Misinformation is the enemy, not potatoes

MargaretYakoda
MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
Honestly?
A diabetic’s worst enemy is misinformation.

From telling them something is OK to eat because “it doesn’t have any sugar!” when honey was used to make it (something I have personally experienced more than once) to telling people the foods they love are an “enemy”

There are different reasons for someone to develop diabetes. Developing diabetes is not always related to being overweight.

But once someone is diabetic, yes, diet is key to managing your blood glucose levels.
Since there are different reasons behind why people develop diabetes, and different people react differently to foods, the most important thing to do is figure out which specific foods elevate the individual diabetic’s glucose levels.
This is crucial information to managing diabetes.

Not telling every diabetic that potatoes and bread are “the enemy”

I generally advise newly diagnosed diabetics to test the foods they eat to find out which specific foods spike them. It’s very easy to do, and doesn’t require anything other than the test strips and monitor they’ve already been given by their medical provider.
Or? Spend about $30 on a ReliOn brand monitor and some strips from Walmart.

The method: Test your blood glucose level. Eat just the thing you want to test. Take your insulin if that is part of your care regimen.
Wait an hour and forty five minutes to two hours.
Test again.
If your blood glucose has returned to a normal level? Or is within a few points? You can eat that food with no worries.
If your blood glucose remains elevated (above 130 in my opinion but the American Diabetic Association will say 150) then avoid that food.

This method works for every diabetic. And is much better than telling people they can’t eat more than a tablespoon of potatoes.

Replies

  • 2t9nty
    2t9nty Posts: 1,400 Member
    Logging and testing BG was important to figuring out what worked for me.

    I think for the most part the doctors find people won't check BG or really do anything meaningful with the diet when they are first diagnosed. Eating habits are hard to change and many people don't have the will or the incentive.

    So you get the Diabetes Association diet, and in 6 months you get another A1C to find out if it helped. If not, I don't think there is much conversation around diet or this monitoring you speak of. They just add a med. In 6 months you find out how it worked.
  • lorib642
    lorib642 Posts: 1,942 Member
    Thank you. I do avoid starchy veggies but I have people telling me to stay away from artificial sweeteners, which for a diabetic with a sweet tooth would be really difficult. I would avoid them if needed but I know ones that don't affect my glucose
  • 2t9nty
    2t9nty Posts: 1,400 Member
    edited August 2021
    lorib642 wrote: »
    Thank you. I do avoid starchy veggies but I have people telling me to stay away from artificial sweeteners, which for a diabetic with a sweet tooth would be really difficult. I would avoid them if needed but I know ones that don't affect my glucose

    I checked this pretty extensively for me and discovered artificial sweeteners had zero impact on my BG numbers. I use Equal in coffee and iced tea.
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
    edited August 2021
    2t9nty wrote: »
    Logging and testing BG was important to figuring out what worked for me.

    I think for the most part the doctors find people won't check BG or really do anything meaningful with the diet when they are first diagnosed. Eating habits are hard to change and many people don't have the will or the incentive.

    So you get the Diabetes Association diet, and in 6 months you get another A1C to find out if it helped. If not, I don't think there is much conversation around diet or this monitoring you speak of. They just add a med. In 6 months you find out how it worked.

    Yup.

    When I was diagnosed in Feb I was absolutely shocked that I wasn’t given a monitor immediately.
    Nevermind, because I bought one as soon as I could. After checking if my insurance would pay for that brand’s strips. Because that’s where they get you.

    Anyhow, I was already checking multiple times a day the first time I saw the dietitian. And she was
    A ) Shocked at how often I was testing
    B ) Very happy about it.

    Especially since I shrugged and said “How else am I gonna manage this thing if I don’t know what my glucose is?”

    Apparently that’s an unusual response.

