I am diabetic, but have been off my meds for 41 months, and my A1C is 5.3.
When I check out the Spark D program, and clicked on the carbohydrate chart for people with diabetes, I read just what I suspected. A whole bunch of 15 gram servings, but with no concern for what kinds of carbs, just okay as long as it was 15 grams.
I did the " diabetic " diet for 7 years, with no success. I am pretty sure that Spark D, or the one in the Preventions article, are pretty similar. They limit carbs to 150-200 total, 50 per meals, 25 per snack, maybe 5 meals a day, and eat lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. This is common for diabetic diets, and as far as I can tell no one is challenging that.
Starting 4.5 years ago, I began low carb, because I had a heart problem, and Atkins was a cardiologist. My goal was weight loss. I didn't see many 350 lb heart patients at the clinic, simply because they probably all died.
My blood sugars plummeted on the second day, and I experienced my first low blood sugar reaction. I spent a year fighting to keep my blood sugar above 70, before my doctor cut my meds out in May 2009. Along the way, I have lost 160 lbs., but just to be clear, I got off my meds while above 300 lbs. Weight loss is a huge help with blood sugars, but I got them under control with diet.
The list of foods under 15 gram servings was filled with foods that even one 15 gram serving would make my blood sugars soar. The first thing is a bagel, which would have my blood sugar over 300 ( even 1/2 of a small one ). Same thing with most every food on that list.
It is easier to list what I WOULD eat on that list..
1) Beans.. I have beans 2 X a week
2) peas.. higher carb, but I like them, and they don't spike my blood sugars much. I use them to get up to 40-50 grams of carbs
3) Fruit.. apples, peaches, raspberries, and strawberries.. these are lower glycemic fruit, and don't spike my blood sugars.
The rest of the things on the list are not good for diabetics, and will drive your blood sugars through the roof, even on a 60 gram a day diet of carbohydrates. At 150-200 grams a day, you will never get your blood sugars under control.
The focus shouldn't be how many carbs you eat, but what kinds you eat. First off, you should NEVER eat Sweets, or Fruit juices. They are just sugar, which is the fastest way to spike your blood sugars. Garbage. As a heart patient, my doctor says the only thing more dangerous than pop, is fruit juice. People think it is healthy. Their are 2 other categories that I would never touch, but I suspect most people will, so I suggest severe restrictions on them, if you must indulge every so often. These are Grains, and Dairy. Besides eggs, and butter, the dairy is a blood sugar nightmare. They use fruit juice to flavor yogurt now, so your blood sugar is going to soar even more than plain yogurt.
Grains are a huge one. Everyone thinks they are great, but they spike blood sugars more than anything but sugar. My brother eats 1/2 cup of granola and a 1/2 cup of milk. This just 39.5 grams of carbs, but 19 of it is sugars.
For those of you who think these are good foods to eat as a diabetic, you have an easy way to test them, if you still check your blood sugars. Eat a meal, and test 2 hours later. If your blood sugar is high in 2 hours, then it will be high till 4 hours out. With 3 meals a day, that is 12 hours spent with elevated blood sugars, or more depending on your snacks. If you do this, how do you plan to have a decent hemoglobin A1C? ( below 6 ).
You want to eat foods that 2 hours after a meal. keep blood sugars below 110. If you can do this while eating oatmeal, and 1/2 a banana.. GREAT! I think most of you will find that to not be the case.
Stop the poking of the fingers, and writing down the numbers for your doctor without paying attention. Those numbers are useful to you too. If you have a turkey sandwich, and test it 2 hours later, and have a 206 blood sugar, there is a problem with that meal. Do you think it is the turkey, or tomato, or mayo, or whole wheat bread? This is actually pretty simple. Carbs raise blood sugar, but I doubt it is the tomato. That leaves the whole wheat bread.
There is also the reverse.. test low carb meals. Have some chicken with mushrooms, and tomatoes, and a T olive oil, plus a cup of green beans. A Western omelette with cheese for breakfast, with /12 an avocado, and tomato slices.. Chili with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, chili/ kidney beans ( 1/2 cup ), and ground beef ( or turkey if you are still scared of fat ). Test it then, and you will find it to be much lower.
The problem with diabetes is HIGH blood sugar. This occurs because of the food you eat. If you eliminate most of the foods that cause these spikes to occur, then you won't have high blood sugars. Experts know this, which is why the first thing they do is cut your carbs in 1/2. They know this will lower your average blood sugars. Not enough, but lower.
So why not actually cut the carbs enough to get off the meds? If cutting carbs is beneficial, cutting them in half again is dangerous? Trust me, as a heart patient, who has been eating 20-60 total carbs a day for years, and had every test done under the sun to me.. I would have seen some sign of the danger. Your biggest fear will be low blood sugar.. the opposite of most diabetics.
My kidney function is normal, my BP is 95/65, despite eating 4 eggs a day, and a 60% fat diet, my cholesterol is under 125, my HDL is rising, and my heart is actually getting STRONGER.
So you are really faced with two options.. One is to eat a " diabetic " diet, Keep having 150-160 blood sugar readings 2 hours after a meal.. almost there!.. but never quite get there. This will prolong the blindness, amputations, and kidney dialysis that are in YOUR future. You will be a cash cow for pharmaceutical companies. A sick person that doesn't try to cure the disease, but manage it. Can you imagine a cancer patient that took enough chemotherapy to keep a tumor from spreading, but not enough to destroy the tumor? That is akin to what you are doing in this scenario. Managing a disease, means you plan to have it around.
Option 2 is not to follow my advice, although, I believe low carb would benefit most diabetics. It is to question the " diabetic " diet, and ask yourself if it is the answer. Test the foods, and see how they affect YOU. Your doctor is probably not diabetic. The person telling you that a turkey sub for lunch is awesome is probably healthy, so they are operating on THEORY.
Don't trust me either. This is just my experience. Most diabetics test their blood sugars, and you can make a diet based on what your blood sugars look like after the meals you eat. If your blood sugar is 110, at the 2 hour peak after a meal, and you do this for every meal, then in that entire day, your blood sugar won't be over 110. That IS the goal, right?
Even the experts "diabetic " diet is meant to get your blood sugars down to 100 average I assume. The goal should be to get you off the meds, by controlling blood sugars through diet. Use your brain, and testing equipment, to make that decision for yourself. I did, and I don't have sore fingertips, or have to choke down 2000 mg Metformin any more, or have to listen to my doctor pretend I failed, after suggesting I eat cereal with a banana for breakfast, a turkey sandwich for lunch, and chicken noodle soup with veggies for dinner.
Current diabetes management doesn't ever ask why your blood sugars are high, and correct that problem. Low carb does, and if you eat low carb, you will notice your blood sugars drop within days. That means the problem is solved, so why do " experts " keep pushing the failed " diabetic " diet? A cynic might suggest profit, but most likely they have never been diabetic, so they are just looking to improve your situation.
Better diabetes management is good. Total control of blood sugars, and not having to poke your fingers, or take pills is GREAT. It IS possible. If your blood sugars aren't under control with the diet your doctor prescribed, and the meds, stop, and ask why? It may be time to look for an alternative solution.
Edited by: RUSSELL_40 at: 10/26/2013 (10:11)
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