I’ve been trying out those sliced bagel things that I’ve been seeing in my grocery store lately. You know, the ones where the bagel is sliced horizontally into three or four slices, so you don’t have to choose to eat the entire thing at once (which, I admit, I am prone to do). I like a nice bagel in the morning, but in the last year or so, they have been affecting my post-prandial numbers to the degree that the bagel goodness wasn’t a good tradeoff for a mid-morning (or noontime) high BG anymore.
So I’ve been trying out eating about half the bagel for breakfast, instead of the whole thing. And guess what? The numbers still suck. And that’s frustrating. I can still eat a donut occasionally (about twice a year), and it doesn’t affect me this much. I’ll have an occasional pancake, and while I get an initial spike, I can usually bring it down well in advance of my next meal. Other things, like bagels, biscuits, and certain breads, forget about it. Zoom-pow! To the moon!
But it wasn’t always this way. Yes, those products have always caused higher numbers, but not to the degree, and as long lasting, as they do today. I’m not eating these things for every meal, or even every day, or even every week for that matter. But when I do, my blood sugar does not like it very much. Now I’m trying to find out why, and particularly, why now, when this wasn’t as much of a concern as before?
Hey, listen: I don’t know from glycemic index. I’ve been living long enough with diabetes (and been told by too many) that things like donuts and Chinese food are bad for my blood glucose; and celery and carrots and nuts and tree bark are good for my BGs. Unless, of course, it’s that sappy kind of tree bark. Okay, now I just want waffles…
Anyway, it’s not much farther from there where my knowledge of how specific carbohydrates react specifically to my diabetes ends. (It’s okay… I’ll wait a second in case you need to re-read that sentence)
I think I need to educate myself a little more about the Glycemic Index (if that’s what I really need to concentrate on), and how each item in my diet will affect me. Fortunately, I have lots of resources at my disposal: a simple Google search on “Glycemic Index” returned 1,670,000 results. The University of Sydney has a great search tool where you enter a food and it returns the glycemic index and the portion size that resulted in that index number. The American Diabetes Association has a super informational page on GI that, among other things, identifies low glycemic index foods as those with a score 55 or under. Medium GI foods are scored between 56 and 69, and High GI foods come in at 70 or above. The Harvard Medical School has a web page with over 100 food items and their GI numbers, including Raisin Bran and Snickers bars. Which I don’t really eat anymore.
Of course, like everything else having to do with my diabetes, these are great reference tools, but the devil is in the details. Nothing about a glycemic index chart will tell me why I react so poorly to something that I did not have a lot of trouble with before.
I like to kid people and tell them that the only two vices left in my life are salt and alcohol, and while I want to enjoy them for as long as I can, eventually I’ll have to give those up too.
Now it looks like I may have to add bagels to the list.