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Old 12-04-2013, 04:41 PM   #1
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advice for new diabetic?

Hi everyone, I was wondering if someone could help me with getting started on my new eating plan. Just went to the doctor with a diagnosis of diabetes.

I am confused. I try to educate myself about basic nutrition. I was told by the hospital dietitian to eat a diet high in complex carbs. Other sources say this isn't good and to go on the paleo diet. Then I hear others say the paleo diet has too much sugar. Then I hear others say stop eating sugar altogether and cut out nearly all carbs. I tried the Atkins diet years ago and going on such a restricted diet nearly made me pass out a couple of times.

I've browsed a couple of diabetes magazines and many of the recipes there look suspiciously high in both carbs and sugar.

So - what is the answer. Low carb, no carb, low sugar, no sugar... please help... thanks.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome. It's pretty overwhelming in the beginning but there are several good books out there that will help you understand diabetes and give you some guide lines to follow. My favorites are:

1. Dr. Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution"
2. Jenny Ruhl's "Blood Sugar 101"
3. Diane Kress's "Diabetes Miracle"

This web site also offers lots of good suggestions as well. After educating yourself you'll have a better idea as to what works well for you. Low carb has worked for me with amazing results. I can't say I follow any one plan but I did start in the beginning by "eating to my meter" (Blood sugar 101). I don't count carbs so to speak but I mainly eat protein (meat) vegies, cheese, eggs, half and half in coffee. I stay away from processed foods but will occasionally have a protein shake or nutrition bar if I'm in a time crunch. My mantra is "if it's white, don't bite". That eliminates flour, sugar, pasta, rice, potatoes, as well as avoiding most starchy veggies.

Of course I've had the occasional cheat but can tell by how my body reacts that I've over done. The benefits out weigh the loss of the above food items. I have more energy, sleep better at night, no more brain fog, no more achy joints, no more severe mood swings, and weight loss too!

Good luck on your journey. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing and welcome!
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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It is a rough position to be in. The supposed authority figures are simply telling you the wrong stuff. How uncomfortable is that? terribly!

I agree totally with the suggestions on Dr Bernstein and Jenny Ruhl. I am not familar with the last one.

The thing to realize about those high carb recommendations is they assume you are weak and unable to control your eating very well. rather than even giving you the choice, they put you in the "low achievers" group with very modest goals. If you want to be a high achiever, or even average, with diabetes, it takes more than that!

they want you to keep your carbs level so they can medicate you for that level without so much danger of you getting dangerously low blood sugars. but if you are taking only Metformin or no drugs, it is ENTIRELY unnecessary and actually quite harmful.

personally, I find Atkins the best. I have to keep my carbs very low all the time or suffer for it. Jenny suggests a higher but still low level, I believe 40-50 grams for most. I haven't read it in awhile though!

no sugar is best of course. and other carbs turn to glucose, so they all count too.

my advice is, ignore the mags and all and shoot for diabetic excellence. It's HARD though. very hard. you have to cook almost everything and learn all over again what's what with food. bear in mind that ANY mouthful of carbs you eat counts. it's not black and white, being "good" or "bad." always strive to do the best you can, and if you make a mistake, stop right there and pick up doing the best you can again, with that very mouthful!

good luck.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
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I agree with all of the above advice. You will get conflicting information about how to eat as a person with diabetes and only you can decide what is best for you. I’m assuming you were diagnosed with type 2. The earlier it is discovered the better.

I’m a complete believer in Dr. Bernstein’s method of treating and controlling diabetes. By following the directions he has laid out in “The Diabetes Solution” I now have completely normal blood glucose numbers, to say nothing of losing over 60 pounds. But I know if I deviate one little bit my numbers and weight will go up. I hate to even think where I would be today if I hadn’t found his book.

In the beginning I tested like a mad man seeing how I reacted to what I ate. I found I could eat, in small portions, strawberries and blackberries but I couldn’t eat, in any portion apples, oranges, cherries and so on. Everyone is different and depending on what level of control you wish to attain you should be able to craft a low carb way of eating that will work for you.

Use this board for questions, support and sharing your experiences. I can’t put into words how much I have gained from this board. From my own personal experience there are many people here who made me feel that I was doing the right thing and now after almost three years I try to give back a little of what I have gotten.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:00 AM   #5
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Lion Heart,
Unfortunately, the *experts* on diabetes are not. The diet they recommend is still too high in carbs and the combine that with low fat and then expect the person to go low calorie as well. Can we say *designed for failure*?

