The Best and Worst Diabetes Food Advice I've Seen
The lame food advice at my diagnosis, why it didn’t work, and my #1 Bright Spot solution
I’ll never forget the diabetes food advice I received from my doctor at diagnosis:
“You can eat whatever you want, as long as you take insulin for it.”
In my view, this advice is misleading, overly simplistic, and damaging. In fact, I’d nominate it for the “worst” diabetes food advice out there. Unfortunately, those who are newly diagnosed tell me it is still common. Ugh.
Eating “whatever I wanted” and taking insulin for it was the worst kind of blank check – it set me up for years of out-of-control high blood sugars, deep and prolonged lows, huge guesstimated insulin doses (and therefore big mistakes), mood and energy swings, and lots of diabetes frustration. My blood sugar rarely stayed in my target range (70-140 mg/dl), since the effort required was so high.
It wasn’t until I took some nutrition classes in college, shared a dorm with a bodybuilder, started writing at diaTribe, and began using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) that I landed on the food advice below: eating fewer carbs and more fat had a game-changing impact on my diabetes, insulin dosing burden, overall health (including cholesterol), and quality of life. In Bright Spots & Landmines, this advice appears first in the book for a reason – it’s been the most important tool for improving my life with diabetes. I’ll follow up next month with an updated list of foods I currently eat, recipes, and interesting new food tricks I’ve been testing.
Eat less than 30 grams of carbohydrates at one time. Continue reading