I read the blog of a lady who is a type 2 and is controlling it with diet, exercise, and oral medications. I was drawn to her blog originally because of some posts she made on Diabetes Daily. However, I have come to realize that she is the essence of what is wrong with many who post on type 2 message boards such as on Diabetes Daily.
Today she wrote about the American diet, the second such post in so many weeks. She seems to think, as she discusses in this post, that it is the incidence of high fructose corn syrup in almost everything available in packaged foods today that causes, or contributes to, type 2 diabetes. For this reason, she strongly suggests (but repeatedly states that it is an individual choice) that everyone avoid fast food, carbs and prepackaged food while eating to their meter.
I think what happens to some people when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is that they become so overwhelmed with fear that they will believe everything they read and are told. Doctors often do not give patients enough information to help them feel comfortable with their newly diagnosed condition (I know mine didn’t) and this causes them to search on line for anything and everything they can find. And there is so much blame out there toward the patient themselves that people want to find a reason why they have this condition that has nothing to do with the reasons the media gives. (Again, I sympathize. I would love for someone to tell me I don’t have this because I am fat and did not exercise regularly before diagnosis. But no one will because it is easier to blame the patient than find a scientific reason with scientific proof.)
For these reasons, many type 2s turn on the very food they have loved and has loved them all their lives. Suddenly bread, tortillas, pasta, sweets, and even fruit are the enemy. A person with type 2 diabetes who continues to have a slice of bread more than once a week is putting their own lives in their hands. The only way for a type 2 to overcome this condition is to eat LCHF (low carb, high fat). According to these messages, it would be even better if one were to follow a ketogenic diet. Of course this means you can only eat fatty meats, a few vegetables, and all the avocado, vegetable oil, and fatty cheese you can stand. Mmmm, yummy!
I’m a traitor to the type 2 community, I admit it. I (here it comes, the great confession) tried a LCHF diet and couldn’t do it. It wasn’t so much the lack of variety (though I have to admit that having steak, green beans, and cheese for lunch everyday can grow tedious) or the lack of bread that got me. It was the fact that I was eating the way everyone said I should and I was still having to take insulin with each meal and I was not losing weight. I was suffering through this mundane, boring diet and not seeing any of the benefits.
After the first attempt, I knew it had to be my fault, that I was doing something wrong. So I tried it again and again. Once I bought all the right cookbooks and made all the interesting recipes, even buying things I had never heard of before like wheat gluten and almond flour and rice protein. I baked low carb bread, made flax seed muffins, and even enjoyed a nice low carb hot cereal each morning, just like many type 2s discuss on the message boards. Even my blog lady bakes the almond flour bread to replace those sandwiches she misses so much.
For me, it didn’t work.
Not everyone is built the same. Not everyone can expect to see the same results on these diets as everyone else.
Not everyone has diabetes for the same reason. Not everyone’s diabetes responds the same to the many treatments available. That includes these restrictive diets.
So, I find myself wondering when I read posts, such as this lady’s blog post about eating to your meter and following a healthier diet: do you really think all of us who do not eat low carb live on hamburgers and french fries? Do you really think high fructose corn syrup is the cause of everyone’s diabetes?
What do you do when your meter tells you that even the paltry diet of steak, veggies, and cheese is still too much for your blood sugar?
I don’t know what the answer is. I’ll be the first to admit that, yes, diet has an impact on blood sugars. And, yes, low carb is often better than high carb. But does that mean that by eating a piece of bread from time to time that I am non-compliant and making my condition worse? Is diet the only way to treat this condition? No. Can it be? Maybe.
This is my diabetes, my choices.
I refuse to be the bad guy because my diabetes differs from yours.