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When someone you love eats forbidden foods

Mr. Spice is an insulin-dependent diabetic. Blood-sugar levels and weight are under control but his sweet-tooth is a monster. He insists on eating pastries, candy, sodas, etc. Artificial sweeteners give him a headache so everything’s fully loaded with sugar. He knows it’s not good and we've had numerous discussions about it. He’ll say, “I’m not gonna eat that stuff anymore.” Then two days later he’ll bring home a box of pastries.

I’ve been guilty of indulging him by making the forbidden foods but now I’m concerned about the danger to his health and decided to stop (except every now and then). If he buys pastries, etc. then there’s not much I can do. Anyone else have this problem? How do you handle it? Ideas appreciated.

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  1. I have celiac disease so cannot have gluten - EVER. Even two crumbs could get me very, very ill and trigger all sorts of reactions and auto-immune diseases. Nasty. But I absolutely refuse to have anything with gluten. And my husband is extremely dilligent as well, eating gluten free at home. Sure, it is difficult, but I am not risking my life over gluten-y bread. It really sucks when we go out, especially to foreign countries, trying to explain things. At restaurants it is like the Spanish Inquisition. Why? Because I care about my life (it is precious) and for those who love me. So, the only answer I have is you both MUST stop this behavior. One thing that prevents me from indulging is thinking of my future. My husband and family need me! I want to enjoy a long healthy life without complications that could have been prevented.

    It DOES become easier but you must develop the habit of just completing quitting. Treat it like you would treat rat poison. Gluten is poison to my body - why would I feed myself something that could potentially kill me? Maybe if you were to treat pastries, etc. as though they contain poison.

    Please, please for both of you stop indulging! It is SO not worth it. Your husband MUST come to the place where he realizes this is killing him. But he must come to that point himself. Hopefully that lightbulb will go on for him very soon!

    5 Replies
    1. re: chefathome

      Thanks for sharing your story, chefathome. You are absolutely correct, it's not worth the risk. Now I'm more determined than ever to turn things around.

      1. re: Spice_zing

        That is fantastic. All it takes is one step - then another, and another and suddenly a month has past and the habit has been set in motion.

        Though I have celiac and can get extremely sick I am actually quite asymptomatic which makes it doubly hard to be determined. The longer you are off gluten the more serious the "glutening" according to many experienced people. I am not about to find out!

        Regardless whether a person gets sick from ingesting the offending item or not, the fact remains that this can cause further difficulties later on. Good for you for wanting to get back on track! All the best of luck. :-)

      2. re: chefathome

        Great post- and so true. We have lots of celiacs in the family- 5 out of 6 of the oldest neices/nephews were all diagnosed in their early 20's. We are so careful when cooking for them. I do thanksgiving, and cook their gravy, make their stuffing and cook a separate bird to ensure no cross contamination. I have separate utensils to use as I cook. One of my SIL makes a ton of gf desserts. We have never had anyone have a reaction, and will be as careful this year as we were lst Thanksgiving.

        1. re: macca

          That is a high number of celiacs! Kudos to you for caring so much and taking the extra time to ensure they are all safe, including using separate utensils. That is wonderful. I would feel safe eating in that environment. Do you realize how rare it is to go that extra mile? Your celiac family members are so fortunate! That is awesome.

          1. re: chefathome

            It is odd- no one in any of the families involved can trace it. And all of them (2 families) were diagnosed with blood and biopsy tests. We are a family that loves to eat, and a lot of us love to cook, so it was an easy transition. There are still 7 younger neices and nephews, and we are all hoping they are ok. Just returned from Trader Joes- lots of gf stuff- and, to make it easier, I will only us gf crackers for the cheese tray. So great to see lots of choices for gf- though the prices can be crazy!

      3. Send Mr. Spice to do a few afternoons of volunteer work at the local dialysis clinic. If chatting with diabetics who are kept alive only by machines doesn't convince him that he shouldn't toy with his health, nothing will.

        Also, there are plenty of low-sugar recipes that don't rely on fake ass substitutes to make things taste good. Another tip for taming the sugar demon is paying attention to texture & maximum flavor in the savory dishes....if eating is entertaining and stimulating throughout the meal, we are less likely to seek out the "thrill" of sugar calories for stimulation eating.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hungry Celeste

          Good ideas, Hungry. He knows a few people who have lost limbs bec. of diabetes. It concerns him too. I think there's some denial since weight and levels are ok.

        2. I am the Grandfather to a Type One diabetic 5 year old and as long as Mr Spice doses for his carbs, again carbs not sugar and he controls his doseage of insulin he will be ok. I do not understand your problem if his blood sugars are under control

          1 Reply
          1. re: senortweedy

            This is not true of type 2 diabetes, they are very different diseases. The ACCORD trials proved that eating high carbs and using meds to compensate for the glucose response leads to higher complications and mortality.

            It's not how low our bg goes, it's also HOW we get it there that determines whether the disease harms us. Using high amounts of insulin also comes with complications, including increased cancer risks and insulin resistance.

            95% of diabetics are type 2 and have very different issues than type 1.

            It's not just sweets that you have to worry about, it's starches from grains and starchy veggies, sugars from fruits, etc. All carbs matter, but some are far more favorable than others, such as colorful, leafy, high fiber veggies. Cutting carbs greatly diminishes the cravings for sweets, too.

          2. I'm sorry, that is tough. The tricky thing with diabetes, unlike celiac, is that you can eat all the wrong things without necessarily feeling bad. At least at first.

            I'm a type 1 diabetic but do not have to deal with a sweet tooth nor an artificial sweetner reaction. Ideally, he'd be up for some experimenting to find sweet indulgences that are healthier, a poached pear with chocolate sauce, for example, rather than a pastry. Has he spend any time looking through diabetic cookbooks? There are quite a few interesting and creative ways to avoid sugar and processed carbs while still not feeling like you are depriving yourself. Or what about a cooking class aimed at diabetics? The Joslin Diabetes Center has a ton of online and IRL resources: http://www.joslin.org/care/patient-ed...

            If his A1Cs are normal, which is surprising, I assume he is covering his binges with extra insulin. Of course, that has its own negatives.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tcamp

              Thanks for this link tcamp--lots of great info. He eats more fresh fruit than before but a bit stubborn about not changing certain eating habits. I agree, it is surprising that his levels are normal and that's what's deceptive. All that sugar can't be good, especially when you're diabetic.

            2. Is he a type 1 or type 2 diabetic? Is he trying to control his diabetes solely through diet (i.e., is he a type 2 diabetic who is trying to get off insulin)?

              1 Reply
              1. re: biondanonima

                Type 2. He's not trying to get off insulin. He's successfully lowered his dosage a few times. But in the past year when he tried to lower his dosage he felt too shaky.