The Diabetes and Celiac Diet (continued)
Follow a whole-food meal plan. A gluten-free dinner consisting of a serving of protein (broiled or baked), steamed vegetables, a small serving of brown rice, and a small piece of fruit for dessert can also work well for managing your diabetes.
Buy gluten-free products. Health food stores and most mainstream grocery stores now carry gluten-free products. If your diabetes management plan allows for pasta, rice pasta is an excellent substitute, since the taste is very similar to wheat pasta.
Watch your blood sugar levels. A diagnosis of celiac disease necessitates what may be a pretty dramatic change in your daily sources of carbohydrate. This means you're going to experience variations in your usual blood-sugar patterns, so be extra vigilant in testing.
Continue to track your calories and carbs. Some gluten-free foods such as rice may be calorie- and carbohydrate-dense. Don't assume a sandwich made with gluten-free bread has the same amount of carbohydrates as one made with regular bread.
Don't be afraid to dine out. Consult directories of gluten-free restaurants, at sites such as the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program. If a restaurant isn't advertised as gluten-free, ask your server to tell the chef that you can't have wheat, and find out how dishes are prepared. And be creative -- some restaurants may allow you to bring gluten-free products for the chef to prepare.
- American Diabetes Association. Celiac Disease: Wheat Ails You? http://www.diabetes.org/type-1-diabetes/celiac-disease.jsp (Accessed February 26, 2008)
- American Diabetes Association. Wheat Me, Worry? http://diabetes.org/diabetes-forecast/aug2004/celiac.jsp (Accessed February 27, 2008)
- Interview with Larry C. Deeb, M.D., immediate past president of the American Diabetes Association. Conducted February 29, 2008.
- Lazzarotto, Francesca, M.D., et al. 2002. Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease: Overview and Medical Nutrition Therapy. Diabetes Spectrum 15:197-201, 2002. http://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/reprint/15/3/197 (Accessed February 26, 2008)
- Mayo Clinic. Celiac Disease: Self-Care. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/celiac-disease/DS00319/DSECTION=9 (Accessed February 27, 2008)
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Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...