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Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by alalucy, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. alalucy

    alalucy · Newbie

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    Hi there,

    I'm a daughter of a Diabetic type 2 stuborn father and I'm really trying to focus on getting my Dad fit and healthy but don't have a clue to alot of bits.

    My Dad recently had a heart attack around 2 months ago to which before hand I don't really think he took his condition very seriously (diagnoised around 5 years ago) and to be honest he still plays it down. I don't know details of how much of what medication he takes and he won't give too much away (I'm slowly trying to get info' from him) I know he now injects insulin which he has told me is because his past medication inflicts with medication he needs to take for his heart. I also know hes on Warfarin. He's overweight but of rugby player build, he lost 2 stone when he was in hospital for two week and hes in his mid fifties.

    He gets very short of breath easily and in general he is constantly tired. I have only decided to live with him within the past few weeks so I honestly can't compare his health to his pre heart attack condition but all I know is I need it to improve, the whole family is worried for his health so hopefully I can help, after all he seems to listen a little more to his only daughter. I understand I should call his Doctor and ask for exact details but I've been through similar ideas when he was in hospital and I don't want to argue with him again, I'd really just apprecaite any help you can give.

    The main problem is diet obviously, he has so far not had any alcohol since the heart attack which I'm seriously proud of, he does own a pub and has abused his liver ever since I've known him. He has retired in the most part because of his ill health and just drinks Holston Alcohol-free beer, I am worried of the sugar content?? and also I've read he should reduce liquid consumtion?? I've seen him drink around 10 a night!

    Apart from alcohol he tends to stay away from refined sugar. He takes sacrin in his tea and splenda on his cerel. I heard him on the phone to the nurse the other day telling her hes got down to two slices of bread, did a little research and was going to get low GI bread as a replacement to brown bread? I think the nurse was telling him to not have any! He seems to think he can pretty much eat anything else. When I question it he says there's no sugar in that but I even know from high school education complex carbohydrates turn to sugar. He also suggested he could have bacon! he thinks saturated fats won't count. Today at a restaurant I was really having trouble suggesting what meal would be appropraite but I was clueless. We decided on pasta and meatballs but I understand white pasta and probably tomato based sauces are not ideal?? very confused about what fruits are good/bad? To be honest I feel it's hard to convince him into a diet where theres not much left after pulses and veg'. I know it's about balance but he's a big guy and needs large portions.

    Anyway, I've ranted enough and I've not even asked half the questions I've written down on my piece of paper but for now what I would really like is a shopping list suggestion or a website where I can find something like that so I can cook and also have something readily available that he can make himself after he comes home from a few alcohol-free beers :)

    Any help apprecaited,

    Lucy
     
  2. anniep

    anniep · Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    Well done for wanting to help your dad, I know it is not an easy task to help those who are in denial or who don't want to feel looked over all the time.

    I am off to work myself now and can't give a long answer i'm sorry, but hopefully ohters will be along soon. In the meantime read the advice given to newly the diagnosed at the top of the greetings and introductions thread.

    good luck

    Annie
     
  3. jane22

    jane22 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done for wanting to help your dad. Just take care that he doesn't see you as the 'food police'. It drives me nuts when well meaning people try to tell me what to eat. Maybe you could get an appointment with his dietician and go along with him. I don't think his doctor would be allowed to discuss your fathers health with you if you called. I see you put he is a big guy and needs large portions. I think maybe that should read he is a big guy and wants large portions. He doesn't really need that. Portion control is very important. Does he test his blood regularly? From that he could find out which fruits and veg (and all other food) have the least impact on blood glucose levels.
     
  4. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    You obviously want to help your Dad, but ultimately, he must do it for himself.
    If not, he'll just undermine your efforts.
    You need to keep starches to a minimum and probably cut sugars all together.
    the key is on the Nutrition panel. the "Traffic Lights" don't list carbohydrates other than sugar.
    so watch the total carbohydrate section. you need a reference book too: The Collins Little Gem Calorie counter is excellent value and only about £5
    What I do when I'm being efficient is to make a list of main meal menus for the week on a Friday evening and make my shopping list up from that.
    Saves money too and food isn't wasted.
    Hana
     
