Healthy Eating For People With Diabetes

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

What is Type 2 diabetes

(Information from The Garvan Institute, Australia).
As an Australian Dietitian I do receive information and news regarding research in differents areas and I am sharing some with you, so you, as a pre diabetic or newly diagnosed type2, can understand better this "Dis_ Ease" as I do call diabetes type 2.

Type 2 diabetic is considered a ‘modern lifestyle’ disease, often associated with inactivity and obesity. Commonly referred to as ‘mature onset’, it is usually diagnosed in people over 45 years of age, but is increasingly being noted in younger people. As the obesity epidemic hits the Western world, the cases of teenagers developing type 2 diabetes are becoming alarmingly frequent.

In 2003, the countries with most people with diabetes were: India (35.5 million), China (23.8 million), the United States (16 million), Russia (9.7 million) and Japan (6.7 million).

There are approximately half a million people with diagnosed diabetes in Australia and many more who are undiagnosed. In the last 20 years, the number of Australians diagnosed with diabetes has trebled and 275 people develop diabetes every day.

At least three quarters of the estimated 150 million diabetics world-wide are type 2 and the World Health Organisation expects numbers to double to over 300 million by 2025.

What are the causes and symptoms?

Type 2 diabetes occurs because some people cannot respond normally to the insulin they make (unlike type 1 diabetes which is characterised by the body not producing enough insulin). This results in high concentrations of glucose in the blood, which can damage many of the body’s systems, especially blood vessels and nerves.

Insulin is an important hormone made in the human pancreas – a small organ that sits close to the intestine. Insulin regulates the body’s use of glucose (sugar), which is one of our major energy sources. Insulin is particularly important after we eat a meal when glucose enters the blood stream from the intestine. The elevation in blood glucose at this time triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin then travels through the blood and assists the transfer of glucose from blood into cells so it can be used for energy.

There is now evidence of an underlying genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes, with some genes consistently associated with an increased risk of developing the condition. The inability of the body to utilise glucose (insulin resistance) is strongly correlated with waist measurements and abdominal fat levels. Garvan Research shows that fat directly around organs in the stomach, rather than fat under the skin, is a major risk factor. If left untreated, diabetes can cause serious long-term complications including kidney disease retina damage, cardiovascular disease and nerve damage, often resulting in amputation.

You are in a high-risk category of developing type 2 diabetes if you fit any of the following criteria:

* Over 45 years of age, overweight and/or have a high blood pressure
* Over 45 years of age and have a family member with diabetes
* Have heart disease or have suffered a heart attack
* Have/had high blood glucose levels or have impaired glucose tolerance
* Have/had gestational diabetes
* Are overweight (i.e. have a Body Mass Index higher than 25)

Type 2 diabetes develops gradually, so sometimes symptoms often go unnoticed. These may include frequent urination, thirst, blurred vision, skin infections, slow healing, tingling and numbness in the feet. Sometimes no symptoms are noticed at all or the individual assumes that they are part of the normal ageing process. Either a Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) or Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) ordered by a doctor, are used to make a diagnosis.

What treatments are available?

Through research we now know that there are many genes involved in the development of type 2 diabetes and they may trigger the disease ONLY IF THERE IS A STRONG ENVIROMENTAL INFLUENCE.

At the present time, researchers are conducting a series of DNA studies on human abdominal fat samples to find the key genes involved in the body’s inability to process glucose (insulin resistance). There are proteins in our cells that receive and transmit messages to and from other cells, scientists isolated & showed that one of these proteins PKC (= Protein kinase C ) is a key player in regulating removal of glucose from the blood. When PKC is blocked, the body is protected against the development of a prediabetic condition, despite fat consumption and low levels of physical activity.

Now is me, the dietitian:

Healthy eating will help to control blood glucose level, blood fat level (cholesterol and triglycerides), blood pressure and body weight. Diabetes is a lifelong condition that need a lifestyle change. Good eating habits and increasing exercise level long term is essential.

The Overall Dietary Principles For Diabetes Include:
1. Having regular meals and snacks over the day. 3 meals and 3 small snacks is ideal.
2. Selecting a variety of foods from different food groups. These would include cereals, fruit and vegetable, low fat dairy products and lean meat fish or chicken.
3. Avoiding saturated fats found in animal foods like full cream milk, meat, butter and cheese as well as palm oil and coconut products.
4. Taking moderate amounts of unsaturated fats like olive, sunflower oil, mono or polyunsaturated margarines, oily fish, avocado and seeds and nuts.
5. Prefer carbohydrate foods that contain lots of dietary fibre and are the type that result in a slow and gradual rise in blood glucose levels. These are said to have a low glycemic index. Great selections include wholegrain breads, high fibre breakfast cereals, pasta and noodles, basmati rice, legumes such as baked beans, vegetables and low fat milk and yogurt.
6. Being aware that some sugar can be included in a healthy eating plan as part of a high fibre food (eg on cereal). It is not recommended that sweets, lollies and standard soft drinks as well as high fat baked food with added sugar be eaten regularly.
7. Selecting low salt commercial products and not adding salt at the table.
8. Alcohol only in moderation. If you have to, try to keep to 2 standard drinks per day for women and 4 for men and have at least 2 alcohol free days a week.

