Name: Dwight N
Location: Escondido, CA
So if I were offering advice to anyone it would be to obtain a carb counter and write down everything you consume and keep track of your carbs for every meal, then take your blood glucose readings according to your physician’s instructions.
In October 2004 I had a quadruple cardiac arterial bypass grafting which necessitated restricting my sodium intake and also watching my fat intake very closely because the 90% blockage in the right cardiac artery and the 75% blockage in the left cardiac artery turned out to be genetic factors.
For the first time in my adult life my HDLs are higher than my LDLs, partially through the consumption of Slo Niacin and Omega 3 fish oil caps. One year later, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which was no real surprise because my maternal grandfather was insulin dependent and my paternal grandmother was the same, having heart disease complications.
I was prescribed 300 mg Metformin at breakfast and dinner daily. When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, my physician sent me to a diabetes educator who happened to be an RN and also a dietitian. She encouraged me to write down everything I consumed and assign a carb equivalent to the food portion, with a limit of 180 carbs per day, which I very rarely came up to. I was usually around 130 grams of carbs per day.
I continued this practice for nearly a year and it gave me a very good picture of the foods that cause my blood glucose to elevate. As the result of the cardiac diets and the diabetic diet, I managed to lose 70 lbs. and have keep them off now for over 4 years. Obviously, with the added restrictions my eating habits have changed drastically and I get my exercise through gardening, yard work, maintaining a 200-tree avocado grove, and swimming when weather permits.
Naturally I look at foods for a fat content, sodium content, and carb content, and if any one of these is too high, it is not purchased or consumed. I have cut out almost all sweets except that contained in fresh fruits. I do reward myself occasionally with a small amount of dark chocolate and I use Splenda when I need a sweetener.
My biggest challenge with having diabetes has been the reality of learning what I can and cannot eat, especially giving up ice cream. So if I were offering advice to anyone it would be to obtain a carb counter and write down everything you consume and keep track of your carbs for every meal, then take your blood glucose readings according to your physician’s instructions. I take mine 2 hours after breakfast and dinner. This will demonstrate what foods cause your blood glucose level to rise or not, like I have found that rice makes my BG elevate dramatically, so I avoid rice.
After several months of keeping track of my carbs, my physician advised that since this was working so well, why change anything, so I have constantly watched my carb count. I have also found that walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews and pistachios work very well as a protein source because my cardiac diet restricts most meats except chicken and fish, especially shell fish since the cholesterol content is so high in them.
My long term outlook is great. I will be 74 in May and I actually feel better now than I did 10 years ago. I still have quite a bit of energy and maintain a very healthy lifestyle.