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Feeding a new diabetic?

DH is going low-carb, not no-carb. We've entirely cut out the staple 'white' carbs. No potatoes, bread, flour, rice. Dessert is a complete no-no for now. Lots of vegetables and fresh fruit, and so on. His new favourite snack is hummus with carrot sticks. I'm pretty much following the same diet - I've got 90 pounds to lose if I really wanted to be healthy, so it sure won't hurt me! I love veggies, John thinks they're okay, but now he's got to learn to love them too. But I need ideas on what to cook for us!

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  1. Depends on what advice he's had from the health professionals. Mine said that, apart from being very aware of sugars, there was no need to signifciantly alter my diet. The general advice is to eat a normal balanced diet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      not altering your diet is often the advice if you want to "manage" diabetes with insulin.

      learn about carbohydrate counts in your foods. 1/2 cup home-made hummus has more carbs than a big slice of white bread. beans are not necessarily your friend here.

      although not yet diabetic, i had metabolic damage from a high-grains (healthy, right?), high-carb diet for years. since going low-carb, i have dropped quite a bit of weight and never felt better.

      embrace proteins of the animal sorts, and healthy fats, like good grass-fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil. avoid seed oils and junk dairy foods.

      besides the "white stuff", i don't go near processed foods of any kind, beans, grains or most fruit. berries occasionally. i will splurge on a fabulous in-season peach, but do not bother with crap supermarket fruit flown from who-knows where. all the sugar, none of the flavor.

      veggies are great, but stay away from the starchy root veggies like yams and beets for now. learn to love leafy greens. a few weeks off starch and sugar and you will be astonished how sweet a red pepper will taste.

      if you insist on boxed or convenience foods, become a label maven. sugar and grains of all guises are added to these foods.

      1. re: Harters

        That's really, REALLY bad advice. The only food that raises blood sugar in type 2 is carbs. Replacing starches and sugars with high fiber, colorful leafy veggies works wonders.

      2. Rearrange your thinking for meal planning to start with vegetables. Invest in a good vegetarian or veggie cookbook and cook your way thorough it. This means you'll probably have to suspend what you think you know about what you do and do not like in the veg department, and that you'll probably buy stuff that has previously been outside your comfort zone. Assume you're going to love EVERYTHING until proven otherwise. Embrace this as an adventure, but understand that your palate will take time to adjust if you are used to eating a lot of junk or even the SAD. Fill your grocery cart with vegetables first. Everything else should be either a whole-food pantry staple or a condiment. Stop buying anything with a marketing campaign and anything processed or convenience. Sign up for a CSA. Don't ever forget whole grains and legumes.

        Walk, walk, walk. It's easier to eat less and eat healthy when you know you're going to get up and go for a walk after dinner EVERY. SINGLE. EVENING.
        Diabetes is a lifestyle disease, not just an eating problem. Consider it an opportunity, not a burden.

        16 Replies
        1. re: splatgirl

          being a healthy low-carb vegetarian can be very difficult, unless you want to rely on soy, which presents a whole other round of issues. beans and grains are insanely carby and should not be a staple of a diabetic's diet.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I'm not suggesting it's necessary to become a vegetarian, just to start learning to think of and eat vegetables as the entree or what composes the bulk of most every meal. What I've seen with low-carb dieters is that they fall into the habit of way overeating meat and dairy because its familiar and seemingly easier than (thinking) rethinking and learning to be veg-centric. This may be low-carb, but it's not very healthy. Likewise the trap of processed and convenience foods that are marketed as low-carb.
            +1000 for a nutritionist. Also a diabetes educator

            1. re: splatgirl

              I've observed the opposite. Except for Atkins two week induction, (I've been one for over a decade, tightly controlling diabetes sans meds) low carbers eat boatloads of non starchy veggies in place of starches. I have meat/fish and dairy often, but my plate, by volume, is full of colorful, high fiber carbs.

              1. re: mcf

                mcf, am glad you finally turned up in this thread. you seem to be one of the few who shares my point of view, well borne out by us both from daily experience over years.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Considering that my kidney function is high normal and most diabetic complications progress, and I no longer have nerve damage and pain, I'll stick with my plan. Industry has bought medical consensus recommendations to sell drugs and dialysis for huge profits. People suffer from it terribly.

                  1. re: mcf

                    If anyone doubts this approach, you have the proof by checking your own blood sugars on and off this type of diet. We generally eat a little meat for dinner with non starchy veggies and a big salad, usually with a salad dressing based on 3 parts olive oil to 1 part acid. We eat nuts, berries and full fat cottage cheese. I use a little stevia but not too often as I don't like it but my husband uses it a little more. I have made a few things with almond flour and am going to try coconut flour. .I did find out that I can't eat raw nuts but can eat them cooked.

                  2. re: mcf

                    Re the above, I have not been an Atkins dieter, only a low carber for over a decade.

                  3. re: splatgirl

                    When you consider that protein does not raise bg at all in type 2 while still supplying glucose, and fat raises neither glucose nor insulin, and the damage is done by rising glucose, advocating veggies/carbs as the main entree is not wise. Protein and fat should make up most of a diabetic's caloric intake, if not food volume. After many years controlling my bg without meds and staying in low normal numbers, and using software to document my efforts, I've found that for *me*, 50% fat, 30-35% protein and the rest high fiber, non starchy carbs works best. YMMV. Eat to your meter.

                  4. re: hotoynoodle

                    I have to agree. After many years undiagnosed, I reversed long standing kidney and nerve damage and dyslipidemia by doing the opposite (eating vegetarian, restricted fat is how I got severely insulin resistant). Eat proteins, preferably from pastured, wild caught sources, lots of non starchy veggies and healthy, non polluted fats. Cut starches, and sugars of all kinds, including fruits, to condiment sized servings.

