Low-carb diet for diabetes: Your questions answered.

You only have to turn on your television for a little while these days to see an advertisement for a medication or a device that addresses people with diabetes. And for good reason! According the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 37 million people in the US have diabetes, and another 96 million over the age of 18 have pre-diabetes.

That's (sadly) a huge chunk of the US population, and that's also a very large market for the companies that are selling those medications and devices.

But did you know that prior to the discovery of the hormone insulin back in 1921, the standard treatment for diabetes was simply a low-carb diet? And now, lots of doctors are steering their patients back in that direction, for the simple reason that it's a really effective way of managing diabetes — both Type 1 and Type 2.

To review the basics of diabetes — and we're simplifying a bit here — having diabetes basically means your body doesn't effectively process carbohydrates. Normally, your body would respond to the ingestion of glucose (sugar) by producing insulin in the pancreas. That insulin hormone processes the glucose in your bloodstream and lets it enter your cells, so your blood sugar doesn't remain too high.

But some people aren't able to effectively produce that insulin, which is Type 1 diabetes. Other people do produce the insulin, but their cells have become resistant to its action, so the pancreas pumps out more and more insulin but can't keep up, and blood-sugar levels remain high. That's Type 2 diabetes.

In either case, it's possible to process those sugars by introducing exogenous insulin, in other words insulin your body doesn't make on its own but is introduced through an injection, an insulin pump, or an inhalation device. And that's what many people do.

But it's also possible to simply not burden your body with the constant processing of sugar. Just cut down on sugar, and on foods that act like sugar in the body. Put yourself in the driver's seat!

That approach — cutting way down on sugar and excess carbs — is basically just preventing the problem, rather than continually trying to resolve the problem as it repeatedly occurs. How low-carb you'd need to go to make a real long-term difference in managing blood sugar will vary from person to person, but carb intake between 20-90 grams per day has been shown to be effective.

Our belief in the effectiveness and healthfulness of low-sugar, low-carb eating is the reason we started Nush Foods. It's the reason we've spent years created delicious cookies, snack cakes, and pancake mixes. All based on flaxseed rather than grains and sugars. So our products don't spike your blood sugar and don't put you onto that insulin rollercoaster.

If you have either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it's super important to consult with your doctor before making a big change in your eating habits (partly because taking exogenous insulin while at the same time going low-carb could actually take your blood sugar too low).

Bottom line is that we wholeheartedly agree with old adage — especially when it comes to our health — that prevention is better than cure.

The Team at Nush