or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Diabetes Friendly Recipes???
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Diabetes Friendly Recipes???

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I need some help here, guys.

I finally made my bf go in for a checkup with his new doctor (who is my doctor who I first saw in university) because 1) his previous doctor is a quack and I mean that and 2) he's 25 and has never had bloodwork or a physical (did I mention quack??). Well, my doc met with him first, than ordered a blood panel before bf could schedule the actual physical.

Now, bf has HUGE doctor fear and is scared they'll find "something".....cancer, heart disease, etc. But, after 2 months of me pestering, I finally get him in for the bloodtest with lots of "don't worry, you feel healthy, I'm sure everything will be fine". And then.....they call him and say the doctor has found something, he'll need to come in for a half hour appointment to discuss it.

We went together and it turns out bf's (fasting) blood glucose was high (15, normal is 5ish) and triglycerides are significantly elevated. So, looks it's diabetes, which he has a family history of. There are going to be followup blood panels, blood glucose monitoring, nutritionist appointments etc etc, but as of right now we're just doing what we can on our own until we get all that scheduled.

This means HUGE changes for his diet as he loves juice, potatoes, pasta and sweet snacks. He's been doing great these last 4 days and hasn't touched any more carbs than he can really avoid. But, I need some meal suggestions because I'm afraid that this zest for the diet won't last if he doesn't get some more variety (he's been eating a lot of baked chicken breasts) and some more filling meals. He's downsized his portions a lot, which is good, and I'm encouraging him to eat more often, but he isn't eating all that much and I'm worried he'll make himself so hungry that he'll end up going on a binge.

Anyone who has some suggestions for meals, recipes, snacks or resources, please let me know! Thanks!
post #2 of 10
Wow -- your boyfriend is lucky to have you! And very lucky indeed to have found this out at the age of 25, so he can turn it around and protect his health from this point on.

I'm a Type II diabetic, too, and so is my father... and in the course of the past several years, I've gone through two lengthy training classes (one with my father, one for myself) with diabetes specialists and nutrition experts, so I'm just packed full of information! I'm too sleepy to organize my thoughts very well here, so let me just rattle off the things I've learned that might help you...

1. There are low-carb pastas available that taste pretty good, especially if you go heavy on the sauce. There's also spaghetti squash, which looks and to some extent tastes like pasta, and can be used as a healthier substitute. And I've found I eat less pasta if I use penne, rigatoni, farfalle, or some other interesting shape, rather than traditional spaghetti. Not sure why!

2. Benefiber is a great product -- a fine fiber powder that mixes into liquids, doesn't thicken them, doesn't change the taste... but adds good healthy fiber, which helps the body cope with carbs. I add it to pasta sauces, soups, the liquids I put into baking recipes... even a little in hot chocolate.

3. If your boyfriend is overweight, it might be that he can drastically improve or even eliminate his diabetes by losing some weight. That's a question for the doctor, though.

4. Cinnamon has been found to help reduce blood glucose -- you can add it to foods, and you can also take it as a supplement in capsules.

5. Although you want to reduce carb intake, don't be tempted by the whole South Beach, all-protein type of diet -- it's potentially dangerous to make such a drastic change. Nutrition is about balance... not radical extremes.

6. It can be incredibly time-consuming to cook healthy for a diabetic... well, to cook healthy, period... so it's convenient to keep some frozen dinners around. Lean Cuisine has some excellent low-carb dinners that my father really enjoys (I'm a vegetarian, so I don't use them).

7. When you're buying frozen dinners or other prepared foods, don't just look for the "Sugars" listing -- look at "Total Carbohydrates." That's the number you should go by. If there's significant dietary fiber in the item, you can deduct that number from the total carbs, because the fiber helps so much. It's best to stay away from dinners with rice, potatoes, or noodles, though... those will have an amazingly high carb count, even though the fat and calories are low.

8. There's a bread called "Double Fiber Wheat" -- I don't remember the brand name, but it's got a navy-blue label -- and it has five grams of fiber per slice. That's 'way more than other commercial breads, so you can have more bread if you use that kind.

9. Those tiny baby carrots make great snacks, especially dipped in a nice light salad dressing. I make my own dressing with a little olive oil, a lot of balsamic or red-wine vinegar, some basil, some black pepper, and a touch of salt substitute or a light-salt blend. You can also use apple-cider vinegar with a little lemon or lime juice.

