Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Genetics and Healthy Eating

Today, in general, I eat food that is good for me. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, fish, dairy and eggs are all part of my pescatarian diet. Pescatarian is very similar to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet with the addition of fish and shellfish. I began eating this way full-time in 1994 after my husband and I began dating. He was a vegetarian, and since we ate a lot of meals together I began avoiding meat, too.

My biggest guilty pleasure is cheese. I love it and eat way too much of it. It's so easy to overindulge if I don't weigh a serving and put the darn block away before I cut "just one more piece." It's usually the culprit when my saturated fat intake is high for the day.

After my doctor diagnosed me with full-blown type 2 diabetes I was sent to a class led by a nutritionist. Being diabetic requires careful monitoring of my carbohydrate intake. During the half day class I was instructed about the importance of counting carbs, sticking to portion sizes, exercising and glucose monitoring. For a woman the goal is to eat no more than 3-4 servings per meal. Simply put that's only 45-60 grams of carbs. I was shocked that half of a banana was considered 1 serving or 15 grams of carbohydrates! Bananas are good for you. Who eats half of a banana?

As the nutritionist discussed diet, keeping glucose in check and the importance of not skipping meals I became angry. Why wasn't I taught about all this before now? I'd been punishing my body since childhood slowly killing myself through a cycle of starvation and indulgence. Wouldn't it have been better to be taught about this earlier in life? Maybe I would have made better choices, and I wouldn't be diabetic.

I am embarrassed to admit that my own kids rarely eat breakfast. My 15 year old son goes to school and skips lunch oftentimes or eats only a cereal bar. When he gets home from school he eats whatever he wants with little regard to nutritional value or caloric intake. Not only have I passed on the "fat" gene I've propagated a deadly cycle of unhealthy eating.

No comments:

Post a Comment