Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My Approach to Diet

Today's news is related to the topic of this post: New Findings on Low-Glycemic-Load Diets for Weight Loss.

Any doubts anyone might have about whether my low-carb approach to controlling my blood sugars was effective were dispelled over the Christmas holiday.

Things were going very, very well for me; in fact I even got a couple of below-100 BG readings prior to December 17th. That Saturday, my father came down for a visit, and he and I made Zeppoli di Natale (Italian Christmas rolls). From that point to now, I've over-indulged in the constant stream of zeppoli, cookies, peanut brittle, etc, as well as more breads and pastas. The result: blood sugars have sky-rocketed.

Contributing to the problem was the fact that I haven't been exercising as regularly. But with Christmas over, I'm ready to get back on the wagon. This morning I tossed out the few remaining zeppoli, stuck to oatmeal and coffee for breakfast, and went with a salad and bit of moussaka for lunch. Tonight it will be another salad for supper, followed by 25 minutes on the treadmill.

I have trouble believing that people can keep their blood sugar in control with a high-carb diet. Perhaps some people do. After all, we are all very different, and I must keep in mind that this is a very individualistic disease. Still, the evidence that high carbohydrates contribute to high blood sugar is overwhelming.

I have been overweight for most of my life, but I can mark the point at which I ballooned to one hundred pounds overweight as coincidental with following the advice offered in the book "The T-Factor Diet", which was all the rage in 1992. The author, Martin Katahn, PhD, claimed that carbohydrates did not make one fat, and that diets high in complex carbohydrates (especially high in fiber) were thinning. If I could get my hands on Dr. Katahn, I'd beat the crap out of him.

Reading his book led me to eat breads, pastas, rice, potatoes, and even sugar with wild abandon. Instead of losing weight, I put on the extra fifty pounds which probably led to the development of my diabetes. A diet high in carbohydrates, for me, is out of the question.

Since getting serious with my diabetes, my diet has changed in the following ways:

1.The most hi-carb food I eat is probably oatmeal. Although fairly high in carbohydrates, it is also high in fiber, and does not seem to raise my BG very much.

2.I mostly avoid six foods: bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, milk, and sugar. Occasionally, I will eat small amounts of these foods (bread in a sandwich; potato in the above-mentioned moussaka, a small serving of pasta and sauce), but for the most part I treat these foods as poison.

3.I have added much larger portions of vegetables to my meals. Especially prevalent these days are lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers (and related pickles and zucchini), and squash.

4.I have put in larger portions of meat of all types, yet avoid breaded meats.

5.Since cholesterol is not a problem for me, I use copious amounts of butter in my oatmeal and on my vegetables, and do not avoid fat on my meats. My coffee is lightened with half and half or cream.

6.For all other foods, I examine the glycemic load (GL), and try to consume only those foods with a low GL. Apples, oranges, and carrots fit the low GL category, and make up the major portion of any snacks I have.

I have learned through trial and error that strictly following this diet makes it much easier to lower my blood sugar.

There are other advantages to this diet which should give pause to high-carb proponents. For starters I am losing weight. I now weigh 275 (down from 304). I do not crave foods which are bad for me. I am satisfied with smaller portions. My cholesterol numbers continue to improve. To those who say that such a diet is impractical or dangerous, I say nonsense, the numbers don't lie.


OpenID danielle-blog said...

100% correct. I have had the same results following the same diet. My T2 diabetes is now in control and my cravings are gone!


9:05 PM  

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