This message was edited Dec 16, 2009 9:17 PM

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Amazing. My doctor things women should only have one alcoholic drink per day, with or without diabetes. I am pre-diabetic and have pretty much given up alcohol except for special occasions -- at my doctor's urging.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

pajaritomt, if your doctor say so then it is like that.

In my experience it depends on your Dr. your health (liver, kydney function etc) and the cultural practices of the country where you live. In France is almost praying in the desert a ban in red wine, in Australia where I worked we, the medical team, were happy to achieve that level as a goal.

Another point, in Australia the education for patient needing any type of change in any aspect of any disease is alway practical and not theoretical.
See this link:

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

A "diabetes diet" is mostly a myth. Nutritional management of diabetes involves dietary changes that balance moderation, carbohydrate control, and healthy eating choices.

If you need to take weight off, the changes will be both calorie and carbohydrate control and should be combined with an appropriate exercise plan

So, the best diet for a person with diabetes is really the same kind of healthy eating that is best for everyone. It will consist of whole foods that are high in fiber and nutrient-dense that is all plant foods, most dairy products, lean meat and poultry, and fish. Highly processed foods, which are often full of refined flour and sugar (empty calories), to be kept to a minimum.

The diagnosis of diabetes is a great opportunity to a positive change in diet and lifestyle.

Food is important in both types of Diabetes, but the rationale is different.

Type 1 diabetes base their insulin dosage in part on what they eat.
Type 2 diabetes often use their dietary choices as a way or the primary goal of controlling their blood glucose levels.

I will focus this general guidelines for Type 2 Diabetes

Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) is adjusting dietary intake to minimize dramatic highs and lows in blood glucose and keep levels within a safe target range. Carbohydrate counting if a useful tool for keeping diabetes under control.

Following your dietary change, your weight and body masswill decrease, so does your body's insulin resistance, and any medication regimen should be constantly re-evaluated by your diabetes care team, to ensure blood glucose levels stay within a safe range.

Other consideration: Medical complications of diabetes such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or kidney disease may require some dietary adjustments (i.e., sodium, fat or protein restriction).

Your total calories depend on your age, activity and body weight. A young person, growing ( in height) and active may require 4000 plus calories.
A mature active individual around 2000 ….

The percentage of the total calories in a Diabetic eating plan, will consider a breakdown as:

60% of total calorie from Carbohydrates
30% from fat mostly polyunsaturated or monounsaturated
20% from Protein food

Low carbohydrate diet, that is more than 40% are difficult to follow and may induce the formation of ketone bodies that may lead to unwanted ketosis

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)


Carbohydrates are one of the main dietary components of foods and includes fruit sugars, starches, and fiber.
Carbohydrate choices should come from whole-grain breads or cereals, pasta, brown rice, beans and legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Increasing dietary fiber. There are starchy carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates, and they should be eaten in a balance way everyday, they differ in calorie content, and have different effects in weight and blood glucose control.

One serving (exchange) = 15 grams of carbohydrate,.


Bread: pumpernickel, rye, unfrosted raisin, white, whole-grain 1 slice (1 ounce)
Bread, reduced-calorie 2 slices (1 1/2 ounces)
Chapati, small (6 inches across)
1 English muffin
1/2 Hamburger bun
1/2 (1 ounce) Hot dog bun
1/2 (1 ounce)
Pancake (4 inches across, 1/4-inch thick)
1 Pita (6 inches across) 1/2
Tortilla, flour or corn (6 inches across) 1

Cereals and grains

Barley, cooked 1/3 cup
Bulgur wheat, cooked 1/2 cup
Cereal: bran, oats, spoon-size shredded wheat, sweetened 1/2 cup
Cereal, puffed, unfrosted 1 1/2 cups
Cereal, unsweetened, ready-to-eat 3/4 cup
Couscous 1/3 cup
Granola, low-fat or regular 1/4 cup
Pasta, cooked 1/3 cup
Quinoa, cooked 1/3 cup
Rice, cooked: white, brown 1/3 cup
Tabbouleh, prepared 1/2 cup
Wheat germ, dry 3 tablespoons
Wild rice, cooked 1/2 cup

Crackers and snacks

Animal crackers 8
Graham crackers (2 1/2-inch squares) 3
Matzo 3/4 ounce
Melba toast 4 pieces
Oyster crackers 20
Popcorn, low-fat microwave or popped with no added fat 3 cups
Pretzels 3/4 ounce
Rice cakes (4 inches across)
2 Saltine crackers
6 Snack chips, fat-free or baked: tortilla, potato 15 to 20 (3/4 ounce)

