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Tips for Low Carb Baking

Carb & Nutrition Calculators

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Item #:  AC350

For carb-counting dieters, this helpful kitchen tool eliminates the guesswork!

Carb-Tracker Nutrition Scale (As of 12/29/05 the scale was on sale  for $39.95  (of course, I bought it when it was not and paid full price $59.95)

Read our review on The Sharper Image's Carb-Tracker Scale.  If you count carbs (or calories, fat, protein, and fiber) the scale is valuable for fine tuning your diet.  You weigh food items, enter a food code and voile!  Based on the weight of the food the exact nutritional count appears magically.  The scale has become a daily part of my carb counting for myself as well as Elizabeth (my daughter with type 1).  I was skeptical, but found the weight of fruit and vegetables varies considerably and knowing a more exact carb count has helped us both.  If you wish to purchase the scale, click on the The Sharper Image Logo button.  From their main page simply enter in the search code item #:  AC350, or, Carb-Tracker Nutrition Scale.

Truly Low Carb

Whoosh Friends

Protein Power Way of Life

Low Carb in the UK

Adiposity 101 Technical in-depth discussion of Low-Carb

Bug's Best - Gateway to the Best Information on the Internet Comprehensive, organized list of resources for weight-loss and obesity, including low carb links.

Canadian Nutrition Labelling: A Call for Reform Canadian food labels are failing low carbers!  If you wish to support label reform, visit this site.

Canadian Nutrition Labelling: Regulations  January ‘03 Canadian "Nutritional Facts" labeling regulations in the process of being implemented.

Christina's PCOS Pages Personal site and valuable wealth of resources for PCOS, and the Low-Carb solution.

Cyndi's Carbohydrates Information Page Personal web page with many useful low-carb links and information.

DietDelivery Canada Gourmet Zone meals delivered to Zone dieters in the Greater Toronto Area.

Dyan's Low Carb Recipes and Links A well organized guide for low-carb recipes, carb counts and low-carb resources.

FAQ Frequently asked question from

Lo Carb Diner Ruth and Nina's online store of low carb products with a large selection of brands and product variety, including low carb baked goods.

LowCarb FoodExperts Canada Low-Carb, Low-Glycemic and Sugar-Free products, "co-op" style  purchasing at Canadian prices.

Low Carb is A dedicated low carber's site to help you learn low carb science, websites links and low carb strategies.  Features Low Carb is Easy Interactive Cookbook.

Low  Carb & No Carb Recipes & Restaurant Guide Several collections or recipes and restaurant guides for purchase, and sample recipes.

Low Carb For Life Sugarbane's Lowcarb4life support site, massive resource directory.

Low-Carb Luxury Awesome info and recipes.

Lowcarb NZ Margaret's Low Carb Page for New Zealander's. A very useful guide for products and restaurants in NZ.

Low-Carb-Canada Our mailing list at eGroups, still maintained for users who do not prefer the forum format.

Low-Carb Pavilion Great low-carb site, (site owner’s background is in biochemistry)

Low Carb Recipes Fast & Easy Belinda Schweinhart, author of the "Low Carb Recipes Fast & Easy" cookbook.

Low-Carb Retreat Excellent collection of links and articles. Be sure to check the research summaries by Josh Yelon under (Important Reading/ Low-Carb Medline Research).

Low Carb Nexus  One of the oldest low carb online stores.  Great articles and recipes.

Low Carb Success! Website of Laura Richard, B.S.N., M.H.A., author of The Secret to Low-Carb Success!

Travelling Gourmet Personal Chef Services Personal chef website, in Vancouver, BC, offers personalized low-carb meal services.

The Low-Carb Cookbook Site.  Website of Fran McCullough, the author of The Low-Carb Cookbook

The Ultimate Nutrition Program for Healing and Health Preservation.

The Ultimate Low Carb Resource Page

The Active Low-Carber Forum Archives Archives of our support forum.

Welsh Bear Software Home of the Nutrition Analyzer (software)



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Diabetes & Low Carbohydrate Diets

Tips & Advice for
Successful Low Carb Living
From Lahle, low carbing since 1996

Dealing with The Ignorant

Oh geeze, you are on Atkins?  My family and friends were not supportive when I first jumped on the low-carb band wagon.  But I was 287 lbs, diabetic and needed something that would not fail me as did low-fat plans.  But when my lipid profile improved significantly and I dropped over 135 lbs, suddenly, those around me became low-carb believers. 

The word "ignorant" implies a lack of knowledge (not stupidity) so educate ignorant folks, including medical professionals that might not understand what you are trying to accomplish. (For the record, my well-respected endocrinologist strongly supported my low-carb choice and actively assisted me in meeting my goals and monitored my health.)

If you tell people you are on a low-carb diet, be prepared for an eyeroll.  Here are a few answers to common misconceptions about low carb dieting.

Ignorant Remark:  The Atkins diet killed Dr. Atkins and it will kill you too.