    In a sense I got lucky, because I’ve been managing my husband’s blood sugar and diet for just over a decade. I didn’t start this process at zero knowledge. And our diet was already decent.
    Not supper perfect. But not too much to change. So the change hasn’t been drastic.
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
    lorib642 wrote: »
    Thank you. I do avoid starchy veggies but I have people telling me to stay away from artificial sweeteners, which for a diabetic with a sweet tooth would be really difficult. I would avoid them if needed but I know ones that don't affect my glucose

    I have a huge sweet tooth.
    I have learned to curb much of it over the years, but having my sugar and gluten free licorice and ginger candies within arms reach almost always? That saves my sanity.

    I don’t usually have more than a couple each day. But if I’m having an especially hard day? The binging feeling creeps in…. And that candy literally saves me from much worse.
  • Jadedraggin
    Jadedraggin Posts: 26 Member
    This discussion really struck a chord with me. I'm a management analyst (numbers nerd) who's first meeting with my dietician included a spreadsheet of what, when and how many carbs I ate for a couple weeks of meals and how my BG #s looked after each. She laughed, but I managed to stay off meds for years.
  • 2t9nty
    2t9nty Posts: 1,400 Member
    This discussion really struck a chord with me. I'm a management analyst (numbers nerd) who's first meeting with my dietician included a spreadsheet of what, when and how many carbs I ate for a couple weeks of meals and how my BG #s looked after each. She laughed, but I managed to stay off meds for years.

    We maybe be related in some way. I am a retired math teacher. When I was diagnosed, I tracked all my BG readings on a spreadsheet with notes about the day. When I became carb aware, carbs were on the spreadsheet too. For me the readings and the spreadsheet helped me figure out what was working and what was not.
  • judyvalentine10
    judyvalentine10 Posts: 48 Member
    Wow, congrats to all of you. I do track my carbs and other nutrients as advised by my doctors. I have a major junk food addiction. I love my chips with a chocolate bar to wash them down with. But, I can honestly say, I have been junk food free for 2 months now, and my numbers have improved. After all these years of being diabetic, I do rebel from time to time, then have to get back on the health wagon.
    True story, I met a man at the pharmacy last week sometime. He had a cast on one leg, and this other foot was wrapped in a bandage. We started talking about his cast's colour, then I asked if he had broken his leg. Turn out, he was, what I call a non-compliant diabetic, He had lost 2 toes on the wrapped foot, and was three toes on the foot in the cast. So, that has made me stay on the straight and narrow,
  • aishmartin
    aishmartin Posts: 468 Member
    Wow, congrats to all of you. I do track my carbs and other nutrients as advised by my doctors. I have a major junk food addiction. I love my chips with a chocolate bar to wash them down with. But, I can honestly say, I have been junk food free for 2 months now, and my numbers have improved. After all these years of being diabetic, I do rebel from time to time, then have to get back on the health wagon.
    True story, I met a man at the pharmacy last week sometime. He had a cast on one leg, and this other foot was wrapped in a bandage. We started talking about his cast's colour, then I asked if he had broken his leg. Turn out, he was, what I call a non-compliant diabetic, He had lost 2 toes on the wrapped foot, and was three toes on the foot in the cast. So, that has made me stay on the straight and narrow,


    That's quite the wake-up call to see someone with amputated toes right there in your face. I mean, you hear about it but it never really hits home until it's right there. I was non-compliant for years and years. Almost developed neuropathy at one point, but that reversed, so I'm thankful for that. I have a sweet-tooth addiction but can get by with the sugar-free popsickles, fudge sickles, and candies available. If I have a craving for chips I just put some salt under my tongue and that usually takes care of it.

    I've just come back to MFP after being away for about a year. I keep starting and stopping with little success, but I always have hope. This time my focus is less on losing weight and more on controlling my blood sugars. I find when I focus on losing weight I go all in and get hyper-focused and super perfectionist. So when I hit a bump in the road everything collapses and I throw my arms in the air and give up. I don't want it to be that way this time, so I'm changing my focus.
  • judyvalentine10
    judyvalentine10 Posts: 48 Member
    aishmartin wrote: »
    Wow, congrats to all of you. I do track my carbs and other nutrients as advised by my doctors. I have a major junk food addiction. I love my chips with a chocolate bar to wash them down with. But, I can honestly say, I have been junk food free for 2 months now, and my numbers have improved. After all these years of being diabetic, I do rebel from time to time, then have to get back on the health wagon.
    True story, I met a man at the pharmacy last week sometime. He had a cast on one leg, and this other foot was wrapped in a bandage. We started talking about his cast's colour, then I asked if he had broken his leg. Turn out, he was, what I call a non-compliant diabetic, He had lost 2 toes on the wrapped foot, and was three toes on the foot in the cast. So, that has made me stay on the straight and narrow,