Starchy Vegetables

Baked potato with skin 1/4 large (3 ounces)
Mashed potato 1/2 cup
Baked beans, or pinto, lima, kidney, white, split,and garbanzo ½ cup
Beets ¾ cup
Carrots cooked ¾ cup
Corn 1/2 cup
Corn on the cob, large 1/2 cob (5 ounces)
Mixed vegetables with corn, peas or pasta 1 cup
Parsnips 1/2 cup
Peas, green, black eyed, or purple hull ½ cup
Pumpkin, canned 1 cup
Plantain, ripe 1/3 cup
Spaghetti/pasta sauce 1/2 cup
Winter Squashes (particularly acorn, butternut and pumpkin) 1 cup
Yam or sweet potato, plain 1/2 cup (4 ounces)

Beans, peas and lentils also are considered starches, but they count as one starch exchange and one lean meat exchange.

Baked beans 1/3 cup 1 starch plus 1 lean meat
Beans, cooked:
black, garbanzo, kidney, lima, 1/2 cup 1 starch plus 1 lean meat
navy, pinto, white 1/2 cup 1 starch plus 1 lean meat
Lentils, cooked: brown, green, yellow 1/2 cup 1 starch plus 1 lean meat
Peas, cooked: black-eyed, split, green 1/2 cup 1 starch plus 1 lean meat
Refried beans, canned 1/2 cup 1 starch plus 1 lean meat

Non Starchy Vegetables

Nonstarchy vegetables contain small amounts of carbohydrate and calories, they have vitamins, fiber, antioxidant and many phytochemical , all good for health.

If you count carbohydrates you can use as Exchanges. One serving (exchange) of a nonstarchy vegetable usually contains 5 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of protein, no fat and only 25 calories. For the vegetables listed below, one exchange equals 1/2 cup cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, or 1 cup raw vegetables.

If you eat 1 1/2 cups or more of cooked vegetables or 3 cups or more of raw vegetables in a meal, count them as one carbohydrate exchange.

Artichoke hearts
Baby corn
Bamboo shoots
Beans: green, Italian, wax
Bean sprouts
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage: bok choy, Chinese, green
Celery Root (Celeriac)
Green onions or scallions
Greens: collard, kale, mustard, turnip
Mixed vegetables without corn, peas or pasta
Mung bean sprouts
Oriental radish or daikon
Pea pods
Peppers, all varieties
Soybean sprouts
Spaghetti Squash
Sugar snap peas
Summer squash
Swiss chard
Tomato: raw, canned, sauce, juice
Vegetable juice cocktail
Water chestnuts

Wonder about salad greens?
They're actually considered a free food. You can enjoy salad greens . in any moderate amount as often as you'd like
Greens – lettuces any type,chard, etc.
Radicchio and endive count as greens
Herbs - parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
Bok Choy
Sea Vegetables (Nori, etc)

This message was edited Aug 20, 2009 10:11 PM

Los Alamos, NM(Zone 5a)

Thanks for that very handy list! I am glad to see so many veggies I love on the free list and quantities for the grains -- I never knew what an exchange was.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

pajaritosmt, I tried to put as many vegetables I could / remember. I'll try later to cover a bit the Glycemic index so people have a broader view and unerstanding. I have to cover protein and fat as well, so give me time

If there are more friends following the thread that have the diabetes 2 or are bordeline ask question if you have any.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Fruit Exchanges
One serving (exchange) of fruit contains 15 grams of carbohydrate, no protein or fat, and around 60 calories.

Fresh Fruit

Apple, small (2 inches across) 1 (4 ounces)
Apricots 4 (5 1/2 ounces)
Banana, extra-small 1 (4 ounces)
Blackberries, blueberries 3/4 cup
Cantaloupe, honeydew, papaya, cubed 1 cup (11 ounces)
Cherries 12 (3 ounces)
Dates 3
Figs, medium 2 (3 1/2 ounces)
Grapefruit, large 1/2 (11 ounces)
Grapes, small 17 (3 ounces)
Kiwi 1 (3 1/2 ounces)
Mango, cubed 1/2 cup
Nectarine, small 1 (5 ounces)
Orange, small 1 (6 1/2 ounces)
Peach, medium 1 (6 ounces)
Pear, large 1/2 (4 ounces)
Pineapple, cubed 3/4 cup
Plums, small 2 (5 ounces)
Raspberries 1 cup
Rockmelon (cantaloup) peel raw 1/2 whole
Strawberries 1 1/4 cup
Tangerines, small 2 (8 ounces)
Watermelon, cubed 1 1/4 cup (13 1/2 ounces)

Dried fruit

Apples 4 rings
Apricots 8 halves
Blueberries, cherries, cranberries, mixed fruit 2 tablespoons
Figs 1 1/2
Prunes 3
Raisins 2 tablespoons

