Dear Dr. caroline, 
 
I'm concerned that all of the fruit, potatoes, corn, rice and other carbohydrates will make my blood sugar go up. In fact, when I had a big bowl of oatmeal the other morning, my blood sugar was high at lunch time. I'm not sure this approach is right for me. 

Signed, 
Carbophobia


Dear Carbophobia, 
What a great name you've chosen - Check out the book by that name written by Dr. Michael Greger, or read The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall. Both provide plenty of reassurance that yes, high-carb, or starch-based dietary patterns are safe and very healthy, even and especially for people with diabetes, with one caveat. At the same time as you fill up on fruits, whole grains, beans, and tubers, it is important to  cut down, way down, on the intake of dietary fat from animal products and oils. Both making these changes together, you'll eliminate the dietary fat that promotes insulin resistance, which allows your body to process those healthful carbohydrates effectively.

As  a nurse practitioner who has worked with people with diabetes for more than 20 years, I can attest that most people who make this change see their blood sugars improve right away. For others, it may take a little longer, perhaps a few weeks. In general, I would not get too worried about a few high readings at first, unless it persists. Be sure to drink plenty of water if your blood sugar is over 240 mg/dl to prevent getting dehydrated. For the majority of people, the numbers come down fairly quickly with a significant change in diet. Check with your health care professional to see learn what target ranges are acceptable for you, as you change your way of eating. 
 
There is hope for diabetes! 
Dr. Trapp

 

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