    That's quite the wake-up call to see someone with amputated toes right there in your face. I mean, you hear about it but it never really hits home until it's right there. I was non-compliant for years and years. Almost developed neuropathy at one point, but that reversed, so I'm thankful for that. I have a sweet-tooth addiction but can get by with the sugar-free popsickles, fudge sickles, and candies available. If I have a craving for chips I just put some salt under my tongue and that usually takes care of it.

    I've just come back to MFP after being away for about a year. I keep starting and stopping with little success, but I always have hope. This time my focus is less on losing weight and more on controlling my blood sugars. I find when I focus on losing weight I go all in and get hyper-focused and super perfectionist. So when I hit a bump in the road everything collapses and I throw my arms in the air and give up. I don't want it to be that way this time, so I'm changing my focus.

    I get it! I was told not to worry about my weight by my doctor. Easier said than done. Focus on blood sugar levels and controlling my pancreatitis. So, I`m pretty good, most of the time. I use the 80/20 rule. Follow my eating plan 80% of the time, 20% not so much, within reason. And, I've been holding steady at this weight, within 2 lbs for nearly a year. I do want to lose weight, but I, like you, will focus on something else for now.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    To the good advice given in the first post I would add that you should test in different situations because 150g of sweet potatoes as part of a mixed meal is different from 150g of sweet potatoes alone. And exercise allows me to eat many more carbs than I could eat without a spike on a rest day. When I did a long run the other day, I just ate sushi until I felt like I had had enough, then totaled it after eating and eek, 103 g net carbs! Which is about twice what I can handle normally. Took my bg and it was 80. I was craving those carbs because I needed to refuel!
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
    Test
  • 2t9nty
    2t9nty Posts: 1,400 Member
    Test

    Did the test pass or fail?
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
    2t9nty wrote: »
    Test

    Did the test pass or fail?

    Pass. I think.

    I was just checking to see if my missing profile picture would show up.
    And I don’t see it.

    Also? I forgot to edit something interesting into the post after I did the test. ;)
  • 2t9nty
    2t9nty Posts: 1,400 Member
    FWIW, I see the profile picture
  • MargaretYakoda
    MargaretYakoda Posts: 1,944 Member
    2t9nty wrote: »
    FWIW, I see the profile picture

    Weird. I don’t see it. Not on my phone or my iPad.
    Thanks for the info, though. I guess I’ll stop worrying about it.
  • When I started eating low carb 10 years ago, it was because I ate 1 food every meal, and tested it 2 hours later, to determine what spiked my BG over 120, and what didn't. Of course, protein & fats don't affect it as much, so having fish cooked in butter for lunch won't raise your BG much. a 1/2 cup of pasta will though, even if I added a Tbsp. of EVOO..

    It took 10 years for me to realize the number I took had purpose. That they were directly related to food I ate.. with variations based on the sum of the ingredients, and amount of exercise of course.

    So I had dozens of foods, and it was a lit of good and bad foods. That was it, and I only ate good foods.. that was Atkins Induction.. 20 grams of carbs a day.. eggs, meat, fish, fowl, cheese, and low starch veggies. My A1C's were 5-5.5 for years, without any diabetes meds.. BUT my cheat meals were horrific.. I would eat something off plan, for some reason, and then eat Taco Bell, chocolates, and Pepsi until I hurt from eating.. uncontrollable cravings. So I was struggling to stay below 5.5 but being very strict 6 days a week, and then a disaster one day, with 400 BG levels.. and take 2 days to get back to normal BG levels.

