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Thread: Quick-absorbing carbohydrates for the diabetic page

  1. #1
    linzasaurus's Avatar
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    Quick-absorbing carbohydrates for the diabetic

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    Hey everyone,

    A week or two ago, I was with my dad who is diabetic. I am always trying to help him maintain a healthy path and resist temptation by being on "my best behavior" with food to inspire/motivate him. Thus, I've been ragging on him for eating any wheat products, and it's been working so far.

    However, he hit a low blood sugar moment, and so he needs some carbohydrates otherwise he'll pass out. So he sped over to a convenient store and grabbed a bran muffin. I asked him why he didn't just eat fruit or a veggie, but he said he needs the fastest absorbing carb to help him. This led me to do my own research, but can't find much about specific fast-absorbing foods for low blood sugar diabetics.

    Is there a better alternative for him?

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    wildwabbit's Avatar
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    Starch (from grains) is quickly broken down into glucose, sugar is quickly broken down into glucose and fructose. They are all relatively quick absorbing.

    The main issue here is that until he stabilizes his blood sugar through diet, he may certainly go through lows. If he doesn't go completely primal, then he is stuck with all the problems of the standard american diet and that includes poorly controlled blood-glucose.

    Having said that, fruits would be better than grains. Keep a mixture of berries and apples/pears with a decreasing amount of apples/pears over time.

    BTW if he is about to pass out, isn't it kinda dangerous that he is the one that sped (drove? Walked?) to the convenience store?

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    He wasn't about to pass out, but he can feel the danger zone where he should probably eat something soon otherwise he'll become faint too soon.

    So, do you think that instead of him having to hit this low point, he can "maintain" a decent sugar, by "regularly" (kind of - not like every 10 minutes, of course) eating some carbs via fruit and nuts instead of just eating nothing then suddenly having a severe drop in blood sugar?

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    loafingcactus is offline Senior Member
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    First off, what you feel and what is really happening doesn't match all that great. He needs to use his meter to know when to eat. Then he needs to get off the carbs so that he gets off the roller coaster of up/down up/down. If he's on meds, he'll need close monitoring for that.

    Then, for TRUE hypoglycemia the saying is to treat the hypoglycemia then eat. That means glucose tablets or dextrose (Smarties can be more convenient to carry around). You can get a table off of the diabetic websites of how many tablets/smarties to eat per bodyweight.

    That of course, is all if he wants to. You cant make him.

    For more info Blood Sugar 101 is a good book and has a good website also, and the Thee Book is The Bernstein Diabetes Solution.
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    Everyone is different. But honestly I always believed a proper low-carb diet prevents those dangerous swings anyhow. He may not be following the diet enough to have the sugar control. So, he then has to treat it like any standard diet, keep something around just in case.

    No one should ever have to keep eating something regularly for sugar control. Thats a sign of a poor diet.

    Basically if he has a carby meal he will continue to have sugar control problems no matter what.

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    Well, the thing that I'm having trouble with in regards to this issue is that he doesn't eat bread all too often. He mostly eats meat, and once in a while will eat bread because, of course, he has to have SOME carbs. That's the issue - he hardly eats any, but results in periods where he goes really low. He's had diabetes for over twenty years, so I trust he knows when he's feeling an oncoming low.

    I didn't literally mean for him to eat it regularly, that's what the quotations were for. I was wondering, wildwabbit, if you thought that if he for instance, as a mid-way between meals snack ate some fruit + nuts instead of reaching for the bran muffin. Or, if you think that he should just sprinkle the fruit and nuts throughout the day, to maintain some better carb form. You know what I mean? I suck at explaining myself, sometimes.

    But, one thing is for sure, he eats a lot of non-grassfed/free range/etc animals, and doesn't use totally paleo ingredients for things, like the other day he made a barbecue and marinated frozen ground beef patties from Kirkland(?) in some soy sauce. Very far from a delicious, clean, flavorful paleo dish. I know I can't make him, but his family (my step-family) eats HORRIBLY, and I know he really wants to get better, so I want to be the one who DOESN'T negatively influence him, and I guess I'm stubborn that way, lol!

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    Oh, and I forgot to say thank you! both for responding/helping me with this. Very much appreciated!

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    He needs to eat fat and protein, in that order. NOT carbs. Carbs are the worst thing in the world for a diabetic because it causes additional spikes which lead to additional lows. He will have carb flu, which includes lows; have him eat a small piece of fruit AND some protein and fat when that happens. Otherwise he's just perpetuating the carb roller coaster. I speak from experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griff View Post
    He needs to eat fat and protein, in that order. NOT carbs. Carbs are the worst thing in the world for a diabetic because it causes additional spikes which lead to additional lows. He will have carb flu, which includes lows; have him eat a small piece of fruit AND some protein and fat when that happens. Otherwise he's just perpetuating the carb roller coaster. I speak from experience.
    Thanks, Griff. I've been doing a bit of research, based on what everyone is saying, and you're right. So, pretty much the fruit/nut mix should be pretty alright, as it yields a high fat content as well as glucose. Both, though, are slow absorbing. I think the point needs to be, he should fix his diet so that lows DON'T happen, and these will be ways that he prevents such.

    I knew you guys would help me significantly. This blog rules.

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    So, as a diabetic, is it better for me to eat my fruit with some whipped cream(no sugar added) and some bacon/meat - than to eat the fruit by itself?
    Is there a usual limit on how many carbs one should be eating at one sitting?

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