Diabetic Foods:My Experiences Living with a Diabetic

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted Today 10:41 PM (GMT -6)   
The following are just our experiences with shopping for diabetic related foods. We do not necessarily endorse these products, but these are items we use in our house in Tennessee.
Mostly, this is just for very fixed income folks who have diabetes and may be new to it.
We only hope that this in some way helps folks to find foods that taste good and help manage their levels.
Tnx, TMCD Tennessee.
DIABETIC FOODS And Shopping For Them: My Experiences Living With A Diabetic:

For the most part, diabetic foods usually consist of several key ingredients that must be considered.
"Checking ALL the labels" every time will help to make the best choices.
Moderation and quantity are also key to keeping blood glucose levels down to exceptable parameters.
Always remember this:
1. Low or No Sugar.
2. Low or No Trans Fats.
3. Lowest possible Saturated Fats in combination (Total Fats including Trans Fats).
4. Low or No Carb.
5. Low or No Cholesterol.
6. Low Quantities at mealtimes, all the time!
When shopping for diabetic foods, be sure to "check the label" information of every single item.
This takes a lot of time to do this when your in the store, but the results are well worth it.
You CAN NOT ESCAPE totally from sugar, fat, carbs, and cholesterol!!!
Generic brands are just as good as major brand names and, for the most part, will usually taste just as good if not better! This is a plus when dealing with the limited availability of diabetic foods on a very limited, fixed income food budget.
Also, there are ton's of diabetic recipe's online, such as diabetic main course meals and desserts...even diabetic chocolate Fudge!      Yes, I said Fudge!
Foods To Look For:
Bare in mind when shopping for diabetic foods that the brands and their contents vary greatly. "Checking each and every label" is essential when shopping for a diabetic person.
You'll soon learn, like I did, that the amounts of sugar, saturated fats, carbs, and cholesterol in food items now a days can be massive!  I never realized just how much until I actually started looking!
Common sense will result in a good variety of meals that don't have to taste bad or bland.
Experiment with different brands for taste and content and let your diabetic patient be the judge of what she or he wants. Choices and variety of meals for diabetics are always welcomed.
Even Non-Diabetic people may like some, if not all, of the items listed here too...I know I do.

