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Aug 24, 2014 01:22 PM

Help - no-chew diabetic foods?

My poor husband has an abscess... he got antibiotics this morning but he can't chew anything. Any brilliant ideas for diabetic-suitable no-chew foods to give him? Especially things that aren't sweet! I bought some special low-carb protein drinks and the usual sugar-free pudding, icecream and applesauce. Plus he always has Dannon yoghurt (their 80 calorie greek yoghurt tastes great and has less than 10 carbs in a serve.) I'm going to guess that the no-chewing is going to last all week, and he can't just eat sweet stuff...

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  1. Broth is the obvious, savory liquid choice - maybe with small noodles or pieces of tofu that will slide down without chewing.

    1. Maybe cottage cheese? It certainly doesn't require chewing, and even the full-fat (4% milkfat) kind counts as a lean meat/substitute under the ADA's exchange list system. Another possibility is baby food -- although I must admit (having had to resort to such after some surgery) that there's a reason babies spit out the stuff sometimes.

      1. A cream based soup? Particularly like a seafood bisque, perhaps, that would be liquid and mostly fat and protein.

        1. I've been cooking for my elderly dog (that's another thread). I boil chicken, cook rice or potatoes or frozen corn, MW broccoli, spinach or peas. FP the whole batch, add some oo (you could use butter) and some salt. It's about the consistency of oatmeal and honestly, with the salt and oil tastes pretty darn good. No chewing, just swallowing. For your husband, you could add some cheese. The skies kinda the limit on this. May not look very pretty but it gets the job done. And it's temporary.

          1 Reply
          1. re: c oliver

            I forgot to mention that I use chicken broth.

          2. The food processor/blender/immersion blender is your friend here.

            Blitz whatever it is his diet allows and he really likes into mush. If you need to, add flavorful compatible liquid and/or fat as c_oliver above suggests.

            Yes, the texture will be terrible (but right for his temporary need) but the taste should come through and remind him of better times to come.

            If you don't have one, consider a pressure cooker. masha suggested broth (a great idea) but most folks think of "broth" as this nasty insipid stuff that comes in cans or boxes. Toss a couple of pounds each of the cheapest meat you can find (not offal) and allowable veggies in a PC, barely cover w/ water, process for 1 hour (on high if you have a choice), strain and serve.

            It'll be strongly flavored, high in protein and delicious.

            Don't worry about tossing the solids as they'll have given up all flavor and nutrition to the broth. The cheaper the meat, the more flavor.

            16 Replies
            1. re: littauer

              Oops, I'd intended to suggest no organ meats; backs, necks, etc. are perfectly fine. Yes you can get the same result by cooking for hours but who has the time or can stand a hot kitchen in August?

              Ooh, babette, chawan mushi! Nice!

              As to diabetic food, it's hard for an outsider to know as there are so many strategies for coping with both types of diabetes. As a type 2 I avoid most carbs but there is a limited subset that aren't a problem in my body. Others use drugs that help them cope and may have differing reactions to varied carbs.

              My nephew, a type 1 chef, can eat pretty much what he wants as long as he can predict how much insulin to balance it with. Of course, prediction ain't easy early on so many new type 1s avoid things that may cause big swings in blood sugar.

              1. re: littauer

                I'm assuming that OP and her husband are clear on that aspect. And we're just offering things that they can tweak to suit his diet.

                1. re: c oliver

                  Yeah... we know how much carbohydrate he can tolerate - we try to keep it about 20g a meal, because too much lower than that makes him feel way too deprived - he LOVES his low-carb bread, yoghurt etc. He felt up to eating a low-carb tunafish pita last night, but his poor cheek is swollen this morning so it's back to the 'diabetic breakfast drink'. Just hoping the antibiotic is working! btw, sadly I have no food processor OR pressure cooker. I do have a blender and a hand-held stick blender thingy if we get desperate... for now he really only wants semi-liquids that don't need chewing at all. Thinking of putting the frozen chicken thighs into the crockpot to make him extra-rich chicken broth...

                  1. re: Kajikit

                    Your blender should work fine. Maybe smaller batches. With plenty of broth the things I mentioned require nothing other than putting in mouth and swallowing :) But if he just wants liquids then it's moot, isn't it?

