We are used to thinking of oatmeal or porridge as some sort of healthy option. Unless you’re on the Paleo band wagon, that is. It’s easy for me – with my diabetes – to view everything in terms of sugar metabolism. There’s other stuff going on, and in a lot of ways, there’s much that’s healthy about oatmeal. Something something cholesterol-lowering, something fibre-protein...
The thing is – it spikes my blood sugar, and it requires a lot of insulin for me to metabolise those sugars – to get the sugar out of my blood and into my muscles. I will need to inject more medicine. If I add a heaping pile of cream, however, that helps. Because adding fat to a food delays the release of the sugars.
Even with cream, I don’t have porridge all that often.
Often, I’ll have eggs on buttery toast with avocado and/or mushrooms – or something like that. I need to inject less medicine to metabolise this breakfast. On that level alone, it appears to be better for me. There’s still fibre, there’s protein, but I suppose there’s even more fat. Dum-dum-duuummmm! In the culture in which I grew up, this kind of breakfast was thought of as being a less healthy option. But it’s much easier for me to metabolise. And the once-feared fat, I now embrace. Also, this breakfast includes the much-feared bread, which is apparently more evil than oats, and the egg is forever controversial, but I suppose there’s nothing too worrisome about avocado or mushrooms these days.
I just find it strange – our conception of food – what’s good, what’s bad – when you compare those ideas to the way a food seems to work or not work in relation to an individual.
Growing up in a fat-phobic environment, it’s only in recent years that I realised how important fat is. Many people continue to fear it. But for me, when I was thinner, when I ate less fat, I was more sickly – and it’s obvious to me now, though it wasn’t always.
I was thinking about all this, because I designed a new t-shirt: I Heart Gluten. It’s funny what passes as rebellious these days, what becomes feared, and will my reluctance to vilify gluten polarise me against the internet-health-brigade? Will it make gluten-intolerant people feel marginalised (I hope not)? If you can’t tolerate gluten, then it’s probably good that you don’t eat it. I’m not judging that – I encourage people to do what works for them. This is what it really signifies, my hearting of gluten: I embrace freedom of choice, I embrace eating, and I reject food-prejudice. I reject the fear of food. I reject the notion that all people should eat according to one dogma. Gluten seems to represent fear these days. I embrace it because I reject restrictive dieting. It’s not only about the gluten.