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.
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.
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!
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!
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,
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, 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.
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.
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?
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!
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!