Question about a diabetic-friendly diet

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Applewood Acres
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/20/2007 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   
My dad was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 58.  His mother had diabetes (along with cancer) and died at age 57.  My mom has had some heart damage from asthma medication and so they both need my help.....at least I want to be of some help.  By reading what I have here so far, I've figured out that I am pre-diabetic and I could stand to lose about 40 pounds myself.  I am 39.
 
So, I am wondering if I cook meals that are diabetic-friendly and heart-healthy will those meals help me in weight loss as well?  My parents live close to me and this is one way I can see myself helping them.  I want foods that are tasty and kid-friendly as well. 

What's his name?
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 4/20/2007 5:33 PM (GMT -7)   
That will help, but the critical thing is to decrease your intake. People do not want to hear that, and get all angry if you say it. but eating fewer calories than you burn will result in weight loss. Juggling calories around most likely won't.

So, that will be a big help for your folks, but will be an even bigger help if you and they eat less overall. Try to cut way back on carbohydrates, too.

No one said it would be easy.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 4/20/2007 5:56 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Applewood, welcome to the forum and you're a wonderful daughter to help your parents like this.  I'm sure you'll eventually get lots of responses.  I am 58 and diagnosed as "pre-diabetic" and so far am controlling this by diet and exercise.  Diabetes runs on my mother's side of the family, so this is no surprise.  This disease killed my mother and grandmother too early, so I'm trying my best to get control of my blood sugar numbers which I've done so far by changing my diet or rather altering it and exercising nearly everyday.  First of all, many people here on the forum might tell you they don't follow the ADA recommendations for diet, including me.  Read back through the posts from the past here and find out for yourself what others are doing successfully.  For myself, I cut out most carbohydrates which means I don't eat potatoes, bread or rice.  This took some adjustment but instead I eat a lot more vegetables to replace these at meals.  I don't eat cereal but I use the egg substitute for omelets with different bell peppers, mushrooms or another vegetable.  I eat a lot of chicken and fish.  Keep in mind that everyone's body is in a different stage of diabetes.  Since I don't take any medication, carbs really make my blood sugar readings spike and I can't compensate for that except for increasing the exercise.  The bottom line though is I don't eat cookies or cakes and then run 10 miles to counteract the sugar - I don't know if that would work anyway.   However, I have to say that I don't have sugar cravings and I'm not hungry all the time looking to raid the refrigerator, and I've lost nearly 30 lbs since last summer because of what I eat (and don't eat) and the exercise.  I'd rather live longer than eat a potato every night.  What's His Name is absolutely right about the amount of food eaten.  In this country we're too used to eating until sated and that's led to obesity.  An example of a typical dinner, I eat 1/2 a chicken breast with maybe 2 vegetables and a salad at dinner with a couple of olives or radishes or cucumber slices and a glass of wine.  Or fish, or a small steak.  Some members here like Adkins or Bernstein and this is something your parents need to decide themselves.  A food journal is a must.  Write down what is eaten at every meal and take blood sugar readings - this will tell you (or your parents) what makes their blood sugar rise.  Your mom can benefit from the same diet I believe - and daily walking absolutely.

Good luck with tackling this new situation in life!  I wish I had started this years ago!

Lanie


Post Edited (lanieg) : 4/20/2007 7:00:36 PM (GMT-6)


fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/21/2007 4:36 AM (GMT -7)   

Lanie, as usual, has put it very well.

It's a complex subject, but many years of dealing with those complexitiies (26 years Type 1 diabetes) help to distill it all down to a few simple truths:-

No matter what you eat, overeating is not an option.

The ADA diet doesn't work for anyone, let alone diabetics. There's little sense in those with an inability to process glucose basing their diets on the very foods that generate it in large volumes (starchy carbohydrates).

Exercise helps enormously, both in lowering blood glucose and in maintaining muscle mass which keeps the metabolism working efficiently.

Them's the basics. Personally, I've had great sucess cutting out the starchy carbs (bread, cereal, potatoes, pasta, rice etc.) and basing my meals around meat, fish, fat and vegetables. It helped me lose 4 stone, and get my HbA1c down to 4.6% (a nondiabetics level!). Also, I was a vegetarian for 16 years so the change from a starchy carb diet was even more of a shock. It's a change that's made an enormous difference to my health and I'll certainly never go back to the way I used to eat.

