Like most things at Farm To Fit, our Diabetic Friendly Menu was created because of a personal connection. 25.8 million people in the United States (8.3% of the population!) have diabetes. But this disease effects even more people than the statistics show. When one person is diagnosed with diabetes it affects all of their families and loved ones and my family is a perfect example.
Luckily I do not have diabetes, but since I was a small child I was always told WHEN you get diabetes … not IF you get diabetes. You see, my father is an insulin dependent diabetic. My uncle and grandmother were also insulin dependent and, most recently, my stepfather has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
In the late 70’s, when my father was diagnosed, the logic was to keep your blood sugar as low as possible. He was told to take everything with sugar (even fruit!) out of the house — except strawberries and little stash of candy, coke or orange juice to give him a sudden rush of sugar when he started to go into a diabetic coma. Being young and suddenly having all sugar taken out of the house was horrible! My staple of Jiff Peanut Butter and Welch’s Grape Jelly on Wonder Bread instantly became whole wheat pieces of cardboard with natural peanut butter and sugarless jam. It was devastating!
Luckily, since then, attitudes towards diabetes have changed. We’ve learned that sustaining an even level of blood sugar, keeping it constant throughout the day, is healthier than peaks and valleys of keeping your blood sugar as low as possible and then watching it spike once you eat.
Diabetes is also hard on a diabetics heart. Of all the cryptic warnings my dad told me about his inevitable early death, he never warned it might come from a heart attack. That was until I get a call on Christmas-eve 2000 that he had a massive heart attack. Since then he and my uncles have had numerous heart attacks and stints put in their valves. I now know that diabetes creates extra plaque in diabetics valves and heart making them clog easier. Our meals fresh produce and lower fat proteins help keep the heart strong which hopefully will keep us living longer.
While the shift in lifestyle is inevitable, our goal and Farm to Fit is to make this disease manageable as well as delicious! I wanted to create a menu that would ease some of the worries of living with disease and help those recently diagnosed with Type 2 solve part of the equation of the new lifestyle changes they have to make. I really want Farm To Fit menu’s and delicious food to add quality and ease to our customers lives.