Full Version: Grazing

From: 1steelerfan [#1]
 11 Dec 2010
To: ALL

I was recently diagnosed with type II diabetes, due to the fact that I have overeaten to the tune of 60 extra lbs and I don't exercise. I have cut back on my portions and started walking and lost about 20 lbs so far. Here is my problem. Even though I eat my 3 meals a day, I graze in between. It's a habit I've had for so many years and I'm having a hard time breaking it. It's a few grapes here, a handful of nuts there, a string cheese stick, etc all through the day, even though my total calories throughout the day have been reduced and my weight has gone down. I don't know a lot about diabetes yet, but I feel that I will probably never have to deal with hypogycemia since I'm always eating. Is this keeping my blood sugar up higher than it would be if I was not doing the grazing? Would it be better to let my glucose level come down between meals? Everyone is telling me that I should be eating 3 meals and 2 snacks. What is this bad habit doing to my glucose readings? I take 500 mg of Metformin 3 times a day. My recent A1c was 7.4.

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From: toneylee in VA (TONEYLEE) [#3]
 12 Dec 2010
To: 1steelerfan [#1] 12 Dec 2010

Hi and Welcome. :)

JMO, but I see nothing wrong with grazing. As a matter of fact, some people think several small meals during the day or every 2-3 hours, helps keep BGs more stable than 3 meals a day. It isn't the number of times you eat but WHAT you eat that makes the difference. (Well, and quantity or serving sizes, too.)

It sounds like you are doing very well with your diet and exercise. The snacks you describe are pretty healthy. ( If you said you were snacking on crackers or ice cream, it would be a different story!)

But, whether it's meals or snacks, the only way to truly know how you are affecting glucose levels with foods (for example, some people couldn't handle the sugar in grapes) is to test after meals--or at least one meal. Are you testing BGs? When and how often? And what are the numbers like?

If your numbers shoot up after a certain food (like high carbs or sugary foods), then you know what to adjust. In general, though, I'd just say: Try to make all your food choices (as much as possible) low carb or low glycemic index; avoid processed foods, limit white foods, choose whole grains, and eat a bit of fat and/or protein with any carbs or sugars (to slow the glucose spike).

Specifically, raw nuts are great for you. I see nothing bad about string cheese. Hypoglycemia is almost never a problem with type 2 and a med like metformin. You are doing fine so far. So...Keep up the good work!

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From: 1steelerfan [#5]
 12 Dec 2010
To: toneylee in VA (TONEYLEE) [#3] 13 Dec 2010

Thanks for the reply. I think my numbers are too high, buy my doctor isn't too concerned with my A1C. It's not great, but not terrible. He feels that my exercise and weight loss should bring it down. My fasting glucose is sometimes in the 120's and sometimes in the 150's. Never below 120. For example. Last night I had some carbs I shouldn't have had. White bread. I woke up at 4:30. Tested at 172. Went back to bed. At 9:00 it was 122, so it did come down from the high reading. One night this week I was 108 before bed. I ate a snack and when I woke up I was at 157. I wish I hadn't eaten the snack because I would like to know what it would be without the snack. I only get enough strips to test twice a day. I've been testing more often to see what works and doesn't work, but I can't do that for long or I'll run out of strips. In November, I was given a dose of prednisone to prevent a reaction to a medical test, so that would have effected my A1c. I'm curious to see what it will be with my weight loss and without the prednisone.

Also, I didn't know that water would help lower glucose. When I was working I kept water at my desk and drank alot more than I have been now that I retired in June. After reading about the water on these boards, I have started back with my water and hope that will help.

Thanks again for the response.

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From: toneylee in VA (TONEYLEE) [#7]
 13 Dec 2010
To: 1steelerfan [#5] 13 Dec 2010

Well, I'm glad you are testing. You're doing a good job.