Good for you in being so supportive!

fergusc

 


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 4/21/2007 7:02 AM (GMT -7)   
A couple of more additons to what I expounded on yesterday since I like to hear myself talk eyes  : Exercise, as Fergusc writes, is absolutely a must and this can be said for everyone regardless of diabetes.  Whether a person participates in sports, gym activities or simply walks for half an hour a day, that person needs to do it.  I also use weight machines and dumbells to build up muscles but you can do this at home with the dumbells and the rubber bands with handles.  Lots of exercises are shown online so you don't have to spend money on expensive gym memberships.  The other thing is psychological.  You can't feel like you're being punished having to change diet and routine.  If you do, your efforts will fail.  You need to realize these changes are for your health and a longer, healthier life, and when you see the results, you'll be even more encouraged, especially when others give you positive feedback, like when Fergusc wrote that compliment of me above.  That's encouragement and it'll make your day. :-)
Lanie
PS  What's a stone equal to?
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise


Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 4/21/2007 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   
1 stone = 14 pounds
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus


Applewood Acres
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/21/2007 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
What's his name? said...
That will help, but the critical thing is to decrease your intake. People do not want to hear that, and get all angry if you say it. but eating fewer calories than you burn will result in weight loss. Juggling calories around most likely won't.

So, that will be a big help for your folks, but will be an even bigger help if you and they eat less overall. Try to cut way back on carbohydrates, too.

No one said it would be easy.
Thanks for making that distinction.  Very true.  Calories are calories are calories yeah and we tend to think that by merely moving them around on a food diary and calling them by another name is doing something beneficial. 
 
Okay-so the obvious one is to watch portions and choose to eat less and keep the carbs in check.  I think the doctor told my dad to consume no more that 60-75 carbs per meal and to snack on protein rich foods instead of the carbohydrates.

Applewood Acres
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/21/2007 10:02 AM (GMT -7)   
lanieg said...

 First of all, many people here on the forum might tell you they don't follow the ADA recommendations for diet, including me.  Read back through the posts from the past here and find out for yourself what others are doing successfully.  

 

 I'd rather live longer than eat a potato every night.  What's His Name is absolutely right about the amount of food eaten.  In this country we're too used to eating until sated and that's led to obesity.  

 

 A food journal is a must.  Write down what is eaten at every meal and take blood sugar readings - this will tell you (or your parents) what makes their blood sugar rise.  Your mom can benefit from the same diet I believe - and daily walking absolutely.

Good luck with tackling this new situation in life!  I wish I had started this years ago!

Lanie


Lanie,
Thanks for the welcome.  I've been reading and it's obvious that the members here all agree that eating less is key. 
I've been wondering about the whole grains though.  I know you said you cut out bread-now does that mean you don't eat ANY bread/bread products at all or you do enjoy a piece of whole grain bread with your eggs?  I know there is a huge nutritional difference between wonder white bread and whole grain bread and one would think the fiber from the whole grain bread would be good.
I just began the "Get Fit Colorado" program and was sent a super food journal, Calorie, Fat and Carb book and a pedometer!  I started the program on Monday, received my materials and pedometer on Wednesday and Mom told me on Friday that Dad was diagnosed with Type 2 so I had already adjusted my thinking (somewhat) to journaling food.
Through tears my mom told me to start now fighting the diabetes that runs in my dad's family.  I've tested "borderline" diabetic the last two physicals so I guess I should do what my mamma says!!  :-)
Thanks again!
Apple
 

Applewood Acres
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/21/2007 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
fergusc said...

It's a complex subject, but many years of dealing with those complexitiies (26 years Type 1 diabetes) help to distill it all down to a few simple truths:-

No matter what you eat, overeating is not an option.

The ADA diet doesn't work for anyone, let alone diabetics. There's little sense in those with an inability to process glucose basing their diets on the very foods that generate it in large volumes (starchy carbohydrates).

Exercise helps enormously, both in lowering blood glucose and in maintaining muscle mass which keeps the metabolism working efficiently.

Them's the basics. Personally, I've had great sucess cutting out the starchy carbs (bread, cereal, potatoes, pasta, rice etc.) and basing my meals around meat, fish, fat and vegetables.

Also, I was a vegetarian for 16 years so the change from a starchy carb diet was even more of a shock. It's a change that's made an enormous difference to my health and I'll certainly never go back to the way I used to eat.

fergusc, thanks for wrapping it all up in a nutshell. 
So, why does everyone with a degree (either real or wannabe) push the ADA diet?  Isn't ADA the American Dieteic Association or am I confused on that one?
Exercise is not a part of our daily lives right now but we are working on changing that.  If I could make my litte pedometer click for every click of the computer mouse I might be trim and healthy! tongue   
I think Dad (and the rest of us) would be okay with basing meals and snacks around meat, fish (Dad is a serious fisherman--he's been to Alaska for ice fishing!!) and the veggies.
That is such a surprise about the vegetarian diet.  I thought vegetarians were on to something there but I guess that it depends on your body's reaction and needs.

Applewood Acres
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/21/2007 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   
lanieg said...
PS  What's a stone equal to?

What??? No laughing out loud emoticon???  Okay, just pretend you hear me laughing!!!

Lanie, thank you so much for asking and thank you Phishbowl for answering.  I was not "comfortable" enough to ask as a newbie and thought I just needed to peruse the site a bit more with some honed investigative skills!

So, what part of our world do the folks refer to a stone as a measure of weight?


