low fat or low carb?

Which diet helps you best control your diabetes?
1
The low fat / starchy carb ADA diet - 7.1%
8
A low carb diet with more protein and fat - 57.1%
3
A 'moderation in all things' diet - 21.4%
1
A calorie controlled diet - 7.1%
1
I eat whatever I like! - 7.1%

 
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fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 3/28/2007 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I've noticed that whenever the discussion on the forum turns to diet, quite a number of members are finding that the recommended low fat starchy carbohydrate diet simply doesn't work for them. Blood sugar peaks and troughs, poor lipids, weight gain, lethargy, high dosages and regular hypoglycemia all seem to be quite common on the ADA diet. I've been type 1 for 26 years and that used to be the story of my life, but the low carb approach has transformed my health.
It would be great to know what everyone else thinks of the 'official' diet. Is there anyone out there for whom it actually works?
 
All the best everyone,
 
fergusc

Phishbowl
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 547
   Posted 3/28/2007 5:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I can certainly say it did NOT work for me. All the things you mention happened to me before I took control myself. I'd be curious to know it it actually HAS worked for anyone.
Cheers,
- Phishbowl (Type 1 since Jan'05 - Levemir, NovoRapid)
"What's Not Measured Is Not Managed"

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows"-Epictetus


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5397
   Posted 3/28/2007 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   

After flopping around on so-called "diabetic" diets since last fall, I have created my own plan and that is very very low carb, protein the size of a deck of cards and 2 vegetables with a salad at dinner, and a glass of wine.  Lunch is salad with tuna or chicken breast (both of those from cans usually, unless I have leftover chicken from dinner the night before) with some beans - that is, cold garbanza beans, etc. with olive oil and vinegar.  Breakfast is an omelet with the egg product substitute with mushrooms and bell peppers.  I eat more vegetables now than I've ever eaten in my life with every meal.  And pasta about twice a week.  Keeps my readings down and I'm losing weight.

Lanie


4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 3/28/2007 6:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Lanie, our diets are almost IDENTICAL. Although I will admit to eating 1/2 of Cheerios every morning. Maybe if I dropped that in favor of eggs/egg substitute I'd also drop those last ten pounds!!!

Actually, I need a FAST breakfast.

Anyone got any ideas?

Oh .. peanut butter is OUT. I have a student who is deathly allergic to peanuts and peanut byproducts. Even with brushing my teeth I wouldn't chance it.
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5397
   Posted 3/28/2007 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   

Fergusc, I thought about this later.  Isn't it important to note that diets for type 1, type 2 and "pre-diabetic" (controlled by diet and exercise) might vary?  I'm part of the last group, like Ruth.  I really have to restrict carbs or my readings go way too high, so I eat beans and some milk products for carbs and I do better with the readings then.

Hi Ruth!  Still running? ;)   I know what you mean about a fast breakfast.  I've been subbing for 2 weeks, so believe it or not, I've been making the omelet the night before and then microwaving it in the morning.  Not too bad but it works.  Sometimes, I'll also eat a cube of cheddar cheese with it, and then take another cube or a stick of string cheese and almonds for snack later in the morning.  Take care.

Lanie


4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 3/29/2007 4:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, still running. I've now taken to running outside and I have to admit to all that I HATE it. I mean HATE it. My treadmill is sooooooo much more comfy and less stress on the ol' shins! But I'm going to persevere!!! I WILL run this blasted 5k and I WILL cross that finish line!

Then I WILL sit in a tub full of epson salts!

LOL -

Lanie, I'll have to try the omlet thing. I DO love them!!! I've been taking about six pecans along with me to school and eating them for a snack mid-morning. So far I'm liking that as a change of pace from string cheese. We'll see how long it lasts until I get bored with that!

Take care!
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 3/29/2007 8:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I use the insulin-resistance diet approach, although I don't follow the diet to lose weight. I always link 15 grams of carb (any kind of carb, not just starchy types) with 7 grams of protein.  I eat only heart healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts). I do not eat meat, but I do eat egg whites and use low carb (F A G E) yogurt, low fat cheeses (4 grams of fat or less per serving) and Hood low carb milk. I usually eat about 80-90 net carbs a day- mostly in the form of lentils, other beans, barley or oat bran. I always eat 2 fruits (berries + one other), leafy greens (including kale, swiss chard, mustard), about 40 grams of fiber, and 80-100 oz of water each day.
 
