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100-120 carbs per day needed just to feed the brain and nerves?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Helenmomofsporty13yearold, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Helenmomofsporty13yearold

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    Michele'sMom posted this video link in General Discussion. I think it is worth posting again.

    http://www.tudiabetes.org/video/tudiabetes-live-interview-with-author-gary-scheiner

    Gary insists 100-120 grams of carbs are needed everyday just to feed the brain and nerves plus more to fuel the muscles and activity.

    He says one has worse control with a low-carb diet as the conversion of protein to glucose is dependent on too many variables and too unpredictable.

    He thinks that less than 80 carbs a day is not even enough to just fuel the nervous system.....dietary protein is meant for other uses...muscles, bones, growth , enzymes, etc. not as an energy source.

    As for the effect of larger doses versus smaller doses of insulin...he says doses say, 10 times larger (20units vs 2 units) take longer to start, peak and finish, but that is the only difference.

    Definitely worth the hour you will spend listening to this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  2. swellman

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    That's pretty consistent with the various government and medical institutional recommendations. I did some reading a short while ago because of another thread and did some calculations and it seems consistent.
     
  3. Michelle'sMom

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    The low carb debate has being going on for quite a while, & I'm sure that won't change anytime in the near future.

    There are adult T1s who not only disagree with Gary, but have proven (through maintaining their own health/fitness, A1C records etc) that what he says is not true for everyone.

    Below is a link to the discussion/debate that took place after Gary's interview.

    http://www.tudiabetes.org/forum/topics/do-you-agree-with-gary-scheiner-about-low-carb-diets


    FWIW, my dd is almost 15. Because of the severity of her PCOS, she was advised to follow a moderate carb meal plan (50-70g per day). My first thought when I heard Gary's comments was that we were doing serious damage to my dd by following the recommendations. She got a clean bill of health from her gyn, her weight gain is slowing, & her PCOS symptoms have dramatically improved.

    I would add that I have followed a lower carb lifestyle myself for almost 14 yrs now. It was recommended by my own endo after being dx'd with my 2nd autoimmune disorder. His belief was that processed carbs & those from grains (even whole grains) cause an inflammatory response which leads to flares. I've enjoyed a nice remission without need for medication, so I wouldn't even consider changing my meal plan.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  4. Helenmomofsporty13yearold

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    I think fructose and genetically modified foods is the problem rather than grains. My arthritis flares up when I eat bread, but not wild rice or organic brown rice. 15 years ago when I ate bread at every meal and a whole baguette at dinner time, my body was gorgeous and I felt great. Now, I cannot tolerate gluten very well at all and the bod ain't so gorgeous.

    I have read that some people are better off eating more carbs and some are better eating more protein. This makes a lot of sense to me. YDMV for sure.

    I cannot imagine low carb working with an active child, especially a honeymooning one. The most carbs DD had in one day thanks to 4 soccer games was 600....how could we have handled that low carb? She was not on very much basal at the time.
     
  5. Lakeman

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    He seems to be making at least two glaring mistakes. (based on the quotes in the Op since the video was an hour long and would not load for me)

    1. The brain, nerves and muscles do indeed need to be fed but glucose is by no means the only source of fuel. The reality is that protein is a minor source of fuel but fat is a huge source of fuel for the body. The human body is perfectly capable of being fueled by fat alone with zero carbs and if that is your choice and it works for you then great. However the human body is incapable of being fueled without any fat and people on fat free diets die rather quickly.

    2. He mentions the insufficiency of protein as a fuel source but seems to ignore the role of fat (on purpose?)

    I would add that fat produces ketones that the body can use very well as a fuel source (not to be confused with ketoacidosis) and in fact provides a protective function for the brain during hypoglycemia. Many people who fuel themselves on fat report that they think more clearly and feel better running on ketones rather than on carbs. Olive oil and coconut oil are great sources of medium chain fatty acids.

    Everyone should find waht works best for them but be aware that there are at least two errors in the quotes in the OP. I think that some balance of fat and carbs is best whatever that ratio is. Only remember that high carb diets (higher than is being suggested) are cancer causing.
     
  6. swellman

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    This thread is now officially off the rails.
     
  7. kiwiliz

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    No. I think this is a legitimate discussion. I have been interested to read all the different opinions.
     
  8. ChristineJ

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    I agree!

    Christine
     
  9. Michelle'sMom

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  10. Michelle'sMom

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    I agree.

    Treatment regimens are individualized for T1s. Their dietary/nutrition needs vary as much as their insulin needs & their diet/meal plan (whatever label you prefer) should be individualized as well. I find it interesting that vegans & vegetarians are accepted as, at the most, quirky, yet those who choose a lower carb lifestyle are instantly slapped down as mentally deficient or just plain crazy. I don't criticize or make food choices for anyone outside my household. What works for us may very well be disastrous for someone else. It works for us, so the opinions of those who choose other options really doesn't matter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  11. swellman

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    I was referring specifically to the claim that high carb diets are cancer causing. That is way off the rails.
     
  12. Michelle'sMom

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    Not so far off the rails, at least according to several studies.
     
  13. wilf

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    If you're going to indicate that there's studies to support what you're saying, then it's helpful to provide links to them.

    With our society's chemical promiscuity (there are over 100,000 chemicals being used and disposed of, with 1000+ added yearly), I don't believe it is possible to establish cancer links in anything but the most obvious cases (like smoking, or chronic exposure to a high level of an industrial chemical).
     
