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arzoo
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/5/2007 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
My recent fasting blood sugars came up quite close to the border of normal and the doc told me to cut on sugar and carbs, and take in more fiber.

The thing is, I eat white rice for lunch & dinner, or white bread for lunch, white rice for dinner. What I've noticed is that cutting the quantities really zap my energy and make me quite hungry often. I've also notice a bit of weight loss.

So, I'm hoping that you guys can help me with a few things:

1. does changing white rice & bread for whole wheat rice & bread provide any benefit?

This is a question because I was told by a diebetic patient this helps. However, when I checked regarding sugar levels and glycemic indices, it seemed that both white and whole wheat of bread and rice have similar values.

2. i understand how glycemic index works, however, it seems it's more of value per item. So I was told that limiting the index for a meal is good for blood sugar (to avoid big rushes). Knowing this, I know smaller meals and more meals are better than few, big meals.

My question is, if you eat many small meals spreadout, compared to few large meals but because you eat many times during the day, so that the total carbs and/or sugar for the whole day comes out the same, is there a difference between them? or an advantage for smaller frequent meals?

Another thing I want to ask is that I've been going through some diabetic menus and noticed that brown rice or whole wheat pasta is a part of the meals. With regards to the effects on blood sugar which should be taken/avoided more assuming same serving sizes - whole wheat bread, brown rice or whole wheat breat. I ask because the glycemic indices differ along with the carbs they carry so varying the load, like break has gi of 70 but about 12g carbs, while rice and pasta have lower gi levels but high grams of carbs.

3. on fiber, a friend previously told me that his nutritionist mentioned long time ago that fiber is good such that after taking 35g per day for a given day, things you eat after 35g your body absorbs less of what it eats by 20%. Is this true?

He told me this, because he says he can eat a bit more 'junk' on days he gets lot of fiber before so only 80% is absorbed.

4. so the last thing I would really like to know is how to keep a healthy weight (maintain it) & not hungry always, and still get enough grams of carbs to provide energy while reducing the bad carbs. hope for some suggestions. The thing is I'm on the average weight side, so I'm not into losing weight specially if it'll get me to be thin and unhealthy.

Sorry for the length and numerous queries. I feel so ignorant, hope you guys don't mind and help out.

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5404
   Posted 10/5/2007 6:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi arzoo and welcome to the forum.  I hope you can find answers to your questions here.  I'll try to answer some and there will be others along, too.  Also, look back through the past topics here for other information.  Cutting down on carbohydrates like rice, potatoes, breads, cereals, anything with sugar or flour will help keep blood sugar lower.  It will also help you lose weight.  If you don't need to lose weight but need to control the blood sugar, then still reduce the carbs but eat more vegetables, proteins (meats, chicken, turkey, fish), and nuts.  Depending on how your blood sugar reacts, you can use the insulin-resistant diet which pairs carbs with proteins.  Check out The Insulin-Resistant Diet or Dr. Bernstein's The Diabetes Diet, even the South Beach Diet.  Do you have a blood glucose monitor?  Question 1:  The benefit of whole grain rice and bread is the fiber you get.  Fiber is good for digestion and it slows down the rise of blood sugar.  Maybe it has more nutrients, too.  Checking the labels is important.  Bread with "flour" as an ingredient will make the blood sugar rise more than "whole wheat grain".  Your blood sugar will still rise but it would take longer.  This is why you should always eat some protein with the bread.  Peanut butter is a protein!  #2.  Yes, eating smaller meals should give smaller spikes in the blood sugar, so if you can eat 4 or 5 smaller meals throughout the day, the blood sugar should have less of a spike 2 hours after eating.  The advantage of the smaller meals is that your body isn't overloaded with food at one time.  I don't look at the glycemic index anymore.  I look at the carbs on the labels.  The only reason I use the glycemic index now is to check out an unfamiliar vegetable.  Still, I will test 2 hours after eating to see what effect the new food will have.  #3.  I have no idea.  Maybe your friend is a "normal", that is, maybe he doesn't have any problems with high blood sugar.  My husband can eat lots of carbs and not have high readings (I know because we tested.)  I can't eat carbs like that.  Fiber helps with the digestive process and the longer it takes to digest, as I said, and the better for keeping the blood sugar at a more normal level but again everyone's body is different.  But I would be concerned about eating "more junk" - nono !  #4.  Vegetables, fruit and milk products, and nuts all have carbs.  When we say we eat a "low carb" diet, it doesn't mean we don't eat any carbs at all.  I eat lots of vegetables, some berries, yogurt, cream for coffee, cream cheese for cheese cake, nuts, eggs, cheese, lots of meat, fish and chicken.  I have a lot of energy.  Don't think you won't have energy following a low carb diet.  If you don't want to lose weight, eat more vegetables (not corn or potatoes if you have a problem with blood sugar) and protein, nuts....  I hope this helps.  Others will be along and help you make sense of this too.  Welcome aboard!



Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
 
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds

Post Edited (LanieG) : 10/5/2007 8:03:23 PM (GMT-6)


andrew1948
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 10/6/2007 5:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Arzoo: The previous poster gave you some valuable information and I just add my endorsement to her post. For diabetics they should avoid all refined wheat,  corn, sugar and pasteurized dairy products and fried fatty foods. Avoiding all these is hard to do sometime.
 
In addition, "limit" all starchy and high glycemic fruits and vegetables, e.g. white potatoes, bananas, etc. as well as dried fruits, e.g. raisons, apricots, prunes, etc.
 
Eat plenty of fresh, organic vegetables, especially green leafy, red, orange and yellow ones.
 
drink 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight or pure water daily.
 
As for small meals, that is beneficial to avoid the huge spike in blood sugars after a large meal. I try to eat a small snack inbetween meals  such as Organic Oat crackers with Almond Butter, Pecan Butter or Walnut Butter. By having smaller meals and snacks between meals, you will not have the craving for food and helps keep your blood sugars on more of a level keel.
 
Another thing that has helped me tremendously was taking a Food Allergy Test . This test will show how your white blood cells react to certian foods and what foods you should avoid. When you eat a food that has allergic reactions to the body the chemicals produced by the body for digestion go off tangent and the food may actually be stored as fat, even healthy vegetables. There can be some fruits and vegetables that you should avoid totally and some that you can eat on a less frequent basis. The test is done by blood and a lot more accurate than the old method of eating a certain food and see how you feel afterwards or by sticking needles in the body to see the reaction . I had some foods that I was allergic to that I ate almost eveyday, such as brocholi, cabbage, celery, plums and apples. When I stopped eating the certain foods I was allergic to, I feel much, much, better and blood sugar level came in line and blood pressure dropped to normal.
 
Hope this helps and good luck.
successful with herbal, vitamins and minerals


tangerine bear
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 941
   Posted 10/6/2007 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Arzoo,

Welcome to the forum! I am new to diabetes... I was dignosed in April, and this forum has helped me so much! Reading advice/suggestions here will give you a good idea of what is best to eat and what to avoid. I have been able to bring my levels down to a "normal" range. I am on a low dose of oral meds thanks to following the information on here.

As for me, reading labels is the most helpful. It's great that you are starting out already understanding a lot about the glycemic index, I really knew nothing about it before. Just so you know, not all brown rice is created equal... at first I thought just changing to whole grain bread and rice was enough. I spend a good deal of time at the store reading labels and I always ask advice here. As for brown rice, if you can cook it in less than 45 minutes (10 minute types), then it isn't good for me. I found out that I can have a small portion of Basmati Brown Rice (I buy Texmati brand, but that may be regional to where I live). As for pasta, I buy nothing but Dreamfields pasta. The net carbs per serving on that brand is 5 grams, and I have that maybe once a week (it hasn't ever spiked my BG readings). For bread, all I buy now is Sara Lee "DeLightful" Wheat bread, net carbs per slice, 9G. I eat 2 slices per day at lunch for my sandwich with low fat lunch meat and reduced fat cheese with lettuce. I have completely given up CHIPS! I have a couple of grape tomatoes on the side if I want a treat, or a couple of carrot slices if I want something crunchy. I haven't eaten a potato in 6 months! I eat lots of salads, squash (I like it with onions and mushrooms sauteed in olive oil), broccoli, and beans. I know some people have problems with beans spiking their sugar, but it doesn't seem to bother me (I suppose because it's high fiber). The only fruit I've tried is a small amount of apple per day, and I always buy tart ones. I also have a little low fat milk every day and some nuts for snacks. When I have a sweet attack, I have a South Beach Diet snack bar for a treat (or some apple).

I also had issues with low energy when I tried to cut out carbs, but I also ended up having to reduce med dose and that improved.

I hope you'll stay with us!

Bear


"It's a jungle out there....." 
Theme song from "Monk" by Randy Newman
 
OCD: Obsessive...Compulsive...Diabetic
 
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tutorgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 10/6/2007 10:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Arzoo,

If I'm understanding your post correctly you haven't been diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic...your doc is concerned because you recently had a high fasting blood sugar reading at a routine blood test? Is he going to do a 3 month average test to see how you are over all...if you aren't diabetic and aren't familiar with terms this test is called an A1c test and the numbers look different than your meter readings. If I have made the wrong assumption then I'm with Lanie...are you taking daily readings and how are they?

You know, diabetic are not, everyone needs to eliminate white flour and white rice. Nothing highly processed can be good for you...yummy, yes...good, no. And if you are diabetic a lot of carbs definitely have to go. How many your body can handle is purely individual. That's where the testing comes is. I've had to cut out almost all of my carbs because it seems everything raises my blood sugar. But as far as the energy level goes, I think once the body has become acclimated to less carbs, the energy level actually rises. Until I started eating low carb, every afternoon I just wanted to take a nap. That no longer is the case. If you want to understand the high carb vs. low carb controversy go back to the thread titled "Some Low Carb Reading 4 U". Gelschick has listed numerous articles on the subject. There is also the recent book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes that tackles the whole controversy.