                    1. re: mcf

                      Can you specify which veg you eat the most of?

                      1. re: sandylc

                        I eat lots and it varies by season. Spring and summer I grill a lot of summer squash, peppers, eggplant and we eat them hot or cold. I grill most summer meals of chicken, meat or fish and serve over a huge salad of organic mixed baby greens, usually with nuts and olives and/or goat cheese. Winters, I love to roast cauli, turnips, broccoli, always with shallots or onion, to get the nice carmelization. I also make gratins with white turnips in place of spuds. Or fauxtatoes from cauliflower puree or white turnip. Mashed rutabaga. I snack on sugar snap peas, serve baked shrimp in feta over a bed of spinach... any veggie that's not starchy, we eat it, lots of it. One of our favorite fall dishes is a grilled pork tenderloin and spinach salad, frex.

                          1. re: dianne0712

                            Nope. A medium turnip has almost 8 gms carbs, over 2 of them fiber.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          I'm following a similar diet and the veggies I eat most are cruciferous vegetables:

                          It"s a staple of my diet and most of my meals consist of a cruciferous veg and a piece of meat. All I'm doing different is skipping the starch component of dinner, really.

                  5. Most insurance companies will pay for at least one visit to a nutritionist, go with him. I did and it opened up a whole new way to look at food and to plan meals. Good luck and do not get discouraged.

                    1. You don't need a completely vegetarian diet. It's ok to eat a modest amount of meat as part of your meals (no larger than the palm of your hand). You might like to (as you are) cut out potatoes, but may find you only need to limit bread and rolls. Ep if you veer toward whole grains. Lots of veg in your daily diet is a very good thing. Don't cut out desserts: you are more likely to "cheat" if you do that -- and in a not-good way. Instead, go for low or no sugar desserts like jello and fruit. I am writing this as dictated by my SO, who is also a diabetic, and managed to get his blood sugar under control. He believes that exercise is also very important, and bikes and walks with me all the time.

                      1. You should have gotten guidance from a dietitian already. If not, then see if you can arrange one, preferably through your insurance. One of our posters here recommends that a diabetic eat to his meter. If a meal elevates his sugar, he should cut back or eliminate. Beans might do that, or they might be OK. In my case I eat low carb. I disagree about adding a lot of fats willy nilly into the diet without the doc's or the nutritionist's OK. Not everyone loses a lot of weight by going low carb. I only lost a small amount.

                        For veggies, I recommend learning to roast or grill them for a taste he might prefer to steamed or broiled. However steamed veggies with or without a light sauce are very good.

                        Remember that some veggies are higher in carbs. You need to find out what your doc wants you to do about eating sweet potatoes, winter squash, English peas, and some other higher carb veggies.

                        Early on, he will be hungry; I like carrots and natural almonds for a snack. I also like organic celery stuffed with peanut butter or piemento cheese. But you have to be careful with the amount of those high calorie treats. Peanut butter should be all natural, with no added -ose or sugars.

                        Read labels, and make sure he is reading them too.

                        Good luck on this journey.

                        1. A few foods off the top of my head: unsweetened ice tea made from your fave flavoured tea bags, fruit juice with club soda, hummus, spicy pickled green beans, boxed green salad mix with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds, fish steamed in parchment bags.

                          You'll still need some complex carbs: taboulleh with bulgur wheat, split pea soup, homemade muffins with whole wheat flour and applesauce replacing half the butter.

                          Last but not least: I use the food processor to grind a mix of onion, carrot, celery, (and perhaps unpeeled apples or peppers) into every one of my soups, sauces, stews, and ground meat dishes. For instance, if I'm making meat balls I might use 1/2 pound ground turkey with a cup or two of the veg mash above, so that half of the finished product is produce, not meat. It involves a little more saute-ing in olive oil to get the moisture out, but the flavour is improved in every instance!

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: applgrl

                            grains, fruit juice and dried fruits are not good for diabetics and meat is not the devil.


                            1/3 cup craisins has more carbs than a slice of white bread.


                            1/2 cup of hummus has 24 carbs. again, more than white bread.

                            the food pyramid and big ag propaganda are killing us. since giving up grains i have never been healthier. they are NOT a good alternative to meat. at all.

                            eat healthy proteins, leafy greens, good fats, pastured butter and cheese, and in-season local fruits in moderation.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              I think you've misunderstood. My suggestion, as per the original posted request , is to mix a host of finely chopped produce in WITH your meat-based meals, to tip the balance towards more produce in proportion to the meat AND carbs.

                              Insufficient carbohydrate intake at each meal for a diabetic can lead to hypoglycemia, which can induce seizures, loss of consciousness, and worse. Diabetics can consume fruit juice in measured quantities, (hence the club soda to "boost" the portion size), and can fit dried fruit into their meals and snacks provided they measure the amount.

                              As any newly diagnosed diabetic will find, there is a host of new information to assimilate, and dietary changes take time. Hopefully Kajikit and spouse have some guidance from a legitimate nutrition authority, such as a registered dietitian or other university-level trained health professional. They will direct them how to BALANCE the ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats at every meal/snack to prevent dangerous glucose fluctuations in the blood.

                              The Mayo Clinic explains carbohydrates in the diet for diabetics:

                              1. re: applgrl

                                "Insufficient carbohydrate intake at each meal for a diabetic can lead to hypoglycemia, which can induce seizures, loss of consciousness, and worse. "

                                Only if they're medicating instead of eating properly. Diabetics shouldn't have to feed their drugs. And all those veggies *are* added carbs.

                                Hypoglycemia does not occur in diabetics who aren't eating and medicating in a roller coaster pattern, unless something else is very wrong, too. Protein provides a steady stream of glucose for hours post meal, carbs and meds are what induce reactive hypos.

                                Smart diabetics manage their glucose by using a meter to determine which foods spike it and avoiding them and ignoring Mayo, the ADA, the AHA and all the other drug and food industry funded bad advice.

                                Few things make a veggie or fruit worse for you than drying them and concentrating the sugars. Geez louise. Hard to fit so much bad advice into such a small space but you did it.

                                Much better advice can be found from Gretchen Becker and Dr. Bernstein; much of his book is free online. And the Eades of Protein Power.

                                Dietitions are those folks feeding pancakes and syrup, cereal, toast and fruit, but NO FAT, and low protein to diabetics who suffer terribly for dietitian's ignorant, industry funded advice.

                                1. re: mcf

                                  This, in a nutshell, is the problem with diabetes (II) treatment today. They give you drugs to lower your blood sugar, and then encourage you to eat carbs on a regular basis. This is exactly the opposite of the treatment they *should* be prescribing.

                                  1. re: joonjoon

                                    Every person has the right to decide how they are going to manage their condition.

                                    On one path--evidence-based medicine based on peer reviewed, double-blind, controlled studies . Coupled with advice from university educated professionals.

                                    The other path: conjecture and unproven suppositions based on anecdotal reports, fears of conspiracy, and media hype. These misguided theories originate from those who either: 1) mean well, but have no evidence or 2) those who would take money from you to capitalize upon your situation.

                                    I believe this conversation has extended beyond Kajikit's original question. Choose wisely, Kajikit.

                                    1. re: applgrl

                                      Yes each person has the right to know and should be given options. Even the ADA admits a low carb diet is helpful but won't advise it because they think people will not stick to it. It is like advising people to smoke 1/2 ppd because you won't be able to quit. People deserve to have that information and make the choice themselves.

                                      Evidence based medicine??? Take a look and you will find that many of those university "professionals" and " researchers" are paid consultants, on the speaker bureau for pharmaceutical companies or in some way benefit from their "research". You have to actually read the studies and some of these are hard to access without paying for them unless you have access to a medical library. One study may contradict another. Many health care professionals rely on drug reps for their education or the latest drug company sponsored seminars unfortunately. You will also find that not all "university educated professionals" agree with the the higher carb approach. My husband and I(university educated professionals) started studying metabolic issues when my husband had a heart attack at a very early age. A cardiologist, who was also a friend told us he thought carbs were at the root of most cardiovascular disease. The more we studied the more you can see how metabolic issues can affect all aspects of your health. This is is being proved more with some of the newer tests of lipid profiles.
                                      Yes the internet is full of bad information capitalizing on illness, whether it be large pharmaceutical companies(Who's making the big buck here?) or stray bizarre web sites with promises of cures. (Low carb is NOT a cure)
                                      I f you read and obtain a basic understanding of what diabetes is you can then evaluate for yourself what type of diet will benefit you. Educate yourself and sift the chaff! There are studies that support the low carb approach. but really studies don't matter except maybe to determine at what level damage occurs.

                                      What matters is your own blood sugar.
                                      While some will find this controversial--it still falls under the scope of the original question-what to feed a new diabetic.

                                      1. re: applgrl

                                        "On one path--evidence-based medicine based on peer reviewed, double-blind, controlled studies . Coupled with advice from university educated professionals."

                                        The peer review trials demonstrate that following the ADA and conventional advice leads to higher mortality. Telling people who can't metabolize carbs to eat 55% of their diet from them and to take drugs to control the inevitable result is killing people and causing untold suffering.

                                        Some of us actually read the controlled trials, the relevent research and evaluate it along with others who are equally credentialed to the researchers and find the advice appalling.

                                        The ACCORD trials demonstrated that intensive glucose lowering of a high carb diet with drugs raises bad outcomes. Now they're saying normal blood glucose must be dangerous for diabetics, not the sugar load diet!

                                        Puh leez. It's not rocket science. It's drug pushers in the driver's seat. The only people who call such discussion unproven suspicions and conjecture are those who never read research.

                                        1. re: applgrl

                                          Don't worry... I'm choosing for myself! And I choose the path of Moderation, same as I always have... the big problem has always been persuading DH to follow it with me! Fruit and vegetables are GOOD. Processed carbs are BAD. Simple as that. The only way I've ever managed to lose weight in my life (and to avoid hypoglycemia) is to increase the former and strictly limit the latter. The only real question is how far the restriction needs to go for DH.

                                2. re: applgrl

                                  Complex carbs are often as glycemic as table sugar, especially highly processed stuff like bulgar.
                                  Wheat is never diabetic friendly, nor is replacing fat with sugar, from fruit or otherwise. Fat and protein are a diabetic's best friends. http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com... http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com...

                                  Adult protein requirements: http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com...

                                3. We have no intention of giving up meat, going vegetarian, or totally abandoning ALL carbohydrates. Which is why I said 'low-carb', not 'no-carb'. I'm thinking South Beach, not Atkins. All vegetables are 'good foods' for now except potato, corn, and peas, and all fruits in moderation. It's too early for DH to have seen a dietician or had any real advice so I'm doing this off the top of my head, which makes me a little nervous. His old ways were to be a meatatarian and carbohydrate fiend, so this is a BIG change for him.

                                  I made chicken and barley soup for lunch, and his bloodsugar went DOWN after he ate a big bowl. Obviously, barley in moderation is a 'good carb' for him to have.

