So, I'm gonna start eating as if I have an issue even before results come back. It can't hurt me and will actually be much healthier to avoid most sugars and starches.
Does anyone have some simple meal examples or can anyone point in the right direction for a balanced diabetic diet to follow while not pregnant??
Good for you for being proactive and good luck.
I started out with basics like meat, cheese, eggs, fish and non-starchy vegetables - always winners. Any kind of meat is "safe". Most cheeses are safe (though not all). Eggs are great, lots of protein.
Be careful with things like yogurt - some are loaded with carbs, more carbs than you'd believe. As you get used to your diet and testing, SLOWLY add back in things with carbs until you know what your body can and can't handle. For me, anything with yeast is a big no-no (means NO "regular" bread whatsoever, no baked goods like cakes, pies, pastries). Rice and potatoes don't bother me as much, though it again depends on how it's cooked. Mashed potatoes will hurt me more than a baked potato.
A typical breakfast for me is some type of meat like sausage, ham or bacon, and eggs, and some cheese. Lunch might be a piece of chicken and a small salad. Dinner, the same.
Snacks are important, especially when you're starting out. I sometimes have string cheese or a piece of fruit - if you like almonds, they're GREAT for diabetics. Portion sizes are large and they taste great. (High in fat, though.) Blue Diamond makes all kinds of varieties.
Start with the above and you'll slowly get used to it. It is a MUCH healthier diet than what I'd been previously eating.
ETA: I'm sure your doctor has already advised you, but as a reminder - 15g of carbs equals 1 carb choice. So, a glass of milk is 12g, means almost 1. Or a cup of yogurt that's 25g, that's like 1.75, etc. I try not to eat any one item that has more than 15g of carbs, if I can.
Fruit is actually a much better choice of carbs than others. I walked around for 9 months thinking that I wasn't allowed to have oranges anymore! Not so, my doctor says. Still, be careful with fruit, too.
[This message edited by Fireball72 at 8:56 PM, July 2nd (Tuesday)]
If you google it you will find a lot of general information and some menus for it. There are some books written by people not associated with the Mayo clinic that have mixed reviews. I have not bought any of the books.
I do have some links to info on the diet but the links are on my other computer. I will post them tomorrow when I get back on that computer.
When you go to the Dr next, ask his advice and ask about seeing a nutritionist. Until then, try to research what you can on the internet.
Avoid processed foods, artificial flavorings and colorings. Toxicity from chemicals disrupts metabolism.
Choose stevia or xylitol to sweeten, splenda is not a healthy substance. You will be told it is safe, but I am skeptical because it is artificial - sucrose plus chlorine - and it throws off the bacterial balance in the gut just like drinking chlorinated water does. Aspartame is not a healthy option and has a terrible track record of side effects.
Some diabetics maintain balanced blood sugar with beans, others have a huge spike, it's very individual with beans and grains, so proceed with those carefully.
I suggest the above writer on blood sugar balance.
I also enjoyed reading Sugar Nation about a health writer who discovers he has diabetes even though he is into fitness.
Dr. Bernstein's Diabetic solution is a well known book on it.
Paleo diets work well for diabetics. There's a good paleo book by Robb Wolff.
Good for you for being proactive. You can do so much to prevent diabetes EVEN if you have the genes for diabetes.
Counting carbs is really important. The biggest struggle I had to adjust to was portions.
I was instructed to have no more than 60 carbs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was also instructed to have a 15 carb snack between meals.
You may think logically that skipping a meal might be beneficial. This is a common falacy with diabetes. The problem with this is the spikes in high and low sugars will be harder to control.
Certain foods are going to be high in carbs. Basically all white foods are high in carbs. White rice, potatoes, bread, etc. Brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grain bread are lower in carbs.
Another thing I found out is certain fruits are higher in sugar and I need to avoid them. Melons and cantelopes for example. Crazy as this may sound but certain apples like Fugi effect my sugar levels where a Granny or Green apple not as much.
Be careful on salad dressings as well. A salad may seem like the healthy choice but the salad dressing you use and the amount you use needs to paid attention to.
When you look at the nutritional facts on any label the carbs are the main thing to look at. Also, most restaurants including fast food have a nutritional menu you can look at.
I would also suggest a 30 minute exercise regime. Walking, running, riding a bike, cardio work outs each day. Change them up so you don't get burned out doing the same old thing each day.
Cinnamon is well know for sugar control. It is a natural supplement. You can buy this over the counter. I take two a day, one after breakfast and supper.
Stress has an impact as well. I can't explain it but it does.
The good news is it is in most cases very treatable with exercise and diet.
The DASH diet is one of my Favorite references for anyone wanting to improve their overall health. HOWEVER this diet is a little heavy on Carbohydrates, and light on protein.
Carbs are what drive blood sugars up. There are two schools of thought on management of diabetes, one is pushed by the ADA, and Diabetic Educators, and encourage consumption of carbohydrates in a fairly high amount.
The other school of thought is to minimize all carbs. Not to completely eliminate them, like with Atkins, because for many people that is not sustainable, but to minimize them. So when looking for diets, or ways of eating that help this you want to look at the South Beach, Mediterrain diet, type plans.
If you aren't ready to make that big jump the easiest thing to do is to eliminate all white things from your diet. White bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. These are the foods that are highest in carbs that drive blood sugars up. This simple trick can make a huge difference for folks.
The other thing to pay attention to is when you have your meal divide your plate into 4 equal parts. 2 of those should be veggies, one part lean protein, and the last a Complex Carb, so whole grains, Wild/Brown rice, etc.
Carbs drive hunger, so when you eat them you tend to feel hunger more quickly. Protiens are dense, and take a lot longer for your body to utilize, so they keep you fuller longer.
Exercise lastly helps to keep your glucose levels at a more even keel. Even if you are just walking 30 minutes daily it can make a HUGE difference.
I eat a LOT of 0% fat PLAIN Greek Yogurt. I'll add a cup or so of a low glycemic fruit...berries of any kind...and honey for sweetener to about a cup of yogurt. I eat this almost every morning.
I use that yogurt in place of sour cream (I will eat an occasional baked potato, with greek yogurt on it...you would never know it isn't sour cream and it adds much needed protein). I mix greek yogurt with a little peanut butter (natural) and cinnamon and honey and vanilla and use it as a dip for fruit (apples and an occasional banana).
I eat a lot of fish and veggies. I don't eat any other kind of meat, and only eat some beans. I eat eggs about once per week.
I exercise at least 5 days a week, walking for at least an hour or lift weights.
I've taken Metformin for 10 years now (I'm 42), and my blood sugar is always within normal ranges. I tried to come off of Metformin, and my HA1C started climbing, so had to go back on. I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies and am considered "glucose intolerant". My Dad was diabetic and died from the complications. I could stand to loose 10 more pounds, but can't seem to get it off.
I'm not a perfect eater, but I do follow the "carb with a protein" religiously.
"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings