Saturday, January 22, 2011

For the Love of FOOD

I wrote this around the holidays just after opening a box of home made treats! 

Food and diabetes, as we all know are intimately connected. 

On a personal note….My readings have been like a yo-yo as of late, opened up a huge box of home made Christmas treats and wham….there goes the control----mmmm gotta love the home made caramel popcorn!


I am still figuring out the focus of this site/blog.  There are a lot of sites that  explain the intricate details on the physiology of carbohydrate metabolism and all that exciting stuff, which I encourage all of you to study.  But, I'm not interested in re-inventing the wheel. 

I want to share with you what works for me, and my 2 kids (the ones with diabetes) 


I have read an abundance of information on diabetes and diet during my life.  The diet books are all slightly different in their premises but I can sum it up into the following schools of thought:

1.  Low carb/mod protein/mod fat

2.  High carb/low fat/low protein diets

3. Variations of the above

The recommended diabetes diet is basically the high carb(60%)low fat(<30%)low protein(20%)kcal diet---I'm Not even remotely sold on this concept, however, that is what the guidelines stipulate.

Personal notes:

If you can’t measure the carbohydrate content---proceed with caution because you’re likely to miss-guess. I hear that the food labels can be of by 10-15%.

The larger the amount of food (especially carb) the more variable the readings after eating will be.


It is way easier to manage post-prandial (after meal) blood glucose spikes if you consume less then 30 grams carb per meal. 


It is essential to take your Rapid acting insulin 20 minutes prior to taking the first bite.  Keep in mind the type of Carb---like pizza I will shoot up during and if pumping use "Mr Wizard's" square wave bolus.  Pizza is really tasty but I swear it takes 24 hrs to digest!

Cold cereal sucks-----taste great but wreaks havoc on your after meal sugars, normally because its eaten when your body is pumping out the hormones to resist insulin. Yes 2 hours after waking.

Always choose unprocessed whole food-In theory, but be human-eat the cake at a party, and personally I never turn down a free beer.

Protein is great for diabetes control and essential for controlling blood glucose, hence my disagreement with the 20% daily allotment.

Fat is not the enemy-well the good fats(omega 3`s) Eat some eggs, just hold the cereal and 80 gm bagel.


Always shop on the perimeter of the grocery store, the inner isles are loaded with processed crap

If you don’t buy it and take it home you won’t eat it(referring to the “junk food”)

I am not going to endorse any particular way of eating.  I recommend testing your blood glucose after a particular meal and decide for yourself.  If after eating cereal for example your glucose stays with in your target range (mine is under 7—yes after eating) then you will determine what food to avoid/include.

I recommend checking the recent diet books on the market.  Read them with an inquisitive mind.  Test the principles out.  Discuss with your health care provider; get lab work done before and after.  I call myself the lab rat.  Now don’t become a mad scientists, always check it out with your physician. Keep in mind that they likely have not researched the diets you are referring to. 

I view food in many ways:

First and foremost it is a tool to help me and my children manage our diabetes

Second, it is attached to many cultural and emotional events in our lives, hot chocolate after playing in the snow, huge turkey dinners at thanksgiving, etc.

Third…stress---most people eat when they are stressed or they reward themselves after a hard days work.


As a diabetic I try to endorse the first on the list, but to deny the pleasure of a hot chocolate, or a burger and fries on a Friday night to reward you for a week well worked can be dangerous. 

The trick is to behave 80% of the time and give yourself the guilt free permission to indulge in the forbidden food, while remaining conscious of the slippery slope of over consumption.

I guess to navigate all the forbidden food out there you need to have a plan to indulge, on your terms. 


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