How to embrace the Diabetic Diet

Carter ICUI remember when we were in the ICU with our son, after speaking with the nutritionist, and thinking about the effect of carbohydrates on our son’s body now that he has Type 1 Diabetes. It made me rethink how my whole family had been eating, and wonder how I was to embrace the Diabetic Diet for my whole family. It’s interesting how learning to feed your body with carbohydrates is completely different from eating carbs.  Being cognizant of what carbohydrates do to your body once ingested, certainly helps with the carb choices I’ve been making in my house post diagnosis.  I am more aware now of how many carbs are in what foods and am more conscious of how much a serving really is.  I have found it easier, to have my whole family on Carter’s diet, then only having him change his portion sizes.  Researching low-glycemic super foods has been one of the greatest tools I have found.  It assists me in making sure my children are getting the most nutrient dense carbohydrates possible.  Foods like sweet potato, which I am grateful my son loves, are one of the foods on the list and have become a huge staple in my refrigerator.  Whenever I am introducing new foods to Carter and he decides he doesn’t want to eat them, I always turn to sweet potato as I know he will eat it.  One of the most overwhelming things for me at first was realizing how anything you put into things raises the carb amount of the item.  For instance, I used to put 2 tsp. brown sugar and whole milk with salt, pepper, and cinnamon in Carter’s sweet potatoes.  Now I still put 2 tsp. (per whole sweet potato) of brown sugar, yet I use butter and half and half which has less carbs in it the whole milk.  I also make sure the carbs in the brown sugar are counted when I am measuring out his portion.  It means he gets a little less sweet potato, but what he lacks food wise with the portion size is made up for with the veggies or proteins I have chosen to accompany dinner.  I was shocked to learn of the carbohydrate content of most foods, yet after researching them, it all makes more sense to me now.  This experience with Carter certainly has put my relationship with food into perspective.  I am now that mom who reads the nutrition labels while shopping in the grocery store.  There are many foods that aren’t even worth buying, and when the diet situation becomes life or death, it’s amazing how easy the different choices are to make.

For more information on understanding carbohydrates, and how they relate to Diabetes, I found this article from the University of San Francisco helpful and informative.  Please remember, I am not a doctor, or a nurse, I am just a Mother doing my best to understand the ins and outs of Type 1 Diabetes.   

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