Carbohydrates aren’t the enemy. In fact, our bodies rely on energy-filled carbs to deliver essential fuel to keep us up and running. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, then you’ll know that carbs don’t quite have the same effect on your body as they do on other people’s.
So… can eating low carb foods, like lower carb LoCho bread, help to manage your condition?
To answer that, we need to look at what happens when we consume carb heavy foods.
Carbohydrates & the body
When we eat anything with carbs – bread, potatoes, crisps, cereals, cakes, bananas, and so on – the body breaks it down and converts it into glucose. Sugar. It’s the main source of energy for the body.
What’s supposed to happen is that the body produces a hormone – insulin – to manage this glucose. In diabetics, however, the process doesn’t occur in quite the right way. The body can’t use the energy.
With Type I diabetes, the body can’t produce insulin on its own.
With Type II diabetes, the body can’t make enough insulin, or enough quality insulin.
Can a lower carb diet help?
The more carbohydrates a person consumes, the more blood glucose they’re going to have, and the greater the need to manage this glucose through insulin. Looking at it from this perspective, it seems reasonable to conclude that, the fewer carbs consumed, the easier disease management can be.
Many people have found exactly that. They’ve found that eating fewer carbs can help them better manage their condition, minimise symptoms, and keep them feeling more like themselves.
A lower carb diet is generally considered to be a diet where you take in fewer than 225g of carbohydrates a day. However, some people experience better results when dropping this further, to under 130g per day. Others strive to consume very, very few, between 30g and 100g per day.
What do the experts say?
Diabetes UK recommends that those with Type II diabetes try a low carb diet, consuming between 50g – 130g of carbohydrates per day. The charity says that ‘these diets can help with weight loss, glucose management*, and reduce the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease’. Research shows that remission rates are higher** in those following a low carb diet than those who aren’t.
Type I diabetes is more of a grey area. Diabetes UK notes that, in this instance, ‘there is no consistent evidence that a low carb diet is any more effective than other approaches’. However, more and more research is being done in this area, and the outcomes are promising. One study concludes that a lower carb diet can improve insulin sensitivity and cardiometabolic health in Type I diabetics***.
If you have Type I diabetes, always speak to your doctor before making dietary changes.
How to reduce carbs easily
Reducing carbs in your diet doesn’t have to be a big headache. And it doesn’t have to mean missing out on all your favourite foods. The good news is that there is so much choice today if you want to try reducing your carbohydrate intake. Low carb bread is much better than it used to be, especially when you choose LoCho.
And you can find all sorts of good stuff on supermarket shelves, too – like low carb pasta, rice biscuits, and more. Reducing your carbs is easier than ever, and it could be great for your health, too.
*Diabetes UK - reference article
**The BMJ - reference article
***Society for Endocrinology - reference article