The first thing you learn when you’re told you are diabetic is that the term “sugar diabetes” is almost completely inaccurate. The term should be carbo-betes. Everything that contains carbohydrates is now your enemy — bread, pancakes, pizza crust and corn, as well as candy and cookies.
How to Live Like a Diabetic
When a person is diabetic, they need extra insulin to properly use carbohydrates. There are three ways to accomplish this:
- Eat fewer carbohydrates. Before the development of insulin for diabetics in the 1920s, diabetics were put on a very strict diet of as close to no carbohydrates as possible. Even with all the advances nowadays, a diabetic will always have better health by eating fewer carbohydrates.
- Take oral medication to stimulate the pancreas. Type II diabetics, or those who are not yet insulin-dependent, are often given pills that stimulate their pancreas to produce more insulin. A low carbohydrate diet, while no longer a matter of life or death, is still important for good health of a diabetic.
- Take insulin before each meal. When a diabetic is insulin-dependent, they must first measure their current blood glucose with a blood glucose meter. This appliance is very easy to use. The meter then shows you how much insulin you need to inject to lower your blood glucose to your target level. Then, meter will tell you how much more insulin you need to cover what you intend to eat.
How to Eat like a Healthy Diabetic
Yes, there is such a thing as a healthy diabetic. First, obtain your blood glucose level so you can reach your target level which your physician can help you determine. Then, eat right. That means, eat plenty of protein. Protein has absolutely no carbohydrates and will not elevate your blood glucose at all. Eggs, meat and fish are very healthy for all diabetics.
Second, vegetables and fruit can be eaten with care. Get a diet paperback for either diabetics or for Atkins dieters. They will give you the carbohydrate level of nearly any food you can think of. Likewise, if you are eating prepared foods, the carbohydrate level will be given under the printed calorie and dietary information. Make is a habit to learn the carb counts for your favorite foods.
Last, the foods you should eat least often are those high in refined sugars. Learn to enjoy non-caloric sweeteners for as many sweet foods as you can. Foods like non-dietetic soda, ice cream and candy should either not be eaten or eaten very sparingly. Lots of food is now made with artificial sweeteners that are impossible to tell apart from those using real sugar.
As long as you remember the few steps toward healthy diabetic living, you can eat nearly any “normal” meal. Remember, it is a matter of life and death. Diabetes isn’t the end of enjoyable, healthful living. Not paying attention to your diet or medication will only give you additional challenges, such as living without body parts because of gangrene or trying to live while undergoing kidney dialysis. Take care, test four times a day and watch those labels!