Saturday, September 19, 2009

Diabetes Support Group

On Thursday, I went to the monthly meeting of our diabetes support group. Earlier in the summer, Eve, our leader and diabetes educator, went to the annual convention of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The convention includes a large exhibit of all the latest innovations and products that will, hopefully, help all of us who have it, manage our diabetes better.

The discussion at our meeting focused on the problem of food addiction. The truth or myth of heart healthy supplements was also explored. From the exhibit, Eve provided each one of us (and there are always many of us in these meetings) with 38 pages of copies of items that were on display. What a great person she is!

I am not going to talk about solutions to food addiction. I'm no expert and this seems to be talked about everywhere, anyway. But I will confess that I'm addicted to cheese. I'm able to control this until someone (read my well-meaning, food-loving, hubby) puts a fine piece of Rosenberg Danish Blue in front of me. Control Gone!

Some interesting information and statistics:

  • We are eating 30 lbs more sugar per person per year than in the 1960s.
  • In 1909 we ate 3.8 lbs of cheese per year (I wonder how they know how much people ate back then). We now eat 31.4 lbs of cheese per year.
  • In 1909 we ate 148.8 lbs of meat per year. In 2005 we ate 202.5 lbs of meat. However, red meat consumption is down and chicken consumption is up.
Believe it or not, cows' milk contains morphine (casomorphin from the cow's liver). Nature uses this to make sure calves nurse. When I heard this, I asked if that's the reason a cup of hot milk makes you go to sleep. Made sense to me, but Eve said that they relate this to our addiction to cheese. Just goes to show you: you are never too old to learn new things.

The list of the best ways to stop food cravings included: eat breakfast, eat foods that hold blood sugars steady (beans and veggies), get regular exercise and rest, and social support.

Fruits and vegetables should be consumed at each meal for their anti-oxidant qualities.

A high-fiber diet reduces c-reactive protein - a marker of inflammation. High-fiber diets (50 grams daily) also lower blood sugars.

Then we went over a variety of heart healthy supplements. We found out some truths and myths about the supplements. Too much to list here, except....if you are on medication, check with your doctor before taking any supplement. Please.

The product information we received related both to diabetes and healthy eating. I guess they do go hand-in-hand. Here are some I found notable:

  • Oral insulin treatment for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes will be available next year. You spray this into the inside of your cheeks, not your lungs.
  • Meal Measure - Portion Control on Your Plate! A device for people who have problems sticking to portion control. Fill it up, turn it over, and place the portions on your plate.
  • A glucose meter that talks! Imagine how helpful this would be for people who have lost their sight from diabetes.
  • Generex Biotechnology Corporation in Canada has developed premium nutritional supplements specifically designed for people with diabetes.
  • The Eat Smart Nutrition scale can calculate 12 nutrients (calories, carbs, etc.) based on information you enter.
  • Surprise: Some of these companies are now on Face Book and urge you to sign up and become a fan!
  • Last, but not least, there is a non-profit humanitarian organization called Insulin for Life that has a collection center in the US for no longer needed insulin, test strips, unused meters, and supplies. Insulin and strips must be unopened and have at least three months left to the use-by-date. Insulin and supplies are forwarded to developing countries (where insulin can cost 50% of a person's annual income, not hard imagine the outcome there). Life-saving insulin can also be quickly distributed to disaster areas, such as New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.

Photos: From a Swedish summer.


  1. Wow. That was fascinating!Cheese and bread are my downfall in the food group. Yum. Looking forward to learning more about diabetes.

  2. What a great post! I also wonder how they know the quantities of cheese and meat consumed in those years. I knew there was some reason that I love cheese so much!

  3. Mmmm....cheese.
    Fascinating statistics - it's clear we live in a time of great abundance and easy access, as is evidenced in our ever-expanding waistlines and increased incidences of diabetes.
    I hadn't heard about the oral insulin - will this make the pumps obsolete?
    Love that top picture - very pretty.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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