Glucose Intolerant - HELP with NO CARB Diet

Updated on May 21, 2011
R.H. asks from Whitehouse, TX
15 answers

So, my friend who is due in August flunked her diabetes short test yesterday and today she found out that while she does not have gestational diabetes, she is glucose intolerant and the doctor has told her absolutely no more carbs, soda or sweets! She is at a total loss as carbs were in all her every day foods. She is not big on cooking and has a 2 year old at home, and she works full time. I was hoping to help her get some simple recipes together as well as ideas for quick brown bag lunches and snacks. Anyone have any suggestions? I was going to do a day of cooking for her and put some things in the freezer. She unfortunately is not a big meat eater, but the meat she does eat is chicken and beef. Any advice, recipes or help would be much appreciated!

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answers from Honolulu on

The Doctor, SHOULD HAVE referred her to a Nutritionist.
That is what an OB/GYN is supposed to do.
So tell her, to request that, from her Doctor.

Without a Nutritionist, and being she is pregnant, there is LOTS of chances, of doing this wrongly. And not good for her health/condition.

You cannot just approach this by guessing.

My late Dad, was Diabetic.
It is PER the person, as well... on what they can/cannot intake.
AND it depends on food combination too AND the glycemic index of foods.
WHICH a Nutritionist, can teach her about, and even make out a daily food plan for her.

A person CANNOT ONLY JUST eat protein.
That is Unbalanced, and can put her body into a bad, balance.

Even Diabetics, need some carbs. Or their blood sugar levels can drop to a dangerous, level. For example.

You REALLY need to tell her to get referred to a NUTRITIONIST.
Do not, guess at this.
Nor without knowing, EXPLICITLY, what her condition, is all about.
SHE needs to learn about it too.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

She really needs some professional advice from a dietitian. Her doctor should have referred her, and if not, then shame on that doctor. How absurd to just tell a pregnant woman "you can't eat any more carbs at all" and then send her home without a clue of what she CAN eat. The poor woman will end up not eating anything for fear of accidentally eating a carb and both her and her baby's health will suffer.

A dietitian can help her sort through the diagnosis, and make sense of the foods she can eat, help her with a meal plan if she would like. Also, being pregnant, she will need regular follow ups to make sure she stays on the right track. Good luck to your friend, it will be a huge lifestyle change, but it can be done with the right tools and support.

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answers from Bangor on

she needs to see a dietition!!!!! everyone needs to have a certain amount of carbs in their diet. Carbs are what the body uses for fuel...for both her and the baby.

I worked in a diabetes and nutrition medical office for 13 years...we saw on average of 6 gestational diabetics/glucose intolerant momma's every week. Its very important that your friend get some advice from a dietition.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Hi R.,

She needs to be on a low glycemic diet. It balances the carbs for diabetes. My 92 year old Dad has been on it for 20 years and has never had to use any insulin. Se can google "low glycemic recipes" on line. She'll be surprised at what she can still eat....

Brown rice instead of white rice. Red potatoes and sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Green vegetables, many fruits, plenty of protein...etc. She should be able to find what she needs with a simple google search.

God bless,


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

You are such a sweet friend! You can also suggest to her to get a referral to an endocrinologist.
Glucose intolerance is more commonly referred to as pre diabetes (type 2) and there should be other ways to treat the condition without going carb free. I would be concerned that she would not be getting adequate nutrition on a protein only diet.

Is there a certain limit to the grams of carbohydrate she is allowed? Or is it strictly ZERO carbs? 15 grams of carb equal a whole carb so if she is allowed a few grams per day, she can eat vegetables and berries without too much trouble.

