There is a strong connection between carbohydrates, high blood sugars and diabetes. Carbohydrates give your body the energy, or fuel, it needs to function properly.
There are two types of carbohydrates; simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are in foods such as fruit sugar, corn or grape sugar and table sugar. They are single-sugar molecules. Complex carbohydrates are the foods that contain three or more linked sugars. So carbohydrates create blood sugars and that’s where the problems start for diabetics. Understanding more about the connection helps to control your diabetes…
A Personal Experience
I am a diabetic type 2 and, at the moment, I control my blood sugars through tablets and diet. Blood glucose control is extremely important for any diabetic – it is the only way of minimising future health complications; heart disease; neuropathy resulting in amputations; kidney disease and early death.
Four years ago my A1C sugar levels were starting to get out of control – they weren’t massively high but were creeping up. My Doctor increased my medication – with no real satisfactory results, my blood sugars were all over the place; I could go from a high reading at night and be woken by a hypoglaecemic (low blood sugar) in the early hours.
Then I discovered the Atkins diet and, because I wanted to lose weight, I started to follow the low carbohydrate, high protein menus.
That’s when I discovered the real connection between complex carbohydrates, high blood sugars and my diabetes. Suddenly my blood sugars stabilised and it was because I was no longer piling in huge amounts of carbohydrate, which were pushing my blood sugars far too high.
This seemed to fly in the face of conventional advice on the right diets – complex carbohydrate rich – for diabetes. You see, I already understood I had to avoid sweet, sugary food – these contained simple carbohydrates. I hadn’t realised that the more complex carbohydrate of bread, potato and cereals affected my blood sugars as well.
But (there’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there?) the Atkins diet did not really suit me. I had constant diarrhea which was stressful and debilitating. So I came off that diet after 3-4 months and, of course, my blood sugars began to get out of control again.
But now I knew about the connection, all I needed to do was find the right program for me that followed the low carbohydrate principle.
And just recently, whilst doing research for my diabetes website, I discovered a program that suits me, and which I describe in more detail on my website for diabetics.
My advice to any diabetic and pre-diabetic, do your research! Understand the close connection between the complex carbohydrates you eat, how they affect your blood sugars and how it can make it difficult to control your diabetes. Once you understand that link, look for a diet or system that you can adapt to safely bring your blood sugars back under control.
Remember, too many carbohydrates (complex or simple) give you high blood sugar levels and if you have diabetes it means your body cannot cope with the additional overload.