Sunday, February 19, 2012

Blood Sugar

I have a cantankerous pancreas. The first time my doctor told me my blood sugar figures were abnormal, five years ago, I thought there must have been some sort of mistake. An error with the pathology, or a statistical blip. After all, I was neither overweight nor obese, had a healthy diet and did plenty of exercise. I took the information seriously  increasing the intensity of my gym workouts, and casting an even more critical eye on what I ate  but expected that the numbers would come right at my next annual check-up. They didn't. That's when I bought a blood glucose monitor and started measuring my blood sugar levels each morning and comparing them against what I'd eaten and done the previous day.

Despite what you read in the media, not everyone who develops adult-onset diabetes is overweight, or obese, or sedentary, or hooked on junk food or fizzy drinks. Some people just inherit dodgy genes and no amount of 'lifestyle' adjustment seems to help. So far I've managed to avoid developing diabetes, though the numbers seem to get a little worse each year and I doubt I'll keep it at bay forever. On the plus side, the data collection has been interesting and useful. I know that my pancreas has opinions. It doesn't appreciate bread (any type), rice (even basmati) or pasta, and disapproves of fruit (whether fresh or dried, tropical or temperate). Vegetables and proteins, unsurprisingly, get a big thumbs-up, and happily so do small amounts of red wine and dark chocolate.

Anyway, all this is by way of explaining why I'm about to recommend a book called
Blood Sugar. The book is written by a chef who has diabetes, and who also survived a major stroke. To quote from the blurb:

Michael Moore was busy running his restaurant, cooking on television, climbing the ranks of top chefs in the world and travelling the globe. He was already living with diabetes and for a top chef surrounded by great food, he faced the daily challenge of healthy eating. Then, one day out of the blue, he suffered a major stroke while he was out to dinner with his family, an event that changed his life and his outlook on food, forever. (More info at Michael Moore's web site.)

I bought a copy of Blood Sugar a few weeks ago and really like it. The book is written in an accessible and entertaining style, and is packed with delicious recipes. If you too are struggling with a cantankerous pancreas, it is well worth a look.


shaz said...

Great tip Karin. I've got those dreaded genes too (two bouts of gestational diabetes, ethnic predisposition and family history - all whammies!). So far been fine, but last reading was in the "pre" range. Like you, I'm not overweight, have a pretty healthy diet even though I bake a lot (I feed other people). Will scope out that book. Good luck with it all.

Karin said...

Thanks Shaz! I love to bake too, but in recent years have only baked for special occasions - birthdays, morning teas at work, desserts to take to friends' houses. It is easier if there are no temptations at home ;-)