I recommend Dr. Bernstein's "Diabetes Solution". He has been treating diabetics for over 40 years and is one himself. Many people find his diet restrictive, but the reality is that he's aiming for the kind of control that keeps the diabetes from advancing...and it will. The diabetes *experts* expect that a diabetic will progress from oral meds to insulin and increasing doses as the years go on...which is to be expected when you look at the ADA diet of 140gm of carbs they allow and many being happy with an A1c of 7 for diabetics.

Bernstein is responsible for me taking my A1c from 13.5 to 4.9 and reversing my insulin resistance...which I couldn't do on Atkins.

When people tell me they can't eat like this for life, it puzzles me since people with celiac live their life without wheat because the alternative is death. The same is true of diabetics. It just takes longer for the consequences to make themselves evident.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:00 AM   #6
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thanks

Thanks everyone for your advice. I got a book set from Amazon by a Diane Sanfilippo, (hope I spelled that right). I am overwhelmed by too much information. I didn't want a book of rocket science on the human body and nutrition, just something telling me basics in plain english. Can you tell me which of the books you guys have recommended is the easiest to digest? I notice several of you like Dr. Bernstein.

Thanks so much! It's nice to know I'm not alone in this.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:41 AM   #7
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For me it has to Dr. Bernstein's book. Since he covers all aspects of diabetes, type 1 and 2, there are chapters you can skip. It is overwhelming but the more knowledge you have the better you will be able to take control. He spells out how many carbs you should have a day and from what sources are best.

Just be aware he is pretty black and white. He tells you what has worked for him and his patients and what has caused failure. In one of his podcast, which he has monthly, someone asked a question about how many cheats he could have. His answer: None. Why would you cheat on your diet when all is will do is hurt you.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:27 AM   #8
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Thank you, I will look into that book then. I am hoping that the food in it will sound good. My carbs are comfort food and giving them up will be hard.
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:40 PM   #9
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If you want to start a bit simpler, you might also take a look at The Diabetes Diet by Dr. Richard Bernstein (same guy). It tells you what to do eating-wise without a lot of the more complicated information found in Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution. Really, I recommend you get both books. Unfortunately you have a complicated disease, made more complicated by the medical community's desire to have you manage the disease in a way that is NOT in the best interest of your long-term health. Regarding Diane Sanfilippo, well she is a paleo person, and I have some of her books myself, I don't know that she is your best place to start.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Thanks Mistizoom. I will look up Dr. Bernstein's books. Thankfully I know not to just do what the doctor says. They want you to stay alive and stay sick. If you die, or actually heal, they'll stop making money off you. I know their game. I try to educate myself.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:01 PM   #11
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Lion Heart, Welcome!

However, I am sorry you needed to join us!

I was diagnosed in August. I went on a reading frenzy. I must have read 10,000 books. To the point I was dazed and confused.

I have 4 books that I call my health bibles.

Dr. Bernstein's Diabetic Solution
Wheat Belly (Wheat belly cookbook is a much easier read, then read Wheat belly, imho)
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It

These first 3 books will show you exactly why YOU must take control of your diet and health and WHY you will be much healthier following a way of eating that works for you and not some general guidelines that are archaic at best and dangerous at worst.

My 4th healthy bible is:
Sugar Nation. This book gives a good overview of the mindset of both the ADA and the AMA.

I strictly follow Dr Bernstein's program. However I don't eat quite as many carbs as he suggests. Just because of my eating habits, it works out that way.

I am happy to report that my first after diagnosis tests were outstanding! I am really proud of the fact I took ownership and am a tiger on self-patrol.

I had to purchase additional testing strips because insurance will pay for 1 strip a day and I use as many as necessary. For 2-3 weeks I tested like a mad dog. Now I try to only eat foods that don't cause spikes. If I eat anything new I test before eating and at 1, 2 and 3 hours afterwards.

Good luck!
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:22 AM   #12
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Thanks so much Helenback. This is indeed navigating a whole new world for me. I will add these to my new book collection.

I have to say giving up white bread and similar foods has made me feel better already. Giving up sugar altogether is going to be hard for me though. I'm realizing how many foods have sugar as an additive.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lion Heart View Post
Thanks so much Helenback. This is indeed navigating a whole new world for me. I will add these to my new book collection.

I have to say giving up white bread and similar foods has made me feel better already. Giving up sugar altogether is going to be hard for me though. I'm realizing how many foods have sugar as an additive.
I believe sugar is an addiction, just like carbs or alcohol etc. I was never a big sugar eater, was a mega-starch eater though. Until about 2 years before I was diagnosed with diabetes, that 2 years I was on a sugar frenzy. (I look back and believe that sugar craving 2 years was probably when I slipped from hypoglycemia to hyper.)

