Benefits of Having Diabetes

Gretchen Becker Health Guide
  • Diabetes can be . . . well, in case this is a family site, I'd better not write the words that first came to mind.


    But sometimes, I realize how lucky I am to have this disease. I was reminded of this recently when I received in the mail a flyer from a national chain restaurant, illustrated by photographs of what they must have considered enticing meals.


    Maybe there was a time I would have agreed. Maybe shortly after my type 2 diagnosis, I would have been angry that I couldn't partake of them, as none of them would work with either a low-carb (my preference) or a low-fat diet.


    But now, I look at these meals and think, "Yuch."

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    One was fish with a breaded crust. One was chicken marsala on noodles. The sauce looked slimy and artificial. One was meatloaf (probably full of breadcrumbs) with a similarly slimy sauce, corn, mashed potatoes, and a biscuit. Another was heavily breaded shrimp.


    Except for the breaded fish, which had a little dish of broccoli, there wasn't a green vegetable in sight. No salad at all.


    By sending me this ad, they didn't entice me. They convinced me to eat at home. Why would I pay $10 for their (expletive deleted) food when I can eat much better food at home? Instead of the breaded fish, I'd have lightly sauteed fish, maybe with a slice of tomato and some onions and lemon juice. Then I'd have one or two green vegetables, or one vegetable and a salad.


    Instead of meatloaf, I'd have steak. When you reduce the quantity of what you're eating, you can increase the quality for the same price. (Of course if I were feeding teenaged boys, I'd make some meatloaf too and probably have a starch to help fill them up. But I'd still eat steak myself.)


    Instead of heavily breaded shrimp (where the breading flavor would overpower the shrimp flavor), I'd have some boiled shrimp dipped in a hot tomato sauce.


    For dessert, if I needed it, I'd have homemade kefir flavored with daVinci syrups or other flavorings I keep on hand. I might add a few berries and home-roasted almonds to the kefir.


    Thinking of my food makes me hungry. Thinking of food from chain restaurants like this makes me think of breaded cardboard flavored with lots of salt.


    Of course, I didn't arrive at where I am today instantly. It's difficult at first. But if you've just been diagnosed, hang in there. It really does get easier.


    In the future you'll realize that what you were eating before really doesn't taste that good. You'll learn about new, fresh foods that are much tastier than what you ate before. You won't have to eat a pound of casserole to get a couple of teaspoons of nutrition and taste.


    You'll lose weight because you won't have to eat so much. That will make it easier to exercise. You'll feel so much better.


    Maybe, like me, you'll even be grateful that you got this disease.


Published On: November 15, 2011