Sunday, July 21, 2013

Why "But you can't eat that..." doesn't bother me... because it's true.

I know a lot of Type 1 diabetics who get supremely annoyed when someone not familiar with the disease will say "But you can't eat that, right?" We are in many ways taught that we can "eat anything, as long as you take your insulin." In some ways this is true, but in reality, those people in their ignorance, are actually saying something true. No, we can't eat that.

What we forget is that "but you can't eat that..." is only the first part of what is really an if-than scenario. "You can't eat that if": you don't want your blood sugar to spike... or... you don't want to fee ill... or... you don't want to put yourself at risk for diabetes related complications. If these seemingly ignorant people really mean this, than they're right.

And it's not just because we have Type 1 diabetes. There is a new school of thought that looks back and the history of human diets. Dr. Weston Price in his book Nutrition and Degenerative Diseases (1939) describes how his findings of different populations all over the globe show that diets consisting of foods that were eaten before the end of the Paleolithic era 10,000 years ago do not exhibit the same kinds of degenerative diseases we know today in the west. In short, it is our diet consisting mostly of grains and many processed foods and refined sugars that are causing the degenerative diseases like Type 1 Diabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease etc.

A great documentary called Forks Over Knives attempts to display the benefits of switching to an unprocessed food diet. When participants in the film who had previously been plagued by the degenerative diseases we know like heart disease, high blood pressure etc switched to this more primitive diet, their conditions greatly improved to the point where these diseases disappeared.

I know that as of now there is not a permanent fix with Western medicine to Type 1 Diabetes, but there is reason enough for us to admit that yes, I can't eat this (cake, ice cream, pasta, cookie, french toast, milkshake) without my blood sugar spiking, increasing my risk for diabetes related complications and just flat out not giving myself the best chance at health.

So you know what? Maybe instead of snacking on these Oreo's and milk, I'll have some green peppers and hummus, peanut butter and celery, or some tomatoes and mozzarella, all foods I know I can eat.

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