Reply:  No, falling and suffering a head injury that put him into a coma killed Dr. Atkins.  He was not overweight at the time of his fall (see Urban Myths and Dr. Atkins’ death certificate).  Besides, all low-carb diets are not equal, some are carb- controlled plans, others (like Atkins) meet the medical definition of low-carb.  But low-carb means lowering certain carbs not eliminating all carbs.  Dr. Atkins ate fruit and vegetables every day.  In fact, berries were his favorite dessert.  Which do you think is healthier?  Fresh fruit for dessert (low -carb diet) or angel food cake (low-fat diet)?

Ignorant Remark:  You are killing your kidneys.

Reply:  There are no documented cases of kidney damage to low-carb dieters without pre-existing kidney problems. What will kill your kidneys is out of control blood glucoser and low-carb living can be an effective tool in helping to manage type 2 diabetes. 

Ignorant Remark:  All the cholesterol you are eating will kill you.

Reply:  Scientific evidence shows repeatedly that low-carb dieting improves lipid profiles – lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raising HDL. Low-cholesterol dieting is not healthy either, and increases susceptibility to stroke.  Besides, low-carb does not mean giving up fruits, vegetables, and reasonable portions of wholegrains.  It does mean giving up Twinkies, white bread, and table sugar. 

Ignorant Remark:  It is all water weight.

Reply:  There is NO WAY that weight loss exceeding 10-15 lbs is all water weight. And if it is water, so what, my size 26 pants are falling off after losing 135 lbs of "water."

Ignorant Remark:  All the weight loss comes back!

Reply:  Okay, so this one is true if you don’t go off low-carb the right way (see “How to Quit Your Low Carb Diet”).  But ... you go off ANY diet and you will gain your weight back.  The key is to make lifestyle changes you can live with day-to-day, not diet for a season.  Low-carb plans (including Atkins) are designed to gradually increase food but the concepts are intended to be a lifestyle -- not a diet.

Tips and Advice for Ketogenic Lowcarbers

 Atkins, Protein Power, Schwarzbein Principle, The
       Eskimo Meat-Only Diet, Life Without Bread

  • Many folks lose great on induction and then stall. This is normal and to be expected since your body is adjusting to your new weight. The stall will pass and weight loss will resume, usually (but not always) within 2-3 weeks.
  • Citric acid, a common ingredient in diet soda and other diet products, can stall weight loss for 40-50% of low carb dieters. If you are sensitive to this substance it can slow down your weight loss by kicking you out of ketosis.
  • Water is essential to weight loss, especially for low carb dieters. The minimum consumed daily should be 64 oz PLUS 8 oz for every 25 pounds overweight. Not drinking enough water can stall weight loss, keep you out of ketosis, and raise circulating ketones (not desirable even with benign dietary ketosis).  And no, coffee and diet soda do not count as water.  Next to carb counting drinking water is the single most important part of sticking to a low carb diet.  Forget the water and you can forget successful weight loss with low carb.
  • You can deduct fiber from carbs.  If a food item has 10 carbs and 4 grams of fiber you can deduct carbs - fiber fot "net carbs."  Certain rules apply:  you cannot ingest fiber supplements to increase fiber count of a meal and deduct from the carb count.  I also advice on induction phase you do not subtract any fiber at all unless it is more than 3 grams. in the serving size.
  • Net carbs on labels.  Be very cautious!  Products that are labeled "net carb 2" may not really be that low because sugar alcohols still can and do impact blood sugar.  Many dietitians agree that the most you should deduct for sugar alcohols is half.
  • You can stay at 20 grams of carbs per day for longer than 2 weeks. In fact, a near zero carb diet has been used safely for over a decade to treat children with epilepsy (for some reason ketosis helps prevent seizure).  But staying too low, too long can halt weight loss.  Try increasing carbs to 25 or 30 grams to jumpstart weight loss again.   In some cases, adding a small amount of fat might also help … but … it could also hurt (see next paragraph).
  • Cheese and cream and other fun fats are allowed on low carb plans but eating too much fat (in some cases as little as only an ounce or two of cheese) can keep you out of ketosis and stall weight loss.  If you are following the letter of the law and still not losing, consider fat (or not drinking enough water) the culprit.
  • Many low carb dieters, even those on ketogenic diets drink/ingest caffeine and still lose weight.  Many don’t.  Dr. Atkins based his “caffeine free” position on a study that did not take into account the citric acid present in caffeinated diet soda which skewed weight loss results. The caffeine was blamed instead of the citric acid.  But coffee does contain carbs and you have to count them!  Unsweetened tea, however, is a total “freebie.”
  • Caffeine withdrawal headaches.  Wean off caffeine before you start your low carb diet if possible.  It is not uncommon to get headaches 2-5 days into any plan that restricts carbs to induce ketosis.
  • Ketosis headaches.  Drink water.  Lots and lots.  Sometimes, if ketones are in the moderate to heavy range you may need to add 5 carbs to your plan to help reduce the level of ketones present.  Do not add sugar!  Instead, try adding low carb vegetables or fruit from the list of acceptable foods for whatever phase of your plan that you are in.
  • You do not have to pee on a stick to be successful.  While Ketostix are great tools, you can show negative on the stick and still lose weight (in fact, be in ketosis) and you can turn it purple and not lose weight.  Anything past moderate indicates that you are not drinking enough water and too many ketones are in your system -- not that you are losing weight faster.
  • The absolutely essential supplements are a good multi-vitamin, calcium/magnesium in a 1500mg/750mg ratio and potassium from Morton's lite salt or other source.  Why potassium?  Ketogenic low carb diets are very diuretic in nature and along with the water go important electrolites.  You can have leg cramps, headaches, or feel nauseated, weak, and dizzy – even have heart palpitations, because your potassium levels may drop.   It is imperative that you tell your doctor that you are low carbing if you are on a potassium sparing diuretic like aldactone (spironolactone).  You may not need additional potassium supplementation which can be dangerous if you are on certain drugs.
  • For leg cramps and dizziness take 1/4 tsp of potassium chloride (from Morton's Lite Salt) and 1/4 tsp sodium (from table salt) mixed in 8 oz of water. If symptoms persist call your health care provider right away.
  • Protein powder shakes are not ideal for induction and seem to stall weight loss for many.  Even protein can overwhelm the body and cause a rise in insulin secretion (a fat storing hormone).  Too much protein at one meal or throughout the day can stall weight loss.  Low carb is high protein, but not endless protein.
  • Artificial sweetener packets contain 0.96 carbs per packet so count each packet as one carb. When added to shakes, beverages and recipes those packets add up fast, and yes, you have to count every single carb…
  • Unsweetened plain yogurt labels lie.  The carb count on unsweetened, plain yogurts represents the whole milk product prior to making yogurt.  The end result, yogurt, actually has considerably fewer carbs than the label reads.  This only applies to unsweetened, plain yogurts.  Bacteria in yogurt eats lactose, so depending upon how long it's fermented, the actual carb count can be up to 8 grams less per cup than is listed on the label.  Cool, eh?
  • Using half saccharine and half aspartame in a shake or beverage gives a better taste than using either one alone.
  • Many women experience a weight gain of 2-5 pounds the week before their period.  Cravings, bloating, headaches will subside after the period.  In fact, many women on low carb diets report little or no weight loss all month long then a rapid 2-3 day “whoosh” that leads to a  5-10 lb loss that directly coincides with their period. 

