Carborhydrates and sugar.
One of the biggest struggles I find when talking with people about the difference between Type 2 and Type 1 Diabetes are those two terms. If I had a dollar for every time I got asked about my special diet or sugar intake, I wouldn’t be worried about a job right now. The assumption is usually made because I am a “diabetic” I am on a special diet and cannot eat any sugar. Wrong. That’s Type 2 Diabetes, completely different disease. Can we please get a different name?
Type 1 diabetics count carbs. Those lovely little carbohydrates are our bread and butter, literally, we live off of those numbers. We really could care less about sugar content (except for sugar alcohol, which is subtracted from carb count…I’m not sure why, maybe I should look that up). Honestly I don’t know the last time I even looked at the nutritional facts for the sugar count. If you hand us a sugar free food product we’ll probably look at you weird, awkwardly thank you, then go promptly throw it in the trash and grab a milkshake. Oh, we can totally eat sugar. GASP. I know, shocking. So please don’t try and give us any of that “diabetic” sugar-less crap. It’s nasty and I’d rather just take the insulin, thank you. Basically we are in the same boat as 98.4% of Americans: eating lots of junk food we shouldn’t. Yes, I am healthier when I eat well, (who isn’t?) but my diabetes does not require me to cut sugar out of my diet. The answer I generally give when posed with the “diet” query, is the statement that I should (and do for the most part) eat a normal diet, just like every other person. Literally. Just like everybody else. No sugar-free, nasty-tasting, cardboard foodstuff necessary.
So, I’m going to go enjoy my carb-laden spaghetti dinner and probably have a sugar-filled ice cream sandwich for dessert! Yum!
Note: This is strictly in regards to how we count the food we eat in order to take the right amount of insulin. Inwardly, all carbs are broken down into the glucose (sugar) our cells need to function, but for counting purposes we ignore the “sugar” count on the label and focus just on the carbs.