Cereals-  Walmart's brand (Great Value) is just as good as the brand name. Great Value Rice Crispies are good as are the Rice & Corn Cheks style and Raisin Bran type. All of these are Great Value Brand.
Cheerios is also very low in sugars and fats plus it's whole grain too.
Try to avoid the "kiddies" cereals. They are loaded with Sugar and Fat. Check the labels and you'll see what I mean.
Diabetic children will also benefit from purchasing these types of food.
Breads- Sara Lee now has a White Wheat Bread that is quite tasty with lower sugar.
Also, I have seen a Sugar Free Bread out now too, but name eludes me at this time so, Check the Label! Other whole grain brands of bread out there may be just as good so long as the sugar and fat levels are exceptable.
Milk- Hood Carb Countdown Fat Free brand milk is very low in sugar and saturated fats. Also comes in Chocolate too!
Hood used to make an Orange Juice too, but I am no longer able to find it here.
However, Minutemade Light is a good substitute if you use a little less of it.
For creaming of coffee and tea, Walmart's Great Value Non-Dairy Creamer has no sugar and the low price makes for a good choice for diabetics on a fixed income.
Yogarts- Most Diabetic people can eat yogart too. Dannon Light' n Fit Carb Control is very low in sugar and has very little fat. Also comes in a Fiber style with multiple flavors.
Oatmeal- Quaker Oats Low Sugar Instant Oatmeal brand comes in flavors and is low in Sugar. Tasty too!
Walmart's Great Value Quick Oats are a good choice for plain oatmeal to eat or bake with.
Non-Sugar Sugar- For coffee and tea, Walmart Great Value sweetner is the best and has no aftertaste. Comes in individual measured packets. Can be used for baking if you can find larger containers of it. I can no longer find larger packages of it here though.
Non-Sugar Sugar- For baking, Splenda, Splenda For Baking, and Splenda Brown Sugar is best. Splenda for Baking is half sugar or less in it, but cuts down on just straight sugar by approximately 50% or more.
Pancakes and Syrup- Hungry Jack Light & Fluffy is best and has lower sugar.
The "Add Water Only" type is best for ease of cooking.
Mrs. Butterworths Sugar Free syrup tastes the best and Log Cabin Sugar Free is also available.
Ice Cream- Bryers Heart Smart is low in sugar and fat and tastes good too. Healthy Choice brands of ice creams are lower in sugar, but the taste is not as good.
Canned Fruits- Walmart's Great Value-No Sugar Added canned fruit is very low in sugar and tastes ok too. Also, Walmart's Great Value Apple Sauce with Splenda is lower in sugar.
Other brands of No Sugar Added Fruits may be comparable. Check the Label.
Jelly- Smuckers Sugar Free Jelly is by far the best out there. Tastes really good with several flavors.(Strawberry is the favorite here!). This is just plain good!
Peanut Butter- The best tasting peanut butter we have found is Skippy's Low Carb. Sugar levels are low as are saturated fats.
Another peanut butter that is good is Walmart's Great Value. It is low in sugar, but has a higher saturated fat content, but a cheaper price.
cookies- Voortman's Sugar Free Chocolate Waffer cookies and Murphy's Sugar Free cookies (any flavor) are very good. Also, Archway has now come out with sugar free flavors too. Make sure to check the labels for fat content and cholesterol levels.
Meats- Beef and Pork-  When buying meats of any kind for a diabetic, sugar is not too much of an issue.
Fats in and on the meats ARE a concern though.
As a former butcher, I have learned to trim as much fat off of the meats as possible. Use a very sharpe knife to do this and use caution! All remaining fat must be removed after cooking too.
Ask the local butcher for the leanest possible cuts and let them know that it IS for a diabetic person.
Poultry- Chicken and Turkey always have fat under the skin. Also, the skin should be removed every time anyway for diabetics, so just remove all skin and fat just to be sure.
Boneless Breast portions of chicken and turkey are the leanest parts of the bird. Check the portions for any fat and remove it. Also, a good washing is necessary and pat dry it afterwards prior to cooking.
Duck- Try to avoid Duck meat! Duck is very greasy and is very high in saturated fats.
Venison- If you are a hunter with diabeties, Venison is very lean almost to the point of being dry.
Baking of Venison Roasts works best in a baking bag with veggies and will stay relatively moist.
If you make your own Venison Burger, adding fat can be done but use as little as possible. Diabetic Persons should have no worries with this meat in careful moderation only.
Butter and Butter Substitues-  For the most part, regular butter is a no-no!
As much as we all love butter, the saturated fats, cholesterol, carbs and sugars in butter are very bad for diabetic people.
However, Butter Substitues such as "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light" are much better to use.
It has no Trans Fats, No Cholesterol, No Carbs, and No Sugar. It does have a little Saturated Fat, but not enough to worry about in moderation.
It comes in spread or spray and tastes pretty good too!
Popcorn-  The best popcorn we have found is the Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop.(I think that's the name).  It has lower sugar and saturated fat then regular brands of popcorn. You can also use the "I Can't Believe It Not Butter Light" Spray too, if you like butter on your popcorn.
Potato Chips-  Don't even think about it!
Unless the new baked chips are ok. Check the label.
We have not tried the baked chips yet, but I'll have to look at them next time around.
Candy-  Sugar Free candy is becoming more and more popular and available.
The brand we eat at our house is Russell Stover's Sugar Free. It comes in multiple flavors and it's  pretty good too. Like anything else though, moderation is key for a diabetic person.
Whitman's Sugar Free Sampler is also very good and makes nice gifts for diabetic people.
Pasta's-  If you want to make pasta for a diabetic, most of the brands are ok. Muellers and Creamette brand pasta's are very low in fat, sugar and usually have no or low cholesterol.
Mostly, it's what you put on it that makes or breaks the meal.
After a lot label checking, I found that the Paul Newman Brand of sauce is low in sugar and fat and tastes best to us. There are Low Carb brands of sauce out there too, but the taste leaves something to be desired.
Always check the labels before you buy.
Spaghetti sauces, like Paul Newman's, do have some sugar and some fat but the quantity the diabetic person eats, like any other food, will dictate their glucose readings.
Eating any heavy, winter type foods must be done with caution and moderation by anyone who's a diabetic.
Rices- Most rice is usually ok to eat for diabetics. For ease of use, Uncle Ben's 90 Second Microwave Rice is good. Just be careful of what you put on it.
Minute Rice is also a good choice too.
Once again, quantity should be limited.
Any rices, potato's, pasta, etc. are pure starch. Starch is converted to sugar by the body so be careful.
Soups- For the most part, soups in general are fairly low in sugar and fat... some more then others though.
Good Old Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup is low in sugar, fat, and cholesterol plus it tastes good too.
Other Campbell's soups can be low in sugar, fat, and cholesterol but be sure to check the labels every time.
A better choice is "Maruchan Ramen Noodle" Soup. These soups are mostly noodles, but are very filling and usually have less then 1 gram of sugar. Ramen Soups are also very cheap! You can buy a whole box of them for next to nothing, which is handy for fixed income diabetic folks.
Adding some lean baked chicken breast to the chicken flavored soup makes a real hardy meal. They also have beef, pork, and shrimp flavors too.
Other soups, like Progresso or similar, are much higher in sugar, saturated fats and cholesterol. Although good, they are not a good choice for a diabetic person.
One more note on soups: Making your own homemade soup is better in the long run. Make sure the ingredients you add are low or no sugar, fats, etc.
Soup starters such as Wyler's Soup Starter and Noir Soup Starter with fat-trimmed meats added are better tasting and are probably just as low in sugar and fat as commercially made soups.
Diabetic Desserts-  As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of recipe's online and in cookbooks for diabetic people.
As far as shopping for items to make these desserts, you do have some choices.
Cakes & Stuff- Although hard to find now, the CarbSense Foods brands are/were good.
I used to buy the Chocolate Cake MiniCarb Mixes made by CarbSense.