                    1. re: Kajikit

                      You can make good shakes with a stick blender; Greek yogurt, a handful of berries, or heavy cream plus water (lower carb than milk) with sugar free protein powder with or without flavor, add some berries or frozen berry mix to his carb tolerance. He's going to need the protein for healing and for glucose control and energy.

                      I, too, would consider pureeing chicken but no spuds, corn, peas or rice... just the veggies you've learned won't spike him.

                      Hope he gets well fast!

                    2. re: c oliver

                      Yeah, that's why she asked for low carb, not potatoes, rice, peas and corn.

                      1. re: mcf

                        He's eating 20grams of carbs per meal, so can include some. Some rice, some potato aren't out of the question at all.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Not diabetic foods for anyone, much less low carb, which is what the OP specified. Further, I might eat 20 gms of carb at a blowout meal, too, but at least half or more would be fiber, and all would be non starch, and nutrient dense. ETA: His glucose was high 400s til he cut out starchy carbs.

                          1. re: mcf

                            He eats 20 grams of carbs at every meal.

                            1. re: mcf

                              Actually, his sugar was 400 largely because he was drinking gatorade like there was no tomorrow, in the mistaken belief that he needed rehydrating and then he'd 'feel better'... that stuff is pure sugar!

                              1. re: mcf

                                Since you persist in giving medical advice, here's what the American Diabetes Assn. has to say:

                                "Myth: If you have diabetes, you should only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta.

                                Fact: Starchy foods can be part of a healthy meal plan, but portion size is key. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks. Wondering how much carbohydrate you can have? A place to start is about 45-60 grams of carbohydrate per meal, or 3-4 servings of carbohydrate-containing foods. However, you may need more or less carbohydrate at meals depending on how you manage your diabetes. You and your health care team can figure out the right amount for you. Once you know how much carb to eat at a meal, choose your food and the portion size to match."

                                Again, husband and OP and his doctor should be making these decisions, not some anonymous person on a food website.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  What matters is what your meter reads not what the ADA posts. And I can tell you from my experience there is nothing mythical about the anti-starchy food stance.

                                  1. re: Teddybear

                                    Got that right. Why would someone with a broken carb metabolism try to squeeze in nutrient impoverished, calorie dense starches?

                                    Maybe because they trust an organization (ADA) that recommended that diabetics include sugar in their diets when they found out it was no more damaging than starches, instead of recommending starch restriction.

                                    General Mills and Cadbury Schweppes were the two biggest sponsors at the time...


                                  2. re: c oliver

                                    Much has been written about the stranglehold the sugar, grain and drug industries have over medical recommendations coming from many official sources that are unsupported by objective peer reviewed science or clinical outcomes. Folks who follow that advice die sooner and have more complications, large trials have found, notably, ACCORD.

                                    Diabetic appropriate food is food that does not raise glucose nor produce an excessive insulin spike post meal and therefore does not promote diabetes or insulin resistance; those are protein and fat and non starchy carbs. Otherwise, it's just any other junk diet.

                                    You can't even induce diabetes in experimental animals without carbs, only by adding them. There's a lesson in that.

                                    1. re: mcf

                                      Chill out guys... It's well-known that different 'groups' take a different approach to managing diabetes, and the suggested blood-sugar levels/carb counts are very over-generous to put it mildly. It didn't take more than a day of reading online to decide that low-carb seems like the only really sensible way to go, but we don't go as far as you mcf, it's a personal decision. I'm not going to sit there counting carrot sticks unless it's absolutely essential, I just look at the labels and guestimate, and thusfar, my husband seems to be doing really well. If he wasn't, we'd be stricter, but since his sugar is still dropping gradually, we must be doing things the 'right' way for him! Haven't been to the 'diabetes education class' yet, we had to postpone it because of this whole tooth thing, but I fully expect them to recommend about twice as much carbohydrate as he's actually having, and I fully expect to continue to ignore those recommendations in favour of what's working! (because of his injured mouth I offered to go buy him some sweet potato for 'soft' food, but he didn't want me to. He says they're too sugary, and ultimately it's his decision...)

                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                        I never expect anyone to go as low as I or anyone else does; I just think a request for diabetic specific foods means food that doesn't raise glucose, or it would just be any ole food. :-)

                                        There'd be no point suggesting another diabetic to eat what I eat. Using a meter to figure out what your spike foods are is the only sensible, objective way to create an individual's appropriate diabetic diet plan.

                                        So impressed that DH has taken the improvements and changes to heart. Fast healing!