As far as the actual eating goes, you've been given some really good advice above. And it's great that you are asking these questions. It's how you are going to find out what works for you. Good luck and keep us posted. :)
===================
>Karen<
~Forum Moderator/Diabetes~


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 10/6/2007 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Arzoo,
If I may add my 2ยข here I can tell you a few things that may help.

Whole grain (not whole wheat) anything is much better than white anything. Whole grain or brown grains contain the natural vitamins (that the millers put back to make it 'fortified') and many micronucrients that can't be found elsewhere.

When looking at a food look at the total number of grams of carbs. Then look at the total number of gms. of fiber. If the fiber number is over 5 you may subtract that from the carb total to give you a lower net carb number. The net carb number is about the amount of carbs your body will utilize. By switching to more complete grain foods you will have the carbs available for energy without the high postparandial spikes that lead to insulin resistance. Hope this helps.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class! Yours may be one of them...
==================
"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


arzoo
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/6/2007 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the responses guys, I've learned so much... keep 'em coming.

Just to clarify, my last lab came out 95, I think 100 is the border for non-diabetics. However, since there is a family history of diabetes (cousins, uncles and grandparents, though my parents and siblings don't have), I do have it checked once a year. Normally the figure comes out at 90 or below.

Also wanted to ask, fruits are sweet so in effect have sugar in them, are they to be avoided also? I've read that fruits are good even for diabetics. If so which ones to eat and which to avoid?

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5404
   Posted 10/6/2007 10:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi arzoo, I'm glad you're ahead of the game at this point and aware of your blood sugar.  It might have crept higher through the years if you hadn't had it checked, so you're on the right track.  Berries and cherries are probably better than some other fruits.  Then, apples and apricots.  The worst would be watermelon.  Since you're still able to control your blood sugar pretty well by diet, you'd have to test yourself after you eat the fruit so you know which ones to avoid.  All fruit has fructose, a natural sugar.  Some people can eat apples with peanut butter and do well because of the protein in the peanut butter.  The bottom line is how you as an individual react.  You may be able to avoid being classified as a "diabetic" if you can keep those numbers down. 

Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
 
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


arzoo
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 10/7/2007 2:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm trying to understand how diabetes works. I understand that fasting blood glucose above 126 shows diabetes.

Does this mean that if 1 test comes out above 126 then you are diabetic and it will always be above that level and not come down. So, you'd have to take medication and thing may slowly decline over the long term?

Or if mild, it can be like blood pressure where someone with bp of 150/90 for example, starts exercising and cuts salt and fat from meals and it can go down back to normal levels after a month or so?

LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5404
   Posted 10/7/2007 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   

Hmm, I don't think it would be the same thing.  I believe that when your body is having trouble dealing with carbohydrates properly, it will always have trouble.  The problem will not go away.  (As far as the medical explanation of pancreas and insulin production, I'm going to let the others chime in and do that.)  Even though everyone's blood sugar may rise and fall throughout the day with eating, not eating, exercise, etc., a "normal" person's will not swing as high as mine and it will come down faster.  My pancreas is just not producing insulin normally anymore although it's still producing something because I am still able to control the blood sugar but only because I'm reducing the carbs that I eat.  If I were to eat as I did before: cereals, bread, potatoes, etc. with meals, then my readings would be high.  Unfortunately, not everyone has their blood sugar tested every year to catch rising trends.  Those whose blood sugar is extremely high for years may have damage to their kidneys, hearts, eyes and nerve endings particularly in the feet and legs which is why diabetes can be so dangerous.  A single fasting test higher than 126 might indicate diabetes, so the doctor would order other tests like the glucose tolerance test.  This is when you drink a very sugary liquid and the lab tests your blood a couple of times for 2 or 3 hours.  This test will see how your body deals with carbs when you ingest them and how long it takes for the body to get back down to a normal reading.  Another test, the A1c, is a simple blood test which tells you what your average blood sugar was over the past 3 months.   I don't know what my glucose tolerance test result was which I took a year ago, but my fasting tests were creeping up over the last few years.  So, last year when I started monitoring my blood sugar, I also changed my eating plan and started a daily exercise program.  Now, doctors are saying normal fasting is <100.  I fell into the "borderline" range with fasting numbers between 100 and 120 generally, one or 2 higher or lower.  Type 2 Diabetes does run in families, so family members should be mindful of that and be sure they have their blood sugar tested every year.  They should also keep their weight down.  You're wise to know everything you can about this.  Know thy enemy, as they say!

 



Lanie
forum moderator - diabetes
 
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds

Post Edited (LanieG) : 10/7/2007 7:27:27 AM (GMT-6)

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