Some advice for a diabetic menu

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Hey all I was hoping I could get some advice from you all. I am a fairly competent home cook. My wife is a fairly picky eater, and was just diagnosed with diabetes. I am looking for ways to cook that will be healthier for her. I know sugar is a big factor but I also have heard carbs are bad. Any suggestions or advice?
 
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Carbs can be bad (sugar is a carb, carbs turn to sugar) but not all carbs effect everyone the same way.  I can't eat rice - it shoots ny BS tro the sky, but pasta is not a problem, nor is ice cream.

The very best advice I can give you, apart from reducing sugar and carbs in general, is to test blood sugar after every meal and learn the effect of different foods and food combinations.  Certain combinations and foods can help keep BS down.  For example, foods with fat or lots of fiber can mitigate the effects of carbs.  Eating pasta by itself may not be a good idea, but eating it with a large side of broccoli and dressed with olive oil may reduce and slow BS spikes.

The people at www.diabetesforums.com are very knowledgable and very helpful.

Most diabetic recipes and meal plans are of poor quality.  Stick to meals with lots of vegetables, minimal carbohydrates, and high fiber, and you'll be heading in the right direction.  Portion control is also important.  It may be possible to eat something with a lot of carbs, such as a piece of cake, but by only eating a very small piece not end up spiking one's blood sugar.

Pay attention to the glycemic index and glycemic load of different foods.  If you don't know what they are, search on those terms and learn them, and learn the glycemic load and index of the foods you'll be eating.

Hope this helps ...
 
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Not a simple question to answer. First off, is she Type I or Type II? That can affect what is safe for her to eat, and in what quantities. As a general rule, however, to maintain stable blood sugar levels, many small meals are better than a few large ones. In other words, our "normal" three meals/day is probably not the best thing for her.

Pay attention to Schmoozer's tip about monitoring blood sugar. Everyone reacts differently, and you can fairly quickly establish safe-food levels. At least initially, it might make sense to monitor both before and after meals. And if she's not keeping a log, shame on her.

Complicating any answer: What diet-control system does her doctor have her on? There are three major diet systems: Straight carb counting; substitution/equivilency; and glycemic indexing. And several modifications within each three.

Be prepared to do constant research. Ever since Friend Wife was diagnosed I practical live at the composition of foods database. What's more, the diabeties researcher are constantly improving our knowledge of causes and effects, so control methods are in a state of flux. One example: Used to be that, on the straight carb counting method, each meal had a different gram count. For instance, the diet might specify 35 grams for breakfast, upt to 47 for lunch, and 65 for dinner. Current thinking is that all meals should have about the same number, say 45, along with X number for snacks.

Similarly, there is on-going research into foodstuffs and medicines that act as blood sugar stabalizers, and you want to stay up to date on those.

Been my experience, too, that most cookbooks and web recipe sites devoted to diabeties are woefully inadequate. Indeed, I reached the point where I wondered if any of those recipes had actually been tested by anyone. So, until you reach the point where you intuitively understand how to cook for her, be prepared for a lot of frustration.  
 
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Been my experience, too, that most cookbooks and web recipe sites devoted to diabeties are woefully inadequate. Indeed, I reached the point where I wondered if any of those recipes had actually been tested by anyone. So, until you reach the point where you intuitively understand how to cook for her, be prepared for a lot of frustration.  
Absolutely 100% correct!
 
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Hey, Schmooze, you like that "woefully inadequate?" Who'd a thunk I'd turn into a diplomat in my old age.
 
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Hey, Schmooze, you like that "woefully inadequate?" Who'd a thunk I'd turn into a diplomat in my old age.
More than just being woefully inadequate, many sites and books that contain diabetic recipes are just flat out putting out misinformation based on old and outdated ideas about what a diabetic needs.  I know doctors and nutritionists that are still working with older ideas about what constitutes acceptable blood sugar levels, who don't know how fats can affect carbohydrate uptake, and who are heavily pushing whole grains and carbohydrate heavy foods. 
 
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I'm afraid you are going to have to limit alcohol intake as well.  While not containing carbs it does affect the insulin level in the body.  My father was diabetic and had to give up his beloved martini.  Well he would occassionally cheat and have one but like perhaps once a week.

