Monday, March 21, 2011

Diet-Betes? What is the Best Choice?

"So many choices"
All right,  I must revisit this topic, as I find myself "Flip-Flopping" in my mind as to what is the best diet for Diabetes.

I have talked about the "The Food Guide" I have discussed eating more natural in my post "The Diabetic Caveman" and really stirred up some serious discussion on Tudiabetes Discussion Forums by posing my question and post titled "Pro Carb or Low Carb?" the big debate.

I am sure most of you have heard from others with minimal knowledge related to diabetes the following statement:  "So your on the diabetic diet, eh?"  and, I am sure your response is as variable as Charlie Sheen's erratic behavior.

 I respond by saying "There is no such thing as a "Diabetic Diet" and because I am mouthy(opinionated) I usually add my two or three cents worth of information. 

But this "Flip flopping" got me thinking; since there are so many diets on the market, and it is a bit of a "past time" for me to read up on them, what is the best diet for diabetes?

One of my older posts, actually the most popular thus far, titled  "Pro Carb or Low Carb?"  touched on the Low Carb Diets on the Market and how research makes a point for them being an effective method to control weight, blood fat levels, blood glucose levels etc.

However,  there is also research indicating the opposite, that eating vegan, and or a "The Food Guide" type diet also creates weight loss over time.

I personally don't adhere to a low carb diet. I do go on low carb kicks, but can't seem to adhere to the diet long term. When I say low Carb I am talking 30-50 grams per day.

Recently I tied a Natural "Caveman Type Diet"  Basically if you can shoot it, pick it, pluck it, and it is unprocessed you can eat it.  With a few exceptions of course.  This was also hard to adhere to.......I'll blame my kids this time. 

The hardest part of any extreme diet is adhering to it. Consistency is key. But in my house full of little people, I find it extremely difficult (hence blaming them above) to be consistent.

I enjoy, popcorn, ice cream, and other high carb choices. I do agree that it is difficult to control Blood Glucose readings when I consume copious amounts of Carb(greater then 30).  If you have read Dr Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution" where he talks about the law of small numbers it does make sense. Actually makes a lot of sense but it's very rigid and extreme.  I'm talking 30 grams of carb a day extreme.  Man I just can't do that!

I just read today that the American College of Sports Medicine doesn't endorse any diet that is less then 1800 Cal for men and 1200 for woman.  More data to chew on. 

As stated above I also look at the government food guides.  Are they onto something?  Is it really as simple as eating a balanced meal, 25-30% calories from fat, 50-60 % from CHO, and the rest protein. The old calories in equals calories out formula for weight maintenance.

It got me thinking; man this sure is confusing, even to someone who understands basic human nutrition.  No wonder people are confused about what to fill their plates with.

I didn't even touch on the GI(Glycemic Index)of foods, which is also a commercial diet and numerous others, hormone, alkaline, blood type, lots of fad diets. I remember one diet my mom went on and all she ate was cabbage.  That was a stinky time in my life, but goes to show you how people do silly things.

Is it as simple as calories in equals calories out?  Or is it more complicated then that?  I just know what I observe and read.  For instance; since the agricultural revolution and mass food production there has been a direct correlation with obesity and a heavier over all population.  However, this is can be explained by lack of exercise, more sedentary jobs and lifestyle, TV remotes, etc.  Likely a combination of both. Who knows?

As a Type 1 Diabetic I'm left to ponder; what is the best diet? 

Well I am still really trying to figure this out.  I think it depends on personal tastes and preferences.  I also find one common theme.

That is; eat less, eat balanced, eat natural and don't forget about protein.

But I say it is what you do 80% of the time that counts.  So bloody hell have a piece of cake would ya!

I will have to write another top ten list, so I think the next will be top ten tips  tricks to diabetic eating.



Michael Hoskins said...

No clue what the ideal diet is... but know that moderation is key. Of course, I'm always humored by those that try to pawn off "diabetic" food on me. Like a diabetic cookie... Where I get to ask: "How do YOU know it's diabetic, did it tell you? What if it's confused and really has asthma?" This usually goes over well, in the Shut the F up department and they go away -Mission accomplished, so then I can once again ponder not whether I SHOULD eat it because of my diabetes, but because it'll add front baggage to the belly...

Sarah said...

This has been a great topic of discussion at our house as I have several vegan friends and a few whom have openly said that t1d could be cured by the Paleo diet. Damn them.
Really, I looked into it I talked with my husband about it seriously - I lost sleep about it, I got reamed on the CWD forum when I brought it up...
What I got from all that was
* TJ, the hubster, said he'd rather take insulin and eat "normal" food than only what a caveman would eat so that he would have to take less insulin, yet still check his BG frequently.
*I want my child to feel "normal" but not too normal in the over americanized craptastic diet, so we are strict about what he eats but not how much. His options are never McD's or TacoBell, but rather homemade mac-n-Cheese or PB&J on whole wheat.
*I can not cure Isaac of diabetes through diet, no matter how often I hope, dream, read or see that others have done so...
And on that note I like how you ended on reminding everybody to enjoy their cake and the 80% rule. Enjoy your day :)

Jules said...

it is absolutely tricky. ive been working on substituting healther and lower gi options into our standard meals so i dont freak the family out. my husband says eating wild rice is like chewing on branches. oh well...

Natalie said...

The more I read of obesity research (I'm not obese, just interested in it), the old calories in, calories out dictum doesn't make sense, because there are so many things going on in the intestines including bacteria who digest part of our food for their own purposes. And some people excrete unused calories while others hoard them. The other untrue dictum is "Eat less, move more" which just doesn't work for the seriously obese. There are too many screwed up endocrine problems in these people, and they would have to starve themselves and work 10-hour strenuous slave labor days in order to get down to a normal weight. Totally unrealistic!
As I said on TuD, the best diet is the one you can stick with. Sounds like you haven't found that one yet, but keep trying!

Anonymous said...

Having a Type 1 child, now early teenager, I can only say I have been literally feeding her tons of extra free carbs whenever exercise is involved.... this seems to have an effect for a full 12 hours or more. One half an hour on our treadmill today and she has had to be boosted with 45 grams of carbs throughout the evening and overnight plus a fifteen percent reduced temp basal. So I would say, if you want to eat more, just get a treadmill, rebounder or exercise bike and go for it.