Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lying labels and weekend away


When I was shopping on Friday I picked up some Rice Stick Noodles to have with a stir-fry that night. I knew that both rice and pasta were high carb, but the packet said that 100g of noodles when prepared as directed (ie cooked in boiling water) was only 9.8g of carbohydrate -- easy to fit into my new plan of aiming for around 30g of carbs each meal. There were some fairly starchy vegetables in the stir-fry (carrot, baby corn, snow peas) and I had one square of chocolate for dessert; in all I estimated about 25g of carbs.

Two hours later my blood sugar was at an unacceptable 8.3 mmol/L.

I looked up Rice Stick Noodles on my app. It estimated 43g of carbohydrate for 100g! 43 is a little bit more than 9.8 -- not really within a reasonable error margin! So I think the packet lied, or was in error. It's imported from Thailand, so I'm not sure if Australian authorities are responsible or not. I am seriously considering contacting someone to complain/inform. It wasn't really a problem for me, but imagine the results if someone with real diabetes, maybe reliant on medication, trusted that label!

In a way it's good it happened, I learned a couple of things. Firstly, if something looks to good to be true, it probably is! I should have realised that that label was way off, considering it was pure high GI carbohydrate. Secondly, I know that around 58g of carbohydrate -- 4 serves -- is too much for me. This is important to know as at least one website suggested I have up to 55g of carbs with a meal. Further experimentation will show what I can have and remain below the magic number of 7.8 mmol/L. The rest of the time I have kept it under 7.0. Finally it shows me, if I needed further confirmation, that I definitely prediabetic; my body can't cope with large doses of carbohydrate. A "normal" person's blood sugars wouldn't have gone that high after a little handful of noodles.

I continued to carefully regulate my carbohydrate intake over the weekend, even though we were away from home. I had a banana on the road trip, modified McDonald's for lunch with nuggets and a salad and half a small fries, one micro-mini cupcake at afternoon tea and two biscuits at the second afternoon tea at another house, and only half a cup of rice at the Thai restaurant for dinner -- the rest meat and vegetables with nothing starchy or fried. My blood sugars were great all day.

I didn't take my testing kit with me today as it would have been too much to carry walking around the city, so I'm not as sure about today. I had bacon & eggs for breakfast with some toast, a cup of milk for afternoon tea, and two mini fajitas for dinner. All good levels of carbs. But then there was lunch ... I had chicken and spinach and a little bit of potato, good there. A fruity cocktail, not too bad. Then a big chocolate-filled eclair. Probably pretty bad, especially since it was at the same time as the other things. At least I did a bit of walking around the city and up & down the picturesque paths in the Chinese Gardens at Darling Harbour. In fact, I was walking while I was eating my eclair -- that cancels out, right?

We had a lovely weekend away. I got to see my cousins' babies; Kimberley had little girl Harper (10 weeks) and her brother Jamie (and his wife, of course) had twin boys Ryder and Jesse (about 4 months). I hadn't seen them yet. Then we saw my brother-in-law Nick and his wife, they are newly pregnant. A very baby day! Then dinner with my father-in-law, night at a lovely hotel with ocean views, and the next day wandering around the city. It snowed here in Canberra on Friday, but only 3 1/2 hours drive away in coastal Sydney it was warm and sunny. I ended up carrying around my coat, the kids' jumpers, and Tim's long-sleeve shirt (he kept his T-shirt on!). Tim had his hands full with the eleven books we bought at our favourite fantasy & sci-fi bookstore Galaxy that we hardly ever get to now that we don't live Sydney. The kids had the fun of riding in a train (we don't have trains in Canberra) and they slept most of the drive home in the car so they got to skip all the boring bit. All in all, a really nice weekend for everyone.

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