I've been overwhelmed by so much information, a lot of it contradictory, and it's done nothing but dump me in a black hole of depression.
Two loads of bumpf arrived this week and two pages gave me answers to questions I've been trying to get answered.
Carbohydrates for one. Healthy eating is a plan that is low in saturated fat, sodium and added sugar and high in fibre.
The amount of carbohydrate required is based on gender, weight and level of physical activity.
But what foods have carbs?
Bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, noodles.
Fresh fruit, tinned fruit in natural juice and dried fruit.
Starchy vegetables such as potato, sweet potato and corn.
Legumes including baked beans, lentils, chickpeas and red kidney beans.
Milk, yoghurt, custard, icecream and soy alternatives.
You have to eat a regular amount of carbohydrate at meals and regular snacks to level out the glucose during the day. So it's a matter of working out how much is going in the mouth.
There are approximately 15 grams of carbs in:
*1 glass (250ml) of milk (reduced fat)
*1 slice of bread
*100g or half tub of reduced fat yoghurt
*1 medium piece of fruit
*1/3 cup of cooked pasta or cooked rice
*4-6 dry crackers
The idea is to have around two to four exchanges of carbs (30 to 60 grams) at each main meal and one (15 grams) for each snack. The amount rather than the type of carbohydrate is a more important influence on blood glucose levels so low Glycaemic Index carbs are preferred. Bring on the wholegrain bread, sweet potato not potato, wholemeal pasta and basmati rice instead of jasmine rice.
Two hours after the first mouthful of a meal you have to check the blood glucose and if it's high then you have to adjust everything. And I tell you my levels are all over the shop. And anxiety, depression and emotional upsets do mess with the glucose levels. One look at my blood levels for the day and all of them go into overdrive.
At least the the special "diabetic food" products have been ditched in favour of a well balanced diet of actual food, as long as it's low in saturated fat, sodium, added sugar but high in fibre (seen that plan before). So treats can be had occasionally in small quantities.
*Jam. Toss out the diabetic jam and have 100% fruit spread as long as it's just spread thinly and eaten on wholemeal toast.
*Chocolate. All chocolate is high in saturated fat but sugar free chocolate is higher in fat than regular milk chocolate.
*Cakes. Bad news is there is no 'diabetic' cake but a piece of fruit cake with no icing (but it's the best part) is okay as long as it's a small slice.
*Other sugar free items, ice-cream, biscuits, snack bars and fruit juice are never completely sugar free. They still have more added fat to make them tasty which is bad for cholesterol which snowballs until it impacts on blood glucose levels. Besides which, have you seen the price of low sugar, low carb, high protein diet snack bars? One of which I'm supposed to carry with me, along with a bottle of water and a packet of jelly beans. The jelly beans would have a very short carry life but the snack bar is so blergh that it stays there until really needed.
Sorry to bore you with all this but even writing it down still doesn't un-confuse me (no surprise) or do anything about the anxiety of getting it all wrong. I do know now what the HbA1c test is and why Doc Marvin was so pleased the overall glucose level had come down from 8 to 7.5 in 4 weeks. And the Diabetes assoc. runs tours of supermarkets to explain the language on the back of food packaging but I suspect it's only at IGA Ritchies stores since they donate money to the cause. All I can say is, bring on the Red/Green/Yellow buttons on all food and make it easier for everybody.