I agree that the numbers are not that terrible, but keep it as your goal (not always achievable) to aim for numbers as stable as possible. Do look for substitutes for white bread, ok? And if you have to cheat, have a bit of fat with it to slow the carb spike. But a bedtime snack might actually help those morning fasting numbers. Make it a good snack like a small piece of cheese or a handful of nuts and perhaps cherries or melon. Some people (the lucky ones!) have good results with one small square of dark chocolate or a glass of red wine before bed. Fasting numbers are the hardest to get control of, and often depend on the weight loss. Don't stress about that too much. For now, just try to eat as healthily as you can during the day.

And, hey, I forgot to say yesterday: Congrats on the 20 lbs!!

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From: Geri in Co:Victoza(3-10) (GERI) [#9]
 13 Dec 2010
To: 1steelerfan [#1] 13 Dec 2010

Welcome.

Toney has said alot of what I would say except for when you snack make sure you eat a complex carb with a protein. Example: 1/2 apple with peanut butter, whole grain crackers with a bit of cheese. The protein helps to slow down the carb spikes.

You can ask your dr to write a new prescription for more test strips so you can see how food affects you better. Grapes will cause my glucose levels go sky high as do bananas so you may want to really limit those fruits. You may be different but you won't know unless you test before and 1-2 hrs after eating them.

Congrats on your weight loss and keep up the good work.

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From: 1steelerfan [#11]
 13 Dec 2010
To: Geri in Co:Victoza(3-10) (GERI) [#9] 14 Dec 2010

I tried in the past to get more strips but insurance would only pay for so many. Right now, I don't have rx coverage. After the first of the year I will be on different insurance so I will have to see if they even cover strips. If not, I plan on buying the store brand at Target. They are much less expensive than the One Touch I use now. With my lack of rx coverage it give me a lot of incentive to improve my health and get off some of the meds I'm on. Most are generics, but a couple are really high priced. So far I have been able to eliminate 1 high priced blood pressure med.

Thanks for the info!

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From: Geri in Co:Victoza(3-10) (GERI) [#13]
 14 Dec 2010
To: 1steelerfan [#11] 14 Dec 2010

Keep up the good work. Getting off of one med is the start to a great healthy new life.

I'd start learning about complex carbs and how they are better for us than simple white carbs. Wish I had learned more when I was first diagnosed.

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From: 1steelerfan [#15]
 14 Dec 2010
To: Geri in Co:Victoza(3-10) (GERI) [#13] 15 Dec 2010

The past 2 days I did well with my carbs. I pretty much know what I can and can't eat, but my husband brought a submarine sandwich home from the firehall over the weekend and I ate a piece, knowing that I shouldn't have had that white roll, or the deli meat for that matter! Having heart disease makes it even tougher for me....there are the foods I can't eat because of my diabetes and those that I can't eat because of my heart disease. Doesn't leave a whole lot! LOL When I follow the diet they had me on in the hospital my glucose reading are really good. Then I see something I really want to eat......

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From: Geri in Co:Victoza(3-10) (GERI) [#17]
 15 Dec 2010
To: 1steelerfan [#15] 15 Dec 2010

DO NOT beat yourself up for eating something that isn't in your best interest. We all do it so I say moderation is key. If you eat 80+% of the time the way your lifestyle is and eat 20-% of some of your not so good for you likes then you are doing great. Perfection is not required.

Do you keep a food journal? They help me a lot so I can see where I need to adjust my intake. Might help you too.

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From: Mark_in_MO [#19]
 15 Dec 2010
To: 1steelerfan [#15] 15 Dec 2010

quote: 1steelerfan
Having heart disease makes it even tougher for me....there are the foods I can't eat because of my diabetes and those that I can't eat because of my heart disease. Doesn't leave a whole lot! LOL


Question for everyone - as 1steelerfan indicates, having to work with both a diabetic diet AND a heart condition diet is a very difficult issue.

Does anyone know of an existing diet plan that is a combination of a standard diabetic diet (low sugar/carbs & high complex carbs) AND a heart disease diet (low cholesterol, low fat & high complex carbs) ?

