Monday, February 11, 2008

Your Diabetic Diet - Learning To Think Differently About Your Diet With Diabetes

Mention the word "Diabetic Diet" to most people and they will run screaming from the room with a chocolate bar in each hand yelling, "Noooooo! You're not taking the good stuff away from me!"
I know because that's just the feeling I got when my doctor told me I would have to go on a "Diabetic Diet". Believe me, the thought of eating nothing but "rabbit food" for the rest of my life held no appeal at all!
Boy, was I wrong!! It took a few weeks, some research and good cookbooks on my wife's part but I still eat pretty darn good. Sure, I can't have all the sugar-loaded desserts and candies I loved before but we've learned to make room for them in my exchange list as a treat every week or two.
And the strange thing is that as time passes so does the cravings for sugar that I used to have. In fact, sometimes the sweets that I used to love so much are so darn sweet now that they really don't even taste good. A couple of bites and I don't want anymore. This has been great for my waistline but not the neighbors since we now give away most of what my wife bakes.
I'm on a low-carb diet that follows the American Diabetes Association exchange list. They recommend about 9 grams of fat and 4 grams each of carbohydrates and proteins daily. Each gram is about 15 calories so that helps you figure items up too. A person is allowed a certain number of exchange choices from each of the 6 different lists of grouped foods. Foods can be substituted for each other within an exchange but not between lists even if they have the same calorie count.
Try to have about the same amount of foods at about the same time each day to help keep blood sugar levels stable. If you know you won't be around to eat at your mealtime or your mealtime is going to be different that day, be sure to have a snack of some kind with you. I've found that it's a good thing to have a couple of snack items in the glove box of the car as a safety precaution.
Carbohydrates have been the hardest thing for me to keep control of. "If it's white, no dice" has become my battle cry. This means white foods like bread, rice, sugar, potatoes and pasta. That doesn't mean you can't ever have them again but in small amounts. You've just got so many calorie points to "spend" per day so you have to learn to become a "wise shopper" where these carbs are concerned. I've switched to whole wheat breads and pasta (it tastes just the same as "regular pasta" when you've got the sauce on it), brown rice, brown sugar, sweet potatoes and all kinds of squash. I'm eating things now I wouldn't have tried a year ago and liking them!
We still go out to our favorite restaurants-I just check the menu for "wise choices" that allow me to stay within my total grams for the day. Many restaurants have "diet" items on their menus now with a few beginning to have Diabetic listings. Just remember that if you go over a little at one meal or even one day, check your blood sugar levels and adjust grams the next time you eat. What's done is done and there's no sense beating yourself up over it. Begin again with the next meal and do better in the future.
With the right knowledge in front of you, you can have just about everything you'd ever want to eat in the way of meals and desserts and that includes chocolate bars. You're just learning to make a habit of eating smarter and healthier.
If you're reading this because you have diabetes or know someone who has it, please try as hard as you can to get them help as soon as possible to slow this destroyer of lives down. I wish I had followed the information found through the link below when I was first diagnosed. My life would have been so different today! Don't hesitate! Do something about diabetes today!
For more diabetes related issues visit