Blood sugar control vs. Blood pressure control?

By JoanDTx Latest Reply 2013-11-29 09:48:31 -0600
Started 2013-11-25 23:37:02 -0600

I wonder if anyone else finds this to be as frustrating as I do? If I eat to control my blood pressure, as I have been for a while, my blood sugar is high, now that I 've been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, if I eat for my blood sugar control, my blood pressure goes up! I've only been diagnosed since Oct.31st. I can't decide what to do! I called my doctor's office to get referred to a Nutritionist or Certified Dietitian but no one has called me back to tell me who to go to or if I can. I've been reading some books but if they have recipes in them for the diabetes, they have too much salt and if they're for blood pressure they have too much sugar! I'm so frustrated I could scream! It seems like the only things I could eat are salads or celery! I bought sugar-free foods when I first found out and now the books say to watch the carbs more than the sugar. It's hard to know what to do when your doc just prescribes the meds and not what to eat for the diabetes that won't affect the blood pressure. I take blood pressure meds and diabetic med, Metformin. Anyone else found a formula that will be kind to both the blood sugar and blood pressure? I appreciate and thank whomever answers! ~Joan

8 replies

JoanDTx 2013-11-26 22:01:52 -0600 Report

Oh I almost forgot, I grow my own herbs and use quite a bit in my cooking. Nick my metabolism isn't what it used to be either and I'm probably at least 100 lbs overweight. I'll look up that Paleo diet, I've seen the DASH diet. I'll also have to see what I can afford to purchase thru a whole month's time since I get paid only once a month.

Nick1962 2013-11-29 09:48:31 -0600 Report

When I first started my new feeding plan, I was shocked at just how little I needed to eat. I mean Hardee’s wouldn’t make that triple thick half-pound burger and large fries if I didn’t need it right? Hindsight being what it is, being close to 300 lbs. at the time should have tipped me off I was way overdoing things. Of course conquering that mental barrier between WANTING to eat and NEEDING to eat was tough, but I ended up eating about 1/3 of what I used to and my grocery bill was cut in half, even with the higher priced “healthy” foods. Of course getting healthier also meant less doctor visits, less medications, and less testing which made a huge difference in my budget. Don’t know what (if any) insurance you have, but mine offers wellness incentive programs that dropped my rates too the healthier I got.

I invested in one of those vacuum food sealer thingies and started cooking and freezing proteins like chicken, turkey and burgers in 2-3 day portions so my weekly “meals” (if you could call them that) would be varied. Fresh vegetables (I don’t do canned) for me are cut up and stored like a salad bar for me during the week. Since the wife and I have different schedules, we typically end up cooking for one on weekdays, so a salad and a couple chicken legs is a typical convenient evening meal for us. Bought a 12 lb. turkey this year that will easily last us through Christmas.

Healthy eating on a budget can be done. It sometimes means cooking all weekend and “processing” your foods, but that can be pretty fun.

JoanDTx 2013-11-26 21:55:39 -0600 Report

I've cut the salt shaker and cooking with salt out a long time ago. It's pretty difficult to find foods in the store without salt in them in any way, shape or form. I buy canned goods with 'No Salt Added' and try to buy either frozen or some fresh veggies. So many things still have salt in them and if they cut out the sugar they add more salt and anything labeled 'lite' or 'diet' will add more salt, I've found. If they cut the salt out, they add more sugar. I live alone on SSI and Social Security and it's difficult to cook for one person, and I'd gotten used to not cooking as much as when I had a family at home. That's probably why I've gotten into trouble now. I guess I'm going to have to get on my doctor's staff's back and get them to see that I really need and want the help to learn how to change my eating to both help my blood sugar and blood pressure. What I'm really frustrated with, is, that there's so much opposite information out there. One book says eat whole grains, vegetables and fruits and lean meats and another one says cut out all dairy , whole grains, and most fruits and only eat lean meats and lots of leafy greens and I guess I'll probably have to see what works best for me. I'm on a limited budget tho, and usually would use noodles and rice to make my meals stretch a ways. Found out that was the wrong prescription for diabetes! And one of my favorite snacks was any kind of crackers! I LOVED crackers! I also had/have a terrible sweet tooth, that I'm finding it hard to yank out. :( But, I'll figure it out sooner or later with a little help if I can ever get it! I was just so frustrated the other day and my blood sugar and blood pressure were up in the numbers. Thanks for ya'll's help! I do appreciate it.

Glucerna 2013-11-27 16:02:02 -0600 Report

You're making a whole bunch of healthy choices Joan! Using herbs instead of salt, looking for no-salt-added foods, and reading food labels are excellent ideas. You might cook more often at home and portion out the extras into individual-size portions and then freeze them for later use. You can also make your own lower sugar foods to use in smaller portions. There are many recipes here and online that I think you'll enjoy. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-11-26 13:18:45 -0600 Report

Joan I agree with both Nick and Lynn. First I would call the doctors office and remind them about the referral. Don't allow them to brush you off. I would give them 3 days and call back.

The best way to control blood sugar and blood pressure is preparing your own food. This way you can control the amount of salt and carbs. I switched to either kosher or sea salt and found that I don't use as much.

As Lynn said, stay away from processed foods which also includes eating at fast food places. I refuse to eat anything at Bob Evans as their food is extremely salty. Incorporate exercise and this will help with both problems.

Finally, when you do meet with the nutritionist, work with him/her to come up with foods that you can incorporate into meals that are healtier for you.

Nick1962 2013-11-26 09:01:41 -0600 Report

Joan, I think you might be over-thinking this just a little, so maybe we can simplify things. See what your nutritionist says if you can get an appointment, and as Lynn has already suggested, stay away from processed foods and cut back on the salt when cooking.

End of the day though, you can’t simply “eat” your way around high blood pressure or high glucose. It is an overall lifestyle change that needs to occur, and sometimes just a small one. Finding the right daily diet will take care of both, but it will also include some exercise and (if needed) weight loss. Those 3 together will help the BP, the BG’s and a long list of other issues too.

If you’re like I was – living for a long while on pre-made convenience foods – it’s time to dust off the pots and pans again and start following a diet your body is suited to. I know at my age there’s a lot of things I can’t metabolize any longer because I’m simply not as active as I was in my 30’s, and my metabolism has dropped considerably since then.

A Paleo-type diet has worked for me – dropped over 100 lbs., got my cholesterol and other blood work in the normal range, plus my glucose numbers are great and the blood pressure is within a range that I only take one maintenance dose, which is largely due to a history of family heart issues. There’s also the DASH diet:

You’re doing good so far, and I share your frustration (been there). We’ll get it worked out – I promise.

Glucerna 2013-11-26 07:05:06 -0600 Report

You've obviously been working hard to control both blood sugar and blood pressure Joan, and it's great you've asked your doctor for a referral to a dietitian. You're right that paying attention to carbohydrate intake helps manage blood sugar levels. Most unprocessed foods are lower in sodium than processed foods, and you can control the amount of sodium you add during cooking. Leave the salt out of recipes and use herbs for seasoning and flavor. ~Lynn @Glucerna

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