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[IP] Wine, cooking...and Sunflower Seeds
A kind gentleman wrote:
"Heidi, if you really do believe that sunflower seeds cause hypos in
the middle of the night, then I don't think you need to worry about a
little wine in the cooking pot. Your husband needs to first focus
on setting his basals right. "
When I asked advice about cooking with wine, I made a tangential reference
to sunflower seeds-- that they cause extreme lows--and got a lot of
questions about it, as well as the above skepticism, so I will try to
My husband generally avoids certain foods as causing downward pressure in
blood sugar. It's not that downward pressure is bad, of course, it just
makes management more difficult if the pressure is unpredictable. In any
event, some of the foods that cause downward pressure for him (YMMV) are:
sunflower seeds, barley, cucumber, molasses, and eggs. The sunflower seeds,
as I said in my earlier post, can profoundly affect blood sugar levels (and
it's got nothing to do with basals). Sayer says it's the zinc, in some of
these foods, that cause his pancreas to kick in. Of course this means that
his pancreas can still produce some insulin, although not enough to live
without taking insulin. I have no idea if there's any scientific research
about these foods, but have seen their effect.
If he's experiencing a high and is having trouble bringing himself down he
will eat a little bit of salt and this really helps bring it down (by
encouraging better acid/alkaline balance). He has to be careful, though,
because it can bring him down more quickly than you might expect.
You have to be vigilant about sunflower seeds, they turn up in odd places.
One of the fast food Mexican food restaurants (I think Taco Time) uses them
in their vegetarian burrito, so you have to tell them specifically to leave
them out. They also use barley in wheat flour, although I don't know if
it's enough to make a difference.
Hope people find this information useful. And by the way, thanks for the
advice about cooking with wine...we're going to try it and see how it goes!
You're welcome to join us, just let me know in advance and we'll set a plate
Heidi O. Strauch (wife of Sayer: dx 4/87, MM 507 1/98)
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