handle it normally now. On the plus side I have just lost any & all desire for sugar, sweets and other craps food, I shake my head in wonder when I remember how I used to eat lol. 95% dark chocolate tastes sweet to me now, a small bowl of berries with cream is what I have if I ever want dessert, even fresh from the garden carrots taste sweet to me now.
It is important to reduce carbohydrates but if your father is on medication it is important that he do this with medical cooperation. The glucose-lowering drugs will have the same effect as the diet (although less controllably) so you need to be sure that you avoid hypoglycemia. Typically drugs are stopped before the diet.
Get Dr Bernsteins 'The Diabetes Soltuion'. I'm a type 1 diabetic for a long time and ive recently read it and wished i had years ago. Ive been primal for a year and yes it was good for bringing control but Bernstein will provide a lot of knowledge and maybe help reverse type 2. Ive seen improvements in my diabets within a week of reading it. Dr Bernstein is about 80 years old and became a Dr because of his diabetes. It's stricter than paleo/primal but even if it's not followed they'll at least know why they feel like crap and that they can change they way they feel.
BTW if he's having a lot of sugar he may be on too high a dose of meds but there are various reasons, Diabetes is complicated. Buy the book read it. The only problem is that after reading it you'll probably know more than your healthcare people and they wont agree with half of it.
Low carb or paleo is a good choice for diabetics. One of my sons is insulin dependent and I have read a great deal around this topic. Before we had insulin patients had to stay below about 70 grams of carbs per day or risk death. It is all outlined in a book called “Life without bread”.
However many doctors and many patients would far rather prescribe and take insulin that cut back on carbs. Plus it may well be that doctors have to medicate or risk being accused of not following the current standard of care.
Ya, I'd say the best but not the only way. Some folks do well with high starch, there's a couple of people there if you scroll down who improved their blood glucose tolerance with Dr. Mcdougall's diet. I remain unconvinced that his diet is "optimal" no animal fat equals poor mental health at least for me anyways. So it could be an option for some to get back to normal and then go from there.
My Dr. gave me a pamphlet from Novo Nordisk when I had T2 diabetes. The recommended diet was carb exchange counting. It wasn't paleo, but it forced you to consume less carbs, especially high glycemic sugars and starches. It was food-agnostic, in that you could eat anything you liked, so long as you didn't exceed your carb allowance. The most useful part was seeing sample meals laid out representing 1500 calories per day. Just looking at the portions gave me an idea how much I was overeating in relation to my size.
Carb exchange counting is complex and hard to stay on without a lot of determination. Paleo achieves the same purpose, in stringently restricting the same carb-laden foods, and is simpler to stay on. However, paleo doesn't have the governing mechanisms of counting, and if followed blindly can lead to various "faileos". For instance, if a person starts eating carbs again, there can be a disappointingly large weight gain associated with water retention. This, combined with a shunning attitude of the paleo community towards reprobates, can cause someone to give up, even though the water gains are temporary and easily lost when the diet is resumed.
Just a rant here... But for people to say that type 2 diabetics must avoid fats and eat carbs IS ASININE. Of course one must reduce the carbohydrates they consume to fight diabetes. It's so simple it's disgusting!
For an example of backwardness and horrible "prevention" tips, check out the American Diabetes Association's "tips" for healthy eating. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/prevention/checkup-america/healthy-eating.html
Here are the highlights...
Basically, the ADA says "to prevent type 2 diabetes, eat more carbs and eat less fat". LOL