Six Small Meals

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borisnatasha
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 5/23/2009 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
I am wondering if it is a better idea to be eating 6 smaller meals daily as opposed to three larger ones? I kinda like the idea and think perhaps I might get better control this way. Is there anybody on the board who eats this way?

I welcome your thoughts on this and also ideas for what the meals could consist of. I seem to have a problem with high bg levels two hours after breakfast especially. I only had two scrambled eggs and 1 slice of whole wheat toast with margarine this morning and yet my reading was 9.3 rising from 7.3 before breakfast. It is starting to become more than frustrating knowing how and what to eat to get under control.

Thanks for your help.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5399
   Posted 5/23/2009 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi and welcome to HealingWell.  Yes, 6 smaller meals are better than 3 larger ones a day - as long as you're not eating  more food totally by the end of the day.  Smaller meals don't overload your pancreas, so your body doesn't have to deal with a lot of food to metabolize at once.  I don't eat that way, mostly because I haven't been able to organize myself that well.

The only problem with your breakfast as you described would be the toast.  Your blood sugar shouldn't rise significantly with the eggs and margarine, so try some cheese and maybe a strip of bacon and see how that works.  I'm very sensitive to carbs and since I don't take meds, even one slice of bread will send my blood sugar too high.  It's probably the same with you.

Hope this helps.


Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


borisnatasha
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 5/23/2009 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Lanie. My dietician thinks no or low carbs is very unhealthy and she has been pushing the Canada Food Guide down my throat saying I need to be following it verbatim. And that they will adjust my meds to keep my
bg down. I thought it was better to keep bg down with diet and exercise rather than by upping meds. I have lowered my carb intake myself trying different things to see what will work for me.
I sometimes have two eggs with two slices of whole wheat toast and an orange and my levels don't rise as high as they did this morning. I am not too sure why today was any different other than I actually ate less carbs than I usually do. I am a recently diagnosed diabetic and my bg has been on a roller coaster ride. I would like to help it level off with my diet and exercise if at all possible.

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 5/23/2009 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
When you first start out on this journey the numbers can be pretty wacky. Just back off on the carbs and eat more veggies instead.(Yes! You CAN eat a salad with breakfast!) And unless your dietician plans to be the one to wheel you around in your wheelchair after you lose your legs, you do what you think is best! Adding more meds to a bad food plan is just plain bad medicine!

We have a member, Wheelchair Bound, who is the net result of a bad food plan. She has lost both legs and is losing her eyesight. I don't know who promotes the Canada Food Guide, but here in the states the American Diabetes Assoc. puts out the goofiest proposals about eating so I looked up their funding. Guess where about 85% of their $$$ comes from?... Pharmaceutical Corporations... SURPRISE!!!

If you think about early humans and what was available to eat each day for them you will see that protein and veggies with some fruit and nuts just make sense. That was what was available in their hunter/gatherer lifestyle. There was no bread, pasta, cold cereal or candy. They lived and survived on greens, eggs, small game, nuts and some fruits. Grains only showed up in the fall and were used to survive the long winter. Do some reading on the "Ancestor Diet" and you will see the point I'm trying to make.

Let us know how you are doing. We will help if we can.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


borisnatasha
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 5/23/2009 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Jeannie. It is nice to have the support of others who understand and are in similar situations. Not dieticians who are not and likely will never be diabetic and want to prescribe their cookie cutter food plans.
My biggest fear is losing a limb (s) and my eyesight and I plan to be proactive and try to do what is right for me personally. I am not surprised to hear about the pharmaceuticals corporations... don't they pretty much rule anything medical? It is shocking and scary. I would prefer not to ever have to rely on any medication for my health but what choice do I have now? But in the meantime I would like to be as healthy as I can and take as little medication as I can get away with. These boards are a huge help and an even huger comfort to people like me struggling to gain better knowledge.

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 5/23/2009 9:50 PM (GMT -7)   
If you're diabetic you will need meds to help you regulate the way your body handles carbohydrates. I have used several including metformin and Lantus insulin. There is no shame in needing to use meds to keep your blood glucose numbers in line but those meds are there to help you utilize the carbs you consume. If you are a bit overweight, dropping some pounds with a lower carb diet will force your body to burn fat in place of the carbs you're not eating. This will lower your insulin resistance and help drop your sugars.