    We all want to eat off plan sometimes, and do.. but if everything if good or EVIL, then when you cheat, you eat horribly, because you only think of the good foods.. never the bad ones.. so when you have a cheat, it has zero thought behind it.

    Evil food included grains, pasta, potatoes, fruit etc... things which DO spike your BG.. but after a few years of struggling to keep my A1C below 5.5, it went above 6, then 7, and I had to go back on pills, and now basal Insulin at night.. 15 units. I loved being able to say I was not on meds, handling diabetes through diet, but I was doing good, and then real bad, over and over.. always the same junk.. fast food, sweets, and pop/sweet tea.

    My main problem is I have congestive heart failure, so I would retain water when this happened, putting pressure on my heart & lungs.. ended up in hospital many times in the past 20 years.. due to this practice.. less since starting LC of course.. less cheat meals, but still damaging behavior every 10-14 days.

    So I had to think of my cheats, admit that I was going to have them, and ask why they were so bad. I went back to my chart of how each food affected me, and looked at the list of bad foods.. btw, I never tested Ho-ho's pop, pizza, or fast food.. actually never cheated FROM my list of bad foods.. I was so scared of eating pasta, I'd eat 10 bean burritos from Taco Bell instead.. even when cheating the bad list was forbidden, because I had listened to the never eat potatoes, or grain arguments when starting LC.

    The thing is.. a 1/2 cup of macaroni, or 2 small potatoes doesn't spike my BG that high.. maybe 160. After 10 bean burritos, I don't bother to check..lol.

    I actually eat LOWER carb these days.. Carnivore.. but I have food around the house which are available if I am going to cheat. Mostly because my brother does moderate carb.. so a box of noodles, a 3 lb. bag of potatoes, apples, even a can of corn, and a can of peas.

    In between good and bad, is a LOT of variations. The food on my bad list was better than what I cheated on. So I cheat less now, but instead of fast food, I might cook 2 potatoes, and add butter to them, and have the steak I planned to eat.. or add 1/2 cup of macaroni to diced chicken.. a can of peas and a can of corn, on the side, or an apple with my eggs in the morning.

    Yes, I still have cheats, but I put some thought into them, instead of ignoring the " bad " foods. I ranked that list, because while it is great to know that chicken will spike your BG less than raspberries.. it is ALSO important to know that a potato is better in this regard, than a slice of bread. Carrots are even better. Instead of dismissing the bad foods completely.. rank ALL foods, because when you know you are going to cheat, you can PLAN a cheat, if you put some thought into it. Even if it is 60 days between cheats.. it's better to eat some potato, than Taco Bell, pop, & sweets, which is where I end up, when I suddenly think.. no way I'm eating on plan tonight, out of the blue.

    The other day, I ate a salad with dressing, tomatoes, cheese, black olives, ham & turkey.. foods I don't normally eat.. because I eat Carnivore, but processed ham & turkey meat is not something I eat.. nor dressing.. but better that, than Taco Bell.. and all I had to do is replace my brother's salad.

    By eliminating so much real food.. I pushed myself to eat fast food when I had a cheat.. so make sure to think some of the foods you probably shouldn't eat all the time, but which you are likely to eat from time to time, if you allow yourself to think of the real foods on a scale, instead of good/bad, with absolute abstinence of the bad food list.

    That way you never end up eating bean burritos, because you are afraid to eat potatoes.

  • 2t9nty
    2t9nty Posts: 1,400 Member
    FWIW, my cheat(ish) days are days like Thanksgiving. I only count carbs those days and calories go out the window. Every now and then, I think how good a bean burrito (or Snickers bar) might be, but then there is the slippery slope. I just haven't. I have been keto for 5 years.

    The last really stupid thing I did with the diet is decide in Oct. 2016 that I could afford the calories in an apple fritter at a coffee hour The carbs would be "OK." The BG meter told the tale. I have not done it again...
  • Trust the meter.. let the results dictate you actions!