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What is the CCHO diet?

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The CCHO diet is a carbohydrate diet that is consistent, constant, or controlled. It is recommended by doctors as a technique to control the amount of carbs in one’s diet.

The CCHO diet may benefit people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and while it can be difficult to follow, a nutritionist can assist.

This article delves into what the CCHO diet involves, who might benefit from it, and the risks.

What is the CCHO diet?

CCHO diet

This diet consists on eating the same number of carbohydrates every day in order to help people manage their blood sugar levels throughout the day.

A person can select from a number of carbohydrate sources for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks. Following the CCHO diet entails calculating the number of carbs at each meal and eating the same number each day going ahead.

Doctors and dieticians cannot determine a single ideal number of carbohydrates in each meal because everyone’s needs differ.

To make calculations easier, some CCHO dieters refer to carbohydrate “options,” with each option containing 15 grams of carbohydrates.

A list of foods and their carbohydrate contents can be useful for variety and planning.

Contacting a doctor or dietitian

Anyone with diabetes should talk to a doctor about the benefits of modifying their diet. According to the American Diabetes Association, everyone with diabetes should obtain a personalized diet plan.

Carbohydrate counting and insulin dosing can be assisted by doctors and dieticians. Dieticians can also assist people in planning varied and satisfying meals while adhering to the CCHO diet.

Types of carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are a nutrient, a type of energy source that can influence blood sugar and insulin metabolism.

Carbohydrates can contain multiple sugar chains. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars by the digestive tract. A monosaccharide is the most basic type of carbohydrate. Monosaccharides are glucose and fructose.

Lactose, which is found in many dairy products, is an example of a disaccharide, which is two monosaccharides bound together.

Polysaccharides are composed of long chains of monosaccharides. Oligosaccharides are composed of 3–10 monosaccharides. The more complex a carbohydrate’s structure, the more work it takes for the digestive tract to break it down.

Carbohydrates come in a variety of forms, including:

  • starches
  • soluble fiber
  • simple carbohydrates
  • complex carbohydrates
  • insoluble fiber

These types are described in greater detail below.

TypeCharacteristicExample foods
simple– monosaccharides or disaccharides
– energy source
– cause a quick rise in blood sugar
– cause a quick rise in insulin release from the pancreas
candies
soda
corn syrup
fruit juice
honey
table sugar
complex– oligosaccharides or polysaccharides
– take long to digest
– gradual rise in blood sugar
apples
lentils
spinach
unrefined whole grains
brown rice
starch– a complex carbohydrate with many sugar molecules
– comes from plants
potatoes
chickpeas
pasta
wheat
soluble fiber– does not break down in the digestive system
– encourages healthy bacterial growth in the colon
– helps with passing stool
– helps lower blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels
– slows blood sugar hikes after eating
fleshy fruits
oats
broccoli
dried beans
insoluble fiber– same features as soluble fiber
– absorbs water in the intestine
– softens and bulks up stool
– helps with bowel movement regularity and decreases the risk of diverticulitis
bran
seeds
vegetables
brown rice
potato skins

Sample CCHO menu

Below are some examples of food dishes that each contain 15 grams of carbs. A person could choose from these examples to consume the same amount of carbohydrates every day.

BreakfastLunchDinnerSnack
1/4 cup of granola cereal
1/2 cup of hot cereal (oatmeal, grits, etc.)
1/2 cup of bran cereal
1 cup of cow’s milk with any fat percentage
2/3 cup of Greek yogurt, either plain or artificially sweetened
2 slices of reduced-calorie bread
half a hot dog or hamburger bun
half a pita
1/3 cup of barley
1 cup of mixed vegetables with corn or peas
1 cup of winter, acorn, or butternut squash
1/3 cup of baked beans
1 ½ cup of cooked vegetables
1/2 cup of cooked or canned beans
1/2 cup of yam or sweet potato
1/2 cup of pasta sauce
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 extra-small banana
1 small apple
1 ounce of unfrosted cake
1/2 cup of regular ice cream
3 cups of popcorn
3/4 ounce pretzels

A person can check nutritional labels on packaging to determine the carbohydrate level of preferred foods.

If meals exclusively consisted of carbohydrates, the CCHO diet would be straightforward to follow. However, proteins and fats, which can alter how well the body absorbs carbohydrates, must also be considered.

Because everyone’s demands differ, there is no set recommended number of carbohydrates in each meal.

Body size, exercise level, and hunger are all factors that impact the ideal amount for each individual.

The Diabetes Plate Method is a less demanding regimen. This aids in visualizing the appropriate amount of carbohydrates in each meal. It entails keeping entire grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, and dairy to one-quarter of the plate.

How it may benefit people with diabetes

Diabetes is a long-term medical condition characterized by persistently high blood sugar levels. The pancreas does not produce insulin, a hormone that helps control blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes. A person with type 2 diabetes generates insulin, but it is less effective at lowering blood sugar.

Counting carbohydrates is an important strategy for anyone with diabetes to keep blood sugar levels within the prescribed range.

For people with diabetes, doctors often recommend a diet low in refined carbohydrates and high fructose corn syrup, such as the CCHO diet.

People who do not have diabetes do not benefit from the CCHO diet because their insulin responds adequately to a rise in blood sugar after eating.

Insulin and other medications

If a person takes diabetes medication, being attentive of carbohydrate intake can help reduce blood sugar increases. The CCHO diet, in example, may be particularly beneficial for people who use synthetic insulin.

People with type 1 diabetes, as well as certain people with type 2 diabetes, must change their insulin doses based on their diet. They can better manage their insulin doses and blood sugar levels by closely managing the carbs in their diet.

Some type 2 people who do not use insulin may also choose to follow the CCHO diet. People with diabetes who take other drugs may benefit from a simpler type of carbohydrate counting.

Risks

Eating a regular amount of carbohydrates every day might be difficult and can severely restrict the diet. When a person is bored or frustrated, he or she may consume more carbohydrates than is recommended, which can be harmful to one’s health.

The CCHO diet is best suited for people who are on high-dose insulin therapy. They calculate how much insulin they need to inject using an insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio.

Other elements to consider when calculating the proper dose are recent or anticipated physical activity and past glucose data.

Conclusion

The CCHO diet is restrictive, requiring that you consume the same amount of carbohydrates every day. This diet may benefit people with diabetes who need insulin the most, and it is not good for people who do not have diabetes.

The diet might be tough to follow, but a doctor, particularly a nutritionist, can assist a person with meal planning.

Sources:

  • https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/42/5/731
  • https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/36052
  • https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/18843
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-is-the-ccho-diet
  • https://www.statpearls.com/ArticleLibrary/viewarticle/20431
  • https://www.diabetesfoodhub.org/articles/what-is-the-diabetes-plate-method.html