Nourishing Zen

Nourishing YOU. Adventures to Healthy, Happy, and a Fulfilling Life! Food is our medicine.


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A Diabetic’s Dilemma – Weight Loss vs. Insulin


Anyone who’s ever tried to lose weight in their life can tell you that it’s not easy.  Anyone who’s diabetic can also tell you that weight loss is a constant struggle.

Taking insulin is a major component of what prevents us diabetics from losing weight.  For type 1 diabetics such as myself, we are provided with a sliding scale that best suits us.  However, little does anyone tell you, that your sliding scale varies not only day by day, but hour by hour.  What does this mean?  For example, if you’re a person who exercises once a day for an hour each day, five days a week, and eats the same foods each meal, then sure – your sliding scale may be the same.  But who does that?  No one that I know.  So what exactly are the variables that create such differences in our sliding scale?

  1. Foods Consumed – The obvious one.  Fattier foods such as beef, butter, donuts, cheeses etc. will create a major increase in our blood glucose (BG) levels over a long period of time.  This can range anywhere from 8 hours to 24 hours later depending on how fast it is digested.  This is also where the glycemic index of foods come in handy.  Of course, the amount is also a factor here.  Not eating enough could lead to low levels/hypoglycemia.

glycemic-index-chart

2.  Exercise – the amount of time you exercise as well as the type of exercise.  Cardiovascular exercise will decrease your blood sugar more rapidly than strength training.  Strength training will immediately increase your blood glucose due to your muscles needing energy for the work they are doing, but then decrease over a longer period of time.  Normally if I do any strength training, I will follow this up with 15-20 minutes of cardio to help bring the blood glucose down.

3.  Stress – Yes, we all know stress always seems to work against us mentally and physically!  When stressed, my blood sugar is 10-15 points higher overall!  This makes a huge difference!

4.  Hydration – Drinking enough water is so important!  If I’m dehydrated, my blood sugar spikes more often, and for longer periods of time.  I literally have to set my phone to remind me to drink water sometimes, but it is a must!

5.  That ‘Female’ Thing – But of course this wouldn’t help a diabetic’s blood glucose!  Hormones never seem to work in our favor.  Not only is my body temperature higher, but my blood glucose is at least 10 points higher during this time.

6.  Sickness – When sick, my blood sugar can stay high for longer periods of time, especially when I have a fever.  It is actually very, very scary when you do everything you can to keep your levels down but don’t see any results.

So as you can see, all of these vary on a daily basis.  This would mean that a person could have many different sliding scales in a given day.  Often times, if we keep the same sliding scale over a large period of time, and with life factors that are constantly changing, we could very well be taking more or less insulin than needed.  By taking more, your body stores this as fat.  And fat is not my friend.

It is true, that I may never have a perfect sliding scale to accommodate my lifestyle.  However, I have heard of studies about a fake pancreas which would be amazing.  Other than that, us diabetics are kind of screwed.  There is never such thing as perfect sliding scale, and therefore, we are constantly battling weight loss in some way, shape or form!

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Diabetic Asian Problems


Reading time: 3-4 minutes.

Yes, I’m Asian.  Specifically Chinese.  And also Diabetic.  I suppose you could name a few reasons why this is not exactly a match made in heaven.  Well, being diabetic to begin with is not anyone’s #1 wish to Santa or the Genie but the combination of being Asian AND diabetic is lame.  Why?  I can tell you exactly why.

Rice, rice, baby.

That’s it.  Some would say this is a stupid reason, but growing up eating all types of Asian foods, it’s really not.  I love rice.  A breakfast scramble with veggies over rice with a drizzle of soy sauce? Yum.  If you haven’t tried it, you should try it.  Rice was integrated into every meal, along with noodles as well.  Something about that simple tasting, sticky, slightly chewy goodness that I can never seem to fully give up.  I tend to have a weird yearning… or craving if I don’t have it for awhile.  Maybe it’s that I’m Chinese and try to limit my carb intake.  Hmm probably.  Love-hate it is!

Why is this bad for us diabetics?

1.  Rice is one of the top foods that raise your blood sugar levels.

2.  White rice has very, very little fiber which means that this food does not stay in your system for very long.  Maybe this is why people say they are hungry not long after chowing down on some Chinese food?

3.  Little nutritional value.  Not a whole lot of vitamins, minerals, fiber… just plain rice goodness.

4.  A cup of rice is about 45 grams of carbohydrates.  This is the equivalent of 3 slices of bread or one and a half apples.

5.  TWO cups of rice breaks down to the equivalent of 22 grams of SUGAR!

6.  High glycemic index which means your blood sugar will increase rapidly after eating!

Okay, enough of the negative.  Let’s be real, I eat it anyways.  My endocrinologist says I should stay away but I’m doing pretty well as far as control with my diabetes.  So… I’m going to enjoy that rice gosh darn it!  It’s delicious and scrumptious and I doubt I could ever fully give it up.  Moderation is key I suppose.  You only live once, right?  I feel so fortunate that I am able to have the insulin that suits my needs and the ability to know how much to take for any given meal.  Being diabetic is not fun in a lot of ways, but there are always worse things.  So, in conclusion, I eat what I love in moderation and I will never stop loving rice.  Yum.


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Diabetes Superfoods: American Diabetes Association®


American Diabetes Association

foodimage-265x170

 

I’m always looking for more information regarding foods and diabetes.  This is a great article regarding better choices for people with – or without diabetes.  The nutrients and low glycemic index is crucial!

 

Diabetes Superfoods: American Diabetes Association®.