Let Them Eat Cake!

The thing I hate most about having diabetes - and especially being treated by oral medication is that I have to spend so much more time thinking about food. Food has never been very important to me. I always tried to eat well - that is to eat quality produce and to ensure my family ate well too - but apart from that I almost resented the time spent on shopping and cooking etc. Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed cooking for guests and other social aspects but often had to be reminded to eat and if I happened to be alone would never think about eating. When I first came across the GI diet it seemed to make sense and so that is how we ate for some years.

Events -food scandals, recession, mad cow disease - and some moral scruples encouraged me to try vegetarianism. Possibly this would have worked for me had I been catering only for myself but that wasn't the case. Just as well really, as my food intolerances and allergy are all vegetable based. When trying to cater for us all on a veggie diet I became anxious about the possible effects and nutritional value of some of the protein alternatives so there was no room for complacency in eating that way either.

Low carb is no problem for me. I think I was a natural lowcarber before I even heard the term. I would never have believed, though, that my tiny intake of starchy carbs could have been a problem. When I finally discovered how my meter should be used, I found it difficult to believe how carb sensitive I was, especially to bread. Adapting to this knowledge wasn't too difficult, - I didn't have to give up much!

Most people when adopting a particular diet will compromise in some way - adapt it to suit themselves. Of course we are all conditioned to eat the food we have eaten from childhood. Food has many associations for us often connected with comfort and pleasure. Because of this I have often wondered if trying to adapt a diet to appear as similar as possible to our previous diet is a good or bad idea.

In the non-meat areas of the supermarket any number of what I call 'spoof foods' are available. Meat free steaks, chicken burgers, bacon etc. Some of this may have its uses as it not only has some visual resemblance but sometimes even tastes like the real thing. This may help some with the weaning or transitional period. Its veggie fast food of course, and the aim should be to eat properly balanced vegetarian meals with fresh ingredients. A veggie diet can cause weight gain - the old image of the skinny vegetarian is a stereotype and we know all about those don't we?

But what of low carb? The emphasis is on fresh natural ingredients - so how could there be a problem? I hate to say this - but-could it be the CAKE?

I like cake as much as anyone - well no, perhaps not quite as much as anyone. I am very grateful for lowcarb recipes, particularly for desserts which can be adapted in different ways and on different occasions. As most of us will have learned non lowcarbers can seldom tell the difference and may even prefer the low carb versions. Sometimes, however, in the rush to persuade us that we don't have to forgo anything, we find recipes requiring vast amounts of time and expensive ingredients - all for very little reward. Its great that we have access to these things and there may well be occasions when we are prepared to spend hours of our time and a good proportion of our income on a tiny amount of unnecessary treats - but what is this really saying? That we are brave soldiers struggling to overcome our problems, or that we can't face up to facts and accept that there are more important things in life than being able to eat whatever we want, whenever we want? Does food assume a disproportionate importance after a diabetes diagnosis in many different ways?

I am sure we are all grateful to those who invent, find and publish the recipes for lowcarb versions of every variety of cake or biscuit but could this, taken to extremes, be counterproductive - or is that already the case?


No comments:

Post a Comment