For baking homemade cakes, muffins, etc. Splenda, Splenda For Baking, & Splenda Brown Sugar will be very helpful.
For other items you can buy from the store, Jello Instant Sugar Free Fat Free Puddings and Jello Instant Sugar Free Gellatins are a real winner for diabetic people. Adding a little No Sugar Added fruit to them makes for a better dessert.
Also, a real God-Send for diabetic people is Cool Whip! It is known as "Free Food" for diabetics and is bought in great quantities at our house!
Mixing it with Jello Sugar Free Puddings makes for a tasty treat.
A "glob" of Cool Whip on Jello Sugar Free Gellatin is a plus for diabetic folks too!
Both the Puddings and Gellatins come in multiple, sugar free, fat free flavors and are a mainstay at our house.
Diabetic Pies-  As with any type of baking, Splenda, Splenda For Baking, and Splenda Brown Sugar are the best choices.
Walmart's Great Value No Sugar Added Pie Fillings have "lower" sugar and fat and seem the best tasting, plus the price is better then the brand names.
For pie crusts, Walmart's Great Value pre-made pie crusts are a little "lower" in sugar and fat then most as well as a low price.
We try to keep several of these on hand at any given time...just in case.
Cough Drops-  What if your diabetic patient has a cold or the flu?
Hall's Cough Drops DO come in sugar free flavors such as Black Cherry & Mountain Menthol.
Not sure about cough syrup's though. I have not looked for any of those yet.
Check with your doctor about perscription sugar free cough syrups too.
The Chicken Soup items mentioned above will also come in handy.
Cola's- (Pop if your from the North)  Once again, Walmart's Diet Soda is a good choice for fixed income diabetic folks. You sure can't beat the price either. The two liter bottles are 2 for $1.00! Walmart also makes a "fizzy" flavored water that has no sugar or much of anything else, but really tastes good! Grape flavor is the favorite here and it is also very inexpensive too!
These have been "some" of my experiences shopping for and feeding of a diabetic person.
I still continue to search for items every time I go to the store and seem to find more and more items that are compatable to a diabetic's mealplan.
For me, shopping for and feeding a Diabetic/Chocoholic has been a real challenge to say the least, but it gets a little easier ever time I shop now.
With practice, you can do this too if you remember to do one thing:  CHECK THE LABELS!!!!.
East Tennessee