Canned fruit, unsweetened

Applesauce, apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums 1/2 cup
Grapefruit, mandarin oranges 3/4 cup
Fruit juice, unsweetened
Juice: apple, grapefruit, orange, pineapple 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces)
Juice: fruit juice blends of 100 percent juice, grape, prune 1/3 cup (2.7 fluid ounces)

Phoenix, AZ

Cristina, this is a very interesting and helpful thread. I am, however, bewildered by "exchanges". Exchanges with what? If this is a method that simplifies meal planning, I'm all for it. At the moment it seems less confusing to just count the carbohydrates, protein and fat in the meal, using recipes and lists of various foods in a couple of books I've gotten. To add to all the confusion, I read in different sources not to exceed 40 carbs per meal; in others, 50 and now 60. I do completely understand the need to take in complex vs simple carbohydrates. We stick to whole grain and/or sprouted grain breads - with an occasional lapse (mostly on my part) for sourdough. Pasta is another mystery with some advising against it and other sources saying OK, just small amounts.

And speaking of amounts, who is going to eat some of these foods in the tiny amounts suggested? I just picked up a cookbook put out by some people at the Univ. of Chicago studying diabetes and diet/exercise. A quick scan reveals recipes for 6 or 8 servings - and the servings are 1 - 1 1/3 cups! AND the carb count is often way above 40 for those small amounts. Is a 6'1" man weighing 215 supposed to suddenly eat like a hummingbird? Granted, the aim is to lose 25 - 30 of those pounds but how severe should a change in eating habits be?

I am coming around to the reality that there is no "diabetes diet" - and right now it seems life would be much simpler if there were! Thanks so much for all the information. I'm trying to process this whole thing and I think my brain is going to go on strike.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

tomatofreak this is very complex subject to understand it but you have to come to term with it.
I'll try to explain but there is not miracle wand. We have to work very hard at it.
I'll see how I go: we all eat food to live and provide nutrition to our body.
Food contains nutrients that will give us energy and build / repair tissue also food contains many other essential minerals and vitamins essential for good health and to complicate this more, food gives us non nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties and these are the phytochemical and antioxidants

While we are young and around our healthy weight range all our body system function more or less well. We have to modify our eating when we're confronting with some health dis-ease and most of the health problem we have to face in our mature age are consequences of over eating or reduce energy expenditure that result in extra body weight. This extra weight, obesity, overtaxed our system and we have to make a conscientious change not only in food intake but also in lifestyle: more energy expenditure.

Once 1 slice of bread is digested it will be transformed and absorved into the blood as 15 gr. of pure glucose, our blood will send a message to the pancreas to release insulin and the insulin will react with the glucose in the blood and will transform it into energy, that is the mechanism, unfortunately we have been doing this on and on and on and we didn't use this energy with the work or exercise we did so we became big and fat and our poor pancreas is finding it very difficult to produce so much insulin to cover all the extra body mass. Also the extra fat have produced resistance for the cell to accept the insulin or permit the insulin to enter the cells to burn the glucose that the blood has carried into the cell, the cell is not receiving the energy it needs for good body function and our blood glucose start rising to abnormal levels. The only way to help is to modify our food intake

I do not know your age,and medical history, but if you are a diabetic you’ll have to loose weight if you don’t you will have to have insulin injection and that is, in my opinion not a very good outcome.

So let’s try very hard to decrease the body mass.

You need to have 1000 to 2000 calories to reduce some weight.
Usually a man may reduce weight with a 2000 calories food intake Female will do better with 1500 or less …

You still have to eat and loose weight. To give you an idea see these examples:

A Big Mac (w/super size fries) contains 1230 calories (more than 1/2 of your daily calories allowances)

Steak Calorie Count
Rule of thumb calculation for steak calories is roughly 170 calories per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Calorie count of steak is based on a 3.5 ounce serving or 100 grams. Calories are approximate and can alter with fat marbling of the meat.
Please remember that a good size steak is usually around 450 grams, so if you have a big steak, multiply the calories consumed accordingly.

Fillet Steak (grilled) 210 calories ----------------------915 cals.
T-Bone Steak 182 Calories
Sirloin Steak lean 166 Calories
Rump Steak with fat (grilled) 220 Calories
Rump Steak with fat (fried) 250 Calories--------------1125 cals.
Rump Steak lean only (grilled) 170 Calories

To avoid eating all your calories in one meal / snack and give you a wide choice and variety of food you have to start changing portion

You exchange portion of carbohydrates for other carbohydrates.
Proteins for proteins and fat for fats

1 slice of bread is 15 gr of carbohydrates or sugar so is a 1/2 cup of Cereal: bran, oats, spoon-size shredded wheat, sweetened or a 3/4 cup ofCereal, unsweetened, ready-to-eat

