I have been on low-carb for years, especially since I developed T2 diabetes. And it helps. My latest A1c test has me at the low end of the prediabetic scale, and I didn’t even ‘study’ for that blood test by being super-strict low-carb like I often do.
I have had bad kidney tests which indicate I have chronic kidney disease (CKD.) Not as bad as what my nondoctor PCP (primary care provider) insisted. I had the clinic mail me my test results and found to my relief I am NOT at stage 4 kidney disease but still at 3. My nondoctor claimed I was at stage 4 on the phone.
But still, my nondoctor wants me to restrict my protein. And since I need to restrict my carbs to control my blood sugars, that leaves me with one macronutrient: fat. Which I’m sure my very conventional nondoctor doesn’t want me to eat, either. So: a food-free diet???
OK, so I’ve done a major search of all the low-carb and health books I have, including my 3 books by Dr. Jason Fung, a nephrologist (kidney doctor,) in search of information on combining low-carbohydrate and low-protein. I found very little until I got out an old Dana Carpender book and found ‘The Careful Carb Diet’ in Chapter 14 of ‘How I Gave Up My Low-Fat Diet and Lost 40 Pounds (2003.)’
Dana (who is not a doctor, nurse, dietician or ‘health coach’) developed this diet for a man with severe health problems including kidney disease. (This man was under constant doctor supervision and had extensive blood tests every 3 months.)
First step is figuring out your protein requirement which you have to eat every day (except when fasting, I presume.) In Chapter 8 Dana said you take your ideal weight (not a super-skinny anorexic weight goal) and divide that number by 2. The result is the number of grams of protein you should get in a day. So for a 130 goal weight, you should get 65 grams of protein a day.
Dana says you should not exceed your protein requirement by more than 20 grams, so for me, with a requirement of 65 grams a day, my max should be at 85 grams of protein. Which I set as my protein limit on my Carb Manager app, which I recently downloaded because I didn’t have a book that gave the protein counts of foods.
Dana presumes you will be having three meals a day (I’m so over that way-of-eating now I’ve been doing intermittent fasting/partial-day fasting for a few years.) In addition, you are allowed certain ‘low-impact’ carbs, 2 to 3 servings with your 3 meals a day. Among the foods allowed is brown rice, cooked, (1/2 cup serving) or whole grain barley, cooked (1/2 cup serving.)
My problem is that rather than having 3 meals a day I usually do OMAD or have one full meal and one small bit-of-something, or perhaps a bulletproof coffee or two. And I don’t think having 2-3 servings of a carb food at my OMAD meal is going to be good for my blood sugar or my long-term low-carb compliance.
But the idea of adding back a bit of carbs sounded a bit fun so I started my Great Quinoa Experiment. Now, I don’t know if quinoa counts as a low-impact carb, but it does have quite a bit of fiber in it, and I actually OWN some quinoa, in the back of my cupboard.
My daily ‘dose’ of quinoa has been 1/8 of a cup, dry measure, which comes out to a little over 1/4 cup, cooked. So about 1/2 of one serving according to the Careful Carb rules. I’ve had it every day for a week, doesn’t send my carbs over my limit, doesn’t make me get heavy carb cravings. I cook my quinoa in bone broth and pretend it tastes just like Rice-a-roni, a major high-carb love of mine from childhood on.
For the coming week I’m thinking of upping my daily quinoa dose up to 1/3 of a cup, cooked, just to see what happens. After all, on Dana’s Careful Carb I’m allowed more than one 1/2 cup servings of a cooked grain in a day.
The real test will be once I finally get an appointment with my new nephrologist and get new tests to see if I’ve improved on restricted protein, or if I have to restrict still more.
Yes, I’m doing the keto-lowcarb thing back on this blog again. Hope some of you folk enjoy it.
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T2 diabetes – Type 2 diabetes, adult diabetes
A1c – a blood test of your blood sugars over the past couple of months
prediabetic – elevated blood sugar, but not enough to qualify as diabetes
CKD – chronic kidney disease, comes in 5 stages, #5 being the worst
PCP – primary (health) care provider. Government jargon.
macronutrients – protein, fat, carbohydrate
micronutrients – vitamins and minerals
nephrologist – kidney doctor
OMAD – one meal a day— a form of IF (intermittent fasting)