10. Be careful buying "sugar-free" products -- sugar-free doesn't always mean lower in carbs. Also, notice what they've used as a sweetener. Splenda is great -- but if they've used maltitol or sorbitol, you have to be careful how much you eat, because those will have a laxative effect.

11. I used to eat peanut-butter-and-apple sandwiches a lot, and I loved them... but when I was diagnosed, I dropped the bread and just started dipping slices of apple into Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter -- and it's so good, I don't even miss the bread. Best breakfast in the world!

12. Beans are great for diabetics, in moderation -- they're full of fiber and protein. I make vegetarian baked beans and vegetarian chili a lot, but I'm sorry, I don't have written recipes for them... I just throw 'em together! Here's as close as I can describe them for you:

Vegetarian Baked Beans

3 or 4 cans of vegetarian beans -- I like Heinz or Bush's
1 sweet onion, yellow or white
Heinz Ketchup, the low-carb kind if you can find it
Sugar-free maple syrup -- the Maple Grove brand is better than most

In a deep bowl, add perhaps a half-cup of ketchup to the beans -- enough to give their sauce a reddish tint when you stir it up.

Add about two tablespoons of the maple syrup.

Peel the onion and cut it in half, then hold one half of it above the bowl and scrape the cut surface with a paring knife to drip some onion pulp into the bean mixture. I guess I end up adding about a quarter-cup of onion pulp altogether.

Finally, add about two tablespoons of Benefiber.

Stir it all together and pour it into a shallow baking dish. Slice a few small rings of onion to scatter over the top to make it pretty and bake it at 350 Fahrenheit until the edges are thoroughly bubbly... about 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of your dish and how many cans of beans you used.

Vegetarian Chili

4 or 5 cans of Bush's vegetarian chili beans
2 large cans of Hunt's tomato sauce -- though you may not need all of it
3 or 4 large sweet onions, yellow or white
Heinz Ketchup, low-carb if you can find it
Olive oil or canola oil
French's Chili-O Seasoning Mix
Cayenne pepper (if needed)

I should warn you that, even though I live in Texas, this is not Texan chili. This chili would get you run out of town on a rail around here... but around here, people put rattlesnakes and armadillos in their chili, so I'm proud that mine doesn't qualify! So here we go:

In the biggest pot you have, swirl about a quarter-cup of olive oil around to coat the sides. Then add the onions, peeled and diced. There should be enough onions to fill the pot about one-third of the way up.

Stir the onions around to coat them with the oil, then put a tight lid on the pot and turn the heat on very, very low. Let them warm gently, stirring every five minutes or so, until they go limp and translucent.

Stir in the first can of tomato sauce and increase the heat to medium-low.

Add about a half-cup of Benefiber and stir well.

Add the beans and stir them into the tomato sauce. Then take a good sturdy potato masher and begin crushing the beans. You can crush them all or leave some whole if you prefer.

Once you've crushed the beans as much as you intend to, you can get a feel for how thick the chili is going to be. You'll probably want to add some or all of the other can of tomato sauce to thin it a little -- but leave it a little thicker than you want, because you're about to...

Add some ketchup. I know, I know, it sounds strange in chili -- but it gives it a nice tangy, bright flavor that contrasts so well with the onions! The only way I know how much ketchup to add is by color: the chili is just right when it's a little bit more red than brown.

And finally, stir in your French's Chili-O seasoning mix. You may have a seasoning you like better, or you may want to mix your own spices -- but for me, it's been French's ever since I can remember.

Once everything is well-mixed and warmed through, I reduce the heat again and put the lid back on to let it simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

When it's done, you can serve it as chili with crackers or cornbread... but my favorite thing to do is spread it on chalupa shells (or taco shells broken in half), sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top, run it into the oven for a few minutes to bubble-up the cheese, and toss on some diced raw onions. There's no such thing as too many onions!
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sounds good! I think we'll try that chili! Thanks for the tips. Do you happen to know, offhand, approximately how many grams of carbs you aim for in a day?
post #4 of 10
Hi! Fiance is Type I diabetic. The hardest thing with him is that like your boyfriend he loves carbs too.

btw is your boyfriend type I or type II? that can make a huge difference in diets as type II you have a harder time controlling.

