One of the first things they tell you when you are diagnosed with diabetes is that you have to change your diet. The problem is, which diet do you follow?

I have been diabetic for 13 years. In fact, my 13th anniversary comes up in less than two months. In those years, I have followed multiple diets. In the beginning, I simply tried to keep my meals balanced as they teach you in the diabetes education classes. I did the plate thing…a large amount of vegetables, a small amount of carbs and protein per plate per meal. That did very little and I was soon placed on Metformin to control my numbers.

I quit the Met after about six months and went for many years without medication. I followed several diets during that time, mostly low carb diets. They would work for a little while, but I never really lost a significant amount of weight and my blood sugar numbers were fairly stable with or without the diet.

When I got pregnant with my youngest child in 2006, I immediately went low carb. I was frightened that high sugar numbers would injure my unborn child. And then the doctor put me on insulin and the standard diabetic diet…you know, the one that encourages a balanced plate with emphasis on controlled carbs.

After my pregnancy, I stopped the insulin and began Met again. Over the course of six months, I lost more than 70 pounds. This was while eating basically anything I wanted. Then I was put on insulin again and immediately gained all that weight back.

For the past six years, I have not really followed a specific diet. I try to eat more veges and fruits, but I don’t really restrict any one thing. But I have also developed stomach difficulties. For that reason, I tend to avoid high fat meals and my appetite has reduced significantly. I haven’t lost any weight…unfortunately. Probably because there are times when the only thing I can eat are sugary foods. My numbers remain good, thanks to my insulin pump. But I’ve come to the point where I need to find a diet that will help with the stomach problems…which leads me to the point of this post.

As with any fat person, I am something of an expert on most diets. I have done extensive research into every fad diet that has ever been written about on Yahoo! or the various diabetes websites that I visit. I have tried Adkins, Weight Watchers, Slim Fast, Green Tea…and half a dozen others.

Today, on Diabetes Daily, I found a blog post by Ginger about the Mango Man. He follows an essentially vegan eating plant that he insists helps reduce insulin resistance. As with most type 2’s, I have terrible insulin resistance. I use upwards of 120 units of insulin a day, sometimes much more. And that’s with the addition of 2000mg of Met. So this idea appeals to me. What I also like about it is that it reduces dietary fat, something that aggravates my stomach issues, and it relies heavily on fresh fruit, something most diabetic diets severely restrict.

I don’t believe any diet that severely restricts, or totally eliminates, one food group is sustainable over the long run. The human palate needs a variety of tastes and textures to feel satisfied. So I don’t generally implement diet plans that do that. In fact, I don’t really like the word diet, don’t like the thought processes that are required to go on a diet, don’t like making something so natural and simple the focus of my life. That said, this diet actually does appeal to me. I’m tired of sitting on the toilet all the time, feeling so nauseated that I cannot enjoy the meals my family looks forward to and eats with great enthusiasm. If eating more fruit and less meat will fix this, I’m willing to try it.

What annoys me is that Ginger presents this diet in a blog post, but spends a great deal of space in the post trying to point out all the faults in this diet. She is a low carber. Like most low carbers, she feels that low carb is the only way to treat diabetes. It’s okay to disagree with a specific diet. But to present it and then argue so hard against it…how is that allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions? How is that allowing different patients with different needs and desires and tastes and treatment goals make their own choices?

This is just like the whole real food versus fast food thing.

There is no such thing as real foods these days. Has no one heard of GMOs?

My diabetes is different from hers. I am not as insulin sensitive as she is. I have stomach issues, she does not.

I don’t tell her how to treat her diabetes. Why is she trying to dissuade me from choosing a specific diet?

Diabetes is an individual thing. The problems I have, my experiences with my pump, my experiences with the doctor, my life in general is not like anyone else’s. There might be similarities. But none of us are exactly the same. This seems to go along with the whole diabetes stigma thing. Everyone is trying to put us in one peg hole, but many of us are square instead of round…or whatever. One diet that works for one person is not necessarily the answer for another.

I won’t force my opinions on you.

Don’t force your opinions on me.

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