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visual help for type 2 diabetic..

rmarisco Jul 23, 2013 10:20 AM

my MIL is a type 2 diabetic. has been for YEARS. However, with her advancing age, she seems to be confusing her good foods and bad foods, and is allowing more bad foods to slip into her diet. i am looking for something like a "food pyramid" for diabetics she could hang on her fridge, or a simple (chldlike) book that is highly visual. (her doctor gave her a handout, but it's densely populated with sentences, and no pictures of "good" foods) She seems to believe that she will be missing out on food if she eats according to her diabetes: i'd like to be able to SHOW her the variety available beyond bread and pancakes. Is there anything simple and visual available out there? Thanks!

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  1. k
    kathryn RE: rmarisco Jul 23, 2013 01:44 PM

    Like this?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn
      mcf RE: kathryn Jul 24, 2013 09:21 AM

      NO, completely opposite that!

    2. pinehurst RE: rmarisco Jul 23, 2013 01:53 PM

      Do you think perhaps this recent confusion with stuff she's known for years should be discussed with her PCP, unless you've done so already?

      Another image is here:

      2 Replies
      1. re: pinehurst
        rmarisco RE: pinehurst Jul 23, 2013 06:07 PM

        thank you both kathryn and pinehurst.. YES!!! just like those!
        i think i might have to get the one kathryn recommended ONLY because she once went on a low carb diet and claimed she didn't lose weight so those words next to the pyramid would immediately turn her OFF. She is at the stage in life where she isn't really caring what other people think, and doesn't listen to advice very well. Very stubborn and opinionated: I'm pretty sure she's just ignoring the advice.

        Her wonderful doctor can only do so much (poor man, he's trying...). Thus, I was thinking visuals might be easier for her to relate to than his many lectures and information about the horrible effects of diabetes.

        thanks again!

        1. re: rmarisco
          meatnveg RE: rmarisco Aug 18, 2013 06:12 PM

          Why not just print out the Low carb one, without the words? or just call it 'weight loss pyramid'.

          Makes a lot more sense than giving a picture that shows foods that are likely to exacerbate blood sugar management concerns.

      2. Ttrockwood RE: rmarisco Jul 24, 2013 09:18 PM

        Is this helpful?
        May help to see on the actual plate portion sizes

        22 Replies
        1. re: Ttrockwood
          mcf RE: Ttrockwood Jul 25, 2013 06:22 AM

          Not with that big starch portion, which fuels type 2 diabetes, it's not, no. I could never stay in healthy, normal numbers eating that way.

          1. re: mcf
            Ttrockwood RE: mcf Jul 25, 2013 09:27 PM

            Were you looking at the special plates for diabetes? It showed half the plate as veggies, one quarter as starch and a quarter as the protein....

            1. re: Ttrockwood
              mcf RE: Ttrockwood Jul 26, 2013 06:36 AM

              Yes, which means a plate for diabetics is promoted containing about 55% of its calories from carbs, the only macronutrient group that raises blood glucose.

              1. re: mcf
                Kajikit RE: mcf Jul 27, 2013 03:10 PM

                You may feel that's too much starch for you, but it's a proportion that more people are going to be able to live with than saying 'no starch at all'. Having half a plate of vegetables alone is a huge challenge for a lot of people.

                1. re: Kajikit
                  mcf RE: Kajikit Jul 27, 2013 03:27 PM

                  It's too much starch and total carbs for any diabetic hoping to avoid progression of the disease and loss of vision, limbs, kidneys, etc.

                  There's no excuse for any supposed health provider or advocate to be recommending it, in the face of strong research finding how damaging it is.

                  1. re: mcf
                    lynnlato RE: mcf Jul 28, 2013 02:27 PM

                    "It's too much starch and total carbs for any diabetic hoping to avoid progression of the disease and loss of vision, limbs, kidneys, etc."

                    This may be true for type 2 diabetics, but isn't so for us Type 1 diabetics. Just to be clear to others who are following this thread. And all veggies are not created equal. I think a cup of spinach, for instance, is like 1 carb.

                    1. re: lynnlato
                      mcf RE: lynnlato Jul 28, 2013 02:35 PM

                      95% of all diabetics are type 2.

                      1. re: lynnlato
                        slowcoooked RE: lynnlato Oct 20, 2013 07:33 AM

                        Lynnato, actually there is no insulin delivery regimen that adequately recapitulates the fine tuning of our pancreas for controlling blood sugar spikes after a high carbohydrate meal. It is in large part those very post meal blood glucose spikes that can damage tissues over time. So a type 1 diabetic still benefits from eating low glycemic foods. I realize that the adjustment of insulin levels to avoid hypoglycemia is a distinct challenge for the type 1 patient, but it doesn't mean that eating high glycemic foods still isn't bad for that patient. It's just not a good idea for maintaining a normal lifespan over the long haul. Whomever gave you that advice is just not correct.

