Lately, I’ve been perusing different forum sites, to find the most support I can for my Diabetes, and I have noticed just how preachy we can get sometimes, as diabetics, about what has worked for us to attain control. It’s not surprising. We really get excited, and we all want to let the world know about our new diet, or exercise routine, bolusing or med schedule.
We often think that what we are doing for ourselves, since it has worked wonders, needs to automatically apply for the rest of the diabetic population. And boy, what a BIG mistake that is! This is one of the faults I find with many diet lifestyle books that preach that all people should adhere to said diet, without very many disclaimers or other indications. If it’s one valuable thing that I have learned from speaking to many diabetics, is that we are all different, and at different stages of our Diabetes progression. Every person with Diabetes responds differently to diets, medications, treatments, and exercise. And, in some people, Diabetes may progress more quickly than in others, so even what is working now, may not necessarily work 10 years from now.
So what do we do with all this information? Perhaps keep an open mind. Maybe an ADA style diet works today, but with time it may not work so well, and we may have to start consuming less carbohydrates. Learning, and keeping an open mind to dietary changes, helps us be prepared when we are thrown a new curve ball in our fight with Diabetes, and helps keep complications at bay.
There has been much debate between people who want to preach a low-carb diet, versus people who want to preach a vegan diet. In all earnest, from what I have learned, both diets can be useful at different stages of Diabetes progression. A low carb diet can, indeed, help keep blood glucose levels under control, and keep many complications at bay, but as the illness progresses, making a switch to a more restrictive vegan lifestyle might be the way to go. I will not hold anyone at fault for making this choice. I will say, though, that dietary lifestyle changes are best managed one step at a time, and in response to our regular blood glucose levels, and other disease progression indicators. If my body, today, could handle more than 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal, I would gladly consume them. Following an unnecessarily restrictive diet, when your body is already responding well to your current lifestyle, could be a recipe for failure and disaster for many (i.e., recurring binge eating episodes, or entirely giving up on making any changes, and facing harsh complications and consequences.) Our minds tend to work to defeat us, with all those ‘just this once’ suggestions. We all know how “well” we’ve done in all those battle of the bulge, fad diets, we may have done in the past. lol
So while I salute a lower carb, or at least (portion controlled carb intake) lifestyle, for having taught me the perils of eating refined carbs (lack of fullness, constant hunger, damage to beta cells and increase in insulin resistance), I will keep my mind open to all possibilities of good health, and yes, even restrictive veganism. After all, it’s not so much the food that matters… but the people we want to spend time with, and the things we want to do. Believe me, if my current diet no longer worked, I would eat twigs every day if it meant I could spend more years with my husband and family. I am betting you would, too.