Diabetes: Food Is Not Medicine, It Is Food

food is food

This guest post was written by type 2 diabetic and chef Ward Alper. It originally appeared on his website, The Decadent Diabetic, and was republished on Information About Diabetes with permission.

A few weeks ago my recipe for cauliflower tots was posted here on Diabetes Support. A reader commented:
“No matter what I do, I can’t get cauliflower to work.”
I responded to her:
The trick is keeping the cooked cauliflower dry.
Boy was I surprised that she responded:
“I keep it dry, I just don’t like the taste”.
I am always saying that if it doesn’t taste good you are not going to eat it. It did not occur to me that taste was the issue. Since my Diagnosis, cauliflower has become one of my BFFs. That and spaghetti squash have filled in the empty place on my plate formally filled by pastas, rice, and potatoes. What is interesting to me is that before my diagnosis, cauliflower was a once in a while thing, smothered in a cheesy sauce, or blanched for a vegetable tray. I liked it well enough. My sister on the other hand had never tried it and hated it…just because. You have to remember we grew up with very little in the way of vegetables for most of the year. Even I thought that broccoli was a centerpiece on a friend’s table.
Another reader commented on a cucumber recipe:
“I eat cucumbers and I still got Diabetes”.
It won’t cure or prevent disease, but it will give you another menu option to help keep the carbs down.
There is no food yet (who knows what another day will bring) proven to cure or prevent Diabetes. Eat it for the taste and the lower carbohydrate (and sodium) value. There is a good chance that replacing some higher carbohydrate foods with those with less carbohydrates will help you to manage your Diabetes, if you have type 2 Diabetes.
Cinnamon comes up in too many conversations as a possible cure for Diabetes or a way to control blood sugar. EVERYTHING I have found online or in reliable medical journals, suggest that there IS NO CONCLUSIVE evidence of cinnamon curing Diabetes.
The man that owns the purified water store I use (water in New Mexico tastes awful) told me that he has a customer that is certain that he can cure MY Diabetes IF I used cinnamon. Smiling and nodding is becoming a way of life.
Truth be told, I do use cinnamon. Not as a curative but because I like the taste. If it turns out cinnamon DOES has health benefits…great. If not, I still like the taste of it. I did hear a diner at a restaurant say to their companion (with Diabetes):
“Oh, rice pudding is ok. If you put cinnamon on it, it won’t hurt your Diabetes”.
My companion had to practically nail me down to the table to keep me from screaming at the woman.
Eating better and exercise is going to aid your overall health. However, each of us is very different. My eating works for me and my family. The amount of exercise I do works for me…for now. I won’t suggest to you that you should eat EXACTLY the way that I do. I will tell you that there are hundreds of recipes that work well for a person with Diabetes. They won’t cure your Diabetes, but they will expand your possibilities and perhaps allow you to stick to your eating plan. Most important, those recipes taste wonderful…to me and many others. The reader that simply can’t make cauliflower work for her won’t agree with me. My late uncle, who would go into sneezing fits when cinnamon was in the air, will not agree with my views on the taste of cinnamon.
This is all perfect. It is wonderful people like some foods and hate other foods. If I had not been exposed to people with different cuisines, there would be too many foods that I would not have tried and that would be a loss to my taste buds. Unlike my crazy sister, I have always been adventurous in my trying new foods. There is a reason for that. I tried more foods that I really like than foods that I don’t. And yes, I draw the line at trying some things. Unless I change very much in the next few years, a caramelized cockroach is not on MY list of things to try, nor is chocolate dipped lima beans. Hey, we all got our stick.
As for curing Diabetes, I heard a rumor that if you eat _______________.
Enjoy, be happy, be Healthy, BE DECADENT.-w!

Source: Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic