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Apr 22, 2012 11:48 PM

Type 1 Diabetes, Vegetarian recommendations

My sister-in-law has been recently diagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes and though she has recently been to see a nutritionist she's looking for more ideas about what she can/can't eat. She's a vegetarian who will eat some fish.

She has struggled to eat breakfast in the past and would drink a lot of fruit juice and smoothies in lieu of breakfast or snacks, so the biggest change for her is eating morning meals and 4 to 5 times a day.

Also, any recommendations for cookbook or blogs would be great.

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  1. Alan Rubin, who was my endocrinologist for many years (until he retired) wrote several books on Diabetes in the "for Dummies" series. One of them is entitled "Diabetes Cookbook for Dummies." While it is not a vegetarian cookbook, your sister still might find it helpful.

    1. I am NOT a morning person, so I sympathize with the struggle to eat breakfast. One thing I've found that helps is making a big egg dish over the weekend -- crustless quiche, spanish tortilla, etc. -- and cutting it into serving sizes to last you the whole week. I've even made tiny quiches in paper muffin cups, which is very convenient: just bake ten of them for the week, and then stick two in my lunch bag each morning as I head out the door.

      This is just my opinion, but as you're looking for cookbooks, I'm really skeptical of diabetic cookbooks that still rely on starchy foods as side dishes. I know what a number pasta does on my blood sugar; I can't imagine what it does to a diabetic!

      2 Replies
      1. re: LauraGrace

        I have to echo that; "diabetic" cookbooks are loaded with starchy, carby foods that require unhealthy levels of insulin and other drugs to control the results.

        Breakfast is the hardest meal for those who must control carbs, Laura has good ideas... I just eat dinner leftovers, or eggs with Joseph's Middle East bakery low carb sandwich thins. Glucose control is much harder for vegetarians, but it can be done with an emphasis on eggs, fish, dairy, and fermented, but not processed, soy products including tempeh, tofu, black soybeans and replacing starchy sides with salads, roasted or grilled or raw veggies, etc. I googled around and found this.

        1. re: LauraGrace

          Dr. Rubin's "Diabetes Cookbook for Dummies" does not include full plans for meals, simply recipes for various types of dishes (Breakfast, Hors d'Oevres, Soups, Salads, Grains and Legumes, Vegetables, Fish, Poultry, Meat, Desserts, and others). How much you eat of any one item is entirely up to you. All recipes come with a complete nutritional analysis.

        2. often wondered what it'd be like to follow the recipes in a diabetic cookbook.

          1. The 2 Type-1 diabetics in my family (husband & son) pretty much eat the same thing that I eat, except they rarely drink fruit juices (unless they have low blood sugar) or eat sweets. Different Type 1 diabetics seem to have different metabolisms for complex carbohydrates but for them there is no problem eating moderate amounts of whole fruits and starches as part of a balanced diet. And, although a nutrionist probably would frown, they both tend to skip breakfasts, unless they wake up with low blood sugar.

            In general, higher fiber carbohydrates metabolize more slowly, which helps moderate blood-sugar spikes. So your SIL should eat whole fruit or a piece of whole grain toast for breakfast, rather than smoothies or fruit juices.