What do we mean by low carb? Definitions vary, but the consensus is that any diet containing under 130 grams of carbohydrate per day is low carb.
The low carb lifestyle should not feel restrictive. The most important thing is that it works for you. For some people, 130 grams of carbs per day might feel like too little at first but do try and give it a good go. There are plenty of tasty and fulfilling low carb dishes to help you on your way. Many people have seen the benefits of carb restriction, and have chosen to go lower once they’ve gotten into the swing of things. We’ve chosen 130 grams as a comfortable starting point, but as we go through the program you will be supported with all of the information and resources, should you wish to go lower.
The fundamental principle of the low carb lifestyle is to cut down on sugar.
We’ll be identifying and guiding you through the different sources of sugar; from naturally-occurring sugar in fruit and honey, to table sugar added to processed foods, and sugar broken down from starchy carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, bread and pasta. We’ll also provide practical tips on how to make reductions to your carb intake throughout the program.
People progressing from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes will often be put on blood glucose lowering medications in an attempt to combat the progression. However, this approach can be likened to someone with a peanut allergy eating some peanuts and then medicating their allergic reaction, rather than simply avoiding peanuts in the first place.
High carbohydrate foods raise our blood glucose and insulin levels when we eat them. Over time, persistently high blood glucose levels are associated with many of the harmful effects of having diabetes. This effect is not limited just to eating sugar - you might be surprised to hear that a portion of white rice has the equivalent effect of 10 teaspoons of table sugar on your blood glucose level.
So rather than just medicating the symptoms of the problem, we can lower our carbohydrate intake, and tackle the root cause.
Reducing the amount of carbs in your diet can be vital for keeping your blood glucose levels under control, preventing progression from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes, and improving your metabolic health overall. We’ll be guiding you through ways of reducing your overall carb intake, and how you can replace this with healthy, wholesome foods, throughout the program.
Any significant dietary change can result in side effects. This program encourages a gradual transition to a low carb lifestyle, which reduces the likelihood of this occurring. To support you, we have created a downloadable resource for you and your healthcare professional which discusses possible side-effects and solutions. Most people find that, after a few weeks, they have adapted to their new lifestyle and are already seeing results.
You can keep track of all of your progress on the program and get health insights using the tracking cards on the dashboard. Here we have a food diary, weight, medication and mood trackers and even somewhere to add a selfie.
You may find devices such as a blood glucose meter, blood pressure monitor and weighing scales helpful for tracking your progress. Measurements from these can also aid your doctor in making informed decisions about adjusting your medications if required.
The low carb lifestyle is suitable for most people, but, as with any major dietary change, it is important to discuss it with your doctor before you begin.