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 4/21/2007 11:10 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Apple, because our bodies are in different stages of diabetes, some of us can eat a more "normal" diet pairing whole-grain bread with proteins and vegetables and keep normal glucose levels and some people, of course, are on meds that help the body deal with the carbs.  I don't take any meds and I've discovered that whole grain bread. cereals, etc. will raise my blood sugar levels too high.  Maybe that's because my pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin - someone will have to jump in here and correct this if I'm wrong.  The carbs I get are from some vegetables, beans, and milk products.  I do, however, choose to have half a slice of whole grain bread or a small cookie, some fruit now and then ...  if I am eating a whole meal with it.  It's just how my body reacts to carbs, so I don't eat potatoes, white rice, anything made with flour or sugar.  Other people can eat them in moderation paired with proteins and it's ok for them. This is something you and your parents have to discover for yourselves.  I hope that you and your dad have a blood glucose monitor to see what your levels are.  This alone will tell you what makes the blood sugar rise or keep at normal levels.

Your mom is absolutely right for you to start now.  about 4 years ago, my fasting levels were above normal and all the doctor said was to be careful of my diet.  Right.  But without having a glucose monitor, how would I know what drove my sugar levels up?  It was only last fall that she prescribed a glucose monitor and that's when I decided to take control of my health.  By changing my diet and exercising nearly everyday, I've kept my levels normal 90% of the time and have lost about 30 lbs.

Why does the ADA (American Diabetes Assoc) have carbohydrates as part of their pyramid?  Why, indeed.  I have no idea.  Read some past posts here and see others' comments.

Lanie
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5406
   Posted 4/21/2007 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   

"Stone" is a weight measurement in the UK.  I didn't know the equivalent because I'm both a Yank and a Yankee (originally from NYC).

Lanie


"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise


fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/21/2007 1:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, sorry, a stone is 14 pounds here in the UK. I think subconciously I must have been trying to have revenge on you Americans for inflicting your measuring cups and mg/dl on the rest of the world! What's all that about then?
And as for the ADA pyramid, I'm guessing here, but I suspect it goes back to Ancel Keys Seven Countries Study first published around 1980. That was the point at which dietary fat was incriminated as being partly responsible for coronary heart disease. It was a poor piece of science which tried to relate the saturated fat intake of populations in different parts of the world to the incidence of chd. In looking at the intake of dietary fat, it ignored the intake of protein and, crucially, carbohydrate and simultaneously ingored the data from countries which didn't match the prior assumption that dietary fat was to blame.
Ever since, we've been encouraged to follow the low fat doctrine. Low fat usually means higher sugar and/or starch in the diet which of course means an increased demand for insulin and therefore weight gain. Completely nuts!
By the way, I didn't mean to suggest that vegetarianism was unhealthy per se in my earlier post. Merely that, for me, it meant eating too much carbohydrate and starch, and too little protein and fat. Having read quite a bit about our evolutionary history recently, I've become more and more convinced that the healthiest diet for us is the one we have followed for over 99% of our past; protein and fat with a little low g.i. carbohydrate thrown in.
It's each to their own of course, but that's what works for me.

All the best,

fergusc

gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 4/27/2007 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   
As many folks here know- I am a vegetarian, and I have been for close to 50 years now. Currently I am a pseudo ovo (egg beaters-lol) lacto (yogurt + cheese,  low carb milk) vegetarian.
 I follow the insulin-resistance link and balance system of eating (15 grams carb + 7 grams protein). I get my protein from beans, lentils, nuts, dairy, fake eggs, and some soy products. I generally don't eat starchy carbs. When I eat pasta, it is dreamfields brand which is a low carb pasta. I do eat whole wheat bread (made by me) occasionally, and I do eat steel cut oats every day (I like them and they help keep my LDL level low.) Since my diagnosis, the contents of my diet have changed very little- I just link the protein and carb now, and I do eat smaller more frequent meals. I used to eat 1 or 2 large meals a day, now I eat about 5 small (350 calories or less)  meals at 3 hour intervals.
 
My average consumption of nutrients = 25% carb; 30% protein; 45% fat  (8 month average). During that time, I have lost about 54 pounds. My waist has decreased by 5 inches (my doctor is more happy about this than the total weight loss numbers). I walk (2-3 miles) or bike (7-9 miles) every day and alternate chair-toning and chair-yoga 6 days a week. (Nice little fun to do tapes and you get to sit while doing them- I am soooooo lazy tongue
 
My last A1c was 5.2; my LDL was 82; my HDL was 51; my triglycerides were 62 (quite respectable); my blood pressure runs about 110/72 - I take no drugs for lipids or blood pressure. I take metformin (2000 mg).
 
So you can be a veggie and still do well- I think the exercise and change in meal eating has done the most to stabilize my BG levels. It has also mellowed me out so that I'm not so cranky as I used to be- probably because my BG levels don't vary too much.
 
Best of luck to you and your family!
sandy
I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett

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