If you’ve done any research at all on Type 2 diabetes- based diets and lifestyle changes, you’ve probably noticed that everybody’s got a cure-all. You’ve got high-protein/low-carb, low-protein/high-carb, vegetarian, vegan, whole grains, no grains, all meat, raw, and the list goes on!
After Andy’s diagnosis, I played around with dozens of diets to see if I could find the miracle cure that would get us back to normal. We tried South-Beach (neither one of us is a big fan—no matter how much we ate we always felt hungry). We tried recipes from diabetic cookbooks (I’m not a numbers person, so it was difficult to remember how many carbs we weren’t supposed to be eating). We tried switching entirely to whole grains (it just never felt quite right for us).
We realized that for our situation, no one-size-fits-all diet plan was going to work. We needed to find a combination of foods that worked with our chosen treatment program—one that kept our blood sugar in check, didn’t leave us hungry, and didn’t leave us missing all the food we’d “left behind.” This can mean different things to different people. But for us it meant more veggies and lean protein and less starchy carbs (including grains).
Andy and I were blessed because his diagnosis hit in early spring heading into the peak produce season of the year. We filled our plates with fresh fruits and vegetables. From tomatoes and broccoli to pineapple and watermelon our plates were always colorful. We found that a diet low in carbs (both whole and refined), high in lean protein (we eat a lot of eggs and ground turkey), and high in fruits and vegetables perfectly complemented Andy’s workout routine. Just enough food to energize his day, not too much leaving him dragging and sluggish.
We encourage you to play around—it’s very likely that certain elements of several diets will be your winning combination. And be patient. It will take you a while to determine which foods will and won’t work for your lifestyle.