Diabetic death loaf
Yesterday my mum sent me a recipe from one of her women’s magazines. As she told me on the phone: “It looks delicious and must be perfect for your diabetic needs, darling.” The recipe was for a diabetic loaf. I stopped reading on the second ingredient, which was 700 ml of oats. When I pointed out to my mum that oats are not great for blood sugar, she asked me: “Why don’t you just use rye flour instead?” It’s like banging your head against the wall.
Most recipes aimed at diabetics are awful and written by people who have lived under a rock since the 1950’s. They say things like “use honey instead of sugar” and “choose healthy whole grains over refined flour.” While this is fine advice for non-diabetics it does nothing to help you control blood sugar. Honey is full of fructose, which causes insulin resistance in the liver. It is especially bad if you’re type 2 or prediabetic. And the idea that whole grains are healthy for diabetics has to go.
The last time I saw a diabetic nurse, she told me to eat 200g of carbohydrates per day and make sure to always have the whole grain option. Do they not understand that it’s the same carbohydrates in whole grain and semolina pasta? All carbohydrates turn to glucose and enter the blood. Whole grain has the advantage of fiber, which can slow down digestion, and with that the glucose response, but it’s marginal. If you eat the 70g carbohydrate dinner many health care professionals recommend it doesn’t matter if it’s whole grain or refined carbohydrates. You can expect a spike in blood sugar on most days.
For an interesting note on fiber, we’re not sure what it does. Different studies point to different things, so the whole “fiber is good for you” hypothesis has not yet been proved true. We believe it adds bulk and contributes to gastrointestinal health. But, we can’t say this for a fact. What we can say, from a diabetic perspective, is that fiber in itself is not the key to blood glucose management.
Health food stores and supermarkets are full of products for diabetics. The market’s flooded with diabetic cookbooks. It’s a scam. When it comes to diabetes-friendly products, you can’t beat low carbohydrate whole foods. Eat cheese, meat, eggs, and vegetables. It just doesn’t get any better than that.