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Nutrition & Dieting/Extreme Carbohydrate sensitivity?

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Question
Hi.
Is this common?
I am a guy, 55. I dont have diabetes (yet), but there is a family history. I do have the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. I am overweight, and can only shrink my belly if I keep my daily carb intake under 50 grams, which is extremely low. Thats OK I dont crave carbs much anyway, and I fill up on fruits and veggies and lean meat. I feel a lot better generally too-less gas, overall inflammation, etc.
I used to think I had a thyroid problem or slow metabolism but my doctor says I am OK. As long as I dont eat carbs-I can eat like a pig!
Your thoughts appreciated!

Answer
Hi Bud,

If your question is regarding whether or not your reaction to carbs is normal, then it's hard to say without knowing your activity level. Also, have you been tested for a sensitivity to gluten? This might explain gassiness, inflammation, etc. in response to carbs. Many people with sensitivities feel significantly better when they cut out most grain products.

Otherwise, your daily carb intake of <50 grams is less than half of the general recommended allowance for adults, but it is not unheard of for effective weight loss as a diet. Low carb plans, like Atkins and the South Beach diet, have similar restrictions. They typically are not recommended for long-term use because carbohydrates are essential for good health (and even good mood, according to some studies!).

It sounds like you're eating pretty healthy. Have you counted the carbs from the fruit and veggies in your daily tally? They may increase your technical daily intake. If you have counted them, and you feel satisfied with your daily intake, I wouldn't worry.

Finally, if you can feel satisfied with a varied and healthy diet like yours, it may be a good way to avoid diabetes. Coupled with regular exercise (even a daily walk), a diet like yours may help get your metabolic syndrome under control (or even reversed). Successful long-term weight loss plans combine exercise with a balanced diet. Overall, there is no need to starve yourself at all if you're eating plenty of veggies and lean protein!

If you have a more specific question that I could answer please let me know, and I would be glad to help!

Nutrition & Dieting

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Katie Brind'Amour, MS, CHES

Expertise

I can answer questions on a variety of nutrition-related subjects. I specialize in dietary management to prevent chronic disease and promote wellness for those with conditions like diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and heart disease. I can also respond to questions regarding USDA dietary guidelines, pediatric nutrition needs, potential causes of undesired weight gain or loss, nutrition during pregnancy or postpartum, and making simple but effective dietary changes (swaps, improvements, etc.). I can answer some limited questions regarding growing foods at home for summer and fall nutrition, as well as making homemade baby food. Finally, I can answer questions regarding food substitutions, allergies, and recipe modification for improved nutrition.

Experience

I am a Certified Health Education Specialist and freelance health and wellness writer. I have written dozens of research-based articles on the above topics over the past several years for a variety of sites (NaturalNews.com, Patch.com, DiabetesDaily.com, etc.). In addition, I have a Masters in Biology and experience as a nutrition counselor for the Women, Infants, and Children program. I am familiar with disease-specific dietary needs because of time with a Newborn Screening program and self-guided research. I am in-progress on a PhD in Health Services Management and Policy, and I have a strong personal interest in nutrition-related reading and lifestyle changes.

Organizations
National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Nationwide Children's Hospital Research Institute: Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice

Publications
NaturalNews.com, Healthline.com, Patch.com, Slices-of-Life.com, WomensHealthcareTopics.com, Suite101.com, DiabetesDaily.com, ImperfectWomen.com, MenopauseGoddess.com, FitnessGoop.com, and many more.

Education/Credentials
I am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) with a Masters in Biology (MS) and an in-progress PhD in Health Services Management and Policy. My PhD minor is Health Behavior and Health Promotion.

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