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Jan 16, 2013 07:57 PM

Helping a diabetic junk food junkie

I have a friend who has diabetes, mostly eats out and hates to cook. Her diet is horrible. Its like she read all the literature about what you shouldn't eat and eats only those things. She also has high blood pressure. To make matters worse she thinks pills will take care of everything, but she feels poorly 4 out of 7 days a week. Is there a book or DVD I can get her to encourage her to at least take a few small steps. I have the cook this not that books and love them, could the eat this not that books help as a start.

I sense she is in a lot of denial. A mutual friend of ours has diabetes and going through dialysis and another friend of hers is on the verge of losing her remaining leg to diabetes. Both women have diabetes as result of dietary issues and unhealthy weight.

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  1. This web site is a great first stop:

    And Gretchn Becker's book: "The First Year; Type 2 Diabetes

    The book you linked to is not appropriate for diabetics; he maintains a calorie focus and it's way too carby and low fat for diabetics. Fat is the one macronutrient that doesn't raise blood sugar.

    Among popular diet books, Protein Power books by the Eades, any of them.

    But honestly, if that's her attitude and she's satisfied with her results, she's probably not going to appreciate it.

    And believe it or not, all the food you shouldn't eat plus pills and shots is what the Diabetes Assn recommends. Keep in line with those cereal, soft drink and drug sponsors. :-/

    2 Replies
    1. re: mcf

      Thanks for the info. I think you are right about her attitude. She really doesn't want to give up much and can be very stubborn.

      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

        OhMyGosh.. every diabetic I know is like this! except for a little girl i know who was born with type 1. she has never been without her insulin, and must be extremely vigilant.

    2. I don't think you can help her; she has to help herself. Remember that sugar is addicting in all its forms, and she is addicted. The only thing I think you could do for yourself, and for her, is to tell her how you value her and you worry about how badly she is taking care of herself. Try not to be judgmental about food, but I think it is OK to express concern about her welfare.

      If she indicates that she wants to change but doesn't know how, or that she is afraid of the future, then you could suggest visiting a dietitian or reading Gary Taubes book, "Why we get fat." Or you could go to Weight Watchers with her, if that would work better.

      But if she refuses to change, you have to accept that.

      Cary Tennis, on the Salon site answered a similar question about someone's mother who is in jeapardy but will not change jobs. His answer--to bring her doughnuts and sit with her and enjoy each other--isn't the right answer for your friend. But it is a wise answer if you interpret the principle according your circumstances. Don't bring her doughnuts, but do spend time with her in a different activity she enjoys, and just try for mutual enjoyment.

      You really can't make people do much of anything.

      3 Replies
      1. re: sueatmo

        This is true. Sometimes you can only "be" an example and let other people choose their path.

        I was on a beach in Mexico wearing a bikini, baseball hat and no make up. I had just finished a para sail. I sat down next to an older, overweight woman that appeared really unhealthy (breathing loudly, swollen legs) eating chips, rice, shrimp, beans and drinking chi chi's. I ordered a glass of wine and shrimp with nothing else. In the course of our conversation (she started about the food) she asked why I didn't order the chips and rice ( because they were really good and such a large serving for the money) and I told her that I don't usually eat extra carbs for health reasons.

        She told me all about moderation, how everyone is obsessive about eating "heathy" and depriving themselves, how you only live once, how things change when you get older, etc. most of this low carb, organic "stuff" is just bunk and that I will discover this when I am "her age" And how it is not so easy to keep fit...."after 50 it is all downhill". I asked her how old she was, she said she just turned 50. I just smiled and told her I am 52.

        She let me know how "lucky" I am :)

        I really think the only thing we can do is set an example and encourage others. That is only if they are interested! Some folks are more interested in defending their positions and not observing other ways of being.

        1. re: sueatmo

          After mulling it over, I share your perspective. She is really bull headed in a lot of other ways. Unless she comes to me for help I need to take a hands off approach.

          I am an avid reader of Cary Tennis, he is amazing with addiction issues, his articles have helped me gain perspective in the past. Thank you for mentioning him. I'll have to catch up on my reading.

          1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

            Good luck to you. It is great that you are trying to be a good friend.