The diabetic diet is simple. Establish a set # of carbs per meal/snack, and add in some healthy fats and protein. You will want to eat around 50-60% of the carbs you normally would. I was cut down to 150-200 a day, which ended up being 40-50 grams per my 3 meals, and 15-20 grams at my 2 snacks. You will want to spread out your carbs evenly throughout the day, so you do not cause too big of a spike, or a drop in blood sugars either. So, eating every 3-4 hours on a schedule is important. I believe that SP has a diabetic meal plan. You can search for it, and have your tracker set up for it.
There is also plenty of diabetic SparkTeams to join, and get more detailed help.
Since I am diabetic, I also want to share my personal experience with you. The diabetic diet was a huge failure for me, because I craved most of the food I wasn't supposed to be eating lots of. When I ate things like bread, and pasta, I would binge on sweets, and Pepsi later at night. So, the truth is, I couldn't stick to the plan, and still if I eat those foods, I binge.
What worked for me was low carb. I have been off my meds for 41 months now, and my A1C is 5.3. I am not recommending low carb for now, but if you find that you can't stick to the diabetic diet because of cravings, I just want you to know this is normal. After all, the reason why we are diabetic is we ate too many carbs, and not enough healthy ones, so there is no reason to believe that now you will change that much, just because you poke your finger, and 186 comes up on your meter. I tried this for 7 years, and felt like a failure. When you try to tell your doctor, they just tell you to have more willpower, but that hardly ever works. Amazingly, a few succeed, but most just tend to " manage " the disease.
Not only should you limit carbs, you should eat healthier carbs as well, whatever level ultimately works for you. This should be mostly veggies. Don't be afraid to eat 10 servings a day. Low glycemic veggies will spike your blood sugars less. Just look at the carbs per serving. Stuff like Potatoes, corn, peas, or beets will have more carbs than mushrooms, green beans etc. Plus if it has more fiber, it will affect your blood sugars less, so green bans which have 50% of the carbs from fiber, will not spike it much at all, same as raspberries, if you want some fruit.
Pay attention to what your blood sugars are 2 hours after a meal, and you will see a correlation between certain foods, and high blood sugars. For me, this was cereal/milk/fruit, and pasta. Also pay attention to whether you are hungry afterwards. I used to eat, and would be starving 2 hours later. I would check my blood sugars, and then go binge. That isn't normal, as far as how your body should be working. Unfortunately, it is all too normal in reality. Once I started low carb, I was no longer hungry, and my blood sugars were stable. My only concern at that point was low blood sugars, but now, even if I eat 10 grams of carbs in a day, I don't have that issue either.
My advice would be to try out the diabetic diet first, and hopefully it works for you. Eat as healthy a carb selection as possible, and stick to 40-50 grams a meal. Note when/if you "cheat ", and what you ate beforehand, as well as what your blood sugars were when that happened. Second, attend a diabetic training class. Demand a referral from your doctor if they aren't capable of explaining this disease to you. The question you are asking should have been discussed in detail already with your doctor. If you still want to know how a diabetic diet will look, and want more guidance, see a dietitian, and they can make up a meal plan for you to follow, and help you with this.
If this does not work for you, and because of cravings/inability to stick to the plan, only then would I suggest low carb. So, give the diabetic diet a good try, and I sincerely hope it works for you. However , if you find it impossible, and are always hungry, I don't want you to feel like you are a failure. Especially when you inform your doctor, and they just say " Try harder! ". They have no other option for the millions of people who fail on their suggested plan. Since nothing works for everyone, you would think they would have different plans to fix this problem, but they don't. I believe that low carb addresses this, for those who the diabetic diet doesn't work for, and others have experienced the same. I just wanted you to know about that, in case you run out of option(s).
Good Luck, and I hope you can eat a lot of carbs, and still maintain stable blood sugars. We all love carbs, so the easiest road is one with a higher allotment of carbs, obviously.
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10/13/13 10:32 A
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