Your question about the 6 meals makes sense if you sort of plan a total amount of food for the day and then don't go over. I've also found that taking a mulit vitamin (without iron since I'm over 50) helps with cravings. And remember to hydrate with lots of good clean water. Good for your kidneys and hunger. Stay in touch.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


TVEditor
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 481
   Posted 5/25/2009 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   

Since I have a  long day (up at 5am), I find that more, small meals work for me boris.  Bread & cereal wreaks havoc on my BG as well so I've had to cut out my morning toast but I've found a formula that works,at least for me.  I have a slice of cheese first (the fat slows the absorption of the carbs) then a 1/4 cup of my old favourite Cheerios with a splash of Soy milk.  This is a bit high in carbs but so far, my body can tolerate it.

This doesn't go very far hunger-satisfactionwise so around 3 hours later, I need something to get me through to lunch.  A few nuts (the no-salt, mixed selection from the bulk food section of the grocery) usually do the trick.  Almonds only would probably be the healthiest choice but I love cashews so sue me ;-)  As Jeannie says, most veggies are always a good snack.

(As a side note; even though I drink decaf whenever I can, I find that coffee in general aggravates hunger pangs.)

After studying my personal readings for a while, I found that my blood sugar is regularly highest in the morning & lowest at night.  Knowing this, I now eat 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day with the largest one being supper.  As I said, this works for ME - you will have to do your own personal study.

Regarding the Canada Food Guide and dieticians; a fellow diabetic & friend once asked our local Diabetes Education Centre nutritionist if they were getting kickbacks from the Becel corporation since most of her advice involved adding a dollup of Becel margerine to everything before eating! 

I've been eating butter, bacon & beef for about a year now while following low-carb guidelines.  The D.E.C. is miffed with me because I ignore their food plans but get good results.  Whutever.  I've lost weight, my cholesterol is down, my diabetes is under control and my doctor is happy.

Chris 


~ Diagnosed Type 2 in July/'08
~ Dropped 35 or so pounds after following HealingWell advice
~ Diabetes under control / no meds - so far - knock on head
~ My doctor thinks HE is responsible (Don't tell him! He's happy ;)

I used to eat 100% wrong -- now I eat 95% right
Me


borisnatasha
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 5/25/2009 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you Chris for your insight and experiences. I agree I am going to have to try different things to see what works and what doesn't and discard what doesn't.
This morning first thing I thought I would try some yogurt with sliced almonds and a bit of all bran mixed in. That was a mistake... my bg sailed up from 122 to 176.
Definitely not good. Looks like I may have to stick with protein and veggies only. I may try the cheese first and a small bit of cereal to see what that does. This is such
a struggle and the rewards are few and far between.

Why can't these dieticians look at the larger picture and admit that however weight loss, controlled diabetes and lowered cholesterol happens it should be celebrated??? My dietician is so adamant that low carb is bad I am going to just have to go ahead and work on my diet myself and then let the numbers speak for themselves.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 5/25/2009 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   
My breakfast consists of two eggs with a slice of cheese melted over them. This is most every day. BUT I also take Lipitor, Evening Primrose oil, Fish oil and flaxseed oil supplements. Last blood lab was excellent for the lipids and cholesterol. My HDL's were good and high and my LDL's were down where they are acceptable. My lunch often consists of a turkey roll up, with romaine lettuce being the roll up substance instead of a tortilla. An apple or banana with peanut butter is an excellent choice. Dinners I eat the meat and always serve a double vegetable choice. Squash, pumpkin, spinach, asparagus, carrots, the brighter the color the better I like 'em. And I use a dab of real butter on my veggies for real flavor.

Another thing I enjoy is peppers on the grill. I toss chunks of them in a bowl with olive oil, garlic powder and a bit of salt and pepper. They get grilled next to my meat and taste heavenly! Zuchini and yellow squash are great when done this way, too.