  5. RebeccaSmith

    RebeccaSmith · Well-Known Member

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    I was referred to a dietician the day that I was diagnosed with type1. Pre-diabetes, my lunch consisted of hot chocolate, a bar of chocolate and a packet of wine gums. When the dietician said that I was allowed a treat of one 'celebration' sized chocolate a week, I wanted to punch her. In reality, it's not realistic. It's too difficult to live life on a 'perfect diet,' which probably wouldn't give you everything that you need anyway. In my experience it is better to have a bit of everything in moderation.
    Bacon is bad everyday, but once a week won't hurt. You mentioned fruits to avoid...I know a type 2 diabetic who thinks that fruits are perfectly fine to eat because they are 'natural sugars...' Er, it's kind of in the name..sugar. All fruits have sugar in, and regardless of whether they are natural or artificial, they will stay play havoc on ones bloods. Exotic fruits are the worse and I very, very rarely have them because they are really particularly bad - for example, mango, papaya, pineapple. Bananas for example have about 12g of sugar in them. Fruits that I tend to eat include, strawberries and apples.
    Brown bread and brown pasta is deffo better than the white stuff, but as I said earlier, everything in moderation is good. I usually have porridge for breakfast as the oats reduce cholesteral (I had high cholesteral, and it is an effect of diabetes), a salad sandwhich with brown bread and an apple for lunch, and something with vegetables and rice for dinner. I find if I have a pudding, that my bloods linger quite high for most of the night, so if the sweet tooth is really bad, I have sugar free jelly to hand or a low calorie hot chocolate (don't confuse low fat with less sugar though!!). I also try and have my 'pudding' during the day, as it allows me to keep a better eye on what my bloods are doing.
    This website is amazing for looking at the nutritional values of all kinds of products:
    http://caloriecount.about.com/
    It breaks it down into sugars, carbs etc, so have a look and take note of what is bad...I wouldn't say that tomato sauce with pasta is bad - mayonaise would be worse! The trick is not too avoid sugar, but learn to live with less of it. Good luck!!
     
  6. SophiaW

    SophiaW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the other members who have said it's a change that your father must willingly make. You can help and offer support but he is the one who must ultimately accept the change in lifestyle if it is going to be successful long term for him.

    If you haven't already done so take a look at the diabetes food section of this forum. You'll find lots of advice and recipes in there to make use of.

    When reading food labels you need to consider the number of total carbs, not just sugars as, yes you're right, all carbs eventually break down into glucose. Slow absorbing carbs are better than quick acting ones, but even so they can still have an effect on blood sugars. Each person is different and some can tolerate certain carbs better than others without seeing a significant rise in blood sugars. The only way for your father to know how different carbs affect his blood sugars is to do some regular testing to explore the effect of those carbs on him. It may mean quite a bit of testing initially but once you know what is okay and what's not then you won't need to test so often.

    I wish you both success with improving his diabetes :)
     
  7. the_anticarb

    the_anticarb · Well-Known Member

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    Just a word of advice, I personally have found that it's the total amount of carbohydrate that is paramount, rather than the type. EG today I had a wholemeal bread sarnie and it shot my blood sugar up a lot more than the choccie bar I had yesterday. Not everyone will agree with me, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't consider the nutritional value of the food of course you should, but as you know yourself all carbs are, effectively, sugar when broken down, so don't make the mistake of thinking too much in terms of type and not enough in terms of quantity. Your dad needs to make sure he matches his medication to his overall carbohydrate content. Good luck
     
  8. anniep

    anniep · Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    I have just looked up the holsten alcohol free beer and this is what the nutritional info was -

    24 calories per 100ml
    5g carbohydrate per 100 ml

    Sold as 330ml bottles.

    If your dad is drinking 10 of these a night he is having a heck of a lot of carbs and calories, but given what you said about him giving up the alcohol, it may at the moment be the lesser of two evils.

    But it would seem to show that you have to cut his carbs elsewhere, and testing if you can get him to do it is important as we all react differently to different foods and only by testign will you find out what effects him the most. For instance I cannot touch bread at all or I slike my BG but I can eat potatoes, others can eat some bread.

    And yes as others have said he has want to do this himself, but if you are as informed as you can be, then you can help his choices or avoid bad choices by ignorance.

    Give him lots of lean meat like chicken without the skin and lots of vegetables, hot homemade soups are comforting in winter, he can have roast dinners but just not too many spuds or yorkshire puddings, - meat and veg and Fish is good too.

    If he is anything like my dad was he would happily eat his meat and veg but not anything he though 'fancy' or 'foreign'

    good luck
     
  9. badmedisin

    badmedisin · Well-Known Member

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    Obviously your dad isn't drinking 10 alcohol free beers to get drunk :) so maybe he drinks that much cos he's thirsty? If so, he'd be much better off drinking water or sugar free pop. The carbs in the beer are putting his BG up and making him thirsty, it's a vicious circle. 10 beers is over 150g of carbohydrate. That's 15 chocolate digestives, enough to make anyone thirsty. I would suggest drastically cutting back on it, or at least injecting for it. Also worth asking your hospital about a carb counting course.
     
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