Your dietitian may tell you you will have a 2000 cals diet with
3 - 1 - 3 – 1 - 3 - 1 portion of carbo

That read
3 portions exchanges for breakfast
I portion for mid morning snack
3 portion for lunch
1 for mid afternoon snack
3 portion per dinner ( perhaps is called supper in USA)
I portion for late supper (English supper is a snak before bed)

By you knowing your portion you will know what to eat. You can eat pasta. Pasta is a good high carbo food, it releases its sugar over a longer period of time that’s why it is recommended for athletes but for us, we must have a smaller serving, see? Your main meal will have 3 portion of carbo so you will be able to have a meat serve not huge, just the size of a palm( no fingers) and not your palm if your hand is very big, say your wife size palm, 1 ½ cup of pasta ( all your carbo. allowances for that meal) and a huge free salad and that it is.

Or you have l meat + 3 serves of low carbo veggies, 1 or 2 serves of starchy veggies and a portion of carbo for a fruit. Both will give you 3 carbo exchanges but you may have a bigger plate withthe second choice

To be practical, many times I did allow more of the low starchy vegetables and treat them as free vvegetables, they have a great percentage of fiber so not all carbo is absorved and it fill up the tummy of a big man, providing that the starchy vegies are not been overconsume ..... Some Dr and dietitians are very strict and a bit disciplinarian and in my opinion not very effective because the patient will be force to cheat but you have to find a way to change your food habit over time.And you have to be consistent.

Remember also, we know that everyybody can loose weight, we llearned that in extreme situations : in concentration camp or when people is not eating, everybody get emanciated. I'm not saying we need to do that, what I'm saying is if we don't reduce weight we are not following well the recommendation

See how important is to know the exchanges portions

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Here we have a little beauty from Australia! where health care is cover universally for everyone from medicare.

Pictorial pdf document of CHO portion and how the serve looks like.

People with diabetes on certain types of tablets or insulin may require one snack between each meal and for supper. However, most people aiming to control their body weight may not need a snack between every meal.


This message was edited Aug 22, 2009 8:44 PM

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Cristina, thank you for all of the great information!!!

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Melissa_Ohio, thanks so much, if you have any question tell me and I'll try my best to answer.

I was going to tackle a bit about Glycemic Index but I haven't because I thought there wasn't too much interest and I did not want to impose on my friends in the garden.

See you soon

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

No, definitely do.

I know that I can feel really bad if I eat high carb foods mid day. I know that has to do with the glycemic index, but I'm not sure how. I can eat the same food in the morning meal. Say, 2 scrambled eggs and a slice of wheat toast, and not have it affect me, but if I eat it for lunch, I don't function well an hour later.

If I eat no high carb foods at lunch, just a salad, or a lean meat, I'm fine.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

what kind of diabetes do you have or is it hypoglycemia?

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

I have type 2 diabetes.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

are you with any medication?

Southwestern, OH(Zone 6b)

Yes, I take 1000Mg of Metformin and 10 mg of Byetta daily.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

I did send a couple of Dmail to Melissa_Ohio because it was a suggestion made only for her case and covering her medication.

That is why the answer to her question were not posted here.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Milk and yogurt exchange list

Milk and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium and protein. One serving (exchange) of milk or yogurt usually contains 12 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein. Check the product label to see how much fat and how many calories each product contains.

• Fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt products. One serving contains 0 to 3 grams of fat and 100 calories.
• Reduced-fat milk and yogurt products. One serving contains 5 grams of fat and 120 calories.
• Whole milk and yogurt products. One serving contains 8 grams of fat and 160 calories.

Various types of milk and yogurt may count as slightly different milk and carbohydrate exchanges.

Ask me if you need more extended information

There is also an Exchange list for Sweets, desserts and other carbohydrates

Your diabetes diet can include sweets and desserts. But you have to remember the ground rules:
• Eat sweets and desserts as part of your meal. Your body can't tell the difference between sugars and starches when you eat them as part of a mixed meal with protein, fats and other nutrients. When you eat sweets and desserts as part of your meal, your blood sugar won't rise as rapidly if you accommodate them to your portion control.
• Don't overdo it. Sweets and desserts often lack the vitamins and minerals found in fruits, milk products and other carbohydrates.
• Eat sugar-free or low-carb candy with caution. The sweetening agents in sugar-free or low-carb candy still contain calories and must be counted in your daily totals. These foods may be high in fat, too.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)


A healthy meal plan contains foods high in dietary fibre. There are two types of fibre – soluble and insoluble.

Eating soluble fibre helps to lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Insoluble fibre is good for a healthy digestive system. Eat a variety of plant foods to get plenty of insoluble and soluble fibre. You should aim to eat at least 30 grams of fibre each day. Many of the low GI foods listed on the previous page are also good sources of fibre.

