T Nation

Low GI Diet and Low Carb

I have an insulin resistance problem and need your advice on changing my diet so I can live healthier. About a week ago, I was going through a severe case of reactive hypoglycemia that was very scary, but it is slowly getting better and is almost perfect now. In the past few days, I have taken out a few sugary foods in my diet, which has helped.

I am in the process of figuring out what could causing my blood sugar problems and think it might be related to low cortisol, however are not positive. In the meantime, my goal is to lower my insulin levels and insulin spikes throughout the day. Due to me being 6 foot and 304 pounds, this is a top priority in my life and I fully understand how important a good diet will be to my success in the future. That is why I am hoping to get as much advice and suggestions from you as I can.

My current job is very flexible, where I have a lot of time to eat the house and am on the road when I work. The object is to try and eat the best I can when I am at house and find healthy snacks and places to eat when I am out driving around working.

When I am out working, I often will get a chicken sandwich (no fries) at a fast food place or try to find something halfway decent. I used to get burritos a lot with (chicken, rice, lettuce, light cheese) and this is going to stop because I think the rice is jacking up my insulin levels. The first priority probably will be what I can do at home and then I will concentrate on when I am out.

Here is what a typical day might look like give or take a meal or two.

1st mealâ??bowl of cereal (cherrios, life, or frosted mini wheats) and 2% milk.
It used to be non-fat milk, but I read that this causes a higher insulin spike than whole milk and I am thinking of switching to whole milk. I am also looking for a better cereal that is less on the glycemic index.

2nd mealâ??tuna or ham sandwich on stone ground wheat bread.
I read the nature pride stone ground wheat bread is pretty good for my situation, but I am sure there is something there that is better. I am still searching for bread that might be good for low GI diet.

3rd mealâ??It used to be a French bread pizza and chicken soup. I have stopped eating the pizza and do not eat the soup because it used to go hand in hand. I need to find a healthy replacement for pizza.

I could incorporate a salad, but I whatever I choose I like to make it not complicated and would like to be able to put in the oven for a little while or not have to really make the meal, etc.

4th mealâ??Five egg whites, one whole egg and oatmeal.

5th mealâ??Boston market or chicken burrito. Boston market was with the side orders I was choosing, but will be making better decisions.

6th mealâ??It used to be steak or chicken and white rice with bread. Now it is steak or chicken with a good vegetable like asparagus, zucchini, etc. And now maybe a complex carbohydrate like pasta or a sweet potato.

Not too sure what I should eat here because I donâ??t want to eat a bunch of carbs before I sleep, but at the same time, when I donâ??t eat enough, I canâ??t sleep and I wake up in the middle of night starved which disrupts your sleep.

Snacksâ??I used to eat pretzels, crackers, and granola bars.
I now am just eating granola bars. I am looking for some more good snacks I could use to eat in between meals or as meals themselves.

I like fruit, but eating too much of certain kinds causing digestive issues. Canteloupe and grapefruit seem to do alright and maybe peaches.

Soluble fiberâ??I know this is very important and need to find some good things for it. I have been looking into buying an oat bran supplement or oat bran powder (like in a bag) and eating a little during bigger carb intake meals to slow digestion down.

I think grapefruit has some in there. I am trying to stay away from things that have a lot of insoluble fiber because they seem to make me go too often and quick.

Drinksâ??Water throughout the day and at every meal.

If you know a good links that could help me out, I would appreciate it. I have looked on the web for good amount of time and found a few good ones, but they do not provide that much info.

I think the majority of foods I should choose should be a medium to low glycemic index foods and that should not be loaded with carbs. If I do happen to eat a few things with a lot of carbs, that is alright with me though because I think the lower GI foods are probably more important and lower insulin levels better.

Thank you in advance.

This is probably more appropriately posted to the Nutrition forum, but I’ll give it a shot.

Meal 1: I’d switch you to whole grain oats. Not from Quaker, but from the bulk food bins. Whole rolled oats, cooked in hot water. You can microwave a bowl (1/2 cup oats to 1 cup water) in about 1 minute. Throw in some cinnamon and some artificial sweetener, if you can’t take it as-is. Or try some honey instead.

Meal 2: “whole wheat/grain bread” is still crap. Lose it. Eat the tuna raw, or mixed with some mayo (not salad dressing or sandwich spread). Eat the ham by itself, along with some green veggies.

Meal 3: chicken breast, roast beef, steak, ground beef, bison, elk, fish…something! 6 oz. of protein with some green veggies.

Meal 4: looks good. You can rotate this with meal 1 for variety, too.

Meal 5: meat and veggies.

Meal 6: looks good, though I’d probably eat something like this post-workout rather than as the last meal of the day. For me, I’d probably have some cottage cheese with some sweetener and cinnamon instead.

Up your water intake to at least 1 gallon a day.

If you want extra fiber (you shouldn’t need it with the above), an apple, peach, pear, nectarine, strawberry, blueberry, etc. can’t kill you.

Bottom line: You’re eating out WAY too much. Cook your own food and take it with you. When you eat, eliminate the sides, sauces, seasonings, coatings, etc. You don’t know what went into that chicken sandwich, or even if the “meat” is actually chicken, or wholly so.

If you’re worried about insulin spikes, you’ve got to watch the carbs, not just the sugars. And the meals you’ve posted above are chock full of carbs.

Also, the snacks: If you’re eating six meals a day and the ocasional bit of fruit, you do not need the snacks. Particularly not the granola bars, which have quite a few carbs and no small amount of sugar.