                        1. re: slowcoooked
                          lynnlato RE: slowcoooked Oct 20, 2013 03:39 PM

                          I'm not certain what advice you're referring to but I think you are misunderstanding my point. My point was that as T1D's we do not need to live a carb-free life. I choose to eat low carb because that's the type of restrictive mgmt I was taught but also because I am a health/fitness person and it's a choice. I eat less than 100 carbs a day. Many T1D's eat more and live long, healthy lives. I agree low carb is better and make mgmt easier. But it's subjective and there is no magic # for anyone. Everyone's disease mgmt is unique.

                          T1D management has come a long way and we now can live normal lifespans with the aid of insulin pumps, CGM's, etc. And actually the artificial pancreas is soon to be an option (Medtronic has a pump & CGM that they call an artificial pancreas but in reality it is simply a cgm & a pump that can suspend insulin delivery when it detects a high bg). The JDRF is funding some amazing technology that is in it's human trial stage and they've had great success.

                          1. re: lynnlato
                            lynnlato RE: lynnlato Oct 21, 2013 10:34 AM

                            *Correction: I eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day and approx. 100 grams of protein daily.

                      2. re: mcf
                        macca RE: mcf Jul 30, 2013 12:16 PM

                        i'm with you! I am recently diagnosed. Met with a nutritionist for advice after seeing my PCP. Have been so careful- and have lost 35 pounds since Memorial Day, got both of my sugar levels back in the normal range- and no way would I have done that with eating 55% of my calories from carbs. Nutritionist recommended no more than 30-45 carbs per meal ( wish I could "stockpile" my carbs!), and I average a lot less than that! Easy to do (for me), in the summer with so many great offerings at the farmers market. And I can truthfully say I am not hungry!

                        1. re: macca
                          mcf RE: macca Jul 30, 2013 12:20 PM

                          30-45 gms per meal is typically about 50-55% of the calories on your plate, following their reccos for low fat and protein. I eat a total of 30-70 grams of carbs per *day*, usually in the middle of that. My glucose would spike all to hell on 25 gms at once, and on 10-15 in the a.m.

                          I keep my glucose true normal, not ADA normal, which is high enough to destroy your health. I aim for 120 or below at all times post meal, always at one hour after the first bite.

                          I reversed my long standing kidney and nerve damage this way, along with dyslipidemia.

                          Congrats on making progress!

                          1. re: mcf
                            macca RE: mcf Jul 31, 2013 05:23 AM

                            I think I probably only eat 50-70 carbs per day- An I get the most ( about 16) from my morning yogurt! My last bloodwork had me at 108! Dr still does not think I need a blood monitor kit, and will reconsider after my bloodwork in October. Personally, I want one, so I can see the effect foods have.
                            Love me drs approach- though I am doing well, I have appts with podiatrist and eye specialist just to establish a baseline.
                            Great you could reverse things- amazing how much a change in diet can do. I am determined to keep things normal, as my Dad had diabetes, ended up on dialysis, with vision problems and heart trouble. Not for me!!

                            1. re: macca
                              hotoynoodle RE: macca Jul 31, 2013 06:07 AM

                              about carbs in yogurt:


                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                macca RE: hotoynoodle Jul 31, 2013 06:48 AM

                                Interesting article. Thanks

                              2. re: macca
                                mcf RE: macca Jul 31, 2013 06:15 AM

                                I bought my own meter, found high post meal numbers after years undiagnosed, despite protein in my urine and severe neuropathies. Reversed all damage, maintaining without meds all these years.

                                1. re: mcf
                                  macca RE: mcf Jul 31, 2013 06:48 AM

                                  Hope she gives me an rx for a meter at my next visit- really need to have control!!

                                  1. re: macca
                                    mcf RE: macca Jul 31, 2013 07:36 AM

                                    Do you need an rx? In the U.S. we don't. Meters are typically cheap or free, the cost is the test strips they want you to buy. Free meters are available on the internet, too. Here's the most valuable guide to managing diabetes I've ever seen: http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/22229...

                                    1. re: mcf
                                      macca RE: mcf Jul 31, 2013 08:17 AM

                                      Don't need an rx- just thought it would be cheaper with one! Thanks for the info- may just get one myself if they are inexpensive. Thanks for the link- saved it to my favorites!!

