**This is solely my personal experience & opinion:)
This morning it was suggested to me, to write about food. As an emotional eater, this was a welcomed challenge. To a Diabetic, food is a life saver or killer. Most diabetic would agree, somewhere along the line you lose the joy in eating. I cant remember the last time I ate something while I was truly hungry, or was actually craving what I ate. Most healthy people classify their foods in usual food pyromid (now plate) manor, carbs, protein, fat, veggie/fiber. To a Diabetic its much more complicated than that. Let me explain.
1. Carbs - low glycemic or not, starchy or not, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), refined grains, and good ole plain SUGAR.
2. Proteins - can be a nightmare for a Diabetic. Is the protein fatty, is it lean, is it animal based or vegetable based. Educated diabetics bolus for proteins, as,in my opinion, they should.
2. Fats - This is my personal nemesis, fats SLOW blood sugar absorption, which usually wreaks havoc on my BS control. . . I hate fats! I love fats! no wait . . I hate fats! Also, this one is under scrutiny and I have seen "fats" cause arguments between professionals. The trend right now is that "fat" does not cause high chelosterol, its the carbs w/ fat that does. So if you reduce or eliminate carbs from your diet, one can eat saturated fat w/ positive affect on cholesterol. I am still reading and educating myself on this topic, very controversial, and I suggest that one proceeds w/ caution. Some good websites I would suggest is waroninsulin.com, bloodsugar101.com and good ebooks/books "Think like a pancreas" or Dr. Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution". Very interesting.
Here is a great example of the difference between a Weight Watcher participant and a Type 1 Diabetic. . .
"I can eat pizza today, because I saved up 45 points." I think, WTH, I don't get "points" for eating healthier earlier in the day? Pizza, really pizza? here's what I think when I am presented w/ pizza. . .
Crap, how am I going to figure out this carb load? O.k, I've got about 45 grams of carbs for a hand size piece, plus all the fat from the butter and fatty meats, oh yeah, this is a "refined carb' so I better consider that into my ratio, plus dont forget to change my basal rate for the next 12 HOURS due to carb/fat load will keep my BS high for that long. . Then if I DO eat the pizza, then I am guilt ridden, "dang it, I know I am doing organ damage to my body right now, why did I eat that stupid piece of pizza" next time, I won't do it, I swear I wont do it." The Weight Watcher participant is thinking "I am so proud of myself, I was able to stay within my points today even w/ having a piece of pizza, yeah for me."
Another tough one. .. Alcohol. .
Generally speaking, alcohol and HFCS is metabolized the same, only difference is alcohol metabolizes in the brain also, HFCS does not, but the inflammatory damaging effects are same. So that's why you get the "buzz" when you drink alcohol and not when you eat HFCS. (I wonder how many "moms" out there would still be pumping their kids w/ HFCS if they knew that little tidbit, eh?) So here we go. . . . .
We go out w/ friends for dinner & drinks, Weight Watcher friend says " I can have two glasses of wine, they are 2 points a piece." I am thinking, "Ok if I have low fat/low carb dinner, (unlikely being "out" for dinner) then follow that w/ two glasses of wine, i need to adjust my bolus AND basal rate, because alcohol makes MY Blood sugar rise at first, but then drop in the middle of the night, then go back high for the following 12 hours.
I had a friend try to tell me that it depends on "what type of alcohol" one drank, determines how it's metabolized. Bullsh!t! Alcohol w/ carbs or alcohol w/out carbs, its still metabolized the same, it just changes your 'points" system. Prime example . . . a martini w/ straight vodka has a ton less sugar than a strawberry daiquiri, so i would opt to drink the martini, less sugar, but alcohol is still metabolized the same, equals the same damaging effects on the body.
A new tough one . . . .Boxed foods
I have been a Type 1 for 35 years and this one has become an issue for me in the last 5 years or so. HFCS is hidden in EVERYTHING boxed. It wreaks havoc on my blood sugar. It is amazing how our food has changed, and if you dig deep there are alot of foods, I bet, you would no longer eat, if you REALLY knew what was in them. Even our fresh fruits & veggies no longer carry the same nutritional value that they did 20 years ago, due to "speed farming" and unhealthy soil.
Then you have the "blood sugar is low, gotta eat something" (When a diabetic's BS dips too low, the brain starts starving) even when your not hungry, that's usually when diabetics go for the sugar pop or candy. (God forbid smoking Aunt Bev is around to tell you that you can't have it) and then this happens to me alot. . now its lunch time or dinner time and now my blood sugar is too high to eat! well, crap! Then some insentive person says "Just manage your blood sugar better." What the heck do you think i am trying to do? I so want to say Yeah, walk in my shoes for a week,and you'd be crying in your Cheerios (oh wait, Cheerios are bad) in your salad! :)