Friday, 1 October 2010

Food glorious food!

One of the main problems with diabetes, putting aside the horrific and debilitating complications that it may bring, is that it affects one fundamental aspect of your daily life – eating. You may be able to get away without eating at all for a day or two, although that isn’t to be recommended, but sooner or later you are going to have to face food. With that comes the inescapable fact that everything you eat, whatever it is, needs some consideration – ideally careful consideration. Principally, you are concerned with the amount of carbs in the food, and this will then be further refined by a consideration of the type of carbohydrate and what other food types may be consumed with it. The amount of fat is a consideration, particularly saturated fat, as it is thought to contribute to cardio-vascular disease – something diabetics are already at greater risk of- plus, it will delay digestion of carbohydrate. Salt is another consideration: diabetics are advised to keep their blood pressure at tighter and lower levels than the non-diabetic public, and salt can contribute to high blood pressure.

So, there is no escaping having to think about diabetes each time you eat, if you are to succeed in keeping your blood glucose at healthy levels. Most people can live with this most of the time, but on occasion the fever grips you and you feel compelled to rebel – to eat all the stuff you shouldn’t and reassert your authority over the dastardly disease!

It was with this in mind, therefore, that I recently decided to have ‘Day of Indulgence’. I was prepared to inject whatever vast amounts of insulin were required to cover the outrageously sinful food I intended to consume, although I hadn’t really set out much of a plan about what that food would consist of. First meal of the day was a ‘blowout breakfast’ – egg, bacon, beans, fried bread, extra bread and a large mug of tea:

By lunchtime I wasn’t particularly hungry, so settled for two slices of melted cheese on toast, a chocolate cream ├ęclair and ten pieces of dark chocolate:

Evening meal was a large Cornish pasty with chips, peas and carrots, followed by another chocolate cream ├ęclair and a strawberry Muller rice:

Surprisingly, my blood sugar levels were fine throughout the day. I took measurements before each meal and two hours post meal and never rose higher than 8.9 mmol/l (160 mg/dl). This was probably due to the large amount of fat in each meal, which would have caused the food to digest more slowly. I was surprised also that, following my instincts only, I had indulged mainly by eating fatty foods rather than sweet ones – although obviously there were sweet foods consumed. I had imagined beforehand that I would want to sate my cravings for whole cakes or boxes of jelly babies, but apparently not!

This is not an experiment I intend to repeat in the near future. Despite ‘missing’ this type of food generally, I found that, in practice, it was far too fatty for my palate these days, so it looks like I have trained myself to be a ‘good’ diabetic!

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