Thursday, May 13, 2010

To Carb or Not To Carb?


This is the fourth installment of Diabetes Blog Week. Today, I blog about what I eat, as that's what Karen asked us to do in setting the foundation for this whole thing. The point in her mind is that some believe a low carb diet is important in diabetes management, while others believe carbs are fine as long as they are counted and bolused for. She wants us to talk about meals, snacks, special occasions... Whatever we deem food and bolus worthy.

To Carb or Not to Carb? That is the question Shakespeare didn't ask, but should have as it would have given us food-calculating diabetics some guidance.

In my opinion, the problem with so many in this country is that we don't respect the mantra of "good in moderation." Whether we're talking about food or alcohol beverages, this is a key. Yet, so many are afraid of things all together. Carbs are evil, I've heard some say. Just stay away. It's an old-school thought that doesn't deserve a place in our modern times where insulin pumps and CGMs are so mainstream. We can eat those tricky carbs, bolus for them with our fine-tuned pump options, watch the trends on our continuous monitors, and tweak as needed. Sure, everyone's D-Lives differ and a change in the sun's position can mean a variation in D-Management. Still, the philosophy is the same. Granted, I'm no CDE or dietician or medical professional with training in this area. But it doesn't seem that complicated to me, as someone who's now lived with Type 1 for more than a quarter-century. It may be easier to not have carbs, but that's just a personal train of thought to avoid the hassles of calculating or adjusting for what's eaten, in my opinion. Plus, isn't it a fact that carbs are the best source of energy for athletes or really for anyone? Again, this is the non-medical professional rambling about something I once heard or read in literature... Whatever.

Now, I'm not meaning to shoot down anyone who doesn't eat carbs or prefers the no-carb Atkins Diet - to each their own. I just don't care for it, and love my carbs. Love my pasta. Love my crackers. My bread and dinne rolls. Keep em coming, and I'll bolus for them as needed.

Obviously, life was different before carb counting. Back on the pre-MDI days even when it wasn't multiple injections with "boluses," but a couple shots a day with R and L mixed in together. Then, the predictability of anything - especially food and carb-heavy meals - was even more of a challenge. But those days are gone for this man, and I personally find carbs nothing of a danger outside of the usual issues.

For me, the answer to that big Q Bill Shakespeare didn't answer is clearly: To Carb. Of course, moderation is the key so I don't develop that Oh So Familiar Hoskins Family Potbelly passed down the line... My diabetic metabolism solves that issue, but I still keep an eye on the carb intake to not go overboard.

Let it Be, I say. Bring on those carbohydrates!

5 comments:

Rachel said...

I just don't think it's good to go TOO low in carbs, even with T2. Depriving one major food group doesn't make sense to me. But that's me, just one lone voice in the big sea of T2.

Crystal said...

I want that patch.

You know how I feel. :-)
I Love carbs. I've always believed in moderation of all foods, general "good health" rule.

It's about balance: sleep, food and exercise.
Doesn't make it easy but a good place to start.

Otherwise? Bring on those carbs!

Zoe Sotet Art Studio said...

Everything in moderiation is a great idea, but unfortunately I can't do carbs in moderation. Once I start I can't stop. I haven't cut out all carbs by any means, but I have to stay away from bread, pasta, and rice. I got to pretty much double the weight I should be by eating too many carbs and bolusing for it with lots and lots of insulin.
I also find that when I don't have many carbs and I don't have much insulin I have less fluctuation in my blood sugar levels.

thisiscaleb said...

I agree that moderation is key. It's what I try to teach my kids - you can eat just about anything (just about) but nothing in excess. It's okay to have treats, but have your healthy stuff first and don't go overboard. Great point, Michael.

George said...

Moderation in anything seems like a good idea. But I am with Rachel, eliminating a food group seems like not a good idea to me.