Thursday, November 08, 2012

Let's talk about Food!


This can be a Diabetic's nightmare.
You know what I'm talking about.  Trying to decided what to eat.  How much to eat.  How many carbs are in what we decide to eat.What will be the effects on our blood sugars.  For Type 1's doing the math for bolusing that, hopefully, will keep everything level.

Some days it's definitely a nightmare.  I swear I could eat the exact same things, at the exact same time every single day and never get the same results on my blood sugars.  

I am trying to eat more sensibly.  I am trying to eat "low carb".  I am trying to get more exercise.  I am trying to use portion control.

Portion control can be fairly simple when using a "portion plate".  The Canadian Diabetes Assoc.  in my town  gives one of these plates to each newly diagnosed Type 2.  

It helps them get a better grip on serving sizes.  I use a *Starfrit scale to help me determine the carbs in my meals.  It has a handy little button that when I input a code that relates to a certain food, will tell me the amount of carbs. But I still find I need help in picking lower carb foods. Foods with a low GI (glycemic index).  Those things that don't cause a spike in my blood sugars.   Doing that, along with eating the right amounts of foods should help me accomplish my goals of keeping my bgs in normal range most of the time, and of losing a few pounds.  
Another way to determine how much food to eat is by using your hands to estimate portions.  For example; a medium apple, about the size of your fist has about 15grams of carbs.  A piece of bread equal to the size of your hand laid flat is about 15grams of carbs.  Pasta about the size of your fist (or 1 cup) is equal to about 30grams of carbs.  Vegetables, other than root vegetables such as potatoes, corn, generally don't have carbs.  As much as you can hold in both hands is a good serving size.  A medium size potato, or about a cup of mashed is approximately 30grams of carbs.  As for protien, a portion the size of a deck of cards is a good size.  So if you don't have a scale or a measuring cup, or a portioned plate, you can certainly use your hands to determine the amount of carbs you are having. 
Making healthy choices is just what is says.  Choices.  Try to eat foods high in fibre, as this helps to avoid spikes in blood sugars after meals.  Eating lots of veggies is always a good thing.  Choosing the real fruit over fruit juice is much better for you.  Juice is great when fighting a low blood sugar, but it actually will increase your BG faster than the real mccoy.  Eating meat alternatives such as lentils, beans or tofu is another good idea.  Fish is something you should try to eat at least twice a week according to the Canadian Diabetes Association "Just the Basics" handout also recommended by Canada's Food Guide.  Don't forget that dairy is important.  Try to choose lower fat milk and milk products.  Keeping your sodium intake to a minimum is also important for Diabetics, due to the higher incidence of heart attacks and strokeincluding high blood pressure.

We all know its' okay to eat a cupcake with blue icing and unicorn sprinkles along with a side of ice cream every now and then!   But overall, making healthy food choices is a good habit to get into!

How 'bout you?  Are you making healthy food choices?  Do you use a scale to measure your foods?  Does it help you determine the amount of carbs?  What do you do when you go out to eat?  Do you ask if they have a nutrition guide or just SWAG you carb count?


  1. I'm trying to eat less carbs right now too. Some days are easier than others. When I go out to eat I try and stick with simple meals that are easier to figure out. I use my iPhone alot at restaurants too to figure out the carbs.

    1. Hey Alison, what app do you use on your IPhone for the restaurants? I think the one I use is called Restaurants I know it has a huge list of places in both Canada and the US where they exist in both countries with nutritional values for both.