Does what we eat matter?
The foods you eat directly influence your blood glucose.
Carbohydrates will cause your blood glucose to rise if you consume them. As a result, an insulin injection is required to maintain your blood glucose within a normal range. Protein and fats however, don't cause a blood glucose spike. Protein may in cases cause a small increase in blood glucose, but I've personally never had this happen.
In combination, fats and carbohydrates can cause delayed hyperglyceamia. If you've ever eaten a fatty pizza or takeaway, I'm assuming you'll know what I'm talking about. Hours after eating these foods you might find your blood glucose suddenly spiking out of no where. There have been several occasions where I've gone to bed on a normal blood glucose, only to wake up hours later with a water tank of a bladder caused by hyperglyceamia. Check out my guides to see how I avoid this annoying phenomanon.
Below is a graph which illustrates what happens to your blood glucose when you eat different food groups.
The key to a stable blood glucose.
It's no secret that eating a load of carbohydrates every day makes your blood glucose, in general, harder to control. I've always found that a high carbohydrate diet requires me to increase my basal and bolus insulin significantly. Excess carbohydrates and large amounts of insulin make keeping your glucose stable very difficult. For me, my daily graphs end up looking like a heart monitor. The risk of hypo and hyper tend to be higher and in general it just makes life more difficult.
I often choose to stick to a lower carb diet rather than zero carb. For me, a no carb diet is not sustainable and I often find myself battling to avoid hypo's. A high carb diet causes me to gain a lot of weight very quickly and look physically bloated all over. Many years of trial and error have shown me that my body can only comfortably handle carbs up to a certain level. Keeping within my found limit has enabled my glucose control to be tight and stable - avoiding that 'heart rate' pattern. With a combination of diet and exercise I know exactly how to lose that stubborn fat from my sides, all whilst keeping my blood glucose in a healthy range.
Does insulin cause weight gain?
Consider Insulin as the key to unlocking a cell. Insulin opens the doors to the cell and allows glucose in the blood to enter, and to be used for energy. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the levels of glucose in the blood. One of the most common ‘complications’ of starting insulin therapy is gaining weight, or more specially, fat. Insulin causes weight gain when too much glucose is allowed to enter the cell. Instead of this excess glucose being used for energy, it is stored as fat reserves. The main difference between diabetics and non-diabetics is that we are constantly adjusting our bolus and basal insulin to achieve optimum control. During this adjustment you’ll find yourself giving too much or too little insulin. The consequences for this are both hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia, both of with require treatment with either sugar or insulin - the two things that in excess, lead to fat gain!