                                  What I'm trying to do right now is to find ways to get more vegetables into our diets and interesting things to do with them. Last night I made a warm green bean salad and he loved it. Today I made the soup with carrots and barley. I'm thinking we'll try roast vegetables and roast chicken sometime soon.

                                  25 Replies
                                  1. re: Kajikit

                                    If your husband likes soup, a good way to get him to eat vegetables is to cook them in the soup or stew, until soft, and then puree. It thickens the soup/stew, adds richness and you can't tell there are vegetables.

                                    The other thing to try is roasted vegetables until they're dry--like kale chips or brussel sprout chips.

                                    1. re: Kajikit

                                      That sounds very much like how I responded to a Type 2 diagnosis a couple of years ago. I pretty much went cold turkey on "white foods" (white sugar, white bread, white rice, potatoes) & sugary fatty crap, & refocused my eating on the stuff I already knew was better for me, e.g. leafy greens, whole grains, lean proteins -- plus serious portion control. Roast veggies with roast chicken are a great meal! (Also good cold - important this time of year.)

                                      I was a meatatarian with a serious fat-tooth, so this was definitely a change - but it's pretty straightforward moderation-in-all-things. I lost 30 pounds and my sugars have been solidly normal for the past year, so it's been working.

                                      If you want more guidance re blood sugar, I recommend looking up the Glycemic Index. That can help you identify foods & ingredients you both like that that have more or less impact on blood sugar. - barley, as you've found, is quite low.

                                      1. re: benbenberi

                                        Glycemic index is not useful for managing diabetes as a rule. Responses to GI is all over the map once that horse is out of the gate.

                                      2. re: Kajikit

                                        Some advice for the barley, if you want to be able to keep it in the plan: cook it separately from the soup til still chewy, not bloated. The softer/more cooked starches and carbs become, the more they spike blood glucose. Store the barley separate from the soup and put a bit into the bottom of a soup bowl and ladle the hot soup over it just before serving. Wah lah!

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          Wow, mcf, that is a revelation to me about starches spiking bg more the longer they cook. I haven't read that anywhere. What is the reason, please?

                                          1. re: laredo

                                            It's because the starch bonds are broken down by cooking and the sugars are released. Think of it as a sort of predigested. Then remember that the foods that are most favorable to blood glucose control are those that take the longest to metabolize or that metabolize incompletely; proteins, fiber and fats.

                                            1. re: mcf

                                              I think this information is going to be a significant help for me. Thanks so much, mcf!

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  Thank you, mcf! I anticipate getting an official diagnosis in ten days.

                                          2. re: mcf

                                            I adore you mcf, and I like your plan. I definitely want more info from you.
                                            I am on a mission (secondary) on this board and anywhere I see it...
                                            it is voila` not wah lah

                                            1. re: dianne0712

                                              But those who didn't take French in high school are scratching their heads right now, thinking they're reading "VOY-luh".

                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                I feel sorry for irony impaired folks.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  Do you think we need to do some serious sorting here....sense of humor vs. none.....!? we may be seeing proof that emoticons really are actually quite valuable - !

                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                    Yabbut, I like to deadpan. Just sayinzall. I shouldn't have to yuk it up with smilies all over just to say "wah lah!" because one person doesn't get the joke, rite?

                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                      Yabbut....haven't heard that one in years! Jr. High English class...one grade level subtracted for the day for anyone saying it....ha.

                                                      Mammals read one another's facial expressions as a big part of communication - I wonder what studies have been done regarding the lack of this tool in online communication??

                                              2. re: dianne0712

                                                You've seriously never seen that humorous take on the French expression??? When I use "mahvolous," you can skip that unnecessary correction, too. Just a heads up. Same with "hyooge" and "ginormous." I honestly know that those are made up words, too.

                                                See how that works? It's humor, just maybe not your style.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  GAWD, mcf.
                                                  Rilly? I dunno why some people would misspell anything on purpose...cuz...well....it just makes no sense....'specially on the internet.

                                                  Just sayin' zall..............

                                                  Chow Baby!

                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                    LOL, ciao, baybee backatcha!

                                                    These spelling flames really come back to bite folks on the arse. Not pointing out those errors doesn't mean we don't see them.

                                                    1. re: mcf

                                                      Gotcha....er...I mean....you betcha.....uhhh....


                                            2. re: Kajikit

                                              ....you definitely do NOT have to go veg-head!!! I'm a committed carnivore myself, but I love the other stuff too. The more time you spend in the kitchen the more foods you incorporate and the easier it gets. If your hubby likes hummus already then he'll go nuts for spicy red lentils!

                                              Do cook from scratch, and definitely seek out legitimate advice amongst the noisy clamour of the internet. Remember, anyone trying to sell you something: a book, a magazine, and eating program or dietary supplement is probably giving you the wrong advice. If you don't connect well with your first dietitian, then seek out another. They will find a way to honour your lifestyle while balancing your meal plans with your medical needs.

                                              1. re: applgrl

                                                The best advice any new diabetic will ever get is right here: http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/22229... The next best advice I can give is to ignore anyone who tells you low carb intake is the cause of reactive hypoglycemia.

                                                1. re: applgrl

                                                  "Remember, anyone trying to sell you something: a book, a magazine, and eating program or dietary supplement is probably giving you the wrong advice."

                                                  Yes and the biggest ones that fit into this category would be big pharma and they are making the most money. Thankfully the internet does provide alternative information and it is not that hard to figure out what works if you check your sugar.
                                                  Agree this is one of the most knowledgeable sites you will find on diabetes.

                                                  1. re: wekick

                                                    i work in a high-end restaurant, and our neighbors include fidelity and john hancock. their big wheels dine with us frequently. they "joke" that any company involved with diabetes or heart drugs is a sure-fire investment.

