Friday, July 01, 2011

How to negotiate the information minefield.

You don't!
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.


The Elephant's Child said...

Yup. I would like to have a deep and insightful comment, but my brain hurts. So, yes, I agree with you. It is all tooooo f'ing hard.

River said...

Would it help if you wrote a meal/snack menu and posted it on your fridge? Then next to each meal or snack write down what needs adjusting after you've done your readings. Then work out what to eat the next day and see if the readings improve. Keep doing this until the new routine becomes a habit. It's bound to get easier.
Now, about the fruit cake, a "small" slice is okay? Define "small"....I'm guessing a two inch slab wouldn't qualify?

JahTeh said...

EC, yes, my brain hurts too. Lump it with a low fat for the cholesterol, low sugar for the diabetes and low stress for the blood pressure. I'm past caring, as long as I last until the 14th and Harry Potter.

River, are you trying to kill me? The last thing my anxiety/depression/black cloud on my shoulder needs is to see a list of food on my fridge door.
Define small, NFI but if it has icing I think perhaps a one inch slab, without icing, whatever I can stuff in my mouth and still talk.

Windsmoke. said...

Five years ago i had cholesterol reading of 7.4 and 30 kilos over weight the main culpit was saturated fat. Now i've lost the 30kilos and my cholesterol reading 4.6 you need exercise as well not just change your diet, they both go hand in hand :-).

Shelley said...

Chia seeds are meant to be good for diabetics. Have a google. They taste alright too.

Ann O'Dyne said...

Windsmoke missed the post about the titanium knees.

I wish there was an aisle at the supermarket labelled The No Crap Section, where one may safely shop - oh! that would be fruit and veg.
I need a snack excuse me while I wash a carrot. oops, they are full of 'natural sugar'. etc etc.

JahTeh said...

Windsmoke, walking is fraught with danger for those of us with tin knees.
Now putting on a CD of Ricky Martin and doing the Salsa for 15 mins in the warmth of one's home is safer. I'm surprised how many times I get up to change channels on the teev when there's no remote unfortunately the only drawback to that exercise is not being able to remove Tony Abbott fast enough.

Shelley, I've seen there's a new muesli out with Chia seeds but all this new stuff is expensive. I do eat Helga's bread with quinoa and flaxseed regardless of price. Another suggestion was to have Paul's Good to Go smoothie drink if you have to rush breakfast and I'm awfully glad it was the BOH who drank the berry one and spent the night on the loo with his head in a bucket.
It's supposed to be fresh but Safeway left in in the fridge section 6 days out of date. I have the bottle and my docket and they're getting a visit tomorrow.

Annie O, every food thing can be bad for someone. Sister has salicylate allergies and it's a natural ingredient in most vegetables and fruit. $6 for organic ginger because there wasn't any non-organic cheap ginger. I love lemon and ginger tea.

Middle Child said...

Really take care of it - my daughter's husband lost his leg below the knee because he didn't notice a tiny tiny black spot under his big toe - the arteries had calcified in his leg and he didn't realise he had lost a lot of blood supply to the toes and hence feeling - it was gangrene...check your feet and under and in between the toes daily and act quickly if something looks not right please...he is having a slow - don;t need that as well

JahTeh said...

Don't worry Therese,after the wheelie bin whipped off the big toe nail as clean as a whistle, I healed nicely and the nail is growing back. I have a visit to the podiatrist coming up as soon as money stops dribbling away. Medicare pays for one visit but you have to have her fee up front.

Gerry said...

"Sorry to bore you with all this..."

No, you're not. :-)

My sympathies, old chook.

JahTeh said...

Bear, I can't even have a drink. Bombay Sapphire is for summer, 25 year old Port is for winter but it is not allowed although I might get away with a small glass but it's not the same without fruit cake.

River said...

I'm wondering about the titanium knees. Titanium is used for hip replacements too I hear. But if people can't safely walk, then what good are they?