Read the book Sugar Nation by J. O'Connell. It is an eye opener.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:14 PM   #14
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I have found that many of those putting out the diabetes recommendations have a vested interest in keeping their followers on medications, in the Dr's office and occasionally in hospital.

Dr Bernstein's book is very interesting because he is a type 1 diabetic who went to medical school at the age of 45 to try to get the diabetes industry to listen to him. Didn't work.

I followed guidelines for 5 yrs slowly getting worse and worse. On Nov 21 2013 with no insurance I had a b/g reading of 512. I decided to try lc until I was insured Jan. 1st. My average b/g reading for the past 30 days is 125. Some of my old 300 + readings are still in that data so I'm sure it'll continue to drop with time.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:02 AM   #15
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Helenback, or anyone else, I am trying to find sources for condiments such as ketchup and BBQ sauce that don't have sugar added. If there is such a thing. Or, other condiments to substitute. I just received the book Sugar Nation in the mail, will be reading.

Curious cat, yes it's sickening what a vested interest the AMA has in keeping us dependent on them. Their minds for the most part are closed to information that would lead to real cure. They just aren't taught to think that way in medical school. And most of them are there for the money not to see people truly get well, otherwise they would look past the boundaries of the system, educate themselves, and help their patients help themselves. Dr. Bernstein is an exception. I've learned not to listen to much of anything the doctor says, other than what my lab work results are. I take it from there to figure out how to deal with them.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion Heart View Post
Helenback, or anyone else, I am trying to find sources for condiments such as ketchup and BBQ sauce that don't have sugar added. If there is such a thing. Or, other condiments to substitute. I just received the book Sugar Nation in the mail, will be reading.
Heinz "reduced sugar" ketchup is excellent, and I can find it at local grocery stores. Netrition carries it as well. It doesn't have any added sugar, only what is found in the tomaotes. For BBQ sauce I have tried a number of brands that have no added sugar and liked pretty much all of them. My favorite is one that is discontinued, but I also like Guy's BBQ sauces (sold by Netrition), and I even think this is one product that Walden Farms brand tastes fine. I have a couple other brands in my cabinet unopened as we don't go through a ton of it. Search "BBQ sauce" on Netrition and you'll find several brands. There are a few other brands on Amazon too.

Of course there is always the Low Carb Recipe forum, you can find recipes for both items in there as well.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:26 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Lion Heart View Post
Helenback, or anyone else, I am trying to find sources for condiments such as ketchup and BBQ sauce that don't have sugar added. If there is such a thing. Or, other condiments to substitute. I just received the book Sugar Nation in the mail, will be reading.

Curious cat, yes it's sickening what a vested interest the AMA has in keeping us dependent on them. Their minds for the most part are closed to information that would lead to real cure. They just aren't taught to think that way in medical school. And most of them are there for the money not to see people truly get well, otherwise they would look past the boundaries of the system, educate themselves, and help their patients help themselves. Dr. Bernstein is an exception. I've learned not to listen to much of anything the doctor says, other than what my lab work results are. I take it from there to figure out how to deal with them.


Lion Heart, I don't eat Ketchup any longer (it got to sweet for me a couple of years ago), so I can't help you with that.

As for BBQ sauce, any of the Vinegar based BBQ sauces that don't have corn syrup in them should be okay.

I live in TX and there is a local restaurant that has a vinegar based sauce, it actually has a bit of sugar in it (but NO HFCS) and it causes no spikes in my sugars. Because it is vinegar based it lasts up to a year in the fridge, so I just buy a quart .. keep it until it runs out and then buy another quart. We eat a LOT of ribs and brisket at home, most of the time I use no sauce, but I want it here when I want it! lol

I make a home made honey mustard dressing (that has NO honey in it, lol) I use it for a dipping sauce, dressings and condiment.

I can't give exact measurements, because I am a "to taste" kind of cook, rarely do I use exact measurements.... but basically it is

2 TBSP mayo
2 or 3 tsp french's yellow mustard
a pinch or so of splenda
a pinch or so of cayenne pepper

Adjust any of these ingredients to taste. There is a local restaurant that has my favorite honey mustard dressing and their cook told me this secret for making it when you are low-carbing. Love love love this.

I think you will learn a lot from and enjoy Sugar Nation, it really helps the reader to know what is going on with AMA/ADA and that we have to take hold of our Diabetes journey or those people will kill us if we don't!

Last edited by helenback; 01-05-2014 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:51 AM   #18
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Do a net search for Linda's Low Carb Recipes and look up her Even Better Than "Heinz" Ketchup recipe. You can make it. Read her notes. Check out all the recipes on her site.
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