What is Low-Carb & how to get started?
*PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU ARE ON ANY MEDICATION PLEASE CONSULT WITH A G.P OR NURSE BEFORE STARTING A LOW CARB DIET*
Want to try low carb as an option to lose weight, reduce your sugar levels, put diabetes in to remission or just want to try something different to improve your overall health? Well why not give Low Carb a try…..
Please have a look at these webpages they have all the information you need to start a low carb diet:
Must watch videos!!!
What high sugar levels in the blood stream does to the body
Things to do and get prior to starting
(not essential but helpful):
It is a good idea to know what your initial weight is before starting a new way of eating. This can either be in ‘kg or stones & lbs’ and is a simple way to see if you are losing weight over time.
You can also calculate your Body mass index (BMI) which is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is in the healthy range. Use this BMI calculator to find out your BMI.
Although a BMI calculation is commonly used within healthcare and is simple to use a BMI calculation is not always reliable. You can have a healthy BMI and still have too much tummy fat, meaning you’re still at risk of developing these diseases. The best way to determine weight loss due to health is by measuring a persons waist circumference and this can be done by the use of a tape measure (see below).
A tape measure is a good tool to have handy at home and is cheap to purchase. A tape measure is a simple way to see if you are losing abdominal fat and regardless of your height or body mass index (BMI), you should try to lose weight if your waist is:
- 94cm (37in) or more for men
- 80cm (31.5in) or more for women
Carrying too much fat around your middle (waist) can make it more likely for you to get conditions such as:
How to measuring your waist properly:
- find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips
- wrap a tape measure around your waist, midway between these points
- breathe out naturally before taking the measurement
Here is also a great article on How to loose body fat
If you want to be accurate and count the amount of foods you will be eating, food scales would be a great tool to have in your kitchen. Having to guess the amount of carbs in certain foods can be tricky and can lead to you accidentally taking higher amount of carbs than you originally intended.
Glucose meters I would say is essential if you are Pre-Diabetic or Diabetic. A glucose meter can give you a good indication of how certain foods can effect your blood sugar. Some foods may be considered high in carbs but may not effect your blood sugars at all and some may be low in carbs but spike your glucose level. Everyone reacts differently to foods, therefore it is a good idea to have a glucose meter to test certain foods. You don’t have to do this all the time once you know what foods ‘trigger’ a rise of glucose, just reduce them!
(We can issue you with a glucose meter for free but you would have to buy the strips yourself as this cannot be prescribed on the NHS).
As you can see in the image below blood in someone who doesn’t have diabetes their blood sugars peak at about 1 hour and after 2 hours it returns to normal, as their body is able to adjust and utilise that sugar effectively. However, with someone who has type 2 Diabetes their blood sugars are already high, it then peaks at 1 hour but very slowly drops down to their baseline which can be over 5 or 6 hours later. If you eat more sugary high carb foods on top of this then the level gets higher and higher and it takes longer and longer for your body to try and bring your sugar levels down. So its important to eat foods which will not cause such a high spike in the first place which will allow for your body to utilise that blood sugar more effective leading to better control of your sugar levels.
This other graph shows you how different micronutrients such as carbohydrates, protein and fat can raise your blood sugar levels. With carbohydrates you get a big glucose spike, yet protein is a moderate amount and fat is more lower and stable over time.
Blood pressure machine:
If you have been diagnosed with hypertension and on medication its important to consult with your doctor or nurse before you start a low carb diet. A low carb diet is very effective in reducing blood pressure to a normal range. It could possibly result in you reducing your medication or even stopping it all together.
However, please do not do this without advice from your doctor or nurse at the surgery first and if you have any concerns please call us to discuss.
A optimum blood pressure is 130/80 but if you are getting readings below 120/70 please consult with a doctor or nurse
‼️Please note this is the same advice if you are also on any diabetic medication, especially ones that lower your blood glucose as well as if you take a medication called Warfarin.
You must consult with a doctor or nurse first before starting a low carb diet.
This is because if you are taking medications to lower your blood glucose or are taking a medication such as warfarin more discussion is needed before you start.
Different types of Low-Carb diets & macros
What I would recommend first is just EAT REAL FOOD and focus on the lower carb foods first no need to count anything or weigh any foods. This will naturally reduce your carbohydrate intake.
I would highly recommend you do this first
Some people like to be precise and want to count their carbs I would suggest you start by following this macro regime:
- Carbohydrates: aim for less than <130g a day and no more. The majority should come from should come from low carb fruit and vegetables
- Fats: Minimum intake should Women >30g a day & Men >40g a day. Try and get this from healthy fats such as oily fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado and olives
- Protein: 1g of protein per every kg you weigh. So for example if you weighed 90kg that would be 1×90= 90g protein a day. Protein keeps you fuller for longer (If you have been told by a healthcare professional you should limit your protein intake please discuss this with one of the G.Ps or nurses)
NOTE: If you are already experienced in doing low carb or finding you are needing a ‘tweak’ in your diet or simply just want to try something else, please make an appointment to discuss this further.
Have a look at the pictures below, they can also be found here on the Public Health Collaboration website:
Click on the button below to see what types of foods will be good on a Low-Carb diet