Servings of Vegetables Per Day

Hello there! I am trying to fine tune my control, and one popular approach seems to be lowering carbs. I have had a hard time lowering my carb intake while making sure to meet my “supposed” vegetable servings per day needs. I wonder if that information is even accurate? I hear of some people eating extreme diets such as only steak these days! They certainly wouldn’t be meeting the vegetable serving guidelines! I’m thinking of experimenting with one of my meals each day, ie dinner having protein and fat only. Tonight for example, I’m planning to have scallops in butter THAT’s IT. This would be very weird for me, but I’m open to eating a different way if it helps my numbers! I used to be able to eat close to whatever I want and have A1C’s in the 6-7 range (which IMHO is good). My A1C’s the last couple years are just going up and up, with the latest ones in the mid 9s. I think if I can find a way to change my dinner time and evening habits, that would be a HUGE start towards better #s, because it’s usually the time of day I eat something carby and then keep snacking all night. I’m thinking if I eat only protein (and the fat I cook it in) and then no snacking, maybe I can curb that habit and improve a huge portion of my day “in range”. BUT, with breakfast usually being keifr or cottage cheese, and lunch usually raw veggies with hummus and spoonful’s of nut butter or a salad, my veggie intake will go way down (because that would mean one only meal with veggies a day). What do people think? Will I be missing too many nutrients? All these food guidelines/requirements/specific diets are at odds with each other and I just want to make sure I’m getting what I need in a day, but not at the expense of my blood sugar control! All this information is a lot for my brain!!

The less you cook veggies, the less carbohydrate you will absorb.
However the amount of fiber in most veggies spread out the carb for several hours.
You can eat green veggies with low carb diets.

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Watch out for the protein/fat combo dinner…when I have a dinner like that a delayed but long lasting and tough to control high BG spike usually hits at bedtime about 4-6 hours after dinner. The combination of a building high BG spike and the need for caution with corrections at bedtime can be very frustrating.

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You can easily do this experiment and then watch your BG numbers. I try to eat my final meal of the day at 3:00 p.m. and avoid snacks in the evening. I eat some vegetables most days but think they are not as nutritionally important as some people think. Let your meter be your guide.

If you eat primarily protein and fat for your last meal of the day, you can adjust your insulin dose based on that nutrition profile, so that you minimize the delayed BG rises if you only dose based on carbs.

I have been following people who identify as carnivores and only eat animal products. I haven’t converted to this way of eating yet but I do think it’s nutritionally sound and sustainable.

Millions of years of human evolution persuades me of this point. I know it’s controversial but I consider grain-based and veggie-based ways of eating as fads. The 10,000 years since the dawn of modern agriculture is only about one tenth of one percent of our evolutionary journey.

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For myself, I only minimize simple carbs like bread and crackers, and focus on vegetables, legumes, and fruit. That, plus quality protein sources like egg white, 4% cottage cheese, and yogurt. These all have low glycemic indexes. I do use a bit of simple carb to raise my blood sugar high enough so that I can work out, either cracker mixed with low fat protein, or veggie burgers, which aren’t high glycemic, but are sufficient in quantity to raise my blood sugar.

I started eating low carb, high protein 20 years ago and it worked wonders for reducing my insulin usage and leveling out my blood sugars, as well as helped me lose weight. Over time, I removed simple carbs, and the bread that I primarily eat is now whole rye cracker, one of the few ‘breads’ with a low-glycemic index. More recently, I’ve added much more vegetable and fruit, once we found the value of frozen. I get my favorite veg and fruit, and no one needs to cook, although I still prep counter fruit as well.

Although this is focused on diet, do you workout?

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Yes, saying that a vegetarian diet is a fad and a low carb meat diet isn’t, is an extremely controversial statement. I definitely do not agree with you, but don’t really want to fight about it.

This should be an interesting experiment, if that rings true for me also–I usually drop so low at that time of night that I need .05 of a basal for at least an hour! It’s weird. That might time up perfectly! I’m starting my experiment tonight instead of last night when ■■■■ hit the fan and I had to go help a family member…dinner ended up being 2 protein bars.

Your approach sounds reasonable and sustainable! I haven’t found a way to eat just one slice of bread or 2 crackers, but maybe some day! LOL I do work out, I either jog or do the elliptical, lift dumbbells and do barbell squats, push ups, sit ups and stretch. I try to walk 8000-10000 steps a day, usually hit 10000+. On weekends I kayak or hike when I can. My job is work from home at the moment and is a desk job, so even though it sounds like I’m active, I also sit a lot. My diet and blood sugars are pretty decent until dinner and evening hits and then I become a monster and can’t stop eating. It’s me that’s the problem! I got to figure it out though, because it’s ruining my blood sugar control.

