I am NOT a doctor, dietician or expert. Do I know everything there is to know about diabetes? Heck no, but I do know what it’s like to live with it.
Monday, February 23, 2015
What is your diet called?
The world is full of diets. The
internet makes it easy to feel overwhelmed due to all the diet advice we are
bombarded with every day. Add diabetes into the mix and it can quickly become
“You should eat a well-balanced
diet that includes whole grains.”
“Low carb! If you eat a low carb
diet you will be…”
“Avoid the fats, for heaven’s
sake! Low fat everything is the way to go!”
“Eat lots of fat!”
“Buy my pre-made meals and you
will lose pounds and gain confidence.”
“Take this pill/drink these
smoothies/ingest this supplement for a skinnier you!”
Confused yet? I don’t blame you. It’s
important to realize that most of these pitches are just that: pitches to
entice you to spend money on their products. Now, there is legitimate
information out there from doctors and medical websites or health blogs but
even they don’t agree on what is the healthiest way to eat! Take, for instance,
the back and forth you can read these days on whether saturated fat is bad for
you as we’ve been told for decades. Or, the recent revelation that dietary cholesterol isn’t
bad for us after all. It often takes years for the medical community to get up
to speed on new ideas in the dietary world and there will always be dissention
in the ranks. So what is a person to do?
I’ve written before about how
important it is for people with diabetes, especially type 2 folks, to pay
attention to what your meter tells you. You can’t rely on someone else’s advice
about whether or not you can eat a certain food. You and your meter have to
figure that out for yourselves.
There are many proponents of a low
carb lifestyle for weight loss and controlling blood glucose. Some say high fat
to go along with it and others tout higher protein. It seems like a no-brainer
to reduce or stop eating processed carbs but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy
thing to do. I feel that reducing my carb intake makes it so much easier to see
better blood glucose readings. It’s not always easy to shun the carbs but it’s
getting easier these days and I feel better for it. I feel as if I have more
control over myself and am less under the spell of processed foods. Does that
mean my level of carb intake will work for you? I dunno.
I was excited to read
this blog post at Joslin.org, written by an M.D.
that finally says that people
with type 2 diabetes should reduce the amount of carbs they’re eating in order
to better control their diabetes and ward off possible complications. This isn’t
just someone’s opinion, this is brought forth by a reputable diabetes medical organization
after research. I highly recommend that you go read it. Go ahead…I’ll wait.
Regardless of how you feel about
carb amounts, vegan, paleo or cinnamon, you will eventually need to settle on
some type of eating plan to best control your diabetes. You should decide what
you can eat and quit letting the food rule your life.
Personally, I eat a lower carb
diet that avoids processed carbs. That means I don’t eat bread or pasta. No wheat
flour. No sugar. No boxed foods, no crackers or cookies (unless they’re the
low-carb ones I make myself). If it’s “convenient”, I don’t eat it. (Not to say
that there aren’t amazing foods I eat that are easy to make.) I have found that
I can’t eat starchy vegetables so I avoid potatoes, carrots and peas (never
liked peas so that’s not a big loss). “Sweets” are only those I’ve made myself
that are low carb. I try to consume lots of leafy veggies, zucchini, peppers,
avocado and other fats like butter, cheese...lots of yummy stuff. Chicken, fish
(especially baked salmon…yum!) and even beef. The one thing it all has in common is that it's real food.
So what do I call my diet? I’ve
decided to call it Esther. Esther was my paternal grandmother’s name. She is
the lone ancestor (that I’m aware of) who also had type 2 diabetes. In honor of
her, I’m calling my diet Esther to remind myself that, despite my genetic
propensity to develop diabetes, I can attempt to control the bugger by eating
foods that make sense for me. I’ve created a diet that works for me; picking
and choosing from the information I’ve found online instead of listening to
someone else tell me what to do. We are all individuals with individual needs.
Who says we can’t have our own diet? What name will you give yours?