I have detailed my experience with the diabetes dietitian and the ADA diet in other posts.  It mirrors what others have said.  I think that it might work best for individuals who have type 1 diabetes, are normal weighted and who do not have insulin resistance (in other words - a normal metabolism without insulin, which a type 1 can control by injecting insulin as required). Since type 2s don't directly control their insulin levels, and have issues with insulin being able to ferry sugar to cells (broken metabolism with or without insulin), it makes sense to limit the incoming sugar so that the body doesn't have to deal with it. Logically, this would also apply to a type 1 who has developed insulin resistance.
 
Very interesting post- I look forward to reading everybody's replies.
sandy yeah
I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett


quatlox
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 3/29/2007 8:15 AM (GMT -7)   
After all of these years on the ADA diet, I have come to the conclusion that it stinks and so do most of the Drs and Nutritionists that cram it down your throat. The ADA diet will kill even the healthiest of people or make them as fat as a Hippo.
 
Sooooo, my vote goes to the low carb, high fat diet.  I feel better, have more energy and NO mood swings doing a low carb diet and my blood sugars are a true result of this low carb way of life.
 
Yes, I still do some carbs, but I am way down from the average eater, as I do about 100 grams of carbs a day.
 
Glad I found people who taught me low carb.
 
Thanks
Bob
 
 

gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 3/29/2007 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Ruth,
 
Is your student allergic to all nuts? Or just peanuts? There are all kinds of tasty nut butters around. I love almond butter, and I have had cashew-macadamia, cashew, and hazelnut. I also use a recipe called  breakfast-to-go for my husband. It may have come from a South Beach Cookbook-
 
Spray or oil  a muffin (cupcake) pan.
 
In a mixing bowl - 1 dozen eggs (you could use equivalent egg beaters, or 24 egg whites); 1/4 cup diced (small) onion; 1/4 cup diced red peppers; 3 tablespoons of well-drained salsa; 2 ounces of shredded cheese; a dash of milk or cream- mix it all up and distribute it to the muffin pan (12 portions) and bake it at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the eggs are set. (shake the pan- the centers don't move - or stab them with a cake tester to be sure it comes out clean).
 
This makes 12. You can either refrigerate them or freeze them. My husband just pops them into the microwave to thaw and heat - or wraps a piece of bread around one and eats it cold in the car. They travel well. And you could change up the ingredients to suit your tastes. When I add mushrooms, I always saute them in a bit of olive oil to soften them up. I plan to make a batch and take them with me when we drive to Providence for our daughter's graduation in May. (A guaranteed protein source in a carb crazy world :-) )
sandy
I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett


Rhoda
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 3/29/2007 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for sharing your recipe for the breakfast to go.  I can't wait to try it.  Mornings are always hectic and this may help out.  Would this work to take in a lunch box with fruit and such?

fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 3/29/2007 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks for all the votes so far everyone. For some time I've thought that the ADA / Diabetes UK makes no sense either in theory or in practice, and I'm glad I'm not alone! Surely if carbs raise our blood sugars fast, protein much more slowly and fat hardly at all, then to base the recommended diet around starchy carbs has to be some sort of malicious practical joke, no? Nor do I think there's convincing evidence that either protein or fat causes us harm at all.

I'm leading a debate on the issue at a forthcoming Diabetes UK conference, so please keep those votes coming. If we can change some hearts and minds then I reckon a lot of people will be better off.

Lanie, I think we all have different likes, dislikes and responses to different foods for sure. At the same time, the basic priciples apply to us all regardless of the specific nature of our conditions. You're right to mention diet and exercise too - so important!

Keep those votes coming!

fergusc


4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 3/29/2007 4:24 PM (GMT -7)   
I say follow the money trail ... who funds all those diabetic diets?
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5397
   Posted 3/29/2007 4:42 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Fergusc, I think the diets and adherence to exercise followed by us who responded to your quest are more healthy for anyone, not only diabetics or those on the verge of diabetes.  One thing I would like to make clear, though, is that I don't overdo beef or fatty meats and I don't use butter.  Like many others, I use olive oil and a product called Smart Balance (will this be censored?) and eat different kinds of nuts.  I do eat more protein but I stay away from high cholesterol foods or products with trans fats.  Stay well and good luck with the conference.  I would sure like to know the reasoning behind the "diabetic" diets full of carbs!

