September 22, 2014

A Discussion on Food Plans

Lately I have been writing about low-carb/high fat eating plans (diets for those that insist). I have to laugh, as this has really brought some unexpected emails. Some are insisting I should be eating very low carb and ketogenic. Others are insisting I should be low carb and high protein. I am laughing because most are a variety of food plans and most are saying this is the plan I need to follow.

What is discouraging is some of the people will not accept other ideas. I am not one of these. That is why I felt I must say and emphasize that 'One-Size-Does-Not-Fit-All'. For those of us with diabetes, we must each find what works for us. That does not mean that you can't take ideas from others and adapt them, but you should develop you own food plan that your meter tells you works for you. If the food plan that you are trying does not make you feel healthy and your energy is dragging, then work on changing it to another food plan.

I generally consume less than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day. I attempt to have about 15 to 20 percent carbs, 30 to 45 percent fat, and 35 to 40 percent protein. Yes, I vary quite a bit, but that is my choice. I have tried other percentages, but the high fat just was not working even with trying it for about three months. Occasionally I only eat about 50 or fewer grams of carbohydrates with higher fat and less protein, but I don't dare do this for several days in a row if I want to keep the bathroom available for my wife. I suspect part of the reason is the removal of my gallbladder almost a year ago.

I respect those that can consume more carbohydrates, but if they are using low fat, or as many do – very low fat, then they tend to start adding weight. I am not impressed with the studies of late that are low-carb, low fat, and high protein. The cardiologists are still promoting low fat, but they have a lot to learn. Most studies are short in duration and meaningless. Hopefully, we will have studies in the future of up to five years or longer that will be of value.

The best suggestion I have is tried and true! Learn to eat to your meter and the goals you establish for yourself. If possible, avoid highly processed foods, and attempt to prepare your own foods.

Read these two articles for further information - article 1, and article 2. I will be blogging more on nutrition in the future.


Ila East said...

I'm with you on this. Years ago, when I was trying to lose weight, I found that if I used all I had learned and made up my own "diet" I did much better than trying to follow some commercial one. It's the same with my diabetes. I am doing so much better rating the way that works for me than trying to follow something someone else recommended.

Denise Elliott said...

The way our bodies react to different foods varies so widely - I can't understand folks who take the "I know what I'm talking about and it works for me, so you should be doing this, too" approach to helping others. I try to limit my intake of processed, high glycemic carbs, but with a few notable exceptions (corn, peas, potatoes, pineapple, watermelon, bananas) I am able to eat fruits & veggies without blowing up my blood sugar. If a lower fat version of something I enjoy has an acceptable taste (Greek yogurt, milk), then I'll choose that, but I enjoy avocado or almonds with moderation (I had my gallbladder out years ago). It works for me and I always caution people who want to know my "secret" that their mileage may vary because they don't live inside my skin.

Bob Fenton said...

Thank you both! I knew there would be people in agreement. I did start with the South Beach diet, but I found myself changing it so frequently that I finally could not recognize it and since have continued to adapt my food plan as I have found my needs change and how my body reacts to different foods. I have a difficult time believing people that say their body has not changed and they are eating the same foods they have for years. If they have diabetes, I have to wonder if they are managing it and what their A1c looks like.