An aha! moment about food

We figured out a couple of things this week. One is that as Eric’s food preferences change, we really have to find ways to make sure he gets good nutrition. At present he is pushing aside everything except yogurt, cheese, and oatmeal, with occasional forays into crackers and pancakes—but he LOVES bananas. If we don’t watch him, he’ll take half a banana and shove the whole thing into his mouth till he chokes on it. Even cutting it up into small pieces doesn’t stop that—he crams the pieces in as though he just can’t get them fast enough. And recently I found out why. The aha! moment came when, in the course of researching an article about sugar cravings at work, I read that potassium and insulin have a mutually supportive relationship—potassium increases the output of insulin in the pancreatic beta cells, while insulin makes all cells more permeable to potassium. Eric’s banana craving is a recent event that started at about the same time as his diagnosis (he used to spurn bananas with great vigor, to the delight of our dog) so it makes me think that perhaps what’s driving his sudden embracing of all things banana is the potassium. His little brain is telling him that he needs more insulin and triggering a craving for potassium—or, now that he has insulin on board, his little cells are telling him that they want more of it because they weren’t getting enough before when he didn’t have insulin prior to his diagnosis. Maybe both!

The other thing we figured out was that many things full of good nutrients can be disguised in a smoothie. Eric loves yogurt and bananas, so into the blender they go, along with tofu (for protein), some applesauce (to cover up the tofu flavor), and some raw spinach (for folic acid). The resulting smoothie went over reasonable well, and by tracking the carbs of everything I put in, I could total up the carbs of what came out. I guess I’m going to have to get a juicer because carrot juice seems to be something Eric will accept.

Wow! Interesting :slight_smile:

I can actually relate. When I was in the hospital when I was diagnosed with diabetes, my potassium level was really low. The nurse brought in some shake and told me that it tasted really horrible, but was full of potassium and I needed to drink it all. So I braced myself and took a sip-- it was SOOO good! I drank it down so quickly and asked the nurse if I could have more. I think my body was absolutely craving it!

Interesting how our bodies know what they need :slight_smile:

The smoothie idea sounds like a great one!!

From what I’ve been reading, it’s important not to overdo it — I guess the fact that diabetes means you can’t produce insulin on demand really impacts the way you absorb potassium — but certainly you also don’t want to have too little. It’s just another balancing act! Take a look at this: