Venice, city of carbs

By | 29 April, 2009

We’re back from our long weekend in Venice, it was all the things they tell you in the guide books – romantic, beautiful, lots of bridges, water, gondolas etc and one thing they don’t tell you – carb heavy.

I’ve thought for years that as well as eating low GI foods reducing the number of carbs I eat gives me better control. When I got my CGMS the data showed that I had much better readings when I ate fewer carbs. This is of course logical, if you’re trying to cope with a massive plate of pasta the margin for error in insulin dosing is far greater than if you’re eating a small green salad. This isn’t rocket science.

I do keep an eye on how many carbs I eat and reduce them wherever I can and overall I do ok. But it’s not easy. I like food that contains carbs. And I now think it is physically impossible to have a low carb weekend in Italy – all that fresh pasta, risotto, pizza, ice cream, tiramisu (yes I know they do delicious grilled fish and marvellous salads and I tried, believe me, but they really do specialise in scrumptious carbs!).

I find pizza in the UK to be the root of all diabetes evil so I rarely eat it. Its high carb and also high fat so it’s absorbed quite slowly into my system. I need buckets of insulin to deal with the carbs but not straight away because the fat slows down how quickly those carbs get in. Since I’ve got the pump, I’ve mastered the dual wave bolus which allows me to put some insulin in at the start of the meal and stagger the rest of it over the next few hours. Bingo, pizza without the immediate low or hours later high.

Thankfully proper Italian pizzas have an incredibly thin base so middle of the night highs following pizza for dinner weren’t a problem last weekend. The first one did catch me out though after I was a bit gung ho with the insulin guessing and it appears I needed half a bucket less than I’d thought. And that brings me to the final great thing about Italy – there’s a very tasty ice cream stall on every corner just waiting to help you deal with that low.

Category: Food & diet travel Tags: ,

About Alison

Diagnosed with Type One in 1983 at the age of four, Alison’s been at this for a while now. She uses Humalog in a combined insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system and any blood glucose meter as long as it takes five seconds or less.

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