Tips to increase your soluble fibre intake
1- Eat legumes at least twice a week – add some kidney beans, 3 bean mix or lentils to your soup, casserole or pasta sauce or make a bean salad
2- Add extra vegetables to dishes
3- Leave the skin on fruits
4- Add some oat bran or psyllium husks to your breakfast cereal
5- Add oat bran to homemade bread or muffins.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Tomatofreak, in answer to your question about daily calorie intake, Dr. Oz has a formula for determining your daily calories:

200 + 8 x your weight

So if you weigh 215, your formula would be 200 + (8 x 215) = 1920

As your weight decreases, your caloric intake should decrease. If you try to reduce your caloric intake too drastically, your body goes into starvation mode and actually stores fat instead of burning it.

As far as eating like a bird, really, you can consume quite a bit of low-carb, low sugar foods for 1920 calories, and you can be full. When you start eating frequently (5 or 6 mini-meals daily), your stomach shrinks so you fill up faster. When you eat lots of fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, grains, and other nutritious foods, you will fill up and your body gets the nutrition it craves, so you stop craving more. One problem for many of us is we are accustomed to high-carb, sugary, salty foods. The more we eat, the more we crave. When we give our bodies what they need, they become satisfied and quit begging for more.

Also, fill your plate with a lot of variety. If you put lots of different foods on your plate, you really only need tiny amounts, especially as your stomach begins to shrink. A meal for me might include: a cup of ginseng tea sweetened with stevia, a serving of walnuts, a couple of broccoli florets, a couple of cauliflower florets, 3 or 4 baby carrots, 3 or 4 grape tomatoes, 3 or 4 cucumber slices, a slice of red bell pepper, a serving of cheese cubes, half of an apple, and a serving of low-carb yogurt. In some cases, I don't even get a whole serving of any one thing, but I get a lot of variety with a lot of nutrition and different flavors. And I'm full and satisfied when I'm done.

Also, make small lifestyle changes, little by little. If you do it gradually, making one or two changes a week, you're more likely to make it a lifestyle change. If you feel deprived or cheated of your favorite thing forever, you're more likely to slip back into bad habits. I've made gradual changes, slowing becoming a "modified vegetarian". MOST of my meals are mostly vegetarian. But two or three meals a week are anything I want. I discussed this "diet" with my doctor, and he thinks it's a great plan. I don't feel deprived of pasta, pizza, or chocolate because I know I CAN have them--in moderation. What's interesting is I don't crave them much anymore. I almost never eat chocolate anymore. I just don't get hungry for it; I crave fruits instead. When I eat pizza, I scrape off all the toppings and eat them with a salad, ignoring the pizza crust. I also don't eat as much as I used to. I eat about 1/3 of what I used to eat. I've lost 40 lbs in the past year.

Be patient with your lifestyle changes. If you mess up one day, start fresh the next day. If you have cravings, try to find a nutritious substitute for it. Over time, your body will begin to crave the right foods. And drink LOTS of water. Our hunger and thirst mechanisms get confused in the brain. And often when we think we're hungry, we're really thirsty.

My doctor also told me to add cinnamon and ginseng to my diet, either in the form of supplements or in my food. He highly recommended the ginseng tea sweetened with Stevia (instead of artificial sweeteners). I add cinnamon to my oatmeal. And I take supplements of both to help regulate my glucose.

I'm looking forward to other tips you guys have. I was only recently (in May) diagnosed with diabetes, but I've been changing my lifestyle for the last few years. So it hasn't been too hard for me to become a "modified" vegetarian. In my opinion, a "diabetic diet" is really just eating healthy, as we all know we should, with portion control and moderation.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

ButterflyChaser, this is great, personal experience is very, very helpful.

Another food that you may add in your plate is Artichoke Jerusalem, it has inulin a type of carbohydrates that is not digested by our system but act at the cellular level by permiting the cell to accept the circulating insulin that your pancreas has produced.

Remember in Diabetes type 2 your body's pancreas cannot make or properly use the insulin. This is called insulin resistance, where the body does not respond properly to the insulin it has released to lower blood glucose.

As a result, the pancreas releases more insulin to try to keep up with the excess glucose. If the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, over time, this leads to type 2 diabetes.

Obesity, aging, and lack of exercise can all play a role in developing insulin resistance.

This message was edited Nov 11, 2009 9:12 PM

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

I have received few mails from members asking about dietary treatment for diabetes 2, also because I received some updates regarding research about diabetes I just edited the start of the thread, to make it more useful and helpful to any of you that may need the information.

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

Thank you so much. This information is so helpful.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

JuneyBug, it's my pleasure.

If you or anybody else have a question, please post it. It may help not only you but many other gardeners,
Remember we are all a big family in this garden.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Diabetes 2 and healthy eating
Diabetes can be better manage through healthy eating, combined with regular physical activity and weight control. No special diets are required.

