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oats and diabetis
Hello, and thank you very much for taking my question. I have diabetis that runs in my family- both parents were diagnosed at age 50 with type 2, mother on insulin father is not, ages 61 and 65 respectively.  I am trying to be very vigilant to prolong or prevent diabetis as much as possible. I have a question about oats. I typically eat a large bowl of oats with skim milk usually 4 times per week in the morning. I notice that after 1,5 hrs of eating my blood glucose levels are at 110-120. Is this considered normal whether diabetic or not? Are oats a carbohydrate? But people tell me its good for you?  How much of a good thing is acceptable and from your knowledge are my readings within healthy ranges for a large bowl of oats after 1,5 hrs of eating them.

Thanks-

Abe
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Hi Abe!  Thank you for posting on our website!  I am the Mom of a 17 year old who was diagnosed at the age of 21 months.  I am not a medical professional, so any medical information that I pass on to you should be verified with your healthcare team.  I think it's terrific that you are being proactive about warding off diabetes since it runs in your family.  The type of diabetes that your parents are dealing with is type 2 (non-insulin dependent).  This type of diabetes usually develops because of poor diet and lack of exercise.  The majority of people affected used to generally be older, but with the sedate lifestyles of some of our younger people, type 2 is showing up in kids now more than ever before (thanks to TV, video games, fast food & junk food!).  You can't get type 2 from your parents, but you can develop it with a lifestyle that does not provide your body with what it needs to maintain a healthy weight.  By sticking to a well-balanced diet that includes fresh veggies & fruits, whole grains & low fat dairy products, type 2 diabetes can be controlled and hopefully reversed.  Daily exercise is also recommended in maintaining this healthy lifestyle.  Your bg levels seem perfectly within a normal non-diabetic range and your choice of whole grain oats tells me that you have a good sense of what is healthy for you.  Oats are carbs and they are good for you.  They stick with you and keep you feeling fuller, longer.  This is helps control urges to snack inbetween meals also.  What you need to focus on is limiting the type of carbs that are processed and try to find whole grains (example:  whole grain (dark) breads instead of white & brown rice instead of white). Carbs are part of a well balanced meal plan so don't count them out!  Keep up with good work!
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Hi again Abeybaby,
Yes, oats are carbohydrates (as are all breakfast cereals like wheat, barley, rice, rye, corn).  While all carbos affect our blood sugar (even folks like you without diabetes), "whole grain" carbos are easier on our systems and don't typically cause spikes in blood sugar, because they have fiber to slow the digestion process.  

Your blood sugars after eating sound normal to me.  As you know, we're not physicians here, so it's good to reivew your blood sugar records with your doc and to watch for patterns ... and any *changes* to the patterns you see.

There are many opinions on how much carbohydrate we should have in our normal diet and so it's difficult to know what's "true" and what's a fad.  Certified diabetes educators (CDEs) and nutritionists seem to recommend diets rich in whole grains (fiber rich), veges, fruits, with modest protein & good fats.  Limiting processed foods and eating foods closest to their form in nature tends to provide us with max vitamins, minerals and health benefits.  

Oatmeal is a great component in a healthy diet.  And in the spirit of "less processed," we're advised to choose the Old-Fashioned oatmeal that takes some time to cook on the stove, rather than the kind that's been cooked a bit already and we just zap for a few seconds in the microwave.  

Take good care!
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Thanks again for your continued support- much appreciated.

Abe
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By the way, the Quick or Instant oats have a higher glycemic index than the old-fashioned oats (I read this in an article about type 1 diabetes a few months ago), and this means that they cause a sharper blood sugar rise after eating them than do the old-fashioned ones. As a type 1 diabetic, I can attest to a difference in how quickly the sugars are absorbed between the two types of oats. So for all diabetics, it is healthier to eat old-fashioned oats than the quick or instant ones.
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