Americans definitely have a love/hate thing going with food. Because too much of a good thing ... I’m not pointing fingers at anyone here but me. Just look at me and you’ll know I like food; too much food and food too much.
But, because you are what you eat, it behooves us all, diabetic or not, to explore how what we eat affects our health.
First, most of us eat too much. The reason? We can; food in our society is aplenty. And we eat for many different reasons: for emotional comfort, as part of fellowship and camaraderie, to enjoy the sensual experiences — the tastes, smells, sights of a good meal. Not often, unfortunately, do we eat just out of plain hunger.
So how do we control our food rather than having our food control us? Follow “a diet.” But this is where I — and I suspect most of you — get the most burrs under my saddle blanket. First, who wants to follow a diet for evermore, something that implies restriction. And second, what diet? There are the fad diets on TV that rarely make any sense. Fortunately, good advice about healthy eating is now available, for instance at www.choosemyplate.gov. Advice on this site starts with the very simple picture of a plate, with a lot more detail if you want it.
But it’s never that simple. Not only am I blessed with diabetes, there are also some food allergies (stuff that swells my throat) and intolerances (stuff that isn’t lethal, but doesn’t set well with my gizzard). And that’s not even getting into religious (Kosher/Hallal) or philosophical food lifestyles (vegan/vegetarian). Finally, toss in differences in family traditions, which is where we get most of our ideas about food. It’s complex, to say the least.
Where am I going with all this? Understand what’s healthy and then focus on the wide variety of choices you do have, rather than bemoaning those you don’t. Celebrate the positive.
We’re all different so what works for me may not work for you. But experimentation with different foods and ways of eating is the best way to find your way that is both enjoyable and healthy. I like adventure in eating. Because of the constraints I have, I’ve found that a modified “paleo” or “primal” kind of approach to food is working best right now. I’ve been a vegetarian of various stripes, into whole/”real” foods and did a six-month stint as a vegan. But the meatless side of life really did not work for me.
Regardless of what I try, I have fun learning about different cooking methods, different varieties of foods, and different philosophies about cooking and eating. I discard the things that aren’t working, and keep looking for other options all the time.
The point is this: You know your body better than anyone on the planet. Take a walk on the wild side — whatever it is you consider wild — and discover for yourself what combination of foods works best for your best health.