If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you will have to make a lot of lifestyle changes to keep your condition in check. One of those is calculating your carbohydrate tolerance and eating at or below that level every day.
Calculating the right levels can make managing your condition easier or even help with reversing type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, eating too many carbohydrates will make you gain weight, affect your energy levels, and worsen your diabetes.
If you are new to diabetes management, calculating your carbohydrate tolerance can seem daunting. Here are a few steps that can help.
Understand the Importance of Your Carbohydrate Tolerance
Your carbohydrate tolerance is the number of carbohydrates that you can eat in a day without making your blood sugar spike to dangerous levels. Carbohydrates are biomolecules found in rice, bread, pasta, and many other staple foods. The body breaks down carbohydrates into sugar. Too many carbohydrates lead to increases in blood sugar levels, which is dangerous for diabetics.
The amount of carbohydrates that each person can tolerate depends on various factors. Depending on your metabolism, size, or other factors, you could tolerate up to 100g of carbohydrates a day, or only be able to process 50mg.
Figure Out Your Diet
Before you can start tracking your ideal carbohydrate tolerance, you need to figure out how many carbohydrates you eat in a day. Keep track of what you eat in a food diary. Then, look up carbohydrate amounts that each food contains. This should be in the nutritional information on packaged foods, or you can look them up in online guides for diabetics.
Knowing approximately how much you consume can help you calculate ideal levels. It will also prepare you for tracking your carbohydrate levels as you continue with this process.
Start Measuring Your Blood Sugar Daily
Once you know what your baseline is for food, you should also understand what your normal blood sugar levels are. Every morning, measure your fasting blood sugar levels, which are the levels before you eat any food. Once you’ve done this for several days, you can calculate the average levels.
Knowing what baseline blood sugar levels you have before consuming any sugar can help you identify dangerous spikes versus normal rises in blood sugar throughout your day.
Lower Your Carb Intake
When figuring out your ideal carbohydrate tolerance, you will start on the low end of the scale. Limit yourself to a low-carb diet, with about 50g of carbohydrates per day. This will help you manage your blood sugar and decrease your fasting blood sugar levels to a healthy range, between 5 and 7 mmol/L.
You should stay on the low-carb program for several weeks. This gives your body enough time to reset and offers you some insight into your normal blood level fluctuations throughout the day. Once you realise that your body can handle 50mg of carbohydrates a day, you can slowly start increasing your carbohydrate consumption as long as your blood sugar remains in that healthy range.
Staying within the range of your carbohydrate tolerance can help with reversing type 2 diabetes by lowering your blood sugar levels over time.
How to Tell Your Upper Limits
How will you know what the absolute maximum amount of carbohydrates that you can consume is? When your blood sugar spikes to 8 mmol/L, which is the beginning of the unhealthy range, that is when you have reached your threshold. Keeping your consumption below that threshold will help you live a healthy life where you can still enjoy some of your favourite treats.
Calculate Your Unique Carbohydrate Tolerance Today
Your carbohydrate tolerance is how many carbohydrates you can eat in a day without sending your blood sugar spiking to dangerous levels. Because every person’s tolerance level is different, you will need to calculate yours by yourself.
First, get used to recording your blood sugar levels and carbohydrate intake. Then, find out your average blood sugar levels when fasting. By cutting down on your carbohydrate intake, then slowly increasing it again, you can pinpoint the level at which your blood sugar starts fasting. That amount is your carbohydrate tolerance.
Start managing your carbohydrate intake to help you treat and reverse your type 2 diabetes.