By following a healthy eating plan based on high fibre carbohydrate foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals, vegetables and fruit. Limit your fat intake, especially saturated fat. Choose foods low in salt and consume only moderate amounts of sugars and food containing added sugars.

Reducing the serving size of your meals can also help you maintain a healthy body weight. It is recommended that you see a dietitian who can work with you to develop a healthy eating plan that is just right for you.

Healthy eating and diabetes

Healthy eating for people with diabetes is no different than for everyone else, healthy eating can help you to:

Maintain general good health
Control blood glucose levels
Achieve normal blood lipid (fat) levels
Maintain a healthy blood pressure
Maintain a healthy body weight
Prevent or slow the development of diabetes complication

Physical activity is important.
Try to be as active as possible. Try to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity most days and make the most of other opportunities to be active.

Basic eating guidelines
Follow this simple healthy eating plan if you have diabetes:
Eat regular meals throughout the day.
Limit the serving size of your meals and snacks, as too much food will lead to an increase in body weight.
Choose a food containing some carbohydrate at each meal. Examples of carbohydrate foods are bread, cereals, pasta, rice, fruit and starchy vegetables.
Do not restrict your carbohydrate intake. Aim for at least 130g per day.
Choose high fibre carbohydrate foods.
Select a variety of healthy foods from the different food groups. Include breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products and lean meat.
Limit saturated fats that are found in foods such as full fat dairy products (including cream, milk, icecream, yoghurt, butter and cheese), meat fat (trim the fat from meat and limit your intake of processed meats), fried foods, cakes, pastries.
Consume small amounts of unsaturated fats like olive, canola or sunflower oil, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated margarines, oily fish, avocado, seeds and nuts.
Eat only occasionally baked items like cakes and biscuits, in small serves, even when they are low in fat.
Avoid lollies and sweet soft drinks.
If you drink alcohol, limit alcohol to two standard drinks per day for men and one standard drink per day for women. Have at least two alcohol-free days per week. Always check with your doctor.

Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for your body. Carbohydrates are digested in the body to form glucose in the blood. The amount of carbohydrate in meals will determine your blood glucose levels. By eating regular meals and spreading carbohydrate foods evenly throughout the day, you can maintain energy levels without causing large rises in blood glucose levels.

If you take insulin or diabetes medication, you may also need to eat snacks between meals. Check with your dietitian for advice and information on how to get the right amount of carbohydrate in your meal plan.

Glycaemic index
Some carbohydrate foods release glucose into the bloodstream more quickly than others. Foods that produce a slower rise in blood glucose levels are described as having a low glycaemic index (GI) and can be helpful in blood glucose management.

Healthy carbohydrate foods that have a low GI include most cereals and breads that are high in fibre, pasta, fruit, legumes and dairy products. Aim to include at least one ‘low GI’ food per meal.

Some low GI foods may be high in fat and energy – for example, icecream and chocolate. Always check the list of ingredients and the energy (calorie or kilojoule) content of packaged foods.

People with diabetes who follow a healthy eating plan can include some sugar in their diet. However, the sugar should be eaten in nutritious foods, such as breakfast cereals or low fat dairy products, rather than in sweets or soft drinks.

Eat less fat – especially saturated fat
All fats are high in energy (kilojoules or calories). Eating too much fat can lead to weight gain, which may make it more difficult to manage your blood glucose levels and can increase blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides). The type of fat you eat is also important. People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing heart disease so try to eat less saturated fat.

Foods high in saturated fat include meat fat, full fat dairy foods, cream, solid cooking fats (such as butter, lard, copha and ghee), oils such as palm and coconut, and products that contain these fats (for example fried foods, some cakes and biscuits and convenience foods).

When you do eat fats, choose mainly:
Polyunsaturated fats and oils – found in polyunsaturated margarines (check the label); sunflower, safflower, soybean, corn, cottonseed, grapeseed and sesame oils; oily fish such as herring, mackerel, sardine, salmon and tuna; nuts and seeds.
Monounsaturated fats and oils – such as olive oil, canola, margarines; avocados, nuts and seeds.

Eat moderate amounts of protein
The body uses protein for growth and repair. Most people only require one to two small serves of meat or other protein foods each day. Most protein foods do not directly affect your blood glucose levels. Protein foods include lean meat, poultry (without the skin), seafood, eggs (not fried), unsalted nuts, soy products such as tofu and legumes (dried beans and lentils). Legumes also contain carbohydrate, so they will impact on your blood glucose levels.

Some sample serves of protein foods that are low in fat include:
Half a cup of peas, beans or lentils
90g to 120g of fish, seafood, lean meat or poultry without the skin
Three daily serves of low fat or skim milk dairy foods such as 250ml of milk, 40g of cheese and 200g of yoghurt.

Sample meal plan
Choose foods that you like and that satisfy you. Include carbohydrate foods in each meal or snack to help manage blood glucose levels. You can eat your main meal at lunch or dinner.

