Always look on the bright side of life, I say.
If you haven't been 'educated' by the doctors or dieticians traditionally assigned to care for diabetic patients and advise on appropriate diets, you're already much better off than those who have!
There's no shortage of great posts on this website that discuss in depth the issues surrounding what we eat, so I'll not get started on that again. Suffice to say, those who restrict or eliminate carbohydrates from their diet will enjoy enormous health benefits including weight loss, normal blood sugars and improved blood lipids. NONE of these things are possible on the sort of carbohydrate based diet a 'specialist' would be likely to recommend.
And thanks, Jeannie!
All the best,
I would like to point out from a biochemical point of view that that there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate- there are essential amino acids (which are obtained from proteins) and essential fatty acids ( which are obtained from fats). This means that you must eat proteins and fats to obtain necessary components for maintainance and repair. If you never in your life ate even one leaf of lettuce or any other form of carb- you would not suffer from any nutritional deficiency as long as you ate adequate calories to meet your metabolic needs. The human body has several biochemical pathways that allow it to manufacture all necessary glucose from the carbon, oyxgen, and hydrogen it breaks out of the proteins and fats you eat.
I was diagnosed with sugars in the mid- 400's- I thought I would die when I dropped down into the high 200's. Today, my average blood sugar runs in the mid- to- high 80's most of the time and I feel great. Your body is designed to function best when the blood sugar is maintained in this range with an A1c between 4.0 and 6.0. This is called homeostasis. Anything higher on a regular basis is asking for trouble.
When I was diagnosed, several meetings with a diabetes dietitian and CDE were covered by my insurance and appointments were booked for me by my doctor. I received numerous booklets written by the ADA, and an eating plan that included 200 carbs per day. I followed this plan religiously. As a scientist, I own several precision digital balances. I weighed and measured every molecule that crossed my lips. On the ADA plan and the drug Actos- I gained 27 pounds in 2 months ( 14 pounds in 14 days- I called my doctor and told her I would not swallow one more of those pills). I called the dietitian for more help - and she told me to decrease my fats and proteins and increase my carbs to drop my calorie count- my sugar climbed higher, my doctor blamed that on my refusal to take the Actos ( I was taking glipizide so my sugar should have been dropping).
I started to search out ways to control blood sugar and happened upon The Diabetes Solution- by Dr. Richard Bernstein- I didn't believe most of what he said- after all, my Ph.D. is in protein biochemistry and I knew that Atkins type diets were very dangerous. I also was well acquainted with the dangers of eating saturated fat, and the virtues of eating organic carbs. I knew that 7th day adventists (who are vegetarians) live longer and have far less diabetes and heart disease than the general population. Again, because I am a scientist, I went to the actual literature ( not interpretations by the media, or reviews by scientific writers) and started to read, and look at, and interpret the data for myself.
I slowly came to realize that although the human body prefers to burn carbs (they are cheap fuel), it doesn't require that the carbs be actually ingested, and I started to reduce my carbs. The further I reduced my carb intake, the better I felt- until I hit about 60 net carbs per day (less than half of the minimum 130 recommmended by the ADA and most dietitians). That's about the minimum that I can eat and still meet my protein requirement (vegetable protein sources such as beans and nuts have more carbs than animal protein sources which have none).
You owe it to yourself to get your blood glucose numbers down into a non-diabetic (normal homeostatic) range. More medicine is not the answer- lower carbs and increased exercise is the best way to do this. Read the Diabetes Solution, Carb Wars, and Good Calories Bad Calories and decide for yourself. It's your body and your health.