I don’t know your life well enough, but it sounds like you need an activity in the evening that isn’t food, but to be honest, I can’t really judge. I don’t binge, and seemingly don’t feel hunger, at least not often, so mostly eat to manage my blood sugar, compensate for occasional boredom, and for pleasure.

Maybe another idea is to make a plan of eating, and working at the goal, even if eventually failed, is better than eating uncontrolled. This works for me.

I have tea in the morning - I drink tea all day - maybe have a bag of nuts at 10 AM. have lunch about 12, maybe a snack in the afternoon, and don’t eat until around 5, but often in an amount to raise my blood sugar to workout. Afterward, we might have a little wine and fruit. I do enjoy food though, and have found ways eating adequate amounts of vegetables, usually by using a mixture of bruschetta or pepper spread, mustard, and soy sauce. Fruit is seasonal, but I love pitted cherries that we buy frozen, so often have a bowl, provided I haven’t cut fruit already. I also have a low-cal frozen yogurt before bed.

I seem to have a similar issue as you when it comes to the pattern of control throughout the day, flat until evening, then a bit more variation. Since I don’t eat much in the morning and in the afternoon, my numbers stay flat until the evening, where I have more variation that requires insulin management. My insulin regimen is Lantus in the AM and before bed, and then Humalog as needed for meals. As for my A1C, it is good, 6.2 at last visit, although 6.6 on my CGM with +80% in range. I wouldn’t want it lower…

I’m not as active as you are, since the pandemic has shutdown most gyms, so I use a rowing machine 4 to 5 times a week, play basketball in our courtyard when the light allows, and take mini-hikes (5-7 miles) on weekends. My daily walk 15 minute to and from work has ended, as I work from home, and don’t really have the reason, or I’m unwilling to take the time away from something else, to get out and walk.

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As a thought, control is tough, substitution is easier.

I imagine that it might be easier to manage your ‘monster’ if it were engaged in something else, fitness, gaming, volunteer work, zooming, etc. Not TV, and not surfing.

If this were an option, what would you replace eating with?

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As for sitting, to compensate, it seems to be about 11 minutes per day of exercise,

I wind up sitting all day as well, and engaging my partner is my primary excuse for getting up. One of the reason I got more into software development was because it engaged an intense focus, and can glue me to the keyboard and screen for hours.

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I have pretty extreme anxiety and it seems to manifest especially in the evenings. I think I do need some kind of activity. I sometimes paint, draw or knit and that takes up a huge chunk of time. I used to fill this time of day with drinking wine, but that was getting a little out of hand so I cut it out completely. I want to get more into meditation. This whole chat has made me more aware that this is more of a mental hurdle than a snacking hurdle! I need to calm my mind in the evenings in a productive way. I think it’s especially hard because I live alone AND because of the COVID crisis and how isolating that is. Maybe I need a pet or something LOL I sound very high strung and this has taken a wide variation from the vegetable question!! Hmmmm… I’ll need to think about how to do this!!

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I was thinking, when you mentioned eating at night, there was a period I moved to an outer area of Manhattan, Inwood, a wonderful apartment across from a park and a part of the Met Museum, but unsafe at night. It was up and coming as a place to live in NYC, but it was in the early days, so no gyms, no cafes, and no street life. Because I felt locked in the apartment, I used to eat a big container of cheap, sugary sorbet many nights, maybe a half-gallon. Regrettable.

Eventually, I moved in with my now wife, and I can credit her with improving some of my control, my diet and my sleep, although to be honest, there might be a few ways I’ve regressed a bit. No complaints.

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Humans are omnivores. We are designed or evolved to be able to eat almost anything.
I think as with most things moderation is key.
If you eat only meat, you risk higher risk of heart disease. If you are vegan, it’s a struggle to get enough protein.
I try to eat a varied diet I don’t eat much animal protein and I try to steer clear of processed carb.
Otherwise I do my best

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Timothy, I just want to correct something you said. I was on the Bernstein low carb diet for 11 yrs. It almost killed me. I switched to a vegan diet about 3 1/2 yrs ago. My protein levels while on the low carb diet were always low. On the vegan diet, my protein levels always test out mid range. Legumes are full of protein. For my body, I am much healthier eating a vegan diet.

