If you have been following my posts, you would have known by now, that I am a supporter of unprocessed foods as the main part of our diet. Let me hasten from the go get to explain the above title. I am first of all a human being and so are you. Secondly, we formed bad habits based on family values and norms, with each family having its’ own culture. Thirdly, here is my confession. I am a lover of bread.
When I discovered that I was diabetic, this was my main concern. I knew if I needed to make the decision to stop eating bread, then I thought this would be difficult. Yes, be patient, I am getting to the matter at hand, “bread for diabetics.”
The Search for Bread for Diabetics
I had a discussion with my doctor because for me I needed some bread options and not bread substitutes. I believe in the real thing and I hate to waste my valuable time on “imitations.” I just wanted to eat bread and not worry about any readings at all. BREAD! BREAD! BREAD!
The doctor sent me off to the nutritionist and she told me about moderation and eating only “brown.” So, white bread, white rice and noodles needed to be a thing of my past. Well, guess what? I also loved white rice, especially served with some nicely cooked curry. I knew I would not be spending a lot of time with this nutritionist because she was singing and playing to a different tune.
UP, UP, UP
You are one smart cookie. The title for this section is referring to what happened to my blood glucose readings. Yes, I was not so smart then you see. “I lived to eat, rather than eat to live.” I continued to eat my 2 slices snow white bread and 4 slices if I was enjoying the meal.
Yes, stop raising your eyebrows and remove your hand from your cheek, because there is more to come.
I continued eating my curried chicken or preferably curried chicken back with, again, the whitest rice I could find in the supermarket. I am not talking about 1 cup of rice either. What is that? One cup, then, was a waste of time for me to “mess up my mouth.” How is your mathematics? Multiply the 1 cup by 3 or 4, what do you get?
Yes, the blood glucose readings went exceptionally high. I was always tired and felt like I could no longer make it. My mouth was dry and I was urinating at least two times the rice I was eating. How is your mathematics? Yes, I was urinating at least 6 to 8 times per day and many times that was just the figure for the nights.
But….One day it became evident that if I did not change my lifestyle, I would not live to see my son passed the worst. That was my biggest fear.
That sent me into action. Bread was my first change. Not that it was the most important change, but I knew if I could make this change, then I would make all the others.
Please, stay with me. It is time to talk about bread. Here are some options you can have in moderation:
This bread has approximately 14 to 15 grams of carbohydrate and is low on the glycemic index. It is made from rye. Rye comes from the family of wheat and barley, but years ago, it was considered a weed. Its’ fiber content helps those who want to lose weight but is also an excellent choice for diabetics, who need to consume a diet rich in fiber.
This is another good option for us as it scores below 55 on the glycemic index. The bran and the germ are left in the flour which makes this bread. As a result, it is both a healthier and more flavorful choice.
Low Carb Pita Bread
This type has less carbohydrate and more fiber than other loaves of bread. There are various brands, but they generally contain about 7 grams of fiber. This can be compared with your regular bread which can give anywhere between 2-3 grams of fiber and more carbs.
Remember, diabetics need a diet low in carbohydrate, but high in fiber in order to prevent spikes in our blood glucose readings.
Sprouted Grain Breads
These loaves of bread have a little more carbohydrate than the Pita Bread but are still a good option as it relates to fiber and sugar. They have a nice flavor and may leave you feeling full, which then leads to your eating less. This is a good enough option for diabetics, but again, I caution you that moderation is the key.
If you were eating two slices of bread before with your breakfast, you will now have to adjust to having one slice of bread. To fill you up, increase your intake of lean animal protein and vegetables. I love to boil an egg and have t with a slice of toast and some cooked cabbage or callaloo or pak choy, with a cup of sugarless tea for my breakfast. I then take a bowl of fruits with me and this provides my snack for the day with lots of water and more sugarless tea.
I love to boil an egg and have this with a slice of toast and some cooked cabbage or callaloo or pak choy, with a cup of sugarless tea for my breakfast. I then take a bowl of fruits with me and this provides my snack for the day with lots of water and more sugarless tea. I also take a little nut as an option for a snack.
These are my “fast food” alternatives and it is easier and cheaper to grab some nuts from home and some fruits, instead of driving to purchase a burger, etc. My alternatives are faster and healthier. Yes, I see that you are agreeing with me .
I sometimes find a tortilla with more than 3 grams of fiber and very little, if any sugar. I find that a small tortilla does not give me a high spike. But, I always consume a lot of fruits whenever I am having bread and also a teaspoon of peanut butter, to minimize the spike. I eat the peanut butter from the spoon.
My Final Words on Bread
I still eat some bread and my readings are still great. However, I spend time reading the labels, especially if I don’t know that brand. When I know the brand, I still do a bit of skim reading to ensure they do not change on me.
Reading the label is fine, but how is your body responding to what you are eating? I think this response is a better judgment. I run experiments, using myself as the subject and I do this on a regular basis.
I do my blood glucose reading an hour and sometimes two hours after a meal to see the spike. I use a journal to document my readings. I now have an idea of what works well for me, so I now skip documenting everything which goes into my mouth.
This would still be a good practice, but I have a full-time job and I find this time consuming. I have a plan and I will work on this later and keep you updated on how I plan to solve this problem. It is good to keep a food journal and also to document your blood glucose readings. This way, you are able to review and avoid the things which are simply not working for you.
I do not eat anything close to what I was eating before my lifestyle change. I now have one slice of bread for the most parts. I, however, noticed that if I have a lot of fruits, tea without sugar, one boiled egg, a cup of cooked cabbage and one slice of bread, my spike is not more than about 2 points. That’s good.
Listen carefully. When I take only cooked vegetables (callaloo, cabbage, pak choy, nicely done with a little anchor butter or olive oil and some good old time seasoning) for lunch, I can have 2 slices of bread and still have a minor spike and a nice reading in the morning.
Please remember that peanut butter is my friend. One teaspoon, keeps my reading looking normal or near normal.
Listen, I also find that I sometimes have to take a lower dose of my medication based on my readings. I am still prone to high readings if I do not watch what and when I eat. It is a lifetime change, but I am better off in the long run.
Now it is your turn. Make the change. Make the lifestyle change. It is possible and I am sure you can do it too. If I did it, the YOU can too. Carefully choose your bread.
Check for a bread with fewer carbs and sugar and more fiber. The next step is to eat one slice with some cooked spinach, cabbage, callaloo, and pak choy.
My friend, make the change and live a healthier and happier life.
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