Choose from:

One cup of high fibre breakfast cereal with low fat milk and one piece of fruit; or
Two slices of bread or toast – preferably wholegrain, wholemeal or high fibre white
with thinly spread margarine, peanut butter, jam, Vegemite, baked beans, grilled tomato or sardines
Water, tea, coffee or 100ml of fruit juice.

Light meal
Soup (preferably one with vegetables and legumes, not one that is cream-based)
One sandwich made with bread, one roll or six dry biscuits – preferably wholegrain or wholemeal – with thinly spread margarine or avocado
Lots of salad vegetables
90g to 120g of lean meat, skinless poultry or seafood; or two eggs; or 40g of fat reduced cheese; or a half a cup of legumes (such as beans or lentils)
One piece of fruit
Water, tea or coffee.

Main meal
One cup of cooked rice or pasta or one medium potato
Lots of other vegetables
90g to 120g of lean meat, skinless poultry or seafood; or half a cup of legumes (such as beans or lentils)
One piece of fruit or one small tub of yoghurt
Water, tea or coffee.

Between meal snacks
Not everyone needs to include snacks between meals. Talk to your diabetes educator or dietitian if you are unsure. If you do include snacks, select healthy choices such as fruit (fresh or canned in natural juice), low fat yoghurt, a glass of low fat milk, wholegrain bread, fruit bread or high fibre crackers.

Talk to a dietitian
People with diabetes should discuss their food habits with a dietitian, so that appropriate dietary recommendations can be tailored to your individual needs.

Things to remember
People with diabetes do not need a special diet.
Include a wide variety of healthy foods in your diet.
You may need to limit serving sizes to maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
Meals should be based on high fibre carbohydrates and be low in total and saturated fats, added sugar and salt.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Happy New Year !!!

American Diabetes Association Revises Diabetes Guidelines

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) revised clinical practice recommendations for diabetes diagnosis promote hemoglobin A1c (A1c) as a faster, easier diagnostic test that could help reduce the number of undiagnosed patients and better identify patients with prediabetes. The new recommendations are published December 29 in the January supplement of Diabetes Care.

"We believe that use of the A1c, because it doesn't require fasting, will encourage more people to get tested for type 2 diabetes and help further reduce the number of people who are undiagnosed but living with this chronic and potentially life-threatening disease," Richard M. Bergenstal, MD, ADA president-elect of medicine & science, said in a news release. "Additionally, early detection can make an enormous difference in a person's quality of life. Unlike many chronic diseases, type 2 diabetes actually can be prevented, as long as lifestyle changes are made while blood glucose levels are still in the pre-diabetes range."

The A1c test, which measures average blood glucose levels for a period of up to 3 months, was previously used only to evaluate diabetic control with time. An A1c level of approximately 5% indicates the absence of diabetes, and according to the revised evidence-based guidelines, an A1c score of 5.7% to 6.4% indicates prediabetes, and an A1c level of 6.5% or higher indicates the presence of diabetes.

For optimal diabetic control, the recommended ADA target for most people with diabetes is an A1c level no greater than 7%. It is hoped that achieving this target would help prevent serious diabetes-related complications including nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy, and gum disease.

Unlike fasting plasma glucose testing and the oral glucose tolerance test, A1c testing does not require overnight fasting. Compliance with screening may therefore be improved through use of the A1c test, which can be determined from a single nonfasting blood sample.

Published in journal:
Diabetes Care. December 29, 2009; January 2010 Supplement.

Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Great new info. Can you tell me what the symptoms are for diabetes?

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Interesting thread, and I thank you all, especially Cristina for your good input.
I do want to add a caution that diet can be a very individual thing with any diabetic. I'm T2, and if I ate the amount of carbs that is customarily recommended, my BG would be sky high. I have to stay under 40 grams of carbohydates per day to maintain a reasonable level (under 120). I pretty much need to stick to under 8 per meal, and 2/3 per snack. If you are not able to control your blood glucose, even with medication, you may need to rethink your carb consumption, and the type of carbs you eat. I can't handle grain, or sugar, in any amounts. Potatoes (even sweet) and legumes are also out, at least for now. I may in time be able to add some of these things, probably after more weightloss. My carbs are mostly from low carb veggies, and once I got used to this, it isn't so hard. I did eat 3 peaches per week when in season, and 1/2 apple occasionally (with a protein), but not everyday. I do have a glass (4 oz) of red wine most days, at the behest of my Dr. I'm on 500mgs of metformin, sid. My last A1c was 6.2. That was 5 months ago, so we'll see where it goes next month, after my next visit.
There's a lot to learn, and much of it is individual.
I'll look forward to coming here for some great discussion:)

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

While there is no single cause of type 2 diabetes, there are well-established risk factors. Some of these can be changed and some cannot.

I am a Dietitian and although I am up to day with the american standart I will put the australian one because I feel they are more cosmopolitan.

Here I