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My Personal Approach to T2D Control......

 I am now 69 – was diagnosed over a dozen years ago and have maintained a pretty constant HbA1c below 6.5.  This contrasts pretty much with my very busy lifestyle. The majority of my business associates don’t know that I am a diabetic.

My regimen is based on simple and easy to follow rules in my diet, my exercise and my medication.   This works for me; it doesn’t necessarily work for you … I have been lucky to work with some of the best GP’s and endocrinologists below the equator.  So the first step in my program is – talk to your doctor, see him or her every three months. This is not one to do on your own!
If this is not your first visit to the ODB, you will know we are great supporters of the Glycemic Index. []

Not all carbohydrates are evil is the motto of the low GI diet. As a measurement of how quickly a particular carbohydrate is used by the body, the Glycemic Index is already found on nutritional labels in Europe and Australia, but has yet to be endorsed any American organization.  

Manufacturers have prepared low-GI foods and I make great use of their products.

Bread is a staple in my house and I make sure it’s a low-GI product.

That's what's so different about the GI, it's not low carbohydrate, it's more selective carbohydrate.

Foods with low GI are metabolized slower, meaning they sit in your digestive track longer and are gradually absorbed by the body. This leads to a more gradual blood glucose increase, keeping your hunger satiated longer. You feel ‘fuller’! More on feeling full later.

How do I fit this into my lifestyle – in my wallet is a go/no-go list….
No-Go No. 1                  Spuds                   I have learned to swap white potatoes with sweet potatoes and yams; not to eat them when I am out.  If you must occasionally scratch your potato itch, cook them the day before in a salad and put them in the fridge overnight … it slows down the rate of digestion of the starch.   
 But now we have the superspud

No-Go No. 2                  Breakfast Cereals   I obviously don’t chow down on Coco Pops; but you may be surprised at the others in the hi-GI list; they include Cornflakes, Bran Flakes, Total, Rice Bubbles, Sultana Bran, Cheerio’s, Weet-Bix is borderline.

No-Go No. 3                  Staples                 Poor old potatoes, they get a pasting again [no fries and no mash] along with short grain white rice and tapioca.

No-Go No. 4                  Snacks                 Not what you think: the drop-em list includes pretzels, water crackers, rice cakes, the ubiquitous scone and as you would expect: maple syrup and donuts.

No-Go No.5                   Fruits                      The two traps for the unwary are watermelon and dates.

No-Go No. 6                  Vegetables              There are two here too: parsnips and pumpkin.

No-Go No. 7                  Bread                     The usual culprits: white [unless modified and proudly wearing its low-GI label], bagels and French baguettes.

And, that’s not that hard to remember! Here is a full list [] online … David Mendosa is a diabetic treasure!

This is a no-brainer!
You can prove the effect of exercise to yourself simply by checking your BGL before and after a half hour brisk walk. I sometimes even risk a hypo.  

New research shows that moderate exercise, such as walking, cycling, or jogging, can significantly reduce the risk of death for people with Type 2 diabetes. This study followed over 3,300 people and correlated their level of physical exercise with mortality to find that moderate exercise reduced the chance of cardiovascular death by 9%, and more vigorous exercise reduced the total chance of death by 33%.

To people with diabetes, this probably isn't new news. We have long been advised to pursue physical exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, in order to improve their overall health and reduce their chance of death. This study simply adds support to the notion that physical exercise is the number one way to enhance your health and avoid the downward health spiral associated with diabetes.

Now, don’t rush off and join a gym. Healthy exercise can be as little as three thirty minute workouts a week with time beforehand to warm up and a cool down time afterwards.

I do some stretching exercises and speed walking for twenty minutes.

A couple of do’s and don’ts: drink plenty of water and take it easy –this is meant to be moderate.   Don’t hold your breath when you feel the strain, breathe out; don’t stand still after your twenty odd minutes of speed walking, walk around slowly as part of your cool down.

You want to get into this deeply –try Professor Bob Montgomery’s book: Your Good Health [] –it also contains a good section on giving up smoking as well. My last puff was over 25 years ago! Bob was a pioneer in so many areas of good health.

Now that I am over 60, I make that five mornings a week rather than the minimum three whenever I can. It makes me feel good.


Keep in mind that drugs are not magic. If you are taking a drug for diabetes control, it is still essential that you follow a good diet and get regular exercise. These two elements of diabetes control are the pillar on which all other diabetes treatment rests.
As I said, I was diagnosed as a T2D over fifteen years ago now, I have a heavy family diabetic history, so I guess it was inevitable …but, touch wood, the above regime has kept my HbA1c below 6.5 for the last fifteen years. It’s not meant for you, it is meant to make you think!

                                                                                                                             Jim Montgomery