LIVING WITH DIABETES
1. There is no such thing as a “diabetic diet.” Everyone, with or without diabetes should strive to eat high fibre, low fat, low sugar, unprocessed food. A well controlled diabetic is often healthier than the average person as they have to be so careful with their diet.
2. Good control is achieved through balance. The amount and type of food in relation to the amount of insulin in your body whether you inject it or still produce your own. This balance can also be achieved with oral medications, or a mixture of the two.
3. Balance is partly achieved by timing. When you come to know where your blood sugar highs and lows will likely be, then you can plan your “treat.” The timing of your medications also has an influence.
4. Eat a piece of fruit or drink fruit juice instead of a sugary drink or cake/sweets to deal with low blood sugar. High glycemic foods can also be healthy foods like fruit.
5. The harder your body must work to digest a particular food, the lower its GI is likely to be and the better for you. These would include foods like oats, lentils, wholegrains of all sorts etc.
6. Alcohol lowers blood sugar, but not the sort of drinks that are obviously sweet like sherries, or any cocktail.
7. Blood sugar is affected by the carbohydrates that you eat. So, to have a low carb or carb free diet would certainly allow lower blood sugars, but not health. Sampling widely from all food available to us is the best strategy, especially if we concentrate on unprocessed foods. Don’t forget we need to include items from all the food groups for optimal health.
8. Insulin seems to act faster if you are out in the sun.
9. Injecting is really easy. Its a few seconds out of the day. The balancing act between how much? when? and what to eat/drink, that is the tricky thing.
10. The menstrual cycle affects blood sugar quite dramatically. Broadly speaking, progesterone makes for more insulin resistance while oestrogen helps glucose be readily absorbed by the cells.
11. Refresh your memory by reading this article The Glycemic Index, in the Food Philosophy section of this website.
12. Good control is not a static thing. Its almost impossible to always achieve it. So many factors are involved that its like pinning down an octopus. I always aim for that balance. Sometimes its a bit like walking a tight rope where everything seems to cause high blood sugar. Usually its a case of really looking at my schedule and tweaking here and there. Other times it like falling off a log its so easy.