Diabetes Nutrition – How Food Affects Your Numbers
We live in a world where there are a million different blog posts and articles about nutrition, with most of the authors believing they are some kind of messiah-like guru in having the perfect answer for everything that ails ya from diabetes to arthritis to allergies–you name it, and you’ll find someone has come up with the “perfect solution”.
Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no one-size-fits-all perfect solution. Why? Because no two cases of diabetes are exactly the same. What works well for one person may not work for someone else. One of the analogies I use often in working with my patients is that we are like animals. Consider this: a hummingbird drinks nectar from flowers. A cow eats grass. A whale eats krill from the ocean. An eagle looks for the desert rat. A vulture looks for dead animals. We humans are the same, we are no different. (Although, we know because of our blood sugar that we’re not hummingbirds.)
With that said we thought it was important to talk about the various ways of eating that are popular. More than likely you have heard of the following eating styles: Ketogenic diet, High Fat Low Carb, Low Fat, Paleo, Whole 30, Mediterranean, Juice diets, Carnivore, Pescatarian, Vegan and so on. You’ve probably heard about these ways of eating in your social media newsfeed or on your local news morning show, or perhaps a friend just had to talk to you about how good they feel in trying one of these ways of eating.
None of these diets are the perfect answer. Not one. However, throughout my healthcare career I’ve heard it all. “I eat kale”–yet we still have heart disease. “I only eat organic”–yet I have cancer. Many people try a way of eating and find that they still aren’t exactly right. That’s because they’re paying more attention to some “rule” that was set and less attention to what the facts about their body actually are. In the case of us with diabetes, this is why we encourage everyone to learn how to eat to their meter. Because the meter helps determines what you should and should not eat.
For example: if your reading is above 140, this means you would do well to opt for the most fiber-dense, most nutrient packed food you can get. This is a signal from your body that it is lacking something. If your number is very close to 70, you need to consider something with a little bit of carbohydrate in it.
There are some folks out there that believe you must avoid all carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this is virtually impossible and scientifically incorrect. Your brain actually requires glucose to function. The issue is both how much you consume and how your body is able to process it. This is very much a place for experimentation. This is a place where you begin regularly checking your sugar, learning how the number correlates to what you ate, and trying some alternatives to things you like to eat that are the most nutritious.
Browse our website today for nutritious, diabetes-friendly cuisine ideas!