                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                      And they fill wallets up at the ADA and AHA.

                                                      1. re: mcf

                                                        and many of those same men have had heart attacks by the age of 50. some in their early 40s.

                                              2. Grains like quinoa, buckwheat, millet and amaranth are lower on the glycemic index than many other grains.

                                                A serving size of hummus is 2 tablespoons. That is a pleasing amount to eat with veggies, rather than hummus being the main and veggies a side.

                                                A nutritionist will recommend a total carbs/meal. That is helpful in meal planning.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: three of us

                                                  That's why folks should stay away from nutritionists and dietitians who push sugars and grains in deference to ADA sponsors, instead of healthy eating.

                                                2. Diabetes cannot be classified as a singular disease with a singular set of dietary adjustments that will meet the needs of every "diabetic". The type of diabetes and the intensity of the disease differs, often widely, from one individual to another. I agree that you should talk with a nutritionist and find a starting point from which to build the plan for your (DH) needs. It will take some time to find the proper balance; be patient. Many health/medical insurance companies offer classes for diabetic patients covered under their plans. Check with your insurance company or your local hospital to see what's available for you.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: todao

                                                    This is the best post on the subject....everyone is different and it takes some time to find out what works for your body. Before I left my drs office with my new diagnosis they had set me up with my appt with a dietitian. I then did a two day in depth class the hospital offered...my insurance covered it all.

                                                    1. re: LaLa

                                                      Everyone is different, which is why "eat to your meter" and find your own peak and spike foods should be taught. But every diabetic has broken carb metabolism, and carbs raise bg the most. They are not essential for human health in anyone, and protein and fat are essential for everyone.

                                                  2. All of the foods you mentioned are moderately carby foods. Carrots have plenty of carbs, as does hummus. Same with fruits. The best thing for a diabetic is to limit carbs as much as possible (within reason). You should look into ketogenic diets which are known to pretty much eliminate diabetes for type 2 patients. His primary meal plan should essentially be a piece of protein and some cruciferous veggies.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                      I think this falls under the category of 'everybody's different'. If I gave DH that every meal, he'd revolt in a week. Eating more vegetables than meat is a huge change for him in itself. I've started reading and the books are suggesting far more carbohydratey meals than we even considered! (stuff like wheat bread and cereal and potato! I REALLY don't think that's a good idea... there's got to be a happy medium in there somewhere so he can have a sustainable diet.

                                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                                        you'll need to seek a dietitian carefully. many still recommend a conventional diet.

                                                        i have several friends who went low-carb and got off insulin entirely. maintaining that way of eating they have totally normal blood sugars, all the time. that simply isn't possible for them eating a conventional diet. they would much rather be off insulin than eat pizza or bananas.

                                                        again, meat, in sensible portions, is not the devil. it's the high-fat/high-carb combo that is the culprit in so many so-called "diseases of civilization."

                                                        1. re: Kajikit

                                                          I think you missed my point. I didn't say he needs to eat more veggies than meat, it's actually the other way around. Please do your husband a favor and ask him to research ketogenic diets. He will absolutely love it.

                                                        2. re: joonjoon

                                                          Hummus is very carby, but raw carrots not so much. Cooking them makes them very spikey beyond all reason compared to their carb content, as is the case with pretty much all root veggies, except for white turnips and rutabaga. Some diabetics tolerate small servings of sweet potatoes, redder skinned ones work best for me.

                                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                                            Ketogenic diets don't restore lost pancreatic function, they just stop the stress and progress of it. But most type 2 diabetics have lost about 50% of beta cell mass by the time of diagnosis and this is not restored by low carb, it's just adequate in the face of less glucose to manage. Saying that low carb diet eliminates diabetes is incorrect. It halts progression and reverses damage but only as long as one stays on it.

                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                              Thanks for the clarification, I didn't mean to suggest that it would restore lost function or damage, but rather that it would halt its progress.

                                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                                Yes, we agree about that. Even reverses damage, as in my case. But eat a load of carbs and we're still diabetic. :-/

                                                          2. Some resources for you: Type 2 Diabetes, The First Year by Gretchen Becker, www.phlaunt.com/diabetes, lots of free info. Pay special attention to the downloadable TEST, TEST Test flyer.. And Protein Power by the Eades.

                                                            To make life easier, strategies for eating out: Italian restaurants are great about subbing sauteed veggies with garlic for pasta sides. They have lots of chicken, seafood and fish. Chinese is tougher, but I order non crispy stuff, sans corn starch, added sugars and rice. Most places will double the veggies if you don't want potato/fries, buns with burger, etc. Japanese and Thai are tough, so loaded with sugar everywhere. But sashimi, not sushi, and nothing labeled "teriyaki." Thai is so sweet it's slim pickings.

                                                            Cheesecake with an almond meal crumb crust, flourless chocolate cake, mousses, adapt super well to low carb using liquid sucralose with or without blending with xylitol or other sweetener.

                                                            1. Another point that hasn't been brought up in this discussion - it's a lot easier for a diabetic to control their blood sugar if exercise is part of the mix. (I speak as one who religiously avoided exercise for many decades - using those big muscle groups really works!) Sugar control is a lot harder, & more likely to fail, if you're just depending on diet & meds.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: benbenberi

                                                                Not really true. Exercise has many benefits and if you do it within 30 minutes of eating, will lower bg or prevent a spike. But cutting carbs low keeps bg normal even without exercise, and resensitizes receptors to insulin. Building muscle is useful, though, because muscle uses more glucose at rest, but it's a modest effect. The truth is that exercise without diet will not control bg, but diet without exercise (or weight loss) has been proven to.

