Are we so different?

I admit to being a bit of a “control freak” with my TIGHT blood gluose control. That’s not to say I don’t sometimes give in to temptation and eat something I know I shouldn’t. However, I always tighten up again and get back to where I want to be. It’s become ingrained over several years. I’m not actually someone with extra strong will power. I found it VERY HARD at the beginning to cut back so much on the carbs;I did it gradually, but now I’m used to it and getting the benefits.
What bugs me a bit is that when I state my standpoint, I immediately get loads of folks telling me that what works for me won’t work for others. I get this in “real life” as well as on forums.
Truth is, I know quite a large number of diabetics [as a consequence of my voluntary work] and no-one I know has failed to get improved blood glucose levels, by carb control. I agree that for people with other conditions in addition to T2, it can be very difficult, but since we all have similar human physiology, what works for one will work for nearly everyone.
It can’t be a co-incidence that all those who contradict my point of view are happy with lesser control.
As far as I’m concerned, “EVERY diabetic has a right to NORMAL blood sugar”, to Quote Bernstein.
and the medical professions aren’t particularly good at showing how to achieve it.
If it’s a matter of informed choice, that’s OK by me. I can’t and wouldn’t force anyone to cut back on carbs. However;
I still believe in letting anyone know what WORKS. If after that, people decide it’s not for them. fine!, but don’t tell me it won’t work for you unless you try it over a long enough period.
There we are! rant over

I am totally disinterested in fruit too. I usually hit V8 for vitamin C, among other things, and a couple of glasses seems to keep my hair shiny, if thinning?

IIRC we need grains for B vitamins and fruits and veggies for vitamins and minerals (many minerals are in different proportions in produce). There are also a set of arguments that suggest certain nutrients are more easily processed when ingested through one food than through another (I was through this issue a few years ago with iron-deficiency anemia) – pro-plant and pro-animal sides, depending on the nutrient.

There’s also the “earth friendly” argument that suggests that since it costs about eight times as much in natural resources to create a serving of beef versus a serving of plant-based food, we should be kind to the earth and only eat plant-based food. (See Diet for a Small Planet.)

There is nothing in grain you can’t get from a diet that includes nuts, meat, fish and veggies esp the green leafy ones.

Here’s a list of nutrients in the various fruits and berries. It seems rather repetitive with the same ones appearing again and again.

So it would seem possible to just substitute items on this list that cause you no problems. For me this would include Avacado, most berries, olives and tomato. Some of these things I need to watch the quantities on, others are basically free.

Another surprising choice is the fruit of the Prickly Pear Cactus of which I have several growing in my pasture. Here’s an article by Mary Dan Eades M.D. touting this fruit, which is regarded as a delicacy in some quarters, as an healthy addition to a low carb diet. And no I’ve never tried any in fact before reading this I considered them an undesirable weed with a pretty flower.

Fruits and grains are poor sources of B vitamins and minerals. In fact, grains are routinely enhanced so that they are adequate sources of B vitamins. Beri Beri (lack of Vit B1) became a big problem as the grain industry developed flour and led to the government requiring the fortification of flour. I am just looking at whether anyone can point to any vital nutrients that must come from fruits and grains, I am not looking to denigrate a vegetarian diet.

My wife insists that tomatoes are fruits. I don’t really believe her. But by her definition tomato juice and V/8 are fruit juices.

The reason normal (white) flour needs to be enriched is that it has been stripped of all of its non-starch nutrients in the refining process. (You will find whole grain flour is not enriched – because it doesn’t have to be; it still retains its normal nutrients.)

The arguments for and against any nutrient class go both ways, and there are usually scientific and medical arguments on both sides of the equation. We tend to use the arguments that justify our own diet choices and ignore or try to refute the counter-arguments. (I just had someone with degrees in nutrition argue the point that iceberg lettuce is not less nutritious than the expensive “mixed greens” we’ve come to prefer under the “darker is better and has more nutrients” argument.)

Judith, very interesting. I just checked it out and nopal is from the pad of the cactus, so there are two parts of the plant that are edible, the pad and the fruit. The action of the pad in helping with 'the sugars" may be because it contains a lot of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Ranchers in the southwest have used the prickly pear to get through droughts. They use a torch to burn the spines off the cactus and then the cattle can eat them.

Hey Acid,

These days at 46, I’m nowhere near the competition peak that I was at 21, but it’s been a gradual change over the years, not counting the career ending injury where my entire life, along with my diabetes management, went to hell.Today, my diabetes management strategy and exercise program is more of a symbiotic relationship than anything else. I wouldn’t say I use exercise to control my diabetes as much as I’ve had to adjust my management strategy to support my lifestyle.

My “official” exercise program is 3-4 days on, 1 or 2 days off, but I still hit the gym, track, courts, whatever, for some seriously intense, heart pounding work-outs up to seven times a week. OTOH there may be stretches of days where all I can manage is a walk around the block. None of this includes my job which involves up to 2 miles of walking everyday. I’m constantly adjusting diabetes managment on the fly, but having a solid exercise base defintely has a residual effect that helps stabilize my baseline management.

So, what’s going to happen when I can’t do the things I can do now? My only answer is that I don’t know, but today is not that day. I’m not going to change everything I love doing now in anticipation of the day I can’t do it anymore. Hopefully, it will continue to be a gradual change where I continue to adapt both my diabetes management and my lifestyle in concert with each other.

It is really great to know, however, that there are many more options for tight diabetes control than we could have thought of 25 years ago.

The definition of a fruit is the fleshy part of a plant surrounding the seeds. A fruit starts with a flower. So by this definition a tomato is a fruit as are squash eggplants and cucumbers.

