Its a huge debate over what people with Type 1 Diabetes should be eating. My first dietitian at the diabetes clinic told me;
Why should you eat differently to anyone else. Eat whatever you like, including Mc Donald’s, as long as you count your carbs and inject your insulin accordingly.
I was baffled. Eat whatever I want? How is that going to keep my blood sugars down and manage my diabetes so there are no other complications. I already had a base knowledge that carbs were the problem, the reason why my blood sugars would go high, so why would I want to eat them?
I was already reading ‘What The Fat’, a wicked book that talks through the science of a low carb diet and recipes written here in little old New Zealand. So i got in contact with Dr Caryn Zinn, one of the nutritionists who co-wrote the book.
So a few weeks later and a trip to Auckland I was sitting in her office explaining my situation. She gave me heaps of advice on how to manage diabetes on a low carb diet where I would not have to inject myself with my Novorapid insulin as often or not at all. (YAAAAY!!)
So I am currently eating daily:
- 50-60grams of Carbohydrates
- 100g of meat/25g of protein in every meal
- As much non-starchy vegetables as I wish
- 2-3 types of healthy fats in every meal
Lets just say the drive back to Hamilton was spent thinking about foods I was not allowed or had to restrict myself on; pasta, pastries, potatoes, bread, hot chocolate, fries, limiting my fruit intake (especially bananas, apples, and grapes). I could go write a whole blog on foods I should not be eating.
However, I had to think of what I was allowed to eat; bacon, cheese, infused oils, eggs, creamy mushrooms, cauliflower mash, chicken stuffed with feta and wrapped in bacon, fish, vegetables steamed in butter, homemade sauces. (I am writing this at 5pm and I am now very hungry with all this talk about food).
Dr Caryn Zinn gave me website pages and recipes on ways to make every day food low carb. Things such as Cauliflower rice and mash instead of mash potatoes and rice. Cabbage roasted in butter and garlic. Homemade dressing with olive oil, lemon juice and chilli.
My diet has changed completely, and some may say (myself including) that I am missing out on great foods in life. The realisation is I am not missing out, instead I am learning to turn my favourite foods into low carb healthier dishes. To be honest, some of the low carb options are better then the original. My partner has been having cauliflower mash with his steak for every meal this week.
To disbelief of my first dietitian, I am able to function on 50g of carbohydrates. I go to the gym, I study and still have energy at the end of the day to bring in the washing and do the dishes.
Its been 3 weeks of learning how to adapt my diet and I’ve noticed so many positive changes in my blood already. (My hba1c from 145 down to 84). Now it’s time to stick at my new lifestyle change so that I can see more positive changes.