How to Manage Diabetes
First, we’ve got to understand that sugar isn’t just the white granulated stuff we put in cups of tea. Yes, sugar is found in snacks, cakes and sweets, but it is also found in rice, potatoes, bread and every other form of carbohydrate. The difference we need to be aware of is the glycaemic index, also known as GI, of the foods we eat. Simple sugars such as those found in sweets or in fruit have a High GI, whereas the sugars in brown rice and potatoes have a Low GI.
As a diabetic, the primary thing to avoid is high GI Foods. (As a general rule, if it’s an insanely bright colour, it’s probably got a high GI value!) The sugars in these digest quickly and enter the bloodstream in a very short space of time. This forces your body to release insulin and sends you onto the ‘sugar rollercoaster’ of ups and downs due to insulin and glucagon response reactions. Remember, if your body can’t break down sugars very well, i.e. is insulin resistant, then the last thing you want to do is pump it full of sugars. In short, stay away from sweets, fruit, white flour and processed grains.
Instead, a sensible management strategy would be to consume smaller amounts of Low GI foods such as potato, brown rice and whole grain breads and cereals. These will release their sugars much more slowly into your body, giving it time to break them down.
But hey, you knew all this right? The main problem is that whilst you may be committed to change, food providers are still committed to filling their wallets. When you stroll around the supermarket you’re bombarded by colourful adverts for all the foods that want to kill you. With this in mind, you NEED to have a secondary strategy to ensure that your primary food strategy works.
The second strategy is simple, find a reliable way to remove yourself from temptation. That could mean getting another family member to shop for you, aiming to only shop in whole foods stores, or even better deciding to order your food online. Once you’ve set up a weekly basket of healthy low GI foods you can simply re-order each week with a few variations to keep it interesting.
Those two strategies, as simple as they sound, are realistically all you’ll need to manage diabetes. Now that’s not to say you won’t need to carry an insulin injector with you (everyone makes mistakes.) But if you can follow these two strategies then you’ll be healthier, happier and more energetic for the majority of your time, and that’s what really matters. Good Luck.