Eating right is the same for everyone
As most of you know from following my blog, I am a diabetic. For many of us that means a modified diet. Diet is a scary word. My dad won’t go to the dietician because he doesn’t want them telling him what he can and can’t eat. He is 76 years old and by gawd he knows what’s best for him. (He doesn’t but that’s another issue.) So basically there are some rules for eating:
8 principles of low-glycemic eating
- Eat a lot of non-starchy vegetables, beans, and fruitssuch as apples, pears, peaches, and berries. Even tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, and papayas tend to have a lower glycemic index than typical desserts.
- Eat grains in the least-processed state possible: “unbroken,” such as whole-kernel bread, brown rice, and whole barley, millet, and wheat berries; or traditionally processed, such as stone-ground bread, steel-cut oats, and natural granola or muesli breakfast cereals.
- Limit white potatoes and refined grain productssuch as white breads and white pasta to small side dishes.
- Limit concentrated sweets—including high-calorie foods with a low glycemic index, such as ice cream— to occasional treats. Reduce fruit juice to no more than one cup a day. Completely eliminate sugar-sweetened drinks.
- Eat a healthful type of protein at most meals, such as beans, fish, or skinless chicken.
- Choose foods with healthful fats, such as olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), and avocados. Limit saturated fats from dairy and other animal products. Completely eliminate partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats), which are in fast food and many packaged foods.
- Have three meals and one or two snacks each day, and don’t skip breakfast.
- Eat slowly and stop when full.
Adapted from Ending the Food Fight, by David Ludwig with Suzanne Rostler (Houghton Mifflin, 2008).
These rules are for everyone, not just diabetics. You have heard it before, stay away from “whites”, substitute brown rice for white, sweet potatoes for russets, whole-wheat pasta, whole grain breads and cereals. If you do eat the wrong thing, the rule is moderation. Now for a normal person moderation might mean something different then it does to a fat guy, but it shouldn’t. Listen to your body and stop eating when you are full.
I especially like the idea of 3 kinds of foods, fire, water and coal. Maybe its the pagan in me. Fire foods are the “whites”. They have a hight GI, and are low in fiber and protein. These should be very limited. Water foods are all vegetables and fruit. You can eat virtually an unlimited amount of these. This doesn’t include fruit juice, dried fruit, or canned fruit packed in syrup. These will spike your blood sugar quickly and should be avoided. Coal foods are high in fiber and protein. Things like nuts and seeds, lean meat, seafood, whole grains, and beans. These can be consumed in moderation. We are talking about balance here and most of these coal foods are high in calories.
When I started my food diary I was shocked at how little calories most fruits and vegetable actually have. I listed tomatoes, because I got them as a substitute for hash browns. 1 cup of restaurant hash browns have 170 calories (McDonald’s has a whopping 300 calories!). Tomatoes have 4 calories a slice. 1 cup of cherry tomatoes has 26 calories. You see where I am going here. You could not possibly eat enough tomatoes to ruin your diet, ever! But you eat that nasty thing from McDonald’s and watch out. I can remember biting into one and having the grease drip out. (I just had to wipe the drool from my chin!) I’ll bet that is more than 300 calories!
Enough about carbs. What really got me on this subject was watching people order in a restaurant last night. No chips. No baked potato. No croutons on the salad. Wise choices I didn’t make. But I did try to eat healthy, just not that healthy. I will next time.
Next post I will explore the big taboo, sweets! You may be surprised. Sweets really aren’t completely off-limits for diabetics.
I thought this picture was sweet. You know he would rather be cutting into a big juicy steak, but she is encouraging him with a smile and a gentle hug. (She can’t see the candy bar under the brocoli.)