One thing to note is if he can't go any longer without a lot of sweets or whatnot, suggest the insulin pump. I'm currently working on fiance on that because he really can't control his cravings (no will power) .

Anyways, the ADA has a site for recipe ideas which i think are pretty tasty.
http://vgs.diabetes.org/recipe/index.jsp The cool thing with that site is if you sign up on it, you select the recipes and then the web server creates a shopping list for you.

I also have this cookbook: Joslin Diabetes recipes which are good for 1800 or 2000 calorie diets. All the recipes in there claim they're for 2 people, but really portion size they're SMALL. So double up.

This one Busy People's Diabetes Cookbook have a lot of quick and easy recipes

Then I was recommended 2 cookbooks on this site that I finally found at my local library: Healthy Exchanges and Simply Gourmet.

Avoid the Atkins stuff as much as possible since that leads to high blood pressure and is based on Net carbs rather than Total Carbs. The total carbs is what hits the blood pressure first.

If he wants ice cream I have found Edy's Slow Churn (especially if you can find sugar free) to be the best for taste and low carbs. It's half the carbs per serving than most other ice creams and doesn't taste like err..well crap as Fiance puts it.. compared to Low carb ice creams.

Feel free to PM if you like.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for those links. I'll check them out. Sorry that your finace has such a hard time. We're a long way from considering an insulin pump just yet, though.

It's type II, as far as we know, but we're hoping to be able to control it through exercise and diet. The doctor is going to give him a month to see how things go before he considers medication. I think it will be possible to control it without meds if he exercises, drops some weight and changes his diet.

I don't want him to do the "Atkins" thing, but I have NO idea how much carbs he SHOULD be getting. He's so determined to give this month a good try, that he's been avoiding pretty much everything carb-based and eating a lot more vegetables and chicken. He's done very well as far as cravings, but I think he needs more balance.....I'm just not sure what's balanced. I'm going to do some net searching.
post #6 of 10
Wow, good luck with the Type II. Hopefully exercise and diet works.

One thing I just remembered. Since you said that he likes juice, have him try Old Orchard's Sugar Free. A portion of the proceeds is donated to the JDRF and it's extremely low in carbs.

Check out www.diabetes.org for more information. That should answer a lot of your questions like carb intake per day, etc. Actually it'll probably be per meal since that's when the blood glucose levels are effected the most.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lunasmom View Post
Wow, good luck with the Type II. Hopefully exercise and diet works.

One thing I just remembered. Since you said that he likes juice, have him try Old Orchard's Sugar Free. A portion of the proceeds is donated to the JDRF and it's extremely low in carbs.

Check out www.diabetes.org for more information. That should answer a lot of your questions like carb intake per day, etc. Actually it'll probably be per meal since that's when the blood glucose levels are effected the most.
We're hoping that we've caught it early enough to make a difference.

I'll look for that jucie, thanks. He's also bought a few packages of Crystal Light.
post #8 of 10
My good friend just went on the insulin pump a few weeks back and his wife is a chef. She talks a lot about nutrician for diabetics and has always suggested to get carb counting books to help you out.

Her #1 rule of thumb: avoid potatoes or anything made from them. Avoid white breads and find Sour Dough breads. Go higher on protein and veggies. Serve snacks like olives, nuts, cheeses, etc.
post #9 of 10
lol funny, i would have linked the same stuff lunasmom did.
i also have asian cook books for diabetics. i find that food much better tasting.
post #10 of 10
Leli, I'm sorry -- I've been so busy PMing with you that I hadn't read the rest of this thread! The carb count per meal and per day is really something individual, depending on your boyfriend's weight, his level of activity, and how far out of control his glucose levels are.

But for myself, I'm trying to stick to less than 45 grams of carbs per meal and less than 15 grams per snack (three meals and two snacks per day). But I'm on medication -- Glyburide -- and I'm twice your boyfriend's age. So that may not be relevant for him at all.

As lunasmom said, the portions on diabetic recipes are usually very small... but unfortunately, that's part of the diet. It doesn't do any good to make a recipe that has half the carbs of the regular version if you then eat twice as much of it! It's a darn shame, but getting used to eating less is probably the single most important part of dealing with diabetes.

And I should admit... all this stuff I'm telling you with such an air of authority? Well... I don't always do that great a job of abiding by it myself.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Diabetes Friendly Recipes???