When some people receive the diagnosis of diabetes, guilt feelings develop. This is a normal reaction. Few people develop diabetes without someone else in the family dealing with it also. It is a predominantly genetic disease. It does not skip generations.
Some of my clients will swear that no one in their family ever dealt with elevated sugar in the blood. Since heart disease is the number one cause of death for people with diabetes. I ask them if anyone ever died of an early heart attack in their family. They may have had diabetes without the diagnosis.
Years ago, this disease was not as easily detected as it is now. Portable home blood glucose monitoring kits were not available 40 years ago. The early process of checking blood glucose was not as accurate as it is today.
The initial guilt of developing diabetes can be defused with learning more about this chronic disease. Researchers continue to study and develop new strategies to deal with the production and use of insulin in the body. What may have been the gold standard of treatment and knowledge even five years ago may be updated. Do not let your guilt leave you in a diabetes desert of information.
Make small changes that will produce big results. Start with breakfast. Instead of just eating a bastardized edition of dessert as the first calories of the day, eat some protein foods with it. Learn to read labels. An average size person with a moderate activity level needs approximately 45 grams of total carbohydrates at meals. Consume 10 to 20 grams of protein at the start of the day. Keep added sugars to below 10 grams for breakfast.
Being aware of the foods that are chewed and swallowed is a key in controlling blood glucose levels. Make protein a part of breakfast. It will help to keep you full until lunchtime.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruit has natural sugar and can be added to a meal plan. The vitamins, minerals, and fiber that fresh fruits and vegetables contain cannot be replicated in any pill or powdered drink. In fact, there are healthy properties of fruits and vegetables that haven’t been discovered yet that you can benefit from without even being aware.
Being mindful of what is consumed requires smaller portions and smaller bites. It may sound creepy but watch other people eat. Mindful eaters take smaller bites and eat slower. It takes twenty minutes for your belly to tell your brain that you are full.
Let water wash your guilt away. Drinking 8 ounces of water in the morning wakes up your internal organs and flushes the urinary tract of overnight toxins. Keep drinking water throughout the day until the urine turns light yellow. More trips to the restroom can be considered exercise.
Bobbie Randall is a registered, licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator in Wooster, Ohio. Contact her at [email protected]