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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Eating Myth or Truth

What to eat and when to eat - that is the question?

I have been taking my blood sugars at different times now just to get some idea of how I am doing.  Today I played golf and had a snack bar and a Payday after the round.

BS - 126 (2 hours later)
BP - 107/75 home machine
HR - 60

I was going to discuss my support team today but decided since tomorrow is Sunday and God is a major team player, I would wait and give him credit on his day.  So today, I want to discuss something else I have learned along the way and think it is helping.

When I first got this blasted disease - or when the first doctor told me - I was running ups and downs because I would not eat.  I would fill cravings with something but I never really felt hunger pains so I would go all day without eating.  The doctor told me this was the main reason I was having the problem and I should eat six times a day.  So I started the routine, breakfast (45 carbs - check), morning snack (15 carbs - check), lunch (45 carbs - check), afternoon snack (15 carbs - check), evening meal (45 carbs - check), and night time snack (15 carbs - check).  I was just eating to check boxes.

As medicines were changed, I was having lows right after breakfast and taking my morning medicine.  I would then snack early - drive it up, lay back on carbs at lunch, then try to manage the rest of the day.  This also required the traditional prick in the finger to test the blood.  As I have said - DIABETES, MY FREE ROLLER COASTER RIDE!  It did not matter I just kept trying and getting farther behind the fast moving train.

I did some research and it was confirmed by Suzy Cohen in her book, "Diabetes without Drugs", identified several studies that argued for eating balanced meals three times a day not the constant eating.  In summary, it boils down to how the pancreas and the brain work - each time we eat.

  • You eat something
  • Blood sugar rises after a meal - insulin is released from the beta cells of the pancreas
  • Bad news - your cells resist the action of insulin
  • Excessive sugar in the blood stream causes the pancreas to release more insulin as your blood cells are still asking for it
  • Excess insulin stimulates your fat cells to keep releasing leptin
  • Your brain and pancreas start to resist the "feel full" feeling
  • High insulin levels from leptin cause insulin resistance throughout the body
  • Your body stuffs more fat into your fat cells - can you say spare tire!!
Many researches agree that eating at regular times is the right thing to do and eating at irregular times does cause spikes in blood sugars.  But meals should be spaced out and not eat 6 times a day but 3 times and let the body work naturally.  They also recommend low carb meals - no matter what.  We diabetics know this but we are always encouraged to eat the "right" amount of carbs.

Finally - do not eat after the last meal of the day - give your body 10 - 12 hours to work quietly.  I am still working on that one.  My fasting blood sugar level is always my highest of the day - in the morning.  So I have been trained to eat a little at night.

This is one of the first things I did, stop stuffing when I did not feel I needed to eat.  

My wife and I have discussed this recently how we no longer feel we must get to some food and watch the clock.  It is a small freedom all by itself.  The regular part is something we still struggle with at the evening meal - we try to get in an hour of exercise each day along with a 2 mile walk with the dog.

I now eat three times a day and working on the no snacks at night.

Hope this, like all the blogs, helps and makes some sense.  Many of the things we are told to do - just might not be good for us.  As usual - check with your doctor.

For now, God bless you and help us all through this political storm of a government shut down.

Bob,

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Please leave your comments or suggestions - looking to getting some good discussions going. Tell me what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

Thanks for the support