Post Edited By Moderator (Pin Cushion) : 11/7/2005 11:58:42 PM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 10/23/2005 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow! Thanks for all the research! For myself I've found that eating salads, greens and veggies is always good and the fresher the better. The cell walls of fresh veggies prevent all of the carbs from being absorbed in our intestines at one time so they spread out the sugar spike effect and are full of vitamins and minerals as well.

I like to use mustard greens, baby spinach and romaine for salads. I never even buy iceburg anymore. Collard and beet greens can be chopped into salads as well. These are inexpensive veggies that are packed with nutrition.

My dietician told me to follow the color rule. Try to include three colors in each meal and you will almost always be balanced. I use peanut butter on my toast (no cholesterol, higher in protein than margerine and YUMMY!) and small amounts of real butter in my cooking and on veggies. I drink skim milk and figure the butter is about the amount I would be getting in 2% milk. Can't beat the taste of real butter...

I find that flour tortillas are easy to make veggie/deli turkey wraps with when I'm in a hurry and very satisfying for the chewy mouth feel that we sometimes miss from pastas and such. Also, the small tortillas are usually 15 carbs each. Other than soda, sweetener for coffee and yogurt I don't buy any dietetic or diabetic anything. I just skip the syrup, cookie, cake thing. If I'm wanting something sweet I cut my toast into strips and dunk it into my yogurt and that's my morning sweetie. Occasionally if I want some chocolate I eat a piece of very good Aldi's chocolate and that usually does the trick.

I'd love to hear what others do to keep on track with their food plan.
~ Jeannie

"As one goes through life one learns if you don't paddle your own canoe you don't move."
-Katherine Hepburn

"Madness takes its toll.
Please have exact change."

Pin Cushion
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 442
   Posted 10/23/2005 10:02 PM (GMT -6)   
This is a great post! Thanks TMCD. I have never seen it put better or more clearly. I will be bumping this post from time to time to keep it where people can see it.
Sigmoid Colostomy / Crohns / Type 1 Diabetic / Ostioarthritus / Fibromyalgia / Asthma / High Blood Pressure / High Colesterol / Migraines. Ain't life a joy?

* I think it may be time for a colorful metaphor*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 12/1/2005 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   

This is such a good post I hate to see it moving down in the threads, so in the spirit that "Pin Cushion" started


Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 12/7/2005 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
A lone dissenting voice from me, a Type 1 diabetic in Scotland.
It does surprise me to see other diabetics choosing starchy carbs as part of their diet. Rice, pasta, bread, cakes, popcorn, cereals, canned fruit etc. This is little different to basing a diet around table sugar since these foods have very similar insulin demands!
In my experience, these foods demand large insulin doses, make high/low blood sugars much more likely, promote fat storage and insulin resistance. Dietary fat seems to get a bad press too, but I find it's the most benign food group with little or no effect on blood sugar. I think protein should be at the heart (sorry!) of a healthy diabetic diet.
In the 4 years since I went low carb, I have lost 4 stone to a BMI of 22. My blood sugars rarely venture outwith the 4-5mmol/l range and my lipids / triglycerides are now those of an olympic athlete!
It's the carbs that are the enemy, guys, not the fat or the protein.
Anyone like to comment or compare daily insulin dosages and diets?


Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 12/7/2005 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Would seem that every individual has different nutrient requirements that fit their:
lifestyle(exercise level)
current body compsition(fat, muscle, water /electrolyte balance)
intake rquirements (hydration dynamics, energy dynamics)

...just saying this seems very complicated and probably wide variations of nutrient and hydration levels are required by each unique individual.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/2/2006 11:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there,

In response to Fergusc's post a while back....

Well, in the article I wrote, I did "not" base the entire diet on starch's nor do I wish that anyone else do so either. That would be foolish.

