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  • The Good Diabetic

I took a class once...

I am always trying to learn more about food, nutrition, and diabetes. So when a friend suggested we take a free class together - I agreed. I was optimistic about it and excited to learn something new. Wrong. Both of the class instructors were non-diabetics, they were merely reading out of a textbook, and none of it was news to me. Not that there's anything wrong with teaching out of a book, but I can't ask them questions like "what does YOUR blood sugar do when you eat that piece of fruit that you just told me I could eat" or "well how high does your sugar get when you eat an apple with peanut butter?"

I have read so many things about eating fruit, yogurt, peanut butter, or anything "in moderation" as a diabetic. You know what? I can't eat those things. Know how I know? Because I checked my blood sugar after I ate them. Maybe there are some diabetics that can have an apple with peanut butter as a snack, but I'm not one of them. Over the last (almost) eight years I have learned that there are many things that I thought I would be able to eat - but can't. Things like fruit, whole wheat pasta, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. I can eat a very small amount of blueberries, or low sugar yogurt, if I eat them with a meal that includes protein, but they will still raise my blood sugar some.

The message I'm trying to convey with this post is this - test for yourself. Books, magazines, websites and youtube are all great resources for learning about type 2 diabetes, but you will not know for sure what you can and can not eat - unless you check your sugar after you eat it. I thought I was being super healthy by eating steel cut oats for breakfast, until I checked my sugar! The same is true of whole wheat pasta, brown rice, white rice, and cauliflower pizza crust, to name a few.

After my initial diagnosis of being diabetic, my doctor's office gave me a meter and he prescribed test strips to test once a day. He said I only needed to know my fasting level in the morning. And maybe that's fine, medically speaking, I don't know. But I began checking my sugar after meals and snacks just to see how they affected me, and I quickly ran out of strips. All I had to do was call the doctor's office and tell them what I was doing. He bumped up the prescribed number of times a day to check to four. So if you really want to know how food affects you and your blood sugar, use that meter and get more test strips!

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