  14. swellman

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    There's as many claims that low carb causes cancer as there are high carb. Actually, I can't find any that suggest that eating high carb "causes" cancer at all. All I have ever seen is that high carbs diets *might* help fuel existing tumors more than lower carb diets. That's exactly not the same thing. However, I'm not going to debate whether eating carbs causes cancer - it's futile.
     
  15. Dave

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    My take

    A few thoughts on this -

    1. My son (9) was recently diagnosed. We initially tried to follow a 40g carb a meal plan the doctor gave us and immediately ran into trouble matching carbs with insulin. The boy spiked a lot and did not feel good. We went low carb and I have learned a lot from reading Bernstein. The law of small numbers is the most important thing I've learned about controlling Type 1. It helps us avoid lows and highs.

    2. The question about how many carbs a child needs for proper cognitive and physical growth is a good one and is poorly understood from what I have been reading. Issues like ketones versus DKA are poorly understood. Everyone wants to know how low is too low, naturally. Its an important discussion.

    3. The video makes the case that we should be giving enough carbs for the brain and nervous system which use glucose. But if the glucose levels are above normal - as almost any type 1 is - how does the brain or nervous system 'know' whether they are from carbs or not. Even someone on the bernstein diet will have regular glucose levels.

    4. Postprandial spikes can be avoided by shifting caloric emphasis from carbs to protein. My son rarely is above 150 (his honeymoon never existed - our doctor blew the diagnosis and recommended giving him milk shakes to put his weight back on...we tried this for a couple of days until he was hospitalized). We bolus him and snack him his carbs throughout the bolus rather than force them all in at a single meal. We also test him nearly hourly.

    5. Video makes the case that protein is needed for other things. Well if the child is eating enough protein to compensate for decreased carbs, there is PLENTY of protein to go around. In 60 days since diagnosis my son is stronger and is going through a growth spurt. This is the diet of athletes and weight trainers.

    6. Carbs are particularly important post-exercise, so that is an area we focus on.

    7. Low carb diets are hard on the parents. They require a lot of work. Most foods you have to cook yourself. But you can learn. I can make a low carb pizza, low carb pancakes, low carb muffins. Almond flour is a great place to start. With these foods we have much better control.

    8. Low carb people are not all 'zealots' - we're just trying to get control. My son doesn't want/need juices, chips, etc. He hates feeling high and understands the importance of controlling his levels. He likes video games, his friends, football...he doesn't like being above 180 and he loves the food we give him...nuts, beef jerky, cheese microwaved on parchment paper instead of goldfish, etc.

    9. He has only been at this 90 days, so I understand we are newbies. But every time we try and branch out and bolus more and carb up we run into trouble.

    10. Since DKA, my son has gained all his weight back. He went from ICU to playing QB on his flag football team in two weeks. His weight has come back. He looks great - his A1C was unexpectadly low, 7.4, which includes the time period when he was 700+ in DKA. Doctor said he is surprised at how fast he has come back and how good he looks

    So I would recommend giving it a real try, learning to prepare stuff low carb. Why not take the difference - somewhere between what the video recommends and Bernstein. Try to learn one new recipe a week. Try to keep postprandials low, etc. There is no denying that lower carbs are a key to the equation for better control.

    Hope that helps.
     
  16. Jacob'sDad

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    So are humans somehow different than animals in regards to what fuel works? Maybe we are; I'm not saying we are not, but I do notice the following:

    If I feed my cats dry cat food where grain is the #1 ingredient, even if it is higher end stuff like Iams, they don't look all that healthy. If I then switch them to a high protein animal based food like "Taste of the Wild" they eat less, have less in the litter box, their coats get shiny and sleek, and they have lots of energy. And it is noticeable within one week.

    If I switch them back, which sometimes happens if I run out of the good stuff and need something in a hurry, they go back to how they used to be and that is noticeable in the length of time it takes to eat a 4lb bag of food.
     
  17. hawkeyegirl

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    My understanding is that cats are true carnivores and do best with a high protein/high fat diet. They don't do well with a lot of carbs.

    My massive consumption of Diet Coke is going to give me cancer well before my carb intake does.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  18. Michelle'sMom

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    Google returns several results. I'm on my phone, but I'll be happy to post links when I get home.

    And yes, there are also studies linking low carb to cancer. And I think that proves my earlier point...nutrition needs & tolerance are very individual. A one size fits all approach is no more fitting than a single insulin regimen.
     
  19. lisanc

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    Hawkeyegirl ... you are funny!! am right there with ya'! :D

    My one concern with respect to Dave, is make sure that your child does not feel restricted with the new way of eating ... because eventually you might encourage him to sneak food which is way worse. I am a firm believer in moderation is the key. Using temp basals and such tools, many kids can learn to eat "tough" foods and be fine ... everyone likes to "cheat" every once in a while. :)
     
  20. Christopher

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    Welcome,

    I am not sure why you are testing your son every hour but you may want to speak to his Endo about that. If they were the ones who instructed you to do that, I would suggest rethinking that approach.

    You will never fully control your sons diabetes. I like to look at it in terms of management, not control. And there are many ways to achive "control" besides restricting carbs. One way is to learn to match the carbs eaten with the correct amount of insulin to "cover" those carbs. It is not easy, there is a lot of trial and error, but many people find it more effective than restricting carbs.

    You may want to add a signature line so that people can know when your child was dx, what insulins they use, etc. Go to the upper left of the blue bar at the top of the page. Click on User CP and on the left you will see Edit Signature. Type in the information you want to share and click Save Signature.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013

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