Thursday, August 29, 2013

CF, Hypoglycaemia, Diabetes - How to Maintain Blood Sugar Levels

I feel that PWCF who have diabetes or hypoglycemia don't know enough about the diets, or don't follow enough a strict diet resulting in erratic blood sugars and putting stress on the body. A body with CF needs less change in everything. That goes for diet, lifestyle and climate. More change means more stress, resulting in more stress on the body and a higher chance of infection.
I am no expert and I am still learning but I have had to change everything in the last 7 months of having hypo. Without having had a seizure in 7 months, my endocrinologist is surprised I haven't had another seizure. This is due to me following a strict diet. 
So I will talk about my diet, and with certain foods that I stay clear of and foods I eat. I will give a recipe and a reason for each item. 
***One tip I will say now is eat fresh and don't microwave or reheat foods***

Since having hypoglycemia for the last 7 months, I have been looking at food content, freshness, and how it is cooked. Each meal has to be fresh or else I will be reaching for food within the hour. It has to have the following structure to each meal
- 50% plate veg
-25% plate protein
-25% plate starchy carbs

I feel that meals in the western world  consist of 70% of the plate being starchy carbs, 20% protein and 10% veg of even. 

For hypoglycemia, depending on the time of the day, the plate should follow the above guidelines. Why? Well starchy carbs fill you up too much, and with having to eat regularly (for me, every 90minutes) you don't want to feel full for long. The veg should consist of low GI/GL (glycemic index/load). Protein helps to digest carbohydrates when consumed together. 
However, in the morning, people with hypoglycemia should eat a protein rich meal. The reasoning behind this is that when we are asleep we don't eat for 8 or so hours. Meaning insulin isn't produced. When you eat a carb rich breakfast, out body dump loads insulin resulting in your sugars being eaten up quickly and haven to eat shortly after breakfast. 
What I do is have 1 or 2 poached eggs and 1 slice of brown/whole meal break. Previously, I was having a bowl of porridge, 2 slices of brown bread toast, a yoghurt and a piece of fruit. Big breakfast right? Well I had to eat again within the hour. I wasn't in any mood to eat but because I wasn't eating much protein, my insulin production was in overdrive. By tricking your body by eating more protein, it doesn't produce as much insulin. 
From the start to the end of January I put on and lost a stone of weight (I am just under 9 stone at normal weight). I was eating way too much starchy carbs thinking the digestive system breaks down starch slower then sugar. I was wrong. As I said I eat every 90minutes so my nothing goes to storage and I am constantly fuelling my inside fire. That sounds a bit airy fairy. But the internal fire is a metaphor. Think of a fire. If you put a big lump of wood on a small fire it won't burn as efficiently. The probability is that it will put the fire out. Likewise with food. If you put a big meal into your body, you won't fully digest it. Keep fuelling your body to keep your metabolism ticking over. 
I have also altered when I eat, and stick to a routine. I switched dinner to lunch time (1-2pm) and now my lunch is at dinner time (7-8pm). As your metabolism is higher in the earlier part of the day    (And this goes for everyone) then we should change the meals around so that if we have dinner at lunch time, our body can digest it instead of a big part of it going to storage, as what are we storing it for? 

So, with all of the above, I will give a typical dinner for me, and I will alter it for diabetics (for cystic fibrosis diabetics) and hypoglycemics. You don't have to have either of these to make this dinner. 

Sweet potato rosti with frozen green peas and cinnamon
Kidney beans, onions, chorizo, cherry tomatoes, coriander, salt and pepper.

So this is what you will need.

Sweet Potato Rosti
1 Sweet potato per person (average size of a sweet potato) - sweet potato is on the lower/medium GI scale, and lower then white potato.
Handful of peas per person - extra veggies
1 egg - two reasons, adds more protein, and helps bind
Flour - One reason, to further bind.
1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon per person. This helps regulate blood sugars.

Grate the potato and squeeze out the moisture. Mix everything into a bowl. Put in a circular cutter and have it on a medium heat until it turns golden brown. Usually takes about 10-12 minutes

Kidney Bean Mix
1/2 tin of kidney bean per person. These are a low GI food. They also add protein to the meal, helping to digest equally.
1/2 an onion per person. Onions are one of the lowest food on the GI scale. 
I also used garlic because its a low GI food. 
Handful of cherry tomatoes
You can add coriander here if you are diabetic. Of you have hypo then don't.
Gouda cheese at the end so it just melts. Adds extra protein and is packed with Vit K. It helps with blood sugars. not Vit k, just Gouda in general.

Cut onions up, add to pan until slightly golden. 
Add the chorizo until it starts to change colour. 
Add chopped cherry tomatoes
Add chopped garlic and kidney beans.
Wait until everything is warmed through and is a nice consistency.
Grate in the Gouda cheese until melted. 

Everything including prep and cooking should take 30 mins. If you want you could use some white fish here. It would go well with it. 

I will keep adding recipes, and I will aim for once a week. Enjoy, and if you have any recipes you use, email them too me and I will upload them onto here.


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