Low carb dieting is NOT for everyone, just as low fat dieting is not for everyone.  It is important that you support loved ones who may thrive on low carb even if it is not for you.  Low carb is hard and draws a lot of negative comments.  Showing support to someone trying to improve their lifestyle to become healthier is a very loving thing for you to do, even if you don’t “get it.”

To read more about why it is so important to drink water while low carbing visit:  Water: How 8 Glasses A Day Keep Fat Away

More Tips and Information for Low Carbers

The following low carb tips come from other sites (noted where) and may help you on your low carb journey.  Be sure to read "How to Quit Your Low Carb Diet," an article based on my years of experience with low carb dieting.

From LowCarb Canada:

Low Carbing and Intestinal Health     Low carbers may experience occasional bouts of constipation or diarrhea if they don't eat properly. Discover some low carb ways to relieve these uncomfortable problems.

Ketosis & Ketone Test Strips     Following Atkins, CKD or other low carb ketogenic program? Have questions about ketones and your health? Want to know more about ketone test strips? Find answers to these questions and more.

Sugar Alcohols     Maltitol, sorbitol, isomalt, etc ... these sugar alcohols are popular sweeteners found in many "sugar-free" products. What are they?.

Hidden Carbs     Some foods contain carbohydrates that you may not realize are there.

Stalls and Plateaus     They're known as the purgatory of dieting. Discover possible causes, and learn some tips to get your weight loss back on track

Cravings     What are the physical and emotional triggers that make you crave carbohydrates? Find suggestions for ways to help combat cravings and binges.

Sweetener Information   Learn to recognize the many names of SUGAR lurking in your food; also information about artificial sweeteners, stevia and "sugar alcohols" - maltitol, sorbitol etc.

Low Carb Basics   A basic explanation of what low carbohydrate eating is about, and what it is NOT. Includes lists of important reading, and official web sites.

Low Carb Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)   New to low carbing? Have lots of questions? Check these Frequently Asked Questions for answers and ideas to help make low carbing your way of life (WOL).

Jazz-up your Induction! By  Karen Barnaby Ideas for creative induction low-carbing menu.

Basic Tips, for any weight loss plan By  Lainey General tips to keep in mind while following a weight loss program

Low Carb lingo Decipher some the abbreviations used by low carbers on forums and chat sessions.





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Page Updated 02/25/2006