                                                                To the OP; Here's an old chow thread that might offer some ideas. Others are on the bottom of this page, too. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7588...

                                                              2. 1) Consider chili as low-carb health food. Make it at home so you can control the fat and sodium and use low-fat ground beef---there's your protein. The kidney beans are the only carb and they are good carb because they are loaded with fiber. The tomatoes and tomato paste are great souces of potassium. 2) For hot summer: make gazpacho by processing in Cuisinart 4 large tomatoes, 1 green pepper, 1 onion, and 1 unpeeled cucumber---keep stuff a little on the coarse side. Add this vegetable mush to a 46-oz can of tomato juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper, cumin (don't omit that), and garlic powder to taste. Add 2 tablespoons each of vinegar and olive oil (the olive oil has calories but they get spread out through about half a gallon of gazpacho). Keep it in the refrigerator---keeps for a week---and have a cup, ice cold, when you get hungry. It has just about zero carbs. 3) Summer squash (like zucchini) is surprisingly good with spaghetti sauce, instead of spaghetti. Any kind from a jar will do. 4) A dessert possibility is an egg custard if you use artificial sweetener and can handle the natural sugar in the milk---add up the numbers before you try this.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Querencia

                                                                  I make chili often, and top it with sour cream, guacamole, etc. But tomatoes raise bg in a lot of folks beyond what you'd expect from the carb count. Especially sauce and puree, concentrating the sugars. Beans, tomato products, onions, garlic, peppers all add to the carbs... but with mostly protein, and only a small quantity of beans or using black soybeans (almost entirely protein and fiber), chili is a great diabetic meal.

                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                    1 cup of plain tomato juice is 10 carbs. add in peppers, tomatoes, onions and cukes and that is more carbs in a snack than i eat in an entire day. and i am NOT diabetic. please check your facts before offering bad information.

                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                      My daily carb total is typically around 30-60, much of it coming from fiber, which has lower impact than more digestible carbs.

                                                                      Querencia, your recipe gets pretty much all of its calories from carbs... with no protein to prevent a blood sugar spike post meal...

                                                                  2. Someone on this forum recommended this website-

                                                                    Agree test, test, test your blood sugar and you will see what makes it go up.
                                                                    If you are reading that you should eat more carbs, it is easy to see if that is right by checking your blood sugar after this type of meal.

                                                                    1. This is an interesting thread. There does seem to be some confusion here among the responses about whether the OP is trying to reduce carbs or reduce calories and/or fat. I have read a bit about diabetes, as my female family members all are type 2 and I am fine - so far.

                                                                      Looking at the biology, mcf seems to have the best handle on things here. Firstly, everyone is different. Next, uptake is supposedly slowed by fat, fiber, and protein. Fat phobes should take note of this! Natural saturated fat is a healthy food that has been given a bad rap by years of media malignment.

                                                                      Interestingly, every time in my life that I have increased veg and decreased fat, I have gained weight.

                                                                      There is a lot of wrong dietary info out there and much of it is taught by dieticians and doctors.

                                                                      Also, I think it has been mentioned here that too often people will eat things they shouldn't because they can "fix" it with their insulin and while this is somewhat understandable, it still really bothers me.

                                                                      Sorry for the random thoughts!

                                                                      1. I really like daikon radish in cubes as a sub for potato in any variety of soups and stews. Black soy beans take the place of regular beans alot.

                                                                        I make a daily lunch soup of chicken broth, daikon radish, onion, garlic, shirataki noodle and spices. Sometimes I make it - hot and sour soup, sometimes spicy with chili paste, sometimes lemon chicken...I love it. Low carb, low cal, low everything except nutrition. Add coconut oil, sesame oil or olive oil to taste.

                                                                        I also love puree of cauliflower and turnips for mashed potato with a grilled protein (maybe a reductions sauce or a pan sauce) and big salad for dinner. Mmmmm...my fav...low carb or not!

                                                                        Try your hand at various meat salads for dinner and don't forget a good high fiber, heavy seeded cracker like Doctor Cracker, spread with cheese to serve with it. I like steak and blue cheese salad, chicken and red pepper, shredded pork and guacamole, etc. Endless combo's with a yummy glass of wine and big seedy/nutty cracker is really satisfying for the spring and summer.

                                                                        Chia seed puddings are great and there are a variety of recipes on the web. I like chocolate with almond milk. Makes a great snack, breakfast or desert. Stevia or sweet perfection are good sugar subs for small amounts of sweetness.

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                                          Are you referring to the Classic 3 seeded Doctor Kracker, sedimental?

                                                                          1. re: laredo

                                                                            Yes. I love those things! One of the few store bought crackers I buy. There are a few different types, one has trace amounts of sugars in it. I only buy the ones that have 0 sugars. I eat the pumpkin seed cheddar and seeded spelt the most.

                                                                            The other one I really like is "Mary's Gone Crackers". They are small and round and perfect for dipping. They look a bit nicer on a cheese plate too :)

                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                              i was a big fan of Doctor Kracker in my gluten days - the pumpkin cheddar were my favorite. have you ever tried Crunchmaster crackers? i can't stand Mary's, but these are great:

                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                Where do you get Doctor Cracker from? (Hopefully not Trader Joes - they don't have them in Florida.) It sounds like something DH might enjoy. I bought him some Wasa crackers and some Ezekiel bread and he likes them well enough.

                                                                                1. re: Kajikit

                                                                                  My co-op sells all the Dr.Cracker varieties. I've never seen them at the regular grocery.