Best of luck to her!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Hm. I agree with the other posters she might should see a dietician. I'm thinking she was a little out of sorts and didn't ask many questions of her doctor, maybe she should call him/her back up and ask some follow-up questions. Certainly her doctor did not say she cannot have ANY carbs. Carbs are in all vegetables too. Celery? yep. Carrots? yep. Green beans? yep. etc. If I had to guess (and it IS pretty much a total guess), her doctor told her no more simple sugars/carbs, i.e., NO soda and NO sweets. No cake, no cookies, no ice cream, no candy bars, no lollipops, no bubble gum, no jollyranchers, no white bread, no plain white rice, no plain baked potato, no simple sugars no simple high Glycemic index carbs.
She can have eggs and berries for breakfast daily and not ingest a lot of carbs/sugars. But eating a bowl of cereal would be a no-no. Eating a banana or an orange is a carb heavy breakfast. Fast food french fries are WAY not allowed.

She can eat salad and chicken, or tuna, or even burgers with only half the bun but no fries. No soda with it.
It sounds like that is going to really upset her lifestyle. But it isn't that difficult to cut out those sorts of things. She can roll up thin slices of deli ham with a piece of thin sliced cheese with a little mustard and stick a few in ziplock bags. My kids take that sort of thing to school for lunch. Just put it in with a cold pak. Cheese sticks (individually wrapped) are GREAT for packing and snacking. Peanut butter is a wonderful low-carb/good protein food. Spread it on "light" bread (light breads average 8 grams of carbs per slice--read the labels) that has been toasted. Or Pimento cheese on light wheat toast. They are yummy, easy and low-carb friendly.
Buying low-carb tortillas is an easy way to have a low carb meal: soft tacos! black olives, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, ground beef and salsa have very few carbs--all except the salsa are virtually carb free!

She should call her doctor back and get specifics about how many carbs he wants her to limit herself to, and maybe follow up with a dietician. Then she can look for some low-carb cookbooks. There are a lot out there due to the Low-Carb/South Beach diet crazes.

Any kind of nuts are great snack foods. We love almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Get the Atkins Diet book. There are TONS of great recipes in there and there is information on what foods (even healthy ones) have how many carbs, so she will be able to make better decisions. If her Dr really truly means NO CARBS that is going to be super tricky - really just meat. He may have said NO CARBS thinking she wouldn't know that almost everything except meat has SOME carbs. It would be easier if he gave her a gram count and said don't go over 15 carbs a day or whatever

However - when I was on the Atkins Induction diet I basically ate chicken, cheese and hard boiled eggs for 2 weeks. Which, I like all that stuff. And you can throw it in a salad for lunch and then bake it for dinner and you don't get sick of it (at least I didn't).

Tell your friend Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I agree with ALL the posters...why did they not "suggest" something? I saw the initial heading and thought "oh, man!! do I have some things for her!!!' But then realized that it is not my South Beach that I am totally commited too....24 pounds lost!!!!
I will say that if you were like me have NO idea what has is only sad for a few weeks..then you feel SO much better!!!!

Sadly, I will say this. Dieting/eating a low/no carb diet it not quick nor easy. It also involves some form of protien. You HAVE to plan and think of your meals and snacks. You cant just run into the store and open a bag of Lay's anymore.... :(



answers from Dallas on

As a dietitian, I let me assure you that she most definitely needs some carbs to survive. Impaired glucose tolerance is what some physician's refer to as pre-diabetes or insulin resistance. It just means that she is showing some signs of difficulties either producing enough insulin (necessary for the absorption of glucose into body cells) or her body cells are having difficulties accepting and using the insulin. It will likely resolve after the baby is born.

To get back to your question, carbs are in fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products. She needs all of these foods for a healthy pregnancy. If she was diagnosed as diabetic, she would still need to eat these foods. Your friend's doctor should have explained all this to her or referred her to a dietitian. The fact that he/she did not would make me encourage her to see a different doctor. As a dietitian, it is very frustrating that so many physicians so casually toss around these "diets." Your friend can easily find a dietitian who sees patients on an outpatient basis by calling or visiting the hospital she plans to deliver at and requesting to speak with the dietitian. Most hospitals now have outpatient dietitian programs, and if they don't, they will be able to refer her to a hospital that does. Also, hospital-based dietitian programs are generally covered by insurance.

