March 28, 2014

Food Plan Tips

First, I must state that I am not an expert on food and food plans. These tips are for your consideration and hopefully will give you ideas. For those that have been reading my blogs for some time now, you know I do not follow the ADA and their food plans. I can only say that in their recent guidelines they are becoming more reasonable and accepting of different food plans.

This written primarily for people with type 2 diabetes, but other people can benefit as well.

#1. There is not a “one-size-fits-all” food plan. This is probably the most important consideration. You need to discover literally what works best for you. Those of us with diabetes must use our blood glucose meter with test strips, to discover how different foods affect our bodies. This is an ongoing process because as we age or our bodies find it more difficult to process some foods and our pancreas may reduce the amount of insulin.

#2. Find a nutritionist that will be of assistance. No, I did not say a registered dietitian nutritionist. It is important that you not get involved with someone promoting for big food and insisting on whole grains. This will not help you meet your goal or goals. These are the people to avoid. If the nutritionist you have chosen promotes whole grains, find another nutritionist. They are supposed to work for you in balancing your nutritional needs with the plan you choose. They are not to work against you and promote their ideas for a food plan of your choosing. This does not mean that you cannot ask them questions and they should honestly answer your questions and help balance the needs of your food plan.

#3. Select two or three different food plans and study them in as much detail as possible. No, I will not tell you what to select as this needs to be your choice and one that you are willing to follow. This can take up to several months, but don't let anyone set a time table for you. After some studying, you may find some similarities that will allow you to start while still deciding on the food plan that you wish to use. If your chosen nutritionist tries to steer you away from your chosen plan or plans, find another nutritionist. You may ask questions, but should receive support for your plan(s). The learning process may continue for the rest of your life or you may find a need to change your food plan. Never be afraid of change.

#4. Set realistic goals of nutrition therapy for your needs as a person with diabetes. This is also an important consideration. Do you need to lose weight, hold the present weight, or perhaps gain a few pounds? All of this will be a factor in the goal you set initially and reset as you lose or gain weight. I will guess that as a person with diabetes, chances are that weight loss will be a goal. This is where the nutritionist can be a great resource person. In addition, the nutritionist should work with you at your individual desires and work to balance the nutrition.

If necessary, a nutritionist will recommend supplements where some food choices cannot be in balance. This may also be necessary and dictated by some medications. Health concerns like GERD, and some metabolic disorders may make some vitamins and minerals desirable. The nutritionist should also make recommendations for some vitamin and mineral testing if she suspects problems.

The nutritionist should also make sure that your food plan is individualized to your nutritional needs and goals, and not a one-size-fits-all food plan. Your health should always be your and your nutritionist's concern.

There can be other tips, but these should work for starters. If you have other tips that are working for you, keep using them.

2 comments:

Denise @ Do you have that in my size??? said...

Great post, Bob. It's tough when you're starting out on a path to better diabetes control not to have a set "diet" to follow and know it will work, 100%, for you, because you just want to get your blood sugars under control, pronto. Realizing that it's going to be a life-long chemistry exercise with the testing kit and tracking of food and sugars isn't the easiest way but it's been kind of liberating for me, too - I control what I eat depending on what my body needs. The amount and type of exercise I get each day will affect my food intake, too, so that should be tracked and correlated with the food and test results, too.

Bob Fenton said...

Demise, Thanks. Finding what works for you often takes more time and experimentation to manage diabetes. It is unfortunate that there are too many telling you that you must eat this or that, but say nothing about testing how different food react for you and your body chemistry. Example, early on I could eat one type of potato and it would have little effect on blood glucose. Now it is having more effect meaning less of that potato. Whole grains in general I am losing all tolerance for, but I am able to eat small amounts of several wild rices. Experiment, experiment, and use your meter.