This is a question that I have been thinking about a lot lately: Do you really always say no to the warm homemade roll fresh out of the oven, the gourmet chocolate chip cookie your co worker picked up from the bakery down the street, a few of the garlic truffle oil fries your friend orders at the bar?

I was diagnosed with type 1 just before last Christmas, and only know a couple other type 1 diabetics. I am grateful and lucky that I went into the diagnoses with a more or less stellar diet. I have always enjoyed whole foods, vegetables, etc. I already ate sprouted grain bread (11 grams of carbs as opposed to sometimes up to 30 for white bread) and quinoa ( 35 grams per cup as opposed to 45 or so for white rice), etc. I never drank soda and have always tended towards large salads for lunch and maple syrup and date palm sugar as a form of sweetener. In other words, I didn't feel that I needed to make drastic dietary changes to control this disease (such as cutting out soda, cookies, white bread, processed foods, cereal, hamburgers, etc).

BUT....I love food! I was raised eating gourmet and homemade meals and baked goods. I used to work as a baker, and I appreciate good food. I love to taste everything. I also love to celebrate. I have discovered that for me, white foods such as rice, flour, sugar, milk, and potatoes are terrible for controlling my blood sugar. I am sure many other have the same problem. However, I don't say "no" to the homemade dark chocolate lavender brownie someone offers me, or the lemon chiffon pie with tayberry compote that my mom makes for Christmas! I don't say no to a sample from Trader Joes, even if it has over 5 grams of carbs. I don't say "no", but I eat a lot less than I would if I didn't have diabetes.

I have read from several people on here, and through my research, I get this idea that the majority of diabetics out there just "don't risk it" or "feel too guilty" about these "indulgences". I want to be empowered and feel strong in my health, even with this disease but I am also wondering if there are others out there who are "imperfect" diabetics at times, so I don't feel so alone when I eat cake on my birthday!


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Diabetes isn't a "what you eat" disease, it's a "blood glucose" disease. As long as you do whatever it takes to normalize your blood glucose, you should have minimal problems with eating all those delicious foods. Here's the rub - normalizing blood glucose can take some work! In a non-diabetic this happens automatically, but for us it's all about knowing what we eat, how our body will react and dosing insulin accordingly. I find it easier to keep my carbs on the lower side and eat in predictable ways so it's easier for me to know how my body will react. But I love tasty food, so when those non-planned delights come my way, I decide whether I'm willing to do the work necessary (carb counting, testing and dosing) in order keep my blood glucose as normal as possible. I found this much easier to do with a pump - taking another injection every time you want to eat a 10 carb cookie gets really old - but it can be done with MDI.

So, don't be afraid of eating. But do be willing to stay on top of it when you do.

(and be careful talking to type 2s, the ones I know will mess themselves up for days if they indulge in a big piece of cake - where I can correct just about anything within a few hours)

You've got it right, Darren, things are different here in T2 land.

What's a birthday without cake?! I'm right there with you, Frankie. I have my list of foods that I know from experience will be extra hard to account for (pizza, chinese food, etc) and I tend to try to make those a special treat. I don't avoid them, but try to work them in conjunction with other food choices. Dessert is definitely included in my list of special treats! The way I see it, if I go out of my way to avoid something the more I'm going to want it.

I say "no" to sweets usually, but I have to admit it's because I really don't like sweets.

I've got to learn how to say no to the savory carbs, then my doctor will be happy with me.

When you describe it like that, I would probably say YES! Haha. What beautiful foody descriptions! And right now just for your research's sake - I say (regrettably) yes to everything. I hope it might change someday soon :)

I say no most of the time. It is too much work to fix if I cheat. But if I do cheat, I can control it with my bolus.

When I cook, I still taste (you have to!), but do it sparingly. If I really do want something, I plan for it, like homemade cookies on Christmas Eve.

I say no sometimes, yes sometimes. Sort of 50/50.

I think we're all "imperfect" diabetics at times, but that's largely because living with this disease is imperfection at this point. We don't make insulin and you need insulin to survive. Our only option is replacing that missing hormone, but we can't administer it with the perfection that a normally-functioning pancreas can. Surviving with T1D is a delicate balancing act, one that requires constant attention to everything in our lives (stress, illness, food, hormones, exercise, insulin administration etc). It's impossible to live perfectly when managing a disease this way.

I don't feel guilty about indulging, but I do feel that it's usually not worth it. So, yeah, I generally say "NO" when someone offers me something that isn't "good" for me. But I also grew up during a time when diabetes was "managed" with the exchange system and NPH/Regular insulins. Keeping BGs under control during that time meant strict adherence to a rigid schedule.

I do turn down foods that are not "good" for me. But what exactly is not "good" for me?? Well, for me, this generally means sweets, cakes, refined sugars, lots of carbs, etc. The more carbs I eat, the more insulin I have to give myself, and the more room there then is for error. An error can result in a scary low or scary high. An error can result in death. This applies even to something "healthy" like fruit. I love fruit, but I can usually only have it in moderation. Lots of highs and lows interfere with my ability to think and work and concentrate and function. So, in order to avoid them, I have to avoid the foods that make them more likely to happen.

Everyone with T1D is a bit different, but I think most of us generally know that avoiding lots of carbs results in fewer highs and lows. I think that the diets many of us followed years ago (diets that were generally low in carbs and higher in protein) worked better for controlling BGs. I am not saying that having the occasional "treat" is a bad thing, but such treats should really be rare, no more than a few times a year, IMO.

I agree. Growing up in the area of R and NPH caused me to "learn" that these foods should be avoided for a better chance at stable readings. I have never really bothered to "un-learn" this behavior so I rarely eat sweets, etc. That being said I am a sucker for choclate peanut butter cups.

I have overcome the guilt feelings /being " imperfect" of eating " treats" a long time ago ( maybe it is my age , ha, ha ) ; a piece of chocolate , a cookie , a stolen french fry or 3 from Hubby's plate , when eating out . I don't seem to have " room in tummy " to eat desserts after a main meal ...for the record , on Christmas day , 2011 I ate fewer carbs , than normally ...I felt " full " all day long ...I was out of my routine , moved around less than usual ....

Another important thing to remember is that the foods that are not good for "us" aren't actually good for anyone.

Exactly! It's more of a general health issue than a diabetes issue.




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