It is my understanding that Paleo has been demonstrated to be beneficial to those with diabetes, so hopefully my train of thought isn't too far off here. I'm curious as to how the Paleo diet ("diet" meaning how one eats, not necessarily as a manner of weight loss) would appear in diabetic-exchange format.
For myself, I'm mostly interested because I have a hideous addiction to counting calories, and I'm desperate to stop. I think if I moved more to an exchange-based system, it might help me transition from counting to more intuitive-style eating and permit me to stop fixating on numbers, and rather more on healthy portions.
I'm not sure, though. What do you guys think? What would a paleo diabetic-exchange diet look like to you? What does your diet look like, if you broke it down into exchanges?
Thank you! :)
ETA: I figured I ought to clear some things up. :)
I'm not diabetic, though I am wanting to keep an eye on my health. I'm at a healthy weight, but I have struggled with an eating disorder in the past. I'm a reformed vegetarian, which means I have done my time with high-carb and I'm so over it (I still enjoy 2-3 pieces of fruit, some nuts/seeds, and dark chocolate daily, though).
When I was a vegetarian, I tried to transition into IE (intuitive eating) but failed horribly, which I now -- in retrospect -- believe was mostly because I'm intolerant to most vegetarian proteins (I can't eat dairy, gluten, soy, most legumes, etc, and I recently discovered that it was all the grains that I eat that was making me so sick in the past). Due to these dietary restrictions, I messed up my body horribly and gained weight. I'm not overweight or underweight, but I am very OCD and struggle with overcoming my fixation on numbers. I just want a healthy balance and a healthy relationship with food, and to put my ED behind me and not let it control me anymore.
Also, just to throw that out there, I eat ~2000 +/- calories a day, so undereating isn't an issue for me right now, but because I don't trust myself to "know how" to eat properly. I'm hoping you guys can help point me in the right direction here on learning how to eat to nourish myself properly. :)
Isn't this really just subbing one type of counting for another? I don't think there is anything wrong with calorie counting (you know that) sometimes, it's just what the brain needs. If you are serious about not counting, you have to not count anything and work on eating to satiety. Maybe give it a week and see how you feel not counting.
You can transition to the plate method - 1/2 plate fibrous vegetables (greens), 1/4 starchy vegetables (squashes) or some fruit (IF YOU CAN TOLERATE IT), 1/4 animal protein/fat. We're talking about a 9" bottom measurement of the plate, maximum, NOT edge-to-edge. Exchanges might be a step if you do a weightwatchers type diet, but it isn't optimal.
For example, turkey bacon is worth one value, regular bacon is only 1 unit more. YET, turkey bacon is a highly processed food (turkeys don't have bellies that are used to cure for bacon). Pork bacon, if you buy a good brand, has smoke, salt and a bit of sugar (sometimes).
Skip the exchanges, learn more about the nutritional quality of what you eat and you'll be so much better off in the long run.
I'm not diabetic, but have read a lot about diabetes....and was taught way different from the way they are teaching today (I'm a RN for almost 35 years). My family has a large number of diabetics and one reason I follow low carb/primal is an attempt to avoid the diagnosis for myself.
The way I eat is meat with vegetables and an occasional fruit (usually berries). Some diabetics have to watch their protein intake as protein can be converted to glucose. You will have to watch your blood sugars to see how you react to them. For me they are not a problem....but again, I'm not diabetic, just severely insulin resistant. My meals start out with protein....meat, fish .fowl and then I add veggies as desired. Fruits are most often a snack or dessert.....and always eaten with fat and/or protein.
I really can't see how the exchanges designed by the ADA could possibly translate to paleo/primal as it's mostly very low fat and high carb. Keeping your blood sugars as low as possible....without going into the "hypo" levels, is the best way to control diabetes and prevent the complications associated with diabetes.
If you are on medication, I highly recommend you speak with your physician about how to use your medications. If you eat significantly lower levels of carbohydrates than allowed by the ADA you can run into problems with your meds. It's rarely a good suggestion to adjust your meds alone. If your doc is anti paleo/primal and advocates a high carb low fat diet you may have to find a new one....which can be hard, but is usually doable.
I'd also recommend Steve Cooksey's site (http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/). He's been controlling his diabetes without meds using low carb, paleo/primal diet and doing fantastic.
I don't know what is wrong with egg whites. Whole eggs for me are critical part of my eating pattern. 4 to 6 eggs pan fried in coconut oil with 1/8 pound of bacon and a half a yam microwaved til soft and slathered with butter gets me through my day til dinner.
When I go grocery shopping for my meat, I look for the fattiest cuts I can get. Many times I find excellent buys on beef roasts that have good marbling and I cut that roast into steaks and pan fry. Every bit as tasty as the high price steaks.
Just eyeball your meat and fat and soon you will learn to fuel your body with fat and meat and veggies with butter slathered on them, so yams with butter and large green salads with lots of olive oil and vinegar.
Fuel your body so you feel good. If you eat until you are satiated, you will be eating correctly.
Depends on your personality. Many find that it's harder to change too many things at once. If your plan is to change your diet to paleo and ALSO combat your OC tendencies, I'd say it might be too much at once. One of the great things about paleo is that most people find they don't need to count calories but on the flip side, calorie counting will not prevent you from eating successfully paleo. My advice would be to learn a lot about paleo eating and transition to that. For now, count calories if you like until you get your diet stabilized. Also, since you are concerned at all with becoming diabetic, you will want to keep your carb intake low enough that your blood sugar does not spike high after meals. You can buy a cheap glucometer to test blood sugar response to meals. If your blood sugar control is still healthy then you will probably be fine with moderate intake of healthy carbs, but you will need to blood test to know if that is the case or not. Anyway, my advice would be to deal with the diet change and any blood sugar issues and once you are a stable paleo eater and know about how much food you like to eat and do well on, then you can start to tackle your calorie counting urges. Paleo eating is healthy and may improve your overall anxiety level and brain function, so that may help you get ready for tackling your other more psychological OC tendencies. But the paleo diet can only do so much and, IMO, switching foods may not solve all OC tendencies
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