Hitting Diabetes Out of the Park with Drew Holder: To Eat or Not to Eat
All human beings have been created to need food to live – and for most of us, including myself, we love to eat. Having Diabetes though, it is a little more important to eat the right amount and the right type of foods to ensure your blood sugar levels are in the right range and control.
So how, having Diabetes, can you possibly control the, what we call “roller coaster,” of blood sugars. Having Type I Diabetes since the age of 3, it has always been a priority of mine to keep my blood sugars in the range my doctors recommended. Through my ever-increasing appetite in high school, not always feeling like I should or could eat what my friends were eating at a birthday party, or even at church, or buying my own food as an adult, there were challenges. The Bible church we attended growing up always had an opportunity to gorge myself on doughnuts – which were my favorite as a kid.
I can remember asking my Mom when I was 3, after recently being diagnosed realizing it probably wasn’t as good of an idea to eat as many doughnuts as I loved to. I asked my Mom, “Do you think I will be able to have doughnuts in heaven”? I don’t remember exactly what she said, but I am sure she told me you can still enjoy them, just not as many. Life is perspective.
The toughest food to manage my blood sugars has always been pizza. The high fats and high carbohydrates usually do not work the best with people that have Diabetes. If I do choose to enjoy some pizza, I usually try to make it thin crust. On the other hand, anything with a low Glycemic Index really helps diminish the spikes and dives in my blood sugars. Foods with a low Glycemic Index that I really enjoy eating include: sweet potatoes, green beans, grapefruit, spinach, broccoli, blackberries, apples, and strawberries. Most meat has a low GI as well. Eating more low GI foods has really helped keep my blood sugar levels much more even, and my diet more balanced as well.
It can be a continuous battle, not giving in to the immediate gratification of certain foods. Those foods that are “so sweet and good,” are usually not the ones that will be good for your health. There is nothing wrong with enjoying some of these sweet foods, but we must have discipline and set limitations on the amount and types of food that we eat.
When I played professional baseball in the Houston Astros Organization the meal times were much different than most people were used to. Our game times were usually at 7pm, resulting in a late dinner, usually around 11pm. At that time of night, there are not too many restaurants open that are “healthy”. Sometimes we had a dinner prepared for the team, but that was not every night. Carrying snacks by my side at all times, keeps me out of trouble (going too low), as well as keeps my wife and mom happy.
Like I mentioned in the beginning, we are human, and can let ourselves enjoy the “sweeter” foods from time to time. All in all I want to feed my body the best, not only because of Diabetes, but to be a healthier me. I strongly encourage and would like to challenge you to eat right, as you will notice a difference!
I am always interested in ways in which I can help you. Please post below or email any topics questions, or anything you are struggling with to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a blessed week!
To learn more about the JDRF Dallas chapter, visit our JDRF Dallas website!