As I stated in the article, "These are just "SOME" of the items we use here at our house in Tennessee".
Most of the food items listed are usually things that diabetic people generally have to stay away from for the most part.
I listed these foods as an alternative to the higher sugar, fat, carb, and cholesterol brands that one usually finds in the stores as these items can be difficult to find for insertion into a diabetic mealplan due to their contents.

Starch's, as you all know, are not a good idea for a diabetic but in moderation and lower content, with other items in a mealplan, it can work for "certain" diabetic people depending on their situation.

I also mentioned that experimentation "IS" in order to see if these items would work for their situations, on a person by person basis and, after all, experimentation is the key to all of this, is it not?.

Most certainly though, everyone is different and their mealplans and needs "will" be different too.

I had hoped that the items I had listed would, in some way, help those that could tolerate such additions to their diets and overall low income food budgets.
I know for our own low income situation here in Tennessee, anything that is cheaper but will work in the mealplan usually is purchased so long as the criteria are met. (and that criteria is ruled with an iron fist, if she likes it or not...ha ha).

Anyway, I hope this cleared up some misunderstandings, if there was any and the whole ideas was to expand the mealplan.

I would have responded sooner, but my diabetic wife is currently dealing with Charcot's Foot Neuropathy and Arthiritis along with some other complications.

Not a very good thing to deal with, but, it's the hand we were dealt.......... so, the saga continues...........

Oh, and by the way, to WA5EKH, my call is KC8MGR...hi....

Tnx for reading this and hope this finds everyone on a good path.

TMCD in Tennessee........

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 4/3/2006 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Something that I have found is that the closer fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts are to their original state, the better they are for my food plan. I use a bulgar wheat/barley combo in place of rice/pasta for most meals and that helps keep my spikes down without a loss of flavor or food satisfaction. I often mix thin sliced cabbage with my noodles for soups or casseroles, equals 1/2 the carbs and better nutrition. I use spaghetti squash mixed with or in place of my spaghetti for those Italian meals... again, better carb control and nutrition. I try not to completely eliminate all pastas from my life because I feel deprived and start feeling sorry for myself and then I find I'm 'rewarding' myself because I 'deserve' it. This is almost an unconscious bad choice... kind of a 'just this one time' thing I often find myself making.

I keep peanuts, almonds and cashews around for snacking since they are very satisfying and the fats they contain are healthy ones AND they barely affect my blood sugar. The hubby and son like them, too. Seems if I try to go too 'low fat' I have difficulty following my food plan.

Just wondering if anyone else has any more of these kinds of ideas?
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 4/3/2006 7:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Just from my (very limited) understandings as a newbie, I know that long grained rices (basmati, etc.) have a low (or lower) GI.  The main thing for me was the almost total removal of junk-food from my diet.  Thank heavens there's a new low GI (higher fibre) white bread on the market here in Australia.  Not that I mind the wholegrained breads (that I'm told are low GI), but old habits die hard.  I'd like to know people's thoughts on what constitutes a high sugar food (bearing in mind that I'm T2).  I search through my supermarket's milk display, and, other than using weirdo, non-dairy, costs a fortune stuff, all the milk types have a sugar content of greater than 10g per serve.  In fact, quite often I use full (4%) milk because it has a lower sugar content than the healthier stuff!  I do indulge in the occasional can of soup, with a sugar content of around 6-8g, but am fully aware of the massive salt content.  TMCD (great post!!), you mention that Cheerios are an option.  They are available out here.  I notice from the 'box' that a serving with low fat milk will yield about 13.6 of sugar, over 20 if normal milk is used.  Is that quite high?  I guess I've been quite draconian when looking at sugar values, so I need to know more about what sort of levels of sugar can be tolerated by either T1s or T2s.  I know the figures will vary enormously, but taking the cheerios as an example, is 13-20g acceptable for the main part of a meal?  On a slightly different note, Easter is back on for me as I've found a local shop that sells some yummy, very low sugar chocolate. yeah
"I love Italian.......and so do you"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 4/3/2006 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Look to your original food program that was given to you by your doctor or nutritionist. Mine included two servings of starch-type carbs (15 gms) at breakfast and lunch and up to three at dinner. It also included a milk carb allowance and a vegetable carb allowance. By juggling these carb amounts I'm able to have one piece of toast for breakfast along with my little side of potatoes, egg and ham or I can make my french toast with my egg and milk and top it with cinnamon to help level out my post meal spike. The numbers help me see my choices. For a quick lunch out I can have my burger open faced with one bun and about 13 fries or I can forego the fries altogether. Again, it's choices. A packed lunch may include two small flour tortilla roll-ups with deli chicken, fresh spinach and mushrooms. A piece of fruit and no-added-sugar yogurt and I'm all set.