Lanie


fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 3/30/2007 2:58 AM (GMT -7)   

H Lanie,

I think you're 100% right to completely avoid trans fats. It's such a completely unnatural substance which our bodies simply don't need and can't deal with. Long shelf life for manufacturers processed foods is given priority over cosumers health but I'm glad hydrogenated oils are now being withdrawn from products here in the UK.

I'm going to jump to the defence of natural fats' though! They've had a relentlessly bad press for 30 odd years but where's the evidence? To quote Bernstein "The idea that eating fat makes you fat is about as logical as saying that eating tomatoes will turn you red!" From my research it seems to me that the risks of artherosclerosis and poor blood lipids is directly related to carbohydrate consumption, not fat consumption. My triglyceride levels since cutting back the carbs and eating more fat?  53mg/dl!

All the very best,

fergusc


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 3/30/2007 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
I started out with almost no carbs in my diabetic diet and found that I eventually went bonkers! I have to allow myself some chewy flour tortillas or whole wheat pasta once in a while just to keep my inner child from pouting and pulling a tantrum (read food binge!) I have neither the discipline nor the will to eat only healthy, but mostly healthy, with a nice baby ice cream cone or a small square of chocolate once a week. This is what works for me.

I load up on salads and am about to sprout feathers from all the chicken breasts I'm consuming but there is something to be said for a slice of cheesecake on your birthday, too. Tonight I'm going to have fried fish at the best church Lenten fish fry in town. This is my one indulgence during Lent, and I'm careful about no fats all day until dinner. I eat 13 fries and lots more smelt than battered perch, but there's more to the food plan than the food. There is the social aspect of being able to eat with family and friends without having to always be different.

Shared meals are so much a part of every culture it's sometimes hardest to maintain food policy in the face of traditions and holidays. I would rather have my annual piece of real cheesecake than live to be 100. And I have to say, I hope to go quickly with a heart attack like my father-in-law did with his diabetes. When he found out he was going blind with diabetic retinopathy he said, "The heck with it! I'm gonna have fried potatoes with my egg in the morning!" My mom fed my dad oatmeal for over 50 years, watched his cholesterol and made him follow an exercise program. What she ended up with was a healthy man with dementia... Life might have been better for them both if she had fed him steak once a week. I'm sorry... I'm rambling... I've done the end of life thing with three parents now and I'm beginning to think that the good Lord made heart attacks for a reason...
~ Jeannie
Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class!
Yours may be one of them...

"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


4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 3/31/2007 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Good points, Jeannie!! I hope you enjoyed that fish fry! I try to be constantly aware that keeping my "shell" going isn't all that life is to me. For me, life is now AND later. I don't want to shortcut either one. Personally? I'd opt for an ending like your father-in-law's as well.
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/4/2007 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Steady on Jeannie, dark portents of our ultimate demise indeed!

I think you're right, your father-in-law may very well have done better with steak at least once a week. I've said it before, but it's not going to do anyone any harm at all. Bear in mind I was a strict vegetarian for 16 years but eventally reallised the emphasis on starch was unhealthy and incompatible with well controlled blood sugars. That was quite a wake up call but I gave up vegetarianism in order to be healthier and it is working.

I'm not one for self denial however and I've had a thing for chocolate and cheesecake for as long as I can remember. I do notice however that the less I have it, the less I want it or need it. I don't know what I'll replace the urge with if it goes! I'm certainly no puritan but I do find these days that there's an enormous amount of pleasure to be had in well cooked vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, cheese etc., etc. What I have been able to leave behind is anything processed or pre-prepared - it just tastes wrong when you're used to fresh food.

No votes for the ADA diet yet, then?

All the best,

fergusc


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5397
   Posted 4/4/2007 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   

Fergusc, I also love cheese cake.  There must be a low carb recipe somewhere.  I like it best with a graham cracker crust.  Certainly, a sliver wouldn't hurt if you've eaten a healthy meal beforehand.  I haven't had any cravings since being on an almost no-carb diet beginning in January.  Of course, we need carbs to feed our brain but I get plenty from beans, milk products and some vegetables.  I've added a dried apricot to my snacks of almonds (or walnuts) and string cheese and that seems to be ok so far.

