Cold cereals and BG

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Phil in GA Posted: Sat, Feb 13 2010 6:05 PM

I have a question. I am a type I on insulin only (with a Medtronic pump). I try to eat well. I love cereal for breakfast. I think of it as a health food. Whole grains, heart healthy, (I don't eat sugary, junky cerals). I always add fresh fruit (banana, blueberries, strawberries) and milk.

My diabetes educators, nurses, doctors all say.  NO No No....Eat  protein for breakfast.

Anyone else with bans on cereals?

Phil in GA

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Ron AKA replied on Wed, Feb 17 2010 1:02 AM

I'm not a type 1, but I find it strange that you would not be allowed to eat cereal for breakfast. Your pump program should easily be able to handle it. Oatmeal for example is a very heart healthy cereal. You may want to check into the glycemic index of breakfast cereals, and fruits. You still need to cover all the carbs, but the digestion rate differs, and it can help explain when you need the insulin.

Ron

Not a med prof. Just diabetic type 2 on Prandin, Levemir, ramipril, bisoprolol, & Crestor. Diag. Feb/01.

"I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work." - Thomas Edison

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Jorgie replied on Wed, Feb 17 2010 9:46 AM

The one item you mentioned , bananas, is the one I usually avoid. They send my BG way up.

 

 

jorgie

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donw replied on Wed, Feb 17 2010 10:40 AM

My wife used to fix cereal with fruit for breakfast when I was first diagnosed and my CDE told me that the milk would cause irregular readings in my blood sugars.  The last time my medications changed the milk started making me sick after breakfast so that ended that.  I occasionally eat oatmeal for breakfast and don't seem to have any problems with spikes.  I also eat bananas regularly for the potassium, helps keep muscle cramping under control.  As long as you are covering the carbs cereal should not cause problems for you.

Don

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Dear Phil in GA:

Many Americans enjoy cereal as a breakfast food and it is both unrealistic and unnecessary to suggest that you should never have cereal for breakfast or any other meal for that matter.  The reason many physicians and educators look down on cereal is that many cereals are high glycemic index foods and do not have substantial protein or healthy fat components.  Therefore they tend to spike blood sugars.  These being said you can still enjoy cereal.    You can choose cereals that are higher in fiber-say above 5 grams, you can also add protein or healthful fat to your breakfast as this will decrease the glycemic index of the meal.   Or you can adjust when you take your insulin.   All of these are reasonable accommodations.  Discuss this with your educators. 

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cjp613 replied on Mon, May 3 2010 6:05 PM

Hi Phil,

I'm new on this forum and came across your post.  I am crazy about cereal in the AM and I found that there are high protein cereals out there.  One that I usually eat is Special K Protein Plus.  Cheerios is lower in carbs than most cereals too.  If you have any type of health food store like Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Trader Joes, etc.  then they've got to have at least ONE high protein cereal as well.

Also,

have you tried weigh protein?  I have downed a scoop of water with whey protein and then had a bowl of cornflakes.  I have also eaten a boiled eggwhite in order to add some protein. 

Have you had type 1 for long?  I was diagnosed at 29 (with no family history of diabetes!) and I'm 31 now; it's like a thorn in my side still.

christina 

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Melissa uses soy milk on her cereal and it helps her not to spike. She loves cereal and with the CGM we know which ones to avoid. For the original poster, try bolusing well before eating the cereal and you should be fine. She often has cereal for a snack at night too. Better than most things and again doesn't spike her bg's.

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nance replied on Wed, May 5 2010 10:38 PM

I'm glad to find another soy milk fan.  I have been using the plain unsweetened soy milk on my morning cereal mix, instead of milk, for a while, now, and really love it.  Only 4g carbs per cup, compared to 12g per cup for milk.  Even then, I'll sometimes water it down.  But a big part of my being able to use cereal for breakfast is that in addition to carefully measuring portions, I "make" most of it myself -- adding some ground flaxseed, soy protein powder, cinnamon, and plain rolled oats to a few little biscuits of Shredded Wheat N Bran to make 1/4 total, and then I add 1/4 cup chopped nuts and 1/4 cup blueberries or bananas, followed by some exercise to cover it, as I do with most meals.

Nance, T2 dx 7/98; diet and exercise/no meds 11 yrs; 500mg Glucophage XR 4/day, 5mg Glucotrol XL 3/day; A1c av. in 6s.  Treadmill, elliptical, biking, Arc trainer, dumbbells, other resistance moves -- 30-60 minutes a day.

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Nance, that sounds really tasty! Melissa does sprinkle her cereal with Benifiber and I think that also helps. She needs the fiber anyway and that is a good time to use it. She is having a banana today with it and as long as they are not too ripe, she can get away with a small whole one. I buy the smallest ones that I can find and she knows not to eat them when they ripen too much because then she will spike.