You may want to download a carb counting program like CalorieKing to help you learn your food numbers. Before too long you'll be able to figure out what you need to eat and do the counting in your head. Hope this helps.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 4/3/2006 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks once again Jeannie!  When I was diagnosed, all I got was a savage doom-and-gloom lecture from my doctor.  She neglected to give me a 'diabetes pack' which would have saved me a weeks worth of panic and stress.  It seems you have a more structured approach and actually have a team in place.  I have seen the usual suspects and saw a dietician, which helped immensely.  But we don't have specialist nurses on hand and the word endocrinologist hasn't been mentioned once.  As it stands I see a doctor once every three months and that's it.  I suppose I should be thankful.  But after reading posts from many boardies, I wonder if I'm missing something important!  All I know is that my b/s levels are always in normal range, so I think I'm doing OK, at the moment. I suspect these things will kick in as/when/if my situation deteriorates. Being on this board is a real eye opener!
"I love Italian.......and so do you"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 4/4/2006 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, truth be told, I've had two year's R.N. training (35 years ago!), one round of diabetic teaching 10 yrs ago at my first diagnosis and then a re-teach when I started insulin a year ago. That's when I finally got serious about educating myself on what to do to get and keep my sugars in line. Moderating on this forum has forced me into more research to answer questions and also keeps me on track for my food program. If I take time away from the forum I seem to be able to allow myself more leeway on my eating and end up with higher numbers.

I desperately need this forum to keep my interest level up on caring for myself. By helping others stay on track I find I give myself the morale boost I need to KOKO.... (Keep on Keepin' on!)
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/5/2006 10:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jeannie,

Ok, tnx for the interesting alternatives. I was not aware of bulgar wheat/barley as a possible alternative. I'll have to look into that. In what form does it take, or in other words, how is it packaged for use? Also, who sells it?

As I stated in the article, I am always looking for new, better/different items for use in the kitchen and some of these items you mentioned may help out.
I am also interested in the "spaghetti squash" you mentioned. Same questions as above, how and who....tnx.
I have never heard of these items...I guess I don't get out enough....Also, my cooking experience is somewhat limited too.....but, I'm learning, be it ever so slowly.

Anyway, if anyone has any other helpful cooking hints, I'm sure the whole group would like to hear them. Please post them here, if you would, for everyone's sake....Tnx.

It's odd...diabetes runs rampid in my family and I don't have it, but my wife does and no one in her family has ever had it.....strange.... Yes, I know anyone can get it for various reasons, not just heredity, but it strikes me funny.....Life in general I guess.........

Tnx again and take care.............TMCD.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 4/6/2006 1:29 AM (GMT -6)   

I buy my bulgar, brown rice and barley at a bulk food store. They cost about 80¢ a pound here in Michigan. Bulgar is cracked wheat grains and one of the main ingredients in Taboulli. You might be able to find it at a larger grocery store chain or vegetable market or anyplace they sell Middle Eastern foods. Bulgar and Barley can be cooked in the microwave. The ratio is 1:3 I usually put 1/2 cup of bulgar or barley (or mix them) plus 1 and 1/2 cups hot water into a two quart microwavable bowl. You can add seasonings if you like (dried onion, garlic, parsley or whatever). I also put a splash of olive oil on top so it won't foam as much. Cover. Micro on HIGH for about 6 minutes or until the mixture starts to rolling boil. Turn off the micro and re-set it for 45 minutes on DEFROST. (or 30% of power) If the water has not all absorbed you can cook longer on DEFROST. Brown rice is the same preparation recipe but the ratio is 1:2 (a half cup of rice to one cup of hot water)

