em>Whose fault is it?
You might be like me, feeling that as your husband’s wife, or caring partner, you are responsible for, or at least complicit in the lifestyle that has led to his condition, one best summed up by the term ‘diabesity’.
I cooked and shopped and although I thought I have been making healthy choices my husband was still dangerously overweight and getting fatter.
I was caring for him to the best of my knowledge, providing the recommended balanced meals of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables.
I was buying low fat, low calorie products and trying to cook the meals the NHS recommends but still my husband was gaining weight.
He was more and more depressed, moved even less than he ever did, was making excuses for not walking the dog, not taking the stairs and complaining bitterly if I parked too far away from the supermarket door!
Well me quietly despairing did no good. In fact, it did just the opposite for years.
Obviously, if I feel I am part of the problem, in reality I know I am only a fraction of that problem, my husband has a lot of work to do and he has to take his responsibility for the state he has got himself in to as well. It’s brilliant that he is now doing so.
But if your partner has arrived at the place where they are ready to take back control of their life then together we are going to have to reassess what we know about food with them.
If we’ve established that caring to the best of our knowledge is just adding to the problem, there is obviously a lot more that we need to know and have not been told by the so-called experts.
At the time Jon was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, in 2000, the dietary advice given by health professionals was still to eat a limited amount of starchy carbohydrates, in fact they recommended and still do that a third of your food should be starchy carbs?!
So, a meal that included potatoes, rice, pasta wasn’t a problem, as long as it included some protein and plenty of vegetables and not too much fat.
We also thought he was doing the right thing having Weetabix for breakfast, no added sugar of course, and a banana any time he felt his blood sugar drop.
We couldn’t have got it more wrong!
If you have a look on Dr Unwin’s sugar chart, you can see just what a disaster this kind of advice has been for Jon’s health.
On a good day Jon might have had 3 Weetabix for breakfast, with semi-skimmed milk. Then a banana on the way to the station, a sandwich at lunch and another banana on the way home if he felt his blood sugar was dropping.
Dinner was chilli with brown rice if we were being good but more often than not white rice.
According to Dr Unwin’s charts in which he has calculated the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar, compared with one 4g teaspoon of table sugar, on a day when Jon felt he was being careful about what he ate, his blood sugar would have received a hit of the equivalent of 26 teaspoons of table sugar!
Now I am not so much angry with Jon but angry with the experts who are still dishing out this stupid advice. I believe that they have aided and abetted my husbands’ s chronic illness and their advice has significantly contributed to his diabesity.
And whatever you do don’t get me started on the drugs they gave him at the same time…