Monday, October 12, 2009

Fun Food Facts

Above is a typical food pyramid. One that everyone has been shown at some point in their lives. Depending on anyone's diet, the number of servings are varied, but these are pretty close. Part of learning how to eat with diabetes can be a challenge, but I prefer to think of it as a blessing. It almost forces me to eat healthier because I have to actively think about all the nutritional information when calculating insulin injections.

If you look at the pyramid, the two problem layers for diabetics are the bottom and the top. Glucose is a simple sugar. When we all eat, our bodies break down carbohydrates into sugars. Obviously cakes, chocolate, and most desserts are a big no-no (at least in extreme moderation), but many foods on the bottom of the pyramid such as pasta, bread, rice, and potatoes all contain very high levels of carbohydrates, food that elevates blood sugar levels. Know though, that no food is your enemy. Diabetics can physically eat cake and not die or pass out, it just affects us very quickly because we cannot process the sugar out of our blood after it has been absorbed through the stomach and intestinal walls.

Sorry, that was a long explanation. I'll show some quick comparisons. A snickers candy bar has 30 grams of sugar, so does a regular sized banana. Which is the healthier option?

A taco bell regular taco has 12 grams of carbs, so does a piece of peanut butter toast.

It's all about picking your battles and learning to fall in love with green vegetables. Substituting an apple for a cookie is healthy, but still has the same amount of sugar in it. It just so happens that an apple's sugars are probably better for you. I mentioned green vegetables because they are very healthy for you (rich in antioxidants) and contain little to no sugar or carbs. Which means there is little to no adjusting insulin levels when eating a orange or green bell pepper. Does this mean you can't indulge? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I have a candy bar every now and then. I love bread. I just choose too take smaller portions of things that will affect my blood sugar negatively.

Here are two examples of food that I love, that companies have tailored for diabetics.

Dreamfield Pasta
Dreamfields pasta makes it easy for diabetics to enjoy pasta in the same quantities that normal people would enjoy. Each serving of Dreamfields pasta has only 5 grams (digestible) of carbohydrates. When compared to normal pasta brands containing 45 grams of carbs per serving. This was a ray from heaven for me because I LOVE pasta. The best part about it, people cannot tell the difference. I tried it out on my family, all three of them could not tell a difference.


Healthy Life brand bread can be found at any grocery store. 1 slice of regular bread contains 15 grams of carbs, this brand contains only 6 grams per slice. Don't ask me how they do it; personally I'd rather not know. My only caveat with this brand is that the slices tend to be a bit smaller. But it works great for toast in the morning or sandwiches if you want to cut back little by little on the carbs.

I'll post a little more tomorrow about more healthy and unhealthy eating options. Til then, ciao!

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