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Old 03-17-2010, 07:23 AM
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Default Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

One of our dear members has just been diagnosed with diabetes. It's come as a bit of a shock, so s/he really isn't ready to talk about it just yet.

However, s/he is looking for some assistance in changing to eating & lifestyle that will help keep it under control.

Mav, I know you deal with this every day, and I'm pretty sure there are others one here who either have diabetes or live with someone who does. Meme, aren't you also handling it during your pregnancy?

Maybe we can start a discussion on how the exchanges work, and how to adapt your cooking to your new lifestyle. Links to informative websites would be helpful.

Thanks everyone. I know the NCT'ers will come through for our friend.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

I'm dealing with Gestational Diabetes. After 3 weeks of my low-carb diet, I'm still trying to figure things out...but I'm more than happy to discuss and learn with everyone else (and share my own experience). I have plenty of literature, and I check the Diabetes.org website for recipe tips, etc.
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

I am in awe of people with diabetes who have to think about every bite of food or drink they take. I wish I could help on this, but I have no experience with it. But I know there will be members who can and will help all they can.

Thanks for starting this thread, SS.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

The best first step is to get a referral from the Dr. to see a Nutritionist, I know that helped me a lot.
They also recommend smaller meals more frequently, like 4 a day, to help reduce the sudden spikes or crashes that may occur.
Stick to whole grains as much as possible and get rid of the processed stuff. And that includes processed foods as much as is possible.
Veggies are your friend, as is exercise. Remember fruit has natural sugars in it. Sugar is not completely forbidden, but must be exchanged for something else which probably had better nutritional value to begin with, so I just cut out the sugar.
Look for hidden sugars in things, you would be surprised where you can find them. And it is not just sugars, watch the carbs too!
Complex carbs take longer to break down and therefore have less of an immediate impact on your blood sugar, simple carbs break down quicker and can spike your blood sugar quicker.
And like Newnork said, check out www.diabetes.org. and even WebMD for more general information, but remember none of that is a substitute for your Dr.s advice. You can also ask for a referal to an Endocronologist who specialises in Diabetes. This is also a good resource on that: http://www.dlife.com/diabetes/information//resources/dlife_diabetes_locator/
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

What are some examples of complex carbs vs simple carbs, Mav?
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

Whole wheat is complex, sugar is a simple carb. Rice, pasta, they all fall under the same catagory as a simple carb unless you switch to whole grain pasta. Brown rice, jasmine rice, are no better than white rice so don't be fooled there.
A good first step is to just try and cut down on the starches and carbs: potatoes, corn, bread, pasta, rice.
Fish is good, as for other meats cut out as much fat as is possible. Fat blocks insulin from getting into your cells and thus counters your attempts to lower your blood sugar.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

Wow! I didn't know that fat blocks insulin absorption. That is a huge piece of knowledge.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

That is why the Dr. will want you to loose as much weight as possible, they want you down around your optimum weight. Diet and exercise really do have a large impact on how well your diabetes can be managed.
Catch 22: If you are started on insulin because diet, exercise, and the pills are not enough, you will gain an average of 10lbs at first.
Grrr.......
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

I should have been more specific on that last post, diabetes is different for each person. In my case I suffer from HIGH HIGH HIGH HIGH blood sugar. If I ever got a low reading my Dr.'s would do back flips in joy.
So, my body tells me I am thirsty, so I drink a lot of water. Tons. Then I have to go to the bathroom a lot. Tons. Why? My body is attempting to flush out the blood sugar, this is why constant readings of high blood sugar will eventually cause kidney damage. It overworks them. The short of it is that you are, basically, flushing calories right out of your system.
When you start on insulin, you stop flushing those calories and start absorbing them, hence the weight gain.
If you are constantly getting low readings, that is a completely different monster. Keep orange juice and candy bars available in case of sudden blood sugar drops. Monitor your blood sugar constantly (I do it 4 times per day, but if you are always getting low readings do it more).
And get a medical bracelet for your wrist, and a diabetic emergency kit to carry around with you. Both should be readily available at your pharmacy.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

OK, here is the Diabetic Exchange list and how it works from the Mayo Clinic:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/diabetes-diet/da00077

I would cut and paste, but there are several links to the difference foods and food types, plus my cut and paste is not working right!!
So if anyone wants to check each link out on the above page and cut and paste into here, please feel free.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

I completely agree with the referral to a Nutritionist/Dietician. They can break down food categories/exchanges, let you know how they effect your body, and how to properly portion your meals for optimum results (with or without medication). It can be over-whelming, but once it's broken down into simpler terms it's easier to figure out and absorb. Plus you should get sent home with tons of literature for further reference.

Gestational Diabetes is quite different from other forms of Diabetes in the sense that my blood sugar levels should be different from the levels of a non-pregnant diabetic. GD is Insulin Resistance caused by Progesterone produced by an ever-growing placenta.

I test my blood sugar 4 times a day, and as of yesterday, I've begun to incorporate Glyburide (an oral pill alternative to insulin shots) in my treatment process. I'm still eating a low-carb diet with small meals/snacks (3 meals and 3 snacks per day), and with the Glyburide my morning "fasting" scores are finally where they need to be in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newnork1978 View Post
I test my blood sugar 4 times a day, and as of yesterday, I've begun to incorporate Glyburide (an oral pill alternative to insulin shots) in my treatment process.
Testing often is necessary, especially while getting used to the new diet and while the Doctor is getting your medication regulated.

Watch the glyburide, I had a lot of trouble with diarrhea when I was on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newnork1978 View Post
my morning "fasting" scores are finally where they need to be in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
CONGRATULATIONS!
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

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Originally Posted by jim_slagle View Post
Testing often is necessary, especially while getting used to the new diet and while the Doctor is getting your medication regulated.

Watch the glyburide, I had a lot of trouble with diarrhea when I was on it.



CONGRATULATIONS!

Thanks! Perhaps the Glyburide will help "regulate" things, then...You know, since pregnancy causes the opposite problem.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Newnork1978 View Post

Thanks! Perhaps the Glyburide will help "regulate" things, then...You know, since pregnancy causes the opposite problem.
Guess that little "side effect" might actually be helpful in your case!
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_slagle View Post
Guess that little "side effect" might actually be helpful in your case!

Heh, one can only hope...but thanks for the warning, my pharmacist didn't say ANYTHING about side effects.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

Everything I read said the most common side effects are heartburn and stomach upset but it also mentions being very alert to the signs of hypoglycemia. I would have OJ and that kind of thing on hand while you are getting used to the new med, just in case it works too well.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

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Originally Posted by Fisher's Mom View Post
Everything I read said the most common side effects are heartburn and stomach upset but it also mentions being very alert to the signs of hypoglycemia. I would have OJ and that kind of thing on hand while you are getting used to the new med, just in case it works too well.

The dose I'm taking (2.5mg) is an 8hr effectiveness (manages blood sugar during sleeping hours), but it probably wouldn't hurt to have some kind of sugar on hand in case I wake up feeling jittery. I'm going to discuss that with my doc at my next appointment, as well. Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

Each day, since starting Glyburide, I've seen increasing improvement in my over-all glucose scores. I don't know if the medication is only supposed to work 8hrs, or more, but it did appear to help me throughout the day, yesterday. Perhaps it becomes more effective (or longer-lasting) once it's built up a bit in my system...I don't know. I will be discussing this with my doc when I go see her on Monday.

That said, it also appears I've got a little more "wiggle-room" with my food now that I'm medicated. Not that I'm going to splurge on all things unhealthy, but I certainly feel much less restricted in my diet now that I have some medical assistance. Keep in mind, I'm still not entirely comfortable with having to be medicated, but I do appreciate the help it's been and the comfort I get from knowing my scores are managed better than I could do on my own.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

Congrats Newnork, and that is great to hear that you are seeing improvement in your scores!
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Diabetic Exchanges & Cooking

I agree...not that I doubted the medication would work, I just wanted to be stubborn and do this without medical intervention. I am comforted by my better-managed scores, and now I can relax and focus on my up-coming birthing classes.
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