If you read back in the earlier posts you will find lots of stuff that others have found to eat that works for them.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


borisnatasha
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 5/25/2009 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Jeannie for the meal suggestions. I decided today I am going to stick with just the protein at breakfast time and have eggs or egg substitute with veggies and/or cheese.
I had tuna salad topped with veggies for lunch today and an orange and my pp number was good. That is likely going to become a staple lunch for me.
And supper will be meat and veggies and/or salads. Usually can't go wrong there.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5399
   Posted 5/25/2009 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   

I also did not like what the diabetes class had to say about diet when I went there about 3 years ago after my doctor called me prediabetic and prescribed the blood glucose meter.  It was a confusing time because what I'd read about blood sugar and what affects it seemed at odds to the diet that the American Diabetes Association and this local class had to say.  I mean if hitting your head with a hammer gives you a headache, why do that?  Put that hammer down!  If eating their so-many grams of carbs per meal raises my blood sugar, why eat them?  Long story short.  And my lab tests have improved.  And I've lost weight.  I eat a variety of colorful vegetables and salad food and lots of chicken/meat/fish, nuts, cheese.  And I drink wine with dinner.  I also get in a lot of exercise.  All of this has improved my health.  So, Boris, stick to it.  Mind your meter, and keep hard copies of your lab tests so you can see how your new diet affects them.  We're with you all the way.

yeah


Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


borisnatasha
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 5/25/2009 4:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much Lanie.. for the words of wisdom and the support... very much appreciated.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5399
   Posted 5/26/2009 6:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Boris, I certainly don't mean to advise going against doctor's advice, that kind of thing.  I do respect the medical profession.  When I came up against the diabetes diagnosis (or rather, being on the verge) a few years ago, I was disappointed and scared but also felt it inevitable since my mom and grandmother died of the disease.  I was also overweight and on BP meds.  I was following in my mother's health footsteps.  But, I also decided to educate myself rather than blindly accept it (after a period of denial and mental wrestling and screaming) and found that I could actually control most of my health issues, particularly the diabetes.  I'm still learning and still reading about it and have been able to control my blood sugar with diet (low carb) and exercise (cardio and strength training).  So, I understand what you're going through.  Every time I have my annual physical, I get hard copies of the lab results.  In this way I can see clearly what's going on from year to year.  What I advocate is taking control of our own health by learning and practice.  The practice is still the hardest! cool
Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds


borisnatasha
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 5/26/2009 7:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Lanie... I totally understand what you are saying. My doctor has not given me any advice at all about what I should be doing as far as diet and exercise. He has only stepped in to
change my medications as he sees fit. He has left the diet and exercise up to the diabetic nurse and dietician I am seeing. Although they do have sage advice I still do not agree with
the eating part of it. I feel by eating so many carbs, especially when it is clear that they are raising my blood sugars I can't see why this is a good thing for overall health as the dietician
has stated. I understand that medication does play a part in the disease and it isn't a bad thing but why take more of it when you can get away with a lot less if you get your diet working
for you? It makes no sense. I believe my particular dietician only subscribes to the Canada Food Guide for the general population and doesn't seem to have a clue how it may pertain to a
diabetic. Very sad. I am not one to lie down and just accept everything I am told... I want to be very hands on with my treatment and that is why I am researching on my own and I am very
willing to try different things that other diabetics have proven to work for them. Once I get my diet fine tuned then I can concentrate on other issues.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5399
   Posted 5/26/2009 8:22 AM (GMT -7)   

This sounds exactly like my doctor.  I love her dearly but she also gave me pamphlets for a 'heart healthy diet' and put me in the hands of the nutritionist for diabetes.  I was at odds with the nutritionist from the beginning as she was following the food pyramid.  That doesn't work for diabetics, no matter if they're on meds or not.  The emphasis on whole grains, etc. may work for a person with normal metabolism but the carbs send the blood sugar of a diabetic through the roof as you know.  It struck me as so strange to take meds in order to eat all those bread products.  The fiber and nutrients in whole grains can be found in vegetables.  Bell peppers (all colors), asparagus, eggplant, summer squash, all the green leaf vegetables, broccoli are very healthful.  Walnuts, almonds and pistachios are great.  Legumes (I can eat in moderation) including peanuts have lots of nutrients and fiber.  We don't need the grain-based diet.  Unfortunately we've become dependent on all those foods made of flour and that was hard for me to cut out.  My food log told me what food worked best for me for blood sugar control.  I still have an occasional treat and will have a spike afterwards but I keep that in control.  My last A1c was 5.5 which makes it worth the effort. An added benefit of the exercise and weight loss has been that the doctor eliminated one of my blood pressure meds.  I was two different meds, now only one.   If it works, don't fix it.

  yeah


Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by low/no carb diet and exercise; no meds

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