Are you a diabetic patient? Not sure how many carbs should a diabetic have a day? Are you struggling to maintain your blood sugar level? Do you still need to lose weight? Well, read this article to find the answers.
Let’s find what American Diabetes Association says about it. ADA suggests that a diabetic patient should take 45% of a day’s calories from carbohydrates. This means that a person should eat 45 – 60 grams per meal and total 135 – 230 grams per day.
On the other hand, one intelligentsia of the diet says that 135 – 230 grams per day of carbs are too much for diabetic patients. They argue that diabetic patients should eat far fewer carbohydrates than the suggestion of ADA.
There are two types of diabetic patients, Type 1 and Type 2. Remember that the number of carbohydrates are different for both types of patients.
Let’s go deep into both types and analyze what amount of carbohydrates a diabetic patient should have per day.
Table of Contents
Type 1 Diabetes
In type 1 diabetes, the human body does not produce insulin that is mandatory to regulate blood sugar level. Basically, insulin allows the sugar to enter into body cells and store excess sugar into fats in the body.
How do carbohydrates affect the blood sugar level of type 1 patients?
The body gets calories from carbs, proteins and fats. However, excess carbs intake affects blood sugar level badly. Unlike the proteins and fats, when carbs are digested by the body, that are converted into glucose (Sugar) and, eventually, it enters into the blood.
Therefore, eating a high amount of carbs means that you are raising the blood sugar level and you need to inject more insulin to regularize the blood sugar level.
Most catastrophic results come at that point when your body does not produce insulin and you inject. You are unable to decide what amount of insulin your body requires.
How many carbs to eat?
On the contrary, you can limit your intake of carbohydrates and you can prevent the rising level of blood sugar. Now, a very basic question arises that how many carbs to eat?
There are several studies available that suggest different figures. But, optimally, you should eat such a food that you consume less than 50 grams of carbs in a day.
Eating less than 50 grams of carbs in a day means that you‘ll be extracting 10% calories from the carbohydrates.
Technically speaking, the diet that contains 10% of a day’s calories from carbs is called the Ketogenic diet. The Ketogenic diet was in practice when insulin was not discovered for type 1 diabetic patient, prior to 1920s.
Ideally, national center for Biotechnology suggests that eating 20-50 grams of carbs in a day is excellent to maintain blood sugar level and to reduce weight for type 1 diabetic patients.
Additionally, NCBI reveals that these changes emerge quickly, without any delay.
Another report published by NCBI shows that eating 21 grams of carbs per day reduces calories intake significantly from carbs and it strangles the amount of insulin for type 1 diabetic patients up to 75%.
In other words, if a diabetic patient eats 21 grams of carbs in a day, his blood sugar level will not increase substantially and his body will require 75% less insulin than normal requirement of insulin.
Nonetheless, one biggest concern for type 1 diabetic patients is that their blood sugar level decreases to a dangerous level too.
Hence, they should take an optimal amount of carbs that does not trigger blood sugar level on the up and also not make it drop to a dangerous level.
A study published by NCBI depicts that people who used 91 grams of carbs in a day, they reduced 82% of low blood sugar level incidents.
Studies show that cutting down a number of carbs from daily life decreases the blood sugar level of type 1 patients and it also reduces the weight of obese diabetic patients.
In short, perfectly, type 1 diabetic patients should eat 91 grams (20% calories) of carbs in a day. This amount of carbs will neither increase the blood sugar level nor will it decrease blood sugar level to a dangerous extent.
Rest of the calories they should take from fatty foods and proteins. It will significantly reduce blood sugar level and intake of insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes
Unlike type 1 diabetes, in type 2 diabetes human body produces some of the insulin but not completely. Although, type 2 diabetes is less dangerous than type 1 diabetes.
How do carbohydrates affect the blood sugar level of type 2 patients?
Carbohydrates affect similarly on the blood sugar level of type 2 diabetes patients as they affect the type 1 diabetes patients.
Again, there are several studies available online about the carbohydrate intake by the type 2 diabetes patients.
Ideally speaking, studies reveal that type 2 diabetic patients should eat 50-100 grams of carbohydrates in a day, which means that they will take 10-20% of calories in a day from carbs.
In another study, it has been found that type 2 diabetic patients, who took 80% of a day’s calories from proteins, fats and 20% of a day’s calories from carbs, reduced their fasting blood sugar level by 29%.
Moderate carbs diet
Even, type 2 diabetic patients can take 100 – 150 grams of carbs in a day. Yet, they will experience a lot of improvement in their blood sugar level. Taking 100 – 150 grams of carbs mean that you‘ll be taking 20 – 35% of a day’s calories from carbs.
In a 12 months study, US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health found that type 2 diabetic patients who ate 35% of a day’s calories from carbs reduced their blood sugar levels remarkably and, dramatically, some of the patients even did not take medicine at all.
Carbs Vs Fiber
Whole wheat, whole grain, an apple in a day, high fiber vegetables are very good source of fiber. The body does not break down fiber related carbs into sugar. Instead, the body breaks down refined and simple carbs into sugar.
Complex carbs are not much harmful to the body. Diabetic patients should focus on the complex carbs such as whole foods.
All in all, to get best results, type 1 diabetic patients should eat not more than 100 grams of carbs in a day and type 2 diabetic patients should not eat more than 150 grams of carbs in a day.
That amount of carbs will definitely, control the blood sugar level of both types of diabetic patients.