Diabetes & Celiac: "What Carbs Can I Eat?"
Diabetes is tough to contend with on its own, but when you throw celiac disease into the mix it can seem nearly impossible to find "safe" foods.
I remember when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease someone said to me, "It will be like being on the Atkins diet." But anyone who's had celiac disease for a while knows there are many gluten-free carbohydrates available such as crackers, cakes, cookies, bread, waffles, donuts and muffins. Eating these products, you could easily end up with an extremely high-carbohydrate diet, not to mention problems with weight management.
Gluten-free foods have come a long way — there are many convenient options that actually taste good, and most of us are grateful for these advances and their availability. But for a person with celiac and diabetes the carbohydrate content and type of carbohydrate in foods must be taken into consideration. Carbohydrate counting and label reading is essential because many gluten-free foods are higher in carbohydrates than traditional versions and the carb amounts can vary considerably among brands. One slice of gluten-free bread can range from 15 to 40 grams per slice. Gluten-free hot dog buns range from 21 to 58 grams. In addition, a lot of gluten-free foods are made from flours that have lower fiber contents and higher glycemic index values —not ideal for people trying to keep their blood glucose levels stable. So what carbs can you eat with celiac disease?
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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...