Lanie


gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 4/5/2007 1:14 PM (GMT -7)   

Lanie,

Does it have to be the dense cream cheese ( NY, Philly ) style? I have a very good recipe for a cottage cheese cake (Italian style- you can make it with ricotta) that is nice and high in the protein-to-carb ratio. I have been experimenting with a graham-nut crust for it, but you could probably use a very thin graham cracker crust under it- I don't have the nutrient analysis for it yet because my software crashed and I'm waiting for a replacement disk- but I'd be happy to pass it on if you're interested.

sandy


I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett


fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/5/2007 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Lanie,
I do a crackin' baked lemon cheesecake which isn't too bad on the old blood glucose. Full fat cheese of course (Philly and mascarpone), eggs, lemon juice and rind and a drop of vanilla essence. I've had some success with Splenda instead of normal sugar. The real secret is to make the base with pecans and/or walnuts blitzed in the food processor and combined with melted butter. Outstanding!
I'm not going to get into measurements because US cups mess with my mind.
All the very best,
 
fergusc
 
p.s., any more diet votes out there? 
 

4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 4/5/2007 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
No more votes from me ... but I WANT those cheesecake recipes! Keep 'em coming, boys and girls!!!!!!!!
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5397
   Posted 4/5/2007 3:51 PM (GMT -7)   

Bless your hearts, Sandy and Fergusc!  Can you both post your recipes?  I'd like to make both.  And the 'crust' of pecans or walnuts is a very good idea!  I suppose almonds could work too.  Never thought of a nut crust.  Thanks so much!

Fergusc, I believe all the literature I've read says that animal fats do create plaque in arteries, yet you wrote that carbohydrates may be the cause?  Can you tell us more about that?

Lanie 


fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/6/2007 4:26 PM (GMT -7)   

Lanie,

First the science bit! There's very little basis to blame dietary fat for heart disease. The studies cited don't support the conclusions which have become unshakable dogma in recent years. Recent Harvard University research is now suggesting that fat is not just benign, but actually beneficial for the heart. What's also true is that our triglyceride levels are a more reliable indicator of atherosclerosis. Triglycerides are elevated after carbohydrate consumption and fluctuate accordingly. In other words, it's the low fat (high carb) food that damages the heart! There is a great deal of evidence to support these findings, and 6 years monitoring  my own readings has convinced me that we've all been misled.

OK, now the fun bit - cheesecake! Excuse the grams and centimetres, I'm British, ok?!

Blitz 250g of nuts, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, whatever your preference in a processor, but not too fine. We don't want dust here. Combine with 150g melted butter and 1tbsp Splenda. Press into the base of a 24cm springform or loose bottomed cake tin and leave it in the fridge for an hour to set.

Meanwhile, beat together 750g cream cheese, 6 egg yolks, 1tsp vanilla extract and 75g Splenda. Pour in 150g double cream while still mixing. Add the zest and juice of 1 lemon and stir to combine. Whisk the leftover 6 egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold gently into the mixture and scoop the lot onto the chilled base. Bake for 1.5 hours at 170c or until golden brown on top. Don't you dare open that oven door, now. Turn off the heat and leave the beast in there for another 2 hours until completely cool. Refrigerate.

Finally, invite your most deserving freinds round for the best cheesecake they've ever tasted!

And don't worry about the fat, it's good for you remember!

All the best,

fergusc


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5397
   Posted 4/6/2007 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, Fergusc, for the recipe.  It sounds good and rich!  I would probably substitute a product here called Smart Balance for the butter and non-fat evaporated milk for the double cream.  I know what you said about fats but still I want to stay away from them.  (I use olive oil for most cooking or the Smart Balance if I want a buttery flavor.)  I'll let you know how it comes out.  Thanks for taking the time to write it down.
 
Thanks again for the recipe.  I appreciate it.
Lanie

fergusc
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/7/2007 3:50 AM (GMT -7)   

You're welcome Lanie, and I hope your modifications work out. Enjoy.

Out of interest, I took a look the nutritional info on non-fat evaporated milk and it made surprising reading:

Double cream (1 cup)  -  1.5grams of sugar

Non-fat evaporated milk (1cup)  -  12 grams of sugar

That's eight times the quantity of sugar in the same volume, which will need eight times the quantity of insulin to deal with it. This is why the low-fat argument is illogical for diabetics (or anyone else frankly!). The additional insulin required to deal with low-fat food is what actually promotes weight gain and insulin resistance, since insulin is the main fat building hormone in our bodies. Dietary fat requires very little insulin. I'll stop now, before I launch into full-on rant mode!

All the best,

fergusc

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