Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pears and Diabetes Re-education

It's pear season! I love pears. Pears are my favorite fruit. My other favorite fruit is pineapple, but it's never really pineapple season in Northern Arizona. : )

My favorite breakfast lately is, a bread-thing (roll, croissant, etc.), a bit of cheese, and a pear! Which, I have learned, is exactly what my silly diabetic self should be having for breakfast.

Which leads into my trip to the doctor yesterday. I visited a diabetes educator at North Country Health Care and learned that they lied to me in my childhood. I had been taught many things about my condition that simply aren't true, and have never been true. First of all, the glycemic index, while an excellent tool for overall health, has absolutely no bearing on what I should be eating as a diabetic. It's good for helping me pick foods with higher fiber, but that's about it where I'm concerned.

I also learned that my impression of "simple" verses "complex" carbohydrates was fallacious and I have been tragically misinformed this whole time. These terms do not refer to the structure of the carbohydrate, as I had originally thought; they refer to the availability of said carbohydrate. An example! Carrots have very little carbohydrate value raw, they have complex (hard to extract) carbohydrates because of all the fiber, and one cup is about 5 grams of carbohydrate. But when you boil them to mush, they have simple (readily available, easy to extract) carbohydrates! And a one cup serving goes up from 5 to 15 carbs! This is why, apparently, nutritionists like to demonize carrots. But they're still very good for you, and the cruder the better. The more raw and full of fiber, the less available the carbohydrate, and the more "complex" it is.

I learned that fiber is a very useful tool for stabilizing my blood sugars. Something I had never thought of before. I learned that having balanced meals and burying very sugary foods within the whole meal is better for blood glucose stability too. So if I want a piece of cake for dessert, I should eat it in the middle of my meal to avoid a spike in my sugars! I'm for it! "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first." Or in the middle of the meal.

I also learned a bunch about starchy vegetables, which had been a big gray are for me all these 15 years. And at the end of the appointment, I was gifted with a brand new glucose meter that promises $30/100 test strips! This means I can start testing my blood glucose regularly and get rid of my inflammation problems, which may be directly related to my poor diabetes control (why didn't I think of that before?...).

Also, I would just like to say, that the doctors at North Country Health Care are wonderful people. It's been so long since I've had a medical professional treat me like a human being. They see I have no insurance and they turn up their nose and won't look me in the eye when they condescend. But at North Country, they don't do that. They treat me like a human being among human beings. It is so refreshing to have my faith restored in the humanity of health care.

On the art front, I want to explore the idea of taking a few days off of work to paint. The paintings are commissioned, and I know the pay-off will cover the lost days of work. Or maybe I should try to get myself in gear after work and just paint then... Thinking, thinking...

1 comment:

  1. interesting article, thanks for posting! hope you're doing well :)