Feb 13, 2012

Eat your oatmeal, get diabetes

Okay, I confess. That headline is a bit of an exaggeration.

Unless you're eating a sugared-up, ground fine, instant oatmeal for breakfast every day, and not balancing out those 32 grams of carbs with an equal amount of protein -- say, a half a dozen eggs, or five slices of Canadian bacon. Then it's very little exaggeration at all.

Yeah, I hear ya. "But I thought oatmeal was health food!" Maybe some oatmeal, prepared certain ways, but this stuff?


Still doubtful? Check this out: 43 grams of "Strawberries and Cream" instant oatmeal and 40 grams of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies have the same amout of carbs, and about the same amount of sugar:


1 packet of Quaker Oats Maple & Brown Sugar instant oatmeal has:
157 calories
2 grams of fat
4 grams of protein
32 grams of carbohydrate ( incl 3 g fiber & 13 g added sugar)

Similar in macronutrient profile to:
4 Twizzlers, or
2 Fat Free Fudgesicle bars, or
a York Peppermint Patty.


And this stuff? Don't even get me started! This is candy disguised as health food!
I have a very personal reason for being so passionate about this.

My mom had/has Type 2 Diabetes, which some studies suggest doubles one's chances of developing Alzheimer's. Which my mom also has.

For years she followed the low-fat diet recommended by the Diabetes Association: a bowl of oatmeal, wheat toast, orange juice and coffee. And she took her blood sugar medicine as prescribed.

Once, when I fed her breakfast, I gave her two eggs, whole wheat toast and water for breakfast. As usual, she took her meds.

Not too long afterwards, she started feeling weepy and strange -- "Just not right. Something is wrong." Because she had had a fall the day before, I took her back to the ER. After a few tests, the nurse tested her blood sugar. "Oh my!" she said. "There's the problem." Her blood sugar was 40. Normal is 65-104

what seemed to be going on here was that when she ate the low fat, high carb breakfast she thought was healthy, it would throw her blood sugar into overdrive. When she ate a balanced breakfast, she either needed less med, or didn't need the med at all. I often wonder if my she had had a better understanding of carbs, sugars, insulin and health, if she could have avoided the "A word." It's too late for her, but...

You still have time: Kick the corporate food! Shop in the produce section, buy lean meat, educate yourself about health! (Here's a good place to start.)

(I'm indebted to HealthHabits and BalancedBites for the inspiration, some of the content and the first image in this post.)


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