Rich
 
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Not true, Rich. Friend Wife was diagnosed ten years ago, but I haven't changed my alcohol consumption a bit. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smoking.gif
 
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Cute KYH, I do suppose that I should have more correctly stated Nacona's wife would have to limit the alcs.  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif

Rich
 
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I'm afraid you are going to have to limit alcohol intake as well.  While not containing carbs it does affect the insulin level in the body.  My father was diabetic and had to give up his beloved martini.  Well he would occassionally cheat and have one but like perhaps once a week.

Rich
Not quite true.  In fact, alcohol consumption can actual contribute to hypoglycemia.  Alcohol can LOWER blood sugar.  Many people, myself included, have no problem with drinking wine, beer, or other alcohol, in moderation, especially with meals.

http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/alcohol.html

http://www.diabetesforums.com/forum/type-2-diabetes/47160-alcohol-with-metformin-glucophage.html
 
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I hope so Schmoozer,

The idea of not having a glass of wine with dinner is not a future I would look forward to.  My older brother is bad enough since according to him, he cannot have salt.  They don't even have any in the house, yech.

My experience here is limited but in the relatively short time I've been here I have seen some remarkably inventive chefs/cooks.  Even more remarkable is the degree of ....... what would one say...... support? camaraderie?  I don't have the proper phrase but I think you'll understand what I mean.

Rich
 

Edit:  In my own case, if I over imbibe it tends to show up in a somewhat higher glucose reading at my physicals.  Fortunately, I am not diabetic but it is a danger since I do have heart disease so I watch it.
 
 
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latika sharma

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Hello,
i have some tips for you-
The daily food intake must provide the total number of calories that meet the personal weight objectives of the individual, which will be to either maintain their current weight or to lose weight
The foods that we consume provide the body with the essential life-giving nutrients of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and fiber.

Carbohydrates are the main source of glucose that supplies energy to the cells of the body, the same glucose that the diabetic may have difficulty in controlling.

A calorie is a precise unit of energy. The number of calories in a serving of food defines the quantity of energy that is supplied to the body in the consumption of a serving amount of that particular food. Different foods provide different amounts of calories.

In order to meet the two requirements listed above, there is a need to know the approximate nutrient content and calorie amounts of each of the common items that make up a meal. Different foods do have different amounts of nutrients. Most of this information, together with serving sizes, is readily available on the Nutrition Facts labels that are on the food packaging.
www.maldari.com/
 
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I am a type 2 diabetic, trying to do the best I can with a healthy diet. My opinion is to avoid bad carbs, avoid sugar substitutes, eliminate added sugar, choose low-glycemic foods, exercise regularly, lose weight, and to avoid any increases to my meds. Rely on quarterly A1C readings to track progress for blood sugar control.

Bad carbs include bread, pasta, white potatoes, breakfast cereal, excessive sweet fruits, and rice. For fruits such as grapes, moderation is the key (have 10 grapes rather than a bunch.

For breakfast, I choose unsweetened Greek yogurt with a few dried prunes, a sliced apple or a few grapes. Other options include eggs, oatmeal, Ezekiel toast (low glycemic and flour-free bread), coffee, milk and no sweeteners.

Crock pot meals made with lentils or split peas are good.

For dinner, I happen to eat out a lot. As a result, I substitute sides to avoid eliminate carbs. Salads and soups are often good choices too.

For exercise, I swim and walk a lot. It helps to live in Florida, but you can make it work up North if you try.

My A1C was 7.6 three months ago, and 6.6 six months ago. I changed doctors, and my new doctor helped me get back on track with much of the advice I listed above.

After you read this, please respond with any of your thoughts, questions and recommendations.
 
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Agreed! Best yet, eliminate alcohol. My diabetic side effects​ become more prevalent, including higher blood sugar and numbness or tingling of the feet.
 

cerise

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I realize this is an old post and the op is probably gone; but glad it came to the top.

I'm sorry about the diagnosis. First step might be to see a hospital dietition, and follow up with an endocrinologist and primary care physician.

My best.
 
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