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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 11/4/2005 4:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Does anyone follow the GI diet?  A couple of years ago I was told by a dietician that this is what I should follow.  It seems really good in theory but there's some conflicting information around.  I have quite a few diabetic recipe books, and some of the recipes here are not recommended in the GI books.  I had muesli for breakfast, and checked the rating in a new GI book I bought yesterday - IT WAS LISTED IN THE RED SECTION (i.e. not to eat, as the book works with a traffic light system).  This shocked me, so I looked in a different GI book - it was listed here as around the 40 mark (so quite low).  The more I try to understand the more confused I get.  It had low fat meat listed in the amber section (but in the other book it had a score of 0, so it would have little effect on the blood sugar).  I have an appointment with a dietician soon so I can discuss it then, but in the meantime it's so confusing!  I consider myself to have a good understanding with how food affects us, but it's difficult to take in when different sources give me different 'facts'.  I would understand if the book was giving a general opinion on foods that you should try to avoid, but it was purely going on the GI index and I therefore cannot understand why lean meat would be in the amber section!
Also, yoghurts - I was told these are good by a dietician but bad by a diabetic nurse.  Aaargghh!  Who's right?  confused

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 11/4/2005 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Read the labels. You can almost tell just by the carb and fiber count. Obviously, the lower the carbs and sugars and the higher the fiber, the better GI index it will have.

Yogert can be good, but most companies add too much fruit and sugar. Find a low carb type and its ok. Otherwise, plain is probably the best. Lowfat yogert makes no difference, its the sugar content. Artificially sweetened will lower the GI index. You can take plain yogert and mix in some diet instant jello to flavor it and its very tasty and better for your blood sugars.

The best way to know, however, is to test your blood sugar after eating a new food. That will instantly tell you whats good and whats not.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 11/4/2005 10:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree about reading the labels, and if something is low fat there's usually more sugar to subsitute - but I'm more confused about the conflicting advice.  I understand that potatoes aren't as good for us as was first thought when I was diagnosed in 1991 and therefore it isn't JUST about what type of carbohydrate the food contains.  I'm just totally bewildered that muesli, for instance, is good for me in my diabetes book, is bad for me in a GI book, and then not too bad in another GI book.  I guess my problem is all the conficting advice.  As you say, the best judge will be what my blood sugar is after I eat something but I find this tricky sometimes as my blood sugars can vary so much right now.  The same food two days in a row can give me totally different results.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 11/4/2005 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Claire-Bear, people with diabetes seem to be sensitive to certain foods, so when you notice this happening, leave a few days before eating this food again. I used to give my son corn flakes with milk in the morning, but after a couple of days I noticed spikes in the blood sugar. This is "partial" intolerance, some foods can be well tolerated if eaten only sparingly. I wouldn't use commercial cereals any more, because they all have a glycemic index close to table sugar and create glucose imbalances in the body. When you eat something with high GI (even for healthy people) the blood sugar tends to spike, then of course highs cause lows, and this is how an imbalance is created. If this persists it can even lead to diabetes in healthy individuals. As far as GI tables, try to use your experience and common sense, I would exclude high GI foods on either table. There are natural alternatives for breakfast such as sprouted crackers (even raw ones) that are very tasty.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/4/2005 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Claire,
I too have problems with different foods and how they effect my
blood sugars.I have to test before I eat anything and then I decide
If my insulin can take care of something like yogurt. The problem I have
Is that it seems like everything effects my readings. I am to the point
where I am eating the exact same meals every day just to get close
to the readings I want. It's very frustrating because I am getting
to were I dread my mealtimes( by the way have to be at the exact
same time everyday ) I have about 30 pounds to lose and it seems
like everything I do nothing comes off. Now my doctor has put me
on lantus at lunch Iam hoping this does not cause more weight gain
  I also carry a log book with me that I put certain foods in and
then like I said test before I eat and then 2 hours after I eat, If
it causes a big spike in my sugar I usually blacklist that food. I hope this
helps a little bit and hope youre feeling well!!!!!!
Allison Rose

Pin Cushion
Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 442
   Posted 11/4/2005 6:23 PM (GMT -6)   
The following is a post that was on the boards a couple of weeks ago that has real good info on selecting foods for us diabetics that you might find interesting.

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.
You may be able to order them yet from
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
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*

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 11/5/2005 5:38 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks everyone, this is really useful advice.

Christina - I would just like to say that cornflakes rate very highly on the GI index (I think they are around 77) so they would affect blood sugar levels quite severely.    I'm quite happy with how the muesli that I eat has been affecting my blood sugar levels.  The past couple of days I've eaten no-added sugar muesli for breakfast and a lentil salad for lunch and I've noticed a marked improvement. 

Allison Rose- I think the log book is a really good idea, and I should have started one ages ago.  I'll get myself one today!  Hope you're doing ok. x

Claire x

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 242
   Posted 11/5/2005 3:58 PM (GMT -6)   
As an add on to the cornflakes thing - I found out today it also depends on what country you are in. Cornflakes in Australia are about 72 on the GI index and in the US are about 92!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 11/5/2005 4:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the info, and yes we eliminated corn flakes from our breakfast choices about a year ago.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 11/8/2005 12:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had really good luck with old fashioned oatmeal, the stuff that takes about five minutes of boiling to cook and still chews like hay. I love the stuff with peanut butter and eat it a few times a week all winter.

Diamond911!!! Thanks for the diet yogurt idea! I get tired of paying so much for the fancy diet ones at the store and this way I can have diet raspberry!
~ 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."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 11/11/2005 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Pin Cushion for re running that post, it was excellent!! 

BTW  for all you lablel readers (and I'm a fanatic label reader) DON'T FORGET TO READ THE SERVING SIZE!!!!!

I mean comeon!! I found a No Sugar added ice cream bar that listed a serving size as half a bar so instead of 6 grams of sugar per bar, it was 6 per serving or double that amount per bar!  Im sure we all know about serving size but some manufactuers are getting soooooo sneaky with how its listed that Im holding up the red flag saying don't forget to see how much bad stuff is REALLY in what you are thinking of buying!!

scool Warren
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