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This is my favorite line of thought when it comes to food. People are always looking for a shortcut to fastest results, which seems to contain inevitable short-comings… And in some cases, dangers. Any sort of extreme diet scares me. Unfortunately, finding balance is difficult in a world where carbohydrates are delicious, cheap, readily available, and shelf-stable and the media is always trying to sell us on a new extreme.

@jenni_bean I haven’t seen any mention of type or treatment. I’ve gotten the impression that you’re a type 2, just because of no mention of meal-time boluses. True? I’m wondering if you’re trying to control by diet and exercise alone, or if you’re taking any medication.

Besides some nighttime indulgences, it doesn’t seem like you’re eating a bad balance at all. It doesn’t seem like you should have to go to the extreme of cutting out everything but meat and fat from your evening meal. It’s like you skipped the idea of limiting your carb indulgence and jumped right to the far extreme on the diet scale.

It strikes me as if you need to talk to your doctor about adding to or adjusting your medication if you’re to the point you feel like you can’t eat a reasonable, balanced meal anymore.

I’ve gotten the impression that many Type 2s are reluctant to add medication to their diet/exercise regime. Like they feel they somehow failed at being diabetic if they need more help. Short of STIs, I don’t know if any other illness that comes with so much stigma. There are so many treatment options to try, and no shame in any of them.

Of course, I’m a foodie at heart. I’d happily add all the medications I could if it meant I got to enjoy my diet and lifestyle more!

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Right. I was trying to say you need to know what you are doing to be vegan. You need plant based protein sources. You can’t just cut out meat.
My daughter is a vegetarian and recently cut out dairy. So she is on this vegan path.
However she is only learning that she needs legumes like beans and tofu etc to get protein.

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I never have been good with moderation…in any area in life! At least I keep trying!

As for my type, I’m a type 1. I’m currently using the Omnipod with novorapid. My Endo said if I keep snacking late at night, at least bolus accordingly and pre-bolus. I often think I’ll only eat a portion, and bolus for that, but then keep coming back for more a spoonful here or what not and then I lose count and it’s just become such a bad habit! I guess I’m looking for a quick fix with another type of eating when it’s pretty clear the problem is me!

I know others who do the late night snacking, but they don’t have diabetes so it’s a whole other level of beating myself up emotionally.

Thanks for the comments and perspectives:)

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Oh, please don’t do that. None of us is perfect. The late night snacking could mean you are lacking some nutrient and your body is urging you to ingest it. But nutrition is difficult. We don’t always know what our body needs.

Someone also mentioned try doing something at night that gets your mind off of food. Not easy if that is what the body wants! I don’t have any good suggestions but you’ve come up with some good ones. Besides working out like rower or walking, reading a good book, or other fun mental tasks, may work to preoccupy your mind.

I know for me personally every season causes a transition. Winter causes my body to crave food and I inevitably gain a few pounds before I transition to the new season. Maybe that is happening to you, too? Maybe your body actually needs the extra fat for winter. I feel that is the case for me.

Another thing you could try is to eat dinner earlier and sleep, rise earlier. I think Jamesgloe mentioned that.

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I see 2 elements here.

On one had, you need to be honest to yourself about what you are eating. Bite the bullet, tell yourself that you are going to eat the whole thing, and then control for it, with proper insulin amounts. Not ideal, but at least your blood sugar will be okay, and that’s particularly important to avoid complications from the virus.

On the other hand, you want to get your eating under control, ideally without exercising will power. Pardon if I tell you things you likely already know or already do. Don’t buy your problematic foods in the first place, so, when you purchase food, do so on a full stomach. Stick to a list of good foods. Don’t buy ‘bad’ snacks. If you do buy ‘bad’ snacks, don’t leave them on the counter. Try to buy healthy snacks in prepackaged amounts, so beside fruit or veg, have SMALL packets of nuts, dried fruit, or figs. Don’t buy the bulk bag. Also, as discussed, find something that your enjoy to fill you time.

As to the last point, I often choose activities that are a little obsessive for me. If it keeps me engaged too much, that is what I want. I had mental health issues when I was younger, and I found that intense focus solves a problem that I had, so when I find something that makes me forget to eat, I keep it. When I was younger, simply talking to a woman could do that. Programming is/was one of those things, and when I first decided ot build a website, I did so on a staycation, woke, started coding at 8 AM, had a Häagen-Dazs sorbet for lunch, and then kept programmin until 5 PM, at which time I would go out for dinner and some activities in Manhattan. I made it the focus of my profession. Walking can be a bit obsessive and intense, so mini-hikes are part of my routine, and one can’t really eat when one is striding along the streets or through a park.

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