On a different note, I find it revolting that so many people are "playing" dietitian on here, risking the health of a woman and her unborn child just because they've put in a few hours of research on the Adkin's or South Beach diet. I know that they are just trying to help, but that does not mean they are qualified to counsel a pregnant patient with diabetes issues. I hope those reading this ready to give advice will keep that in mind.

Please let me know if you need any help finding a dietitian in your area for your friend.



answers from Lansing on

Replace this with that. I have had to replace all my starch with veggies. Instead of spaghetti noodles, we cook up spaghetti squash. Instead of lasagna, it's eggplant. No more french fries, it's salad. No more sandwiches, I have put tuna in green peppers and wrap my lunch meats in lettuce. I don't put my peanut butter on toast, I put it on celery.

As far as the soda goes, there is sparkling flavored water. Gatorade and Poweraide have a lot of carbs. Propel is high in salt which will make her more thirsty and bloat.

Not much to say on the sweets. Almost all of them, even fruit, is going to spike the sugar level up.

Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

That doesn't sound right...We need some amount of carbs to survive. My doctor told me no carbs as well until I meet with a dietician who made a menu plan for me and figured out how many servings of carbs I can have. She will still eat carbs but very little, and lots of protein to help with the sugar in the carbs.



answers from Tyler on

I've been glucose intolerant and now I'm gluten intolerant, so I have learned to eat few carbs and still enjoy my life and stay healthy. I subscribe to a magazine called LIVING WITHOUT that is good. You can find it on the net.



answers from Nashville on

the people that gave her the test and results should give her menu ideas. I had gestational diabetes and they gave me tons of ideas. Also, she can go online and google and get ideas. She may be able to go to and plug in glucose free foods, etc No soda and sweets should be ok to do but as far as foods she can easily do turkey meat and cheese just rolled up for lunch, she can do raw veggies like carrots or celery, she can have cottage cheese, yogurt, tuna, etc Dinner she will have to stick to a protein, a veggie, and maybe a salad. She can always cook mac and cheese for her child but not eat it. One thing I would ask though is if she cannot have ANY at all b/c carbs give us energy. Our bodies need carbs.....maybe she can just cut back drastically. If that is the case she may be able to have 1/2 baked potato, etc I know when I was prego I could only have 1/4 cup of corn b/c it turns to sugar. I would never have know corn wasn't good for me. Hopefully you will get some recipes you requested.


answers from Austin on

I follow a pretty strict "no carb" diet, mostly for health/digestive reasons but its a lot like the paleo diet. Mine is actually called "specific carbohydrate diet" or SCD diet. It's a lot like what you explained: no sugar, no carbs, no starch (i also cannot have dairy or grains).

there are a TON of eeeeasy recipes on these websites:

that should get her started. theyare VERY easy bc they use so few ingredients and if it calls for "home made yogurt" then she can just use regular dairy or yogurt or cream (if she's allowed).

she can probably have honey or agave but id tell her to double check. if she can, it's a LIFE SAVER.

so is this site:

she can order CARB FREE ready-baked breads/crackers/cookies etc to get that crunch fix.
no it's not the best tasting stuff, but its good. after a couple weeks, in fact, her taste buds will change dramatically and things like carrots, oranges etc will be VERY sweet and possibly honey could be too sweet.
good luck!



answers from Oklahoma City on

Go to your local library and check out some cookbooks. I will say and say it loudly NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS AT ALL. I think as time passes we will be told that they are horrible for the body and worse than saccharine. they cause horrible side effects in the body and are not safe.

Going on the carb diet is not hard. It takes learning what the alternatives are and how to integrate those choices into daily living. My FIL eats less than 40 carbs a day and his blood sugar is normal, his cholesterol and other blood stuff has gone down and is normal now too. He eats bacon and eggs every morning for breakfast and eats a wide variety of foods. He got all his information from cookbooks at the library and tried them out before selecting which ones had the recipes and foods he liked.

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