If not, is there anyone out there with both diabetes and heart disease that can recommend a few general diet tips of what works for them?

Thanks,

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From: 1steelerfan [#21]
 17 Dec 2010
To: Mark_in_MO [#19] 18 Dec 2010

The main thing I have a problem with is eggs. I really like them and they tend to keep my glucose low, but I now try to stay away from them because of the cholesterol. I've tried Egg Beaters, and I can tolerate them scrambled, but you sure can't hard boil them! LOL Our local salad bar has hard boiled eggs soaked in beet juice! Yum, one of my favorites I have to pass up. While I have heard that the biggest part of the cholesterol dilemma is with the cholesterol your body produces and very little with dietary cholesterol, every time I eat an egg my husband says "There goes another clogged artery!".

Carol

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From: Suzan [#23]
 18 Dec 2010
To: 1steelerfan [#1] 18 Dec 2010

As for bread choices, sourdough bread is supposed to be better than regular white bread, something about how fast it digests, or something.
Also, try and eat foods with fiber, check the food labels on packages. Fiber helps to slow digestion and thus keep one feeling full longer. I have gone from counting just carbs to counting carbs and fiber. With a lot of fiber, I need less insulin.

Suzan

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From: 1steelerfan [#25]
 18 Dec 2010
To: Suzan [#23] 18 Dec 2010

I don't eat much bread because my husband will only eat white bread, and I don't want to buy the wheat bread if I'm the only one eating it. I did recently buy a loaf of stone ground whole wheat and it was so good I wanted to overeat it, so that's not good either. I'm better off if I stay away from it altogether. Most of the time when I eat white bread, it's something my husband has bought and I eat a piece of it.

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From: Suzan [#27]
 18 Dec 2010
To: 1steelerfan [#25] 18 Dec 2010

I, also, try to avoid bread and really like a good piece of whole wheat bread (I used to grind my own wheat flour and bake it). Sourdough white is preferable to plain white for those times I do eat it and my husband, also a white bread person, will eat it (it is white).

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From: toneylee in VA (TONEYLEE) [#29]
 18 Dec 2010
To: 1steelerfan [#25] 18 Dec 2010

Try putting the loaf in the freezer. It freezes well, and usually you can break off one slice at a time. It thaws quickly or toasts as is. But freezing things you really love often slows down your consumption. :)

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From: 1steelerfan [#31]
 18 Dec 2010
To: Suzan [#27] 8 Jan 2014

LOL You don't know my husband. He won't even eat white bread from the bakery or homemade bread. Only the commercial white bread. That's amazing that you ground your own flour. Anyone who actually bakes bread from scratch has my seal of approval! When I was a kid, many many years ago, my mother baked bread every Saturday for the whole week. She did it for financial reasons. We never had commercial bread. I would only eat the bread when it was still warm from the oven and the butter would melt down into it. After the first day, I just didn't eat bread. I was tired of it. Now I love homemade bread, but any time I made it, it was from Rhodes frozen bread dough. It took my mother hours to mix the dough, knead it and let it rise, twice, then bake.

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From: 1steelerfan [#33]
 18 Dec 2010
To: toneylee in VA (TONEYLEE) [#29] 19 Dec 2010

When I was single I froze my bread, and before I met Mr White Bread I only ate wheat bread. But when I got married I got away from it because no one else wanted it. It's hard to be the only healthy eater in the family. I just can't get them to switch.

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From: smorgan [#35]
 12 Sep 2013
To: 1steelerfan [#5] unread

I would be quite worried about numbers like that. I was diagnosed at A1C = 10.7 and my fasting was was only 180. Many studies indicate that organ damage happens anywhere above 140 (Ref: Bloodsugar101 website). Fasting (or any other number) that high should be avoided if possible. Currently, my morning is never above 90 and my post-prandial is never above 120. I think that's a good range to keep complications at bay. I wouldn't want to be any higher than that, personally.

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