Sugar Matters
January 8, 2013

Let the resolutions come!!!

Ah, 2013. What will this New Year bring? Only our Lord knows, but I am sure of one thing: many of you have high hopes for this New Year.{{more}}

Just in case any of those hopes involve getting better control of your diabetes (and I hope this is the case), let’s start with something very basic: meal planning. Yes, I know many of you inhaled half a ham and a bunch of pudding over the holidays. And yes, I know this is the usual. It still doesn’t make it a good thing! There are ways you can establish some control over your eating patterns without getting too complicated. Here are my two favourites for those with diabetes, those trying to lose weight, and overall eat healthier:

1) The plate method: Take a standard size plate. No, do not go picking the biggest plate in your kitchen. You can use a paper plate to practise so you have a visual idea of what I am about to explain. Draw a line down the middle of the plate. Then on one side, divide that in half as well, so you end up with one half and two quarter sizes in the plate. Got it? Okay, now guess what goes where in regards to protein, carbohydrates (starches) and vegetables/fruits. That’s right: the biggest section is for NON-STARCHY vegetables and fruits, meaning green beans, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes etc go there. The other two smaller sections are where your starches/carbohydrates and protein should fit. Do not go heaping rice into that small section please. This version of meal planning will help you appropriately divide your food when you sit down to eat, so don’t cheat! The exception to this meal plan is breakfast, where you can use half the plate for starches, but should still keep them in the complex carbohydrates club and not the simple sugars (wheat bread instead of white etc). If you are unable to include complex carbohydrates then I suggest sticking with the original plate version even for breakfast.

2) The one-third method: Research has shown us that we are very bad at judging what we eat. If you ask anyone how much he or she ate at their last meal, especially if it was something that needed to be spooned onto a plate, they will almost always underestimate. This is one reason why we are so bad at controlling what we eat. How to get around this? I learned this method from a nutritionist that worked with me in California: go ahead and dish out your food like usual. Then STEP AWAY FROM THE TABLE, and take out one third of the food off your plate. DO NOT REMOVE THE NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES, only the starches and proteins. Then, sit down and eat, and DO NOT GO BACK to get more food. This way you know for sure you really did cut back on what you eat.

Many of you are shaking your heads and saying “but I will be hungry!” Well yes, you will. I am not going to lie to you. But soon your body will adjust to having less food and you will not be hungry anymore. When you want to snack, try something small, maybe some fruit and a little protein, like a piece of cheese. It is worth it! Do your body a favour; stick with that resolution this year.

Until next week, stay safe and healthy Vincies. Happy New Year!

Anita Ramsetty, MD

Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

Tel: 843-798-4227