I’m with you though, I always think of these things as vegetables.

Hey Gerri,

I can’t answer for Acid, but, like anything else, it just becomes a priority. Personally, I do have an “official” work-out program where I put on sneakers and gym clothes, but “working-out” can be as simple as choosing to jog up a flight a stairs instead of taking the elevator. Like I mentioned to Acid, I do have the type of job where those options are definitely open to me and taking advantage of every little opportunity adds up.

I realize that not everybody has the same opportunities, but that’s an argument for how people really do differ and how managment strategies have to be adjusted for individuals.

V8 is whatever is left on the floor of the vegetable factory. And salt.

Actually, the more important distinction for me is ‘do I need to bolus for this or not’? It’s yes for tomato, peppers and onions, yes for cauliflower eaten as cauliflower rice, and no for spinach and asparagus.

MossDog, it is so easy to become myopic when we are passionate about an issue, especially one that concerns us directly. I know that I have been guilty of the same thing. It’s part of being human I guess. :wink:

Man Acid why did you have to ruin V8 for me? :slight_smile:
My babysitter when I was young had a similar image provoking explanation of what hot dogs are. Turns out my aversion to hot dogs created by her is something I should be thanking her for!

I’ve spent far too much time in my hospital diabetes department and I have to say I am surprised that low-carb is never even mentioned as an option. The only time it is even talked about is at the antenatal clinic. Probably because of the pretty strict blood sugar targets - not just A1C but also 1-hour postprandial numbers.

On the other hand, my local diabetes department is quite good about not advocating any other approach. They taught me to match carbs to insulin and left the rest to me.

I agree that there are huge psychological defenses against low carb. I remember a lady in my carb-counting class was asked to do a zero-carb breakfast to test her basal rates. Her immediate response was ‘oh, but I love breakfast, I can’t do without breakfast!’. In her mind, breakfast = carbs.

It is a mindset issue.

The low-carb message is good. Many of us know that it works - although for some of us, it is not the only diabetes management tool that we need. But reading through the original post, and the poster’s responses to this thread, it occurs to me that maybe the problem is not the message but the tone of the message, and how it is communicated to non-believers. As others have said, the tone comes across as condescending and patronizing. Little wonder that folks immediately react negatively. As you can see on this thread, even people who live the gospel of low-carb and know that it works, even ‘true believers’ have taken umbrage at the tone of the original post.

And that’s a real pity, because the gospel of low-carb is truly good news that needs to be shouted out to the world. But no one’s going to listen if it isn’t worded in a way that is respectful of others.

Wow Lila I have been thinking this for some time and was trying to find a way to say it without getting “beat down”.

I am not a traditional low carber. I do try to moderate my carbs to about 45 grams per meal or so which I have had success with. I know there are many here who have had excellent results with the program and thus I think it is a strategy that everyone should consider. Not everyone will want to do it. Not everyone will BE ABLE (for whatever reason) to do it. Many can get good results and still be able to eat carbs. However, no one will be able to determine this if their initial reaction is negative like you say. Adoption of low carb or similar types of diets that, by and large, will improve control for many will get a whole lot more traction if instead of making people feel defensive it is offered as an alternative to the MANY different ways people manage their DM through diet.

Planning tasty low-carb meals isn’t that tough to do if one is in control of the planning. Fortunately, I do just about all of the cooking at my house, and my wife loves to low-carb, so we can pull it off with relative ease. We do have some carbs planned into our meals. In particular, we like to have some fruit, whatever is in season. Having support from my wife and my endo goes a long way in helping me stay on track.

However, there are many people with D who neither have adequate support from their physician, nor from their spouse or family. That makes their challenge to maintain a low-carb diet that much tougher. For example, think of the D patient who comes home to a dinner of breaded fried chicken, read beans and rice, buttered corn bread, turnip greens w/ ham hocks, and a pitcher of sweet tea. Such a meal is quite a temptation (at least here in the Southern U.S.). I suppose that patient can open a tin of kippers to have along with a mess of turnip greens and glass of water while that person watches everyone else chow down on the high-carb stuff. Think about being faced with such a situation every day. For some D patients, that is the case. They have little support at home.

Then there are those D patients who just cannot get a handle on their blood sugar control because their bodies respond atypically or are in constant flux. A low-carb diet and exercise may not work for them, not consistently.

Anyway, we can post again and again, but if someone refuses to see the bigger picture, and not show empathy, compassion, and a reasonable understanding, there is really nothing we can do for that person. We can hope that such a person has an epiphany one day, but that’s about it.

I appreciate that Hana has done advocacy- I think we all need it especially at those “higher levels”.

Hana- my post was not directed to you per se and I apologize if it came off that way. I think low carb is a valuable dietary tool for good glycemic control. However, I do not think it is the ONLY dietary tool. This may or may not be the case, but my general “feeling” when these conversations are brought up here is that there are some (not all) low carbers who look down on you for not choosing low carb and will offer low carb as the ONLY possible solution. Keep on giving examples in support of the great results that can be acheived using low carb- this will change people’s minds far more readily than the arguments us who have already decided the merits vs the negatives of any particular dietary strategy throw back and forth.

This debate is similar to the political debates- when everything that needs to be said is said it turns in to attacks and not conversation. I understand why this happens and find myself participating far more than my rational mind would like but the end result is counter productive for all.

I’d like to offer you a hug, and a suggestion: when you’re feeling offended, don’t post until you’ve had a chance to calm down, breathe, and re-read the post to which you’re responding.

I was not at all offended by her post, and it was addressed to me.