                                      1. re: macca
                                        mcf RE: macca Jul 31, 2013 08:28 AM

                                        Look for the price of the strips, then select a meter with the lowest cost ones.

                                        1. re: mcf
                                          macca RE: mcf Jul 31, 2013 08:54 AM

                                          Thanks- More good advice!!

                        2. re: Kajikit
                          hotoynoodle RE: Kajikit Jul 27, 2013 06:06 PM

                          funny that you chose the phrase "live with", since it's a sped-up recipe for a very quick progression of the disease, leading to an untimely death.

                2. s
                  sueatmo RE: rmarisco Jul 26, 2013 01:49 PM

                  I'd think about advancing dementia as much as reinforcement of a long ago adopted eating plan.

                  If she cannot or will not stick to her diabetes diet, then someone might have to prepare food for her at set times, and make sure stuff she should not have is not around for her to get into. These adjustments are part of dealing with advancing age and the encroachments of dementia.

                  There are consequences to not following a diabetic diet if one is a diabetic.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: sueatmo
                    hotoynoodle RE: sueatmo Jul 27, 2013 01:15 PM

                    how old is she? high-carb diets are thought to promote alzheimer's, is this the issue, or is she simply becoming a bit more absent-minded and/or stubborn?

                    is her doctor supportive of her eating low-carb? or of the more cw approach of "managing" diabetes with insulin?

                    does she do her own shopping? can this become a more cooperative effort so that off-plan foods aren't in the house?

                    eta: i googled ketogenic diet pyramid and got these:



                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                      rmarisco RE: hotoynoodle Aug 18, 2013 07:18 PM

                      her doctor is definitely supportive - he has given her tons of info, and talks to her a lot. they manage her diabetes with insulin, but, right now, it's not very well managed because she has gotten so bad about her diet! Problem is the info from the doctor is all words... i was looking for something visual to plop on the fridge door, to help her remember before she puts something in her mouth.

                      part of her problem is definitely the shopping. She believes that convenience/prepackaged foods are stretching her dollar more. maybe that's true, maybe not. she hates to cook, and doesn't want fresh food to go bad, so i can see where frozen would definitely be better. However, she also buys junk on the shelf next to the healthy choices.

                      She has no one to help her shop. We've offered many suggestions for assistance, but, she is not yet infirmed enough for the county to help out, above the poverty line, and doesn't want to bother anyone. (Raise your hands if this sounds like a parent you know..)

                      Part of this is definitely stubbornness. I think she feels she has a right to eat what she wants. By telling her what to eat, she gets very upset that we are trying to take away some of her independence. Plus, she's definitely of that mindset that diet means deprivation, rather than healthy fuel for your body, and she does NOT want to diet...

                      It's a complicated problem: the idea of a visual aid was a single simple step in a multi-layered approach

                      1. re: rmarisco
                        lynnlato RE: rmarisco Aug 19, 2013 05:40 AM

                        It's very stressful having to make big life changes, at any age, but I would guess the older we get the more difficult it would become. There is a ridiculous amount of info. thrown at the newly diagnosed and it is certainly a lot to digest. Throw into that trying to manage diabetes with insulin - wow. There is no exact dosage so it's a constant balancing act.

                        I'm sorry she's having a difficult time. I wonder if she would respond better to a diabetic mentor or support group? You could contact your local chapter of the JDRF. Many chapters have volunteer adult mentors that help by listening and sharing stories about what they eat, how they manage and what works for them. Sometimes we hear things clearer from strangers than from our family members.

                        I feel for you all and wish her well. :)

                  2. w
                    wyogal RE: rmarisco Jul 26, 2013 01:56 PM

                    Because there are differing opinions/ideas/whatever, maybe it would be good to make your own. Take the list from her doc, and go to the internet, find photos of those specific foods (the ones you know she eats) and click and drag to a document. Arrange, and then print.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wyogal
                      rmarisco RE: wyogal Aug 18, 2013 06:57 PM

                      wyogai - i LOVE that idea! i think it would be great for her to cut magazines - just like we used to do for classes - and make a plate. That is a great, FREE idea. Thanks!

                      and, it will have the added benefit of maybe getting her to think a little more about what she's putting into her body

                    2. mcf RE: rmarisco Nov 14, 2013 10:08 AM

                      This is way too one size fits all and about twice my daily carb limit for achieving normal glucose levels, but since it addresses this topic, I thought I'd add it here.

                      The recco for protein in substantial amounts for glucose control is very welcome and is a huge help in regulating post meal glucose levels: http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/imag...

                      Also, I don't deduct fiber or sugar alcohols since significant amounts are digested. At most, I'd deduct half, if any.

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