                                                                        2. Here' a great website, on the glycemic index, to help you out.


                                                                          Dessert should not be a no-no, there's sugar free jello add some whipped cream, also nuts ad certain fruits. Carrots, beware lots of sugar in them root veggies and that hummus will pack on the pounds. I also find salsa is a great snack on lettuce. I didn't see any mention of your best medicine for your better half, it's called exercise and will help lower blood sugar in a big way. Get on the tread mill and burn it up.

                                                                          PS - if you want to get in control of type 2 diabetes, test before and 2 hours after all meals and track (with a spreadsheet) your sugar levels. You'll find out pretty quickly what foods are bad for you.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: treb

                                                                            One hour post meal testing is much more informative for gaining control. By two hours, most diabetics are one hour past their peak post meal glucose.

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              I was told 2 hours to measure recovery.

                                                                              1. re: treb

                                                                                It's bad advice. That's why there are 1 and two hour targets. It's the peak that does the damage. Recovery doesn't fail unless your diabetes progresses unabated. I've been diabetic for decades and I still have a robust second hour insulin response. Read about how glucose control deteriorates and about levels that cause organ and cell damage here: phlaunt.com/diabetes

                                                                            2. re: treb

                                                                              <Dessert should not be a no-no, there's sugar free jello add some whipped cream.>

                                                                              Yeah, sugar free jello is something I can really sink my teeth into.

                                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                                I'm more in favor of a less-sweet but otherwise regular dessert in a small portion along with a meal that has contained protein, fat, and fiber.

                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                  I don't often eat dessert, but if I do, it's always after a protein meal because that's what I eat at every meal, and also regular food and red wine, which prevents a glucose spike.

                                                                                  When I make low carb desserts, I make decadent ones, like flourless chocolate cake, boule de neige or cheesecake with alternative sweetening and an almond meal crust.

                                                                            3. I'd like to hear what the OP is thinking about their new life style, have the posters given any help? There's plenty of help available for diabetics.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: treb

                                                                                I'm still processing... and two weeks in, we're still adjusting and figuring out how much carb is okay and all that fun stuff. But I really appreciate the advice - it's given me plenty of food for thought. Still looking for USEFUL information rather than the 'there, there' pats on the back that the ADA and other published guidebooks seem to want to give you, and especially seeking a few useful diabetic cookbooks. I don't want to spend the money unless I know it's got REAL recipes in it that I can use, and it's not ridiculously high in carbs.

                                                                                DH's doctor told him to test twice a day, but even before I read anything I knew that wasn't going to be useful. If you want to know what a food's doing to your body you have to test when you eat it! And only by testing, will you REALLY know what you can process. We gave brown rice a cautious 1/2 cup trial tonight, and it looks like it's a goer, at least in those portions.

                                                                              2. I am not a diabetic, I just want to address the question about adding vegetables to someone's daily diet. My choice to become a vegetarian was hindered by my dislike of many veggies and I realized I was not get enough veggies into my diet. I finally figured out that I do not like cooked veggies, I prefer most of them raw. I would rather eat a salad with a variety of added vegetables. This especially applies to broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, spinach, even peas. Perhaps your husband would prefer his vegetables in a salad. My husband and I have recently discovered the pleasure of a daily fruit and veggie smoothie, please check with his doctor about having a smoothie, it may be to much sugar. Our favorite smoothie is 2 cups almond milk, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup frozen strawberries, and two handfuls of baby spinach. Sometimes we use finely chopped red cabbage instead of the spinach. That makes two tall glasses.

                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                1. re: nevada cat

                                                                                  smoothies can easily be low-sugar if you use unsweetened almond milk & limit the fruit - i'd suggest about 1/2 cup berries total per serving. just add a few drops of stevia (or your preferred sugar substitute) if you like it sweeter.

                                                                                  i like to add a bit of almond or cashew butter and unsweetened protein powder as well - a little fat & protein go a long way for boosting satiety and blunting insulin response. plus, the fat improves the texture & gives it a nice, creamy mouthfeel. (if you like it really creamy, use a few frozen banana chunks instead of the berries. tastes fantastic with almond butter or PB and a generous dash of cinnamon.)

                                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                    Can you recommend a brand of protein powder? I am totally unfamiliar with such a thing. I suppose this is bought in a health food shop?

                                                                                    1. re: laredo

                                                                                      Most folks think Muscle Milk tastes best. I've also used Designer whey protein powder, unflavored, in the past.

                                                                                      1. re: laredo

                                                                                        there are scores of options. you can get dairy-based (in the form of whey or casein from cows or goats), soy-based (which i *never* recommend), plant-based (from rice, hemp & pea), heck, there's even beef-based powder (mostly collagen)!

                                                                                        the most important thing is to get one without added sugar. i only buy whey and plant powders (no soy) that are free of added sugar *and* chemical sweeteners & artificial flavors, but they're pricier than the others.

                                                                                        it all comes down to a matter of taste. you can get unflavored powder or basic vanilla to keep it simple, or go crazy with flavors like cookies & cream, banana nut, mint, peanut butter, orange cream, strawberry....

                                                                                        my best advice would be to find a health food or vitamin store or a supermarket like Whole Foods that sells a variety of individual packets. try a few, and decide what you like best. then you can buy bulk containers at places like Vitamin Shoppe or online (at that point i can recommend some good websites for you). just don't buy the larger containers at Whole Foods - it's a great place to get single packets for sampling purposes, but their prices on larger containers are ridiculous (which is too bad, because they carry a great selection of relatively unadulterated powders).

                                                                                        FWIW, i personally use Lifetime Life's Basics Unsweetened Vanilla Plant Protein, and Country Life Biochem 100% Whey Protein Isolate Natural.

                                                                                        does that help at all?

                                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                          Thanks! mcf and goodhealth!

                                                                                          Oh, my, yes. Very helpful.

