Welcome to my favorite diet!
Eating your meals with a “Low Glycemic Load” means that you are going to stay fuller longer and thus less likely to go out and binge on a bunch of junk.
Staying full is as simple as eating foods with a high protein, fiber, and water content.
Keeping yourself feeling satisfied is the most important aspect for success with any weight loss program. Regardless of it you have diabetes or not, you are in the right place when it comes to learning the basics on how to eat correctly to stabilize your blood sugar. Stabilizing your blood sugar translates long term in to weight loss, ridding yourself of that jittery, irritable, faint feeling associated with hypoglycemia, improving energy and mood, as well as providing the foundation for an anti-aging program!
Wow all that from just one diet!
I bet right now you really want to buy whatever I am selling. Well I am not selling anything, except healthy diet and lifestyle.
I am simply here to teach you how to change your eating habits permanently over the long term, and field any questions or concerns that come up as you start this new adventure to a healthier you.
The most exciting thing about this diet, is that I can sum up how to do this diet in one simple sentence:
Every meal you eat should be high in protein and fiber.
Yes, it is that simple.
Make that your new mantra.
Fiber is your new best friend forever!!!
Lean proteins are your new favorite friends.
The next step is to memorize what high fiber foods are and what foods are healthy sources of protein and to stock your cupboards with all these foods.
Trust me we will get fussy about the numbers later. But you need to get the basics down before you will be ready for anything like.
Most foods high in fiber are either fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Begin to make best friends with vegetables now as for diabetics and those trying to lose weight they are essentially “free foods”, meaning the calorie count is relatively insignificant, with of course some occasional exceptions.
Here is a list of good lean protein choices: Chicken, fish, white cheese, plain nonfat yogurt, beans, and whole grains.
Now let’s keep in mind that certain proteins high in saturated fat like beef, bacon, and cheddar cheeses are just not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Especially for those of you with diabetes we want to be on the look-out for heart disease and kidney problems. If you are having a hard time giving these up then simply treat them like the garnish for your plate. Instead of a pile of bacon you get just have one little piece.
Over time you will begin to feel so much better on this diet that it will be WORTH it for you to get rid of the offending foods. Remember “nothing tastes as good as being healthy and looking good feels”.
Be sure to drink plenty of water in between your meals. A high fiber diet will naturally require more water. Water will also help keep you feeling full. Sometimes we feel hungry when really we are thirsty.
Now most patients that have Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent) have it because they already have a very unhealthy relationship with food, if not engage in compulsive eating patterns, and use food as a drug. For my patients having a hard time making these necessary dietary changes, I recommend counseling. Counseling may help treat the underlying problems of anxiety or depression.
While they are trying to make the necessary changes to change their emotional relationship with food, I recommend that they keep chewable fiber tablets on hand so that if all else fails they can at least lower the Glycemic Load of the binge. Now you have to be careful not to get the chewable fiber tablets high in sugar! But sometimes a glass of Metamucil or your favorite fiber supplement can help offset the huge quantity of sugar consumed. Yes this is a quick fix tip, and no it is not addressing the root cause of the problem, it is simply offering a solution to a common problem and trying to approach it realistically while we work towards a permanent solution.
Now that you are eating lean proteins and high fiber foods, the next question is…
“Can I have carbohydrates on this diet?”
Most doctors agree that in most cases a “Slow” carbohydrate diet is better than a “Low” or “No” carbohydrate diet. Personally I am not a fan of the No/Low carbohydrate diet unless it is for specific therapeutic purposes.
“So how do I know if my Carbs are “slow” or not?”
Well that is where the magic of the low glycemic index diet and the numbers assigned to certain foods come in to play. This usually is a bit too complicated for me to just start patients out with right off the bat. I prefer to have my patients on a whole foods diet of lean proteins and fruits and vegetables before playing around with various carbohydrates.
Glycemic Index numbers are determined in a laboratory by measuring how quickly a test panel of humans blood sugars rise after consuming the food. The higher the blood sugar rises, the higher the glycemic index number is as a result. For instance a piece of white bread has a high index number as it will raise your blood sugar rapidly.
Interestingly enough after analyzing the numbers on the Glycemic Index chart one can conclude that not all carbohydrates are created equally. Some will release more rapidly in to the system than others. This might explain why you have a half cup serving of pasta at dinner and your numbers are different than when you have a half cup serving of corn.
The take home message with all of this, is that if you have diabetes…especially type II, it is sincerely in your best interest to get off all the “white” refined foods and stick with the healthier choices of carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables and whole grains as they are high in fiber as well as packed full of vitamins and minerals which will not only protect your system from long term damages associated with diabetes, but will also keep you younger and feeling more fabulous as part of an anti-aging program.
Switching to this diet can be challenging and require a great deal of support, feel free to leave your questions in the comments of this post!
~Dr. Nicole Sundene