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Nora,

I am mystified as to why Joslin persists in recommending foods that DO result in high blood sugar and blood insulin levels.  You denigrate we low carbers as 'fad diets', though we have more than a century of history to treat diabetes and epilepsy.  That is far longer than your 'fad diet' of low fat, high carbohydrate approach, which frankly, seems to be leading to an epidemic of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

I'm approaching 3 decades as a diabetic, have normal blood sugars, and am on no medications.  I'm in correspondence with people around the world, who've experienced the same.  So, how is our approach, 'unnatural' or 'harmful'.

Not only would I not consider cereal for breakfast, I generally don't eat breakfast.  A study I saw recently, I believe Swedish, had CBMs on healthy young students.  It was interesting to see how the blood sugar levels varied amongst them.  But, then they analyzed the blood sugar spikes after meals.  Breakfast produced the biggest spikes.  When they, then skipped breakfast, their average blood sugar levels fell.  Quite different from what almost all believe here in the states.  I, generally don't eat breakfast.  I'm rarely above 85, unless I've eaten something starchy or sugary.

Now, this kind of post, generally seems to produce some heated discussion.  But, I have trouble reconciling Joslin's recommendations with the ease with which many of us are able to treat diabetes with very low carb diets.  And let me add that I've been doing this for almost a decade, the objection that people cannot sustain this, is moot, in my eyes.

 

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nance replied on Fri, May 7 2010 9:06 PM

Diets don't have to be high anything or low anything.  They can be something in-between -- balanced.

Nance, T2 dx 7/98; diet and exercise/no meds 11 yrs; 500mg Glucophage XR 4/day, 5mg Glucotrol XL 3/day; A1c av. in 6s.  Treadmill, elliptical, biking, Arc trainer, dumbbells, other resistance moves -- 30-60 minutes a day.

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  Nance,

Balanced, sounds so moderate, doesn't it?  Yet, I suspect the realtity is counter intuitive.  It could well be that diabetics might fare better with low fat or low carb, than with a balanced diet.  The reason is that fat grams are calorie intensive, while carb grams are appetite inducing.  I'm an unapologetic advocate of very low carb diets for diabetics.  However, my second choice for a diabetic diet, would be a low fat diet.  The 'balanced' diet is what too many Americans are eating, high fat and high refined carbohydrate, that's why we have epidemics of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, to begin with.  Never in history, have people eaten as we modern Westerners eat.  High fructose corn syrup didn't even exist until recently.  In my childhood, growing up on several farms, we didn't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables for more than a few months of the year.  If you asked what was for dinner, you were told what the meat would be, not all of the side dishes.  For most of human history, people ate what they could.  It was not a matter of preference.  Today, food is plentiful.  The evidence is clear to me, eat very low carb, or eat very low fat.  I believe they are the best choices.  The 'balanced' diet is the worst choice, in my opinion.  You will wind up eating more and gaining weight, and being more susceptible to diabetes.  The so-called standard American diet is a 'balanced' diet, high in carbohydrates and fat, and it's killing us!

 

 

 

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nance replied on Sat, May 8 2010 1:29 PM

Have you tried the organic bananas, Mary?  They seem to stay at sort of an in-between/just right ripeness longer, and I also like their smaller size.  They seem to taste pretty much the same, and I can make 3 servings out of one, dividing it up over the whole day.  I think the potassium they have is good, and they're great dipped in homemade slightly chunky peanut butter, for more fibery fun.  Big Smile

Nance, T2 dx 7/98; diet and exercise/no meds 11 yrs; 500mg Glucophage XR 4/day, 5mg Glucotrol XL 3/day; A1c av. in 6s.  Treadmill, elliptical, biking, Arc trainer, dumbbells, other resistance moves -- 30-60 minutes a day.

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Nancy replied on Tue, May 18 2010 6:57 PM

Hi, I haven't posted her in a long time. I was having too much trouble getting on.  I see many folks are still here.Ron,Nance nomorecarbs,to name a few. I am an oatmeal fan,little milk,bran and flax added. I front load my day with good carbs. Oatmeal in the early am,fruit ,yogurt after I swim ,sometimes hard boiled eggs for snacks. I am a morning exerciser. I am going on 19 years as a type 2 . I think for me it is important to work my carbs around exercise. As the days goes on such as for supper I have lean protien and salad and other vegetable. Works for me so far. I am on januvia and metformin. Good luck figuring out your meal plan. Nancy

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I, too, enjoy cold breakfast cereal.  Take a look at Glucerna's offerings.  They make one with raisins, one with dried strawberries and one with almond slices.  It is "made for diabetics" with a low glycemic index and works pretty well for my readings.

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