No, you didn’t read that wrong. I said three.
You’re about to realize that much of what you were taught about diet and nutrition is wrong. Not only is it wrong, but it is also unhealthy for those with diabetes.
One thing I have learned since being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, is that you cannot predict how your blood sugar will respond to a given food – but we can find out by trial and error.
The foods that we consume can be grouped into three major categories that provide calories or energy: protein, fat, and carbohydrate.
It is rare that any natural food source will contain only one of these three. Protein foods often contain fat; carbohydrate foods frequently contain some protein and fat. The common foods that are virtually 100% fats are oils and butter.
Let’s talk about how these three groups affect blood sugar.
Protein has very little impact on blood sugar.
Protein sources such as eggs, cheese, and meat (including fish and fowl) contain virtually no carbohydrate. Protein is also available in smaller amounts from vegetable sources such as legumes (beans), seeds, and nuts, which also contain fat and carbohydrate.
*Protein will become the most important part of your diet to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
When I was first diagnosed, I was conditioned to think that protein was more of a poison than sugar, that too much protein could cause kidney disease. I now know that is simply not true. Non-diabetics who eat a lot of protein don’t get kidney disease, and diabetics with normal blood sugars don’t get diabetic kidney disease. High levels of dietary protein do not cause kidney disease in diabetics or anyone else.
Since the 1990s, fat has been the great demon in our dietary culture. The low-fat craze spawned an increase in carbohydrate intake. It has also led to an epidemic of obesity.
I often chuckle when I overhear someone ordering a fancy sugar laden latte at the local coffee shop and insisting that it be made with fat-free milk. Sheesh.
Label a cookie or a muffin as ‘’fat-free’’ and people will reach for it first.
Interestingly, when fat is eaten with a carbohydrate, it can actually slow the digestion of the carb so the spike in your blood sugar may be dulled.
Fat is not evil. It is absolutely necessary for survival. Most of our brain is made up of fatty acids.
Most importantly, contrary to what you have been told, high lipid profiles (cholesterol) are a symptom not of excess dietary fat, but of HIGH BLOOD SUGARS.
Fat is the body’s way of storing energy and maintaining essential organs such as the brain. Without essential fatty acids, your body would stop functioning.
Healthy high-fat foods include:
This is the food group that has the most adverse effect on blood sugar and If you're like most people, you probably eat a diet that’s mostly carbs.
Examples of these include grains, fruit, bread, cake, beans, snack foods, rice, potatoes, pasta, breakfast cereal, bagels, and muffins. They may look different but essentially they are the same.
I’m willing to bet that these are the foods that you crave and consume, while you avoid fats.
It is a myth that overweight people are overweight because they eat too much fat. The truth is that they are overweight because of sugar, starches, and other high-carb food.
Low Carb is Key
Many diabetics can be treated with diet alone. Some patients using insulin, pills or a combination of both find that once they reset their body, stop cravings, and change their diet they no longer need blood sugar-lowering medication.
But even if you do require insulin, as I do, diet is still the most important part of treatment.
Personally, I have cut my Basal insulin requirements in half, and barely require any fast-acting insulin to cover my meals. All because I reset my body, got rid of my addictions and cravings, and introduced clean complex carbs along with a proper amount of healthy fats.
You can do it too!
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