                                                                                          I have printed your recs and will try to get to a WF tomorrow. If not, will explore my local health food store.

                                                                                          Also I have the ingredients for the ghg smoothie on my list to buy today.

                                                                                          Thank you both so much, and everyone else who has kindly posted for me.

                                                                                          1. re: laredo

                                                                                            You might try shopping some of those things online... often much more favorable pricing, or at least will help you find the best price in the stores you go to.

                                                                                    2. re: nevada cat

                                                                                      I like cooked veggies... dh prefers them raw. He likes salad and veggies with hummus etc. I'd rather have a bowl of frozen mixed veggies!

                                                                                    3. Hi Kajikit-

                                                                                      While I have no connecdtion to this man, i have read--and found great value in --Dr. Mark Hyman's books. You may have seen hom on PBS and sundry TV spots on health.

                                                                                      His latest book is "The Blood Sugar Solution." Having tested very high last month, I am doing his program and my numbers are coming down. I test upon waking and after each meal. It's up and down--not a straight line--but a line graph shows the trend is down--a lot.

                                                                                      As background, for the last several years I've eaten "healthily" --whole grains( brown rice, quinoa, millet, WW pasta-made my own WWBread etc.), grass fed, sustainable meats and fishes, local/organic (when possible) fruits and veggies, etc. etc. However, it seems even whole grains are killing me.

                                                                                      I cook most meals at home and so can control my ingredients. Going out was another matter--If ate out or at a friend's house 5 - 15% of the time, "i thought, well, you have to live on this planet."

                                                                                      Even still, having said all that, when my BS tested very high in early March, I ran right out and bought MH's latest. Moving onto this program was easy for me as I already ate/cooked in that fashion most of the time--I just needed to eliminate certain things: grains, sugar, anything packaged that might have sugar (in all its various guises) dairy. Oh, and no alcohol. I'm sure the vast amounts of wine I happily consumed helped create this situation.

                                                                                      So now, instead of farm raised eggs on WWToast for breakfast, I have them over tasty greens.
                                                                                      Dinner tonight was grilled: chicken, eggplant, mushrooms and onions. With a plenty of EVOO, balsamic, a bit of wheat free soy and some fresh basil. Two months agoI would have had that for dinner anyway--with some quinoa or rice. This has not been a heavy lift for the payoff: BS tests that are going down. While I'm not where I need to be yet, I am on the road in several short weeks.

                                                                                      I alwasy exercised-minimum of 3or 4 visits to the gym per week-6 when I could fit it in. Ow it has to be pat of every day.

                                                                                      All thi sis just to give you a recommendation fro "the Blood Sugar Solution" I hav always found Mark Hyman's recommendation to be sound and this is working so far for me.

                                                                                      Good luck!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: SeaSide Tomato

                                                                                        Just curious... does Dr. Hyman address different blood types via differentiation in his regimen(s)?

                                                                                        I think blood type is a huge factor. I'm about 7 weeks into dealing with diabetes. I've always responded well to the Atkins diet, and love eating that way. Then I read "Eat 4 Your Type" and it all made sense. As a Type O I am genetically programmed to eat red meat (hunter as opposed to gatherer).

                                                                                        As soon as I found out about my condition, but before seeing my endocrinologist, I reverted to the kind of low carb diet I would if I were in maintenance on Atkins.

                                                                                        Thanks to blood testing I've figured out what I can and cannot enjoy. The good news is that beer does not have the detrimental effect on blood sugar I thought it would, even though I still have to moderate alcohol because of Metformin.

                                                                                        Even better is dark chocolate. A couple of squares of Lindt or Ghirardelli (the pure chocolate varieties) is no more than 15 grams of carbs, the fruit and/or nut versions a bit more. Kept in the fridge it delivers some crunch satisfaction in addition to quality sweet.

                                                                                        For me that is the big thing... most of the foods that are bad for me are usually available in mediocre versions. Makes it easy for me to cut out, knowing I know how to make room for when I have the chance to eat truly extraordinary things (mostly potatoes... I can go without eating pasta or rice forver no problem).

                                                                                        IMNSH or educated opinion, I think there is too much that depends on individual blood chemistry for there to be anything resembling a blanket approach. Test way more frequently than your doctor prescribes and you should be able to figure out what you can eat and how much of it you can enjoy.

                                                                                        I'm still ramping up into the kind of exercise regimen I need, but, with the exception of a couple of spikes, my numbers have looked really good so far.

                                                                                        1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                                          "IMNSH or educated opinion, I think there is too much that depends on individual blood chemistry for there to be anything resembling a blanket approach. Test way more frequently than your doctor prescribes and you should be able to figure out what you can eat and how much of it you can enjoy."

                                                                                          That last sentence is such excellent advice; so important to test in that first hour post meal, when most folks peak, than later, when you've missed what may have been damaging glucose levels from a food you need to cut down.

                                                                                          I don't think the issue is blood type at all, more likely the wide variation in hormone receptor function in various family groups. Incredibly varied.

                                                                                          1. re: mcf

                                                                                            Thanks for the support, and the advice to test after 1st hour. My endo prescribed after 2 hours. I am going to mix it up more and take more 1 hour readings to see how my plan is working.

                                                                                            Perhaps I should have said "body chemistry" instead of "blood". That would encompass everything relating to how our body processes what we put in it.

                                                                                      2. Watch the hummus and carrots both will pack on the pounds.

                                                                                        1. It always depends on what your doctor says. My spouse has Type 2 Diabetes. I have been studying how to make things that are delicious and safe. I even went so far as to try to make the good things taste awesome. I came up with one recipe. I posted it here where I share: http://www.bubblews.com/news/6046300-...