Spaghetti Squash is a yellow squash about the size of a child's NERF football. Ask your local farm market or produce manager if they carry it. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves flat side down in a big microwavable dish. Cook covered for 5 to 10 minutes on HIGH, rotating the dish every 2 minutes or so if you don't have a rotating mechanism in your oven. When the squash is quite soft (like a baked potato feels) it's done. Wearing a mitten to hold it take a fork and scrape the strands of squash into a bowl. It can be used right away or stored in the fridge until you need it. A quick re-heat in the microwave with some tomato sauce and a sprinkle of motzarella cheese and you have a great side dish! Add meatballs and you are doing great. I like to mix mine with some regular cooked spaghetti because the real stuff has a better mouth feel for pasta lovers. The spaghetti squash is almost a free food. Half a squash has only 5 carbs. Add to that 1/2 cup of real pasta and you're a happy camper.

Hope this helps.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Post Edited (Jeannie143) : 4/11/2006 11:46:59 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/8/2006 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok Jeannie,

Tnx for the info. We don't see alot of those types of food here in E. Tennessee and finding some of them may prove to be difficult, but I'll look around and see if they are available.
The "Free Foods" are always welcomed here for content and we are always willing to try new things. I have found that eating the diabetic related foods for myself is a good thing too and I don't have to cook too many seperate meals that way.

Tnx again and I'll give them a try......TMCD.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/10/2006 10:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi N17,

Once again, sorry for the time lag here...still dealing with the Charcot's Neuropathy here and it ain't gett'in any easier or better..........

Well, you wrote: "TMCD (great post!!), you mention that Cheerios are an option. They are available out here. I notice from the 'box' that a serving with low fat milk will yield about 13.6 of sugar, over 20 if normal milk is used. Is that quite high?"

I mentioned Cheerios as a possible alternative due to the choices that are out there. Cheerios is much lower in most everything compared to the usual "kiddies" cereals out there, but it may not be the lowest in content overall.

Yes, the levels you mentioned are higher then they should be, in my opinion.

I have not purchased Cheerios for the last few months due to our current financial situation...which is is well below the poverty level here in the states.

We have been getting some "Food Help" from one of the local community groups and the cereals we have recently gotten hold of is a brand called "Hospitality". I'm not sure where it comes from, but the overall sugar, fat, cholesterol, and carb levels are "fairly" low, once again, compared to whats out there...

As far as Cheerios, I don't completely remember what the "label" said as far as content, but I seem to remember the sugar levels and other values being somewhat low compared to other cereals. I will have to look again to refresh my dwindeling and rather tired memory.....

Also, the milk we use here is totally fat free and the sugar levels are only 3 grams per serving. That milk is "Hood" brand and is the best milk we have found here in the states for it's content. Not sure what is available there for you.

So, as I stated in the original article, the best thing to remember is to: "Check The Labels!!"

Take care and remember, in most cases of diabetics, lower is better!


New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/3/2006 6:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I would like to say thank you!!!!! At least my first foray to the grocery store will be less painfull and hopefully quick.... I also wanted to mention that growing up with a Jewish Nana there are many low sugar foods, Kasha (cracked buckwheat) can find it in Jewish isle or in bulk foods.. Just toast on all sides, fry 1 egg mixing bulger into egg, add water (2:1) same as rice cover for 20 mins on low and its done. Can be eaten as cereal or side dish. Also Matzo, comes in the form of balls and cracker. The balls in chicken noodle soup are very filling 1 cup prepared is .5g fat, 0 cholestral, 1290mg sodium, 9g carbs (3g sugar, 1g fiber) Directions are on the box but basically add 2 eggs and 2T oil to mix, mix, refridgerate for 15 min, drop 1t of mix into rapidly boiling water cover lower heat cook 20 min....LOL do I detect a trend here???? Anyways.... Just a few more options to "change it up" a bit... And thank you again for your info, lol wrote it down, nothing more agrivating then trying to find yogurt with the lowest sugar content....grrrrrr
Meow =^..^=

T2 Diagnosed 5/31/06

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/4/2006 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Meow,

You are very welcome and even though the info in the article will hopfully help you at the store, I still would recommend getting use to "Checking All Labels" every time anyway.
It is good to get into the habit of doing so every time and, after a while, it'll just become an automatic thing to do as it has with me.

