Yesterday on Facebook - Diabetes Daily had a poll going about the amount of carbs we consume a day. Going back to it today – the one that seems to be winning out is 50-100 grams of carbs a day – which I personally think I cannot do. I then decided to go over my past few days (this is after I’d put down my choice of 100-150 grams per day) – and was amazed to see that the last 3 days my average amount of carbs is actually on 90 grams. I may have to go back to the poll and change my answer. One of the other higher totals (same as the 50-100 totals) was “I don’t count carbs”. Either they were folks like myself that just eat based on what they think is alright for them and semi-shoot in the dark for the amount of insulin to cover the carbs I used to be that way and managed to stay in an A1C of 7% - but my blood sugars did yo-yo a lot back then on multiple dosage injections (MDI) – which probably led to the lower number for my A1C. – The other thing is that those that answered perhaps were not on meds at all – but just diet and exercise. All I know is that when preparing to go onto an insulin pump, I started to look at food labels more closely, not just for the carb count, but for other things like fat/sodium count that I felt was important for me to monitor as well. I guess I reeducated myself after 40 years of being a diabetic – and just following the guidelines I was brought up on by my Mum and CDA with eye balling the amount of rice I had on my plate, etc. It did work, but I just wasn’t being as precise with carb counting as I am now.
That’s one thing that I noticed the other day when going grocery shopping with a friend. I picked up a bag of Bing cherries that are affordable at this time of the year. They told me that they had bought a bag the other day (about 2 kg) and had consumed it practically in one go. On top of that she was buying another bag as I picked out the darkest cherries I could find to share with my DH over the week!! The first thing that went through my head was the amount of carbs they had consumed in that one bag of cherries –it boggled my mind. Next we stopped by the bread area. I swear those places pipe out smells of fresh baked bread just to draw you in – resistance is futile to most – but in my case – the constant walking wanna-be-dietician - I resisted the urge to a loaf of cheese bread my friend was buying. As they teased me with the comment of, “There is one loaf left – buy it!!!” They then told me … that they would be consuming this WHOLE loaf probably that afternoon. I just had these flashes of potential diabetes or not being able to fit thru’ the bathroom door in the making. On top of that they are already have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia – yikes! All I could say was – “In my next life I come back with a pancreas that doesn’t pack in on me” – and almost added – “and a bank account that can pay for all the clothing / medical bills I may get from becoming overweight”.
For some of you who are newly diagnosed with diabetes – carb counting is a chore – along with watching the quantity/quality of food you consume. Trust me, it gets better over the time, and in the end you’ll be doing the calculations without even thinking about it. For long term diabetics like myself, it’s just something I’ve always done; looking at food with a critical eye and pondering what it’s after effects will be to my health. I really rarely think about what I doing except when faced with a food that I can’t really access properly – then I just wing it the best I can!
Off to munch on some cherries (not the WHOLE bag!!!!).