As far as the Jewish related foods, I will have to look into those if I can find them here in E. Tennessee. It's hard to find things like that around here but I'll check it out next time I'm at the store.
Sure do appreciate the helpful hints and methods for preparing those type of foods. As with Jeannie's recommendations with the foods she mentioned, I was also unaware of the one's you mentioned as a possible alternative for use in a diabetic meal plan. Although I have heard of some of them, I didn't realize that they were that low in sugar, fat of all kinds, carbs and cholesterol.

This is what I like the most with this forum site... all of the info and helpfulness that comes from everyone towards a common goal!
Makes me feel good to know that others are willing to help out and want to share their experiences with everyone else on the site and beyond!!

So, I guess I can say thank you to you as well and glad to hear from you. I will try to incorporate these items into the fixed income diabetic food/meal plan if I can find them here.

One other note: I recently found a brand of bread that may be of some help.
I was looking for bread at Walmart Superstore and found a brand called "Nature's Own Sugar Free Bread" !!
The bread is Whole Grain and is low in Fat, Carbs, & Cholesterol.
I purchased a loaf and found it to be very good, although the price was a bit more then I wanted to pay, it turned out to be worth the extra money due to the breads quality.
I guess you get what you pay for!!

Anyway, tnx for your response and the tip's on the foods and remember to keep "Checking the Labels"!!!!

Take care.............TMCD Tennessee - The House of Pain.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 6/4/2006 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I like to bake my bread in a bread machine. If you buy bread flour in 25 lb bags and figure in the cost of electricity and other ingredients it's about 15¢ a loaf. You can add whole grains and make it without any sugar at all and as healthy as all get out! I like to find bread machines at garage sales. People get them for Christmas and then after a few uses just store them away. I've gotten them for as low as $10. Even if you have to pay full price for a new machine, they pay for themselves in about four months at today's bread prices.

The best part about making your own bread is that you can add bulgar wheat, rolled oats, barley, spelt, rye flour and any left over stale cereals to the mix and make great bread! I actually have a big container to which I add whatever marked down whole grains and seeds I find at the bulk food store. I just keep adding stuff to this bucket and mixing it up. My son put a sign on it that says "Horfenfiber Chunks" ... Anyway, I will often put grain in the blender and it becomes 'flour' for bread, too. Flax seeds are my favorite, especially the way they add a nutty crunch to the bread. For me, I would much rather have one slice of toast made from real bread than a stack of toast made from 'store bought' bread.

I may sound fanatical about this bread thing, but I now look for excellent quality in my carbs. I pick and choose what will raise my sugars and give me energy and if I have to bake my own fresh bread to get what I want that's ok with me. Besides, the machine is so very simple to use...
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 6/7/2006 7:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jeannie,

Another excellent idea!!

I used to make all my own breads from scratch, by hand, years ago, long before bread machines were around.(I guess I'm giving away my age with that statement...ha ha...).
It got to be too much work and with my own health problems mounting, I just gave in to the corporate world of bread companies....
I had thought about trying to locate a bread machine at one time and perhaps it's time to start looking again. If I were to puchase one, I would probably buy a new one as you can't be too sure about what other folks may have put into their old machines or any pest infestations they may have.....(I have seen some pretty nasty things inside stuff I bought from yardsales)... nono

Anyway, the idea sure is a good one and there's nothing like fresh bread even if it is semi-homemade. The health benefits are well worth the investment of a bread machine and the less work I have to do to provide a meal, the better off we all are here!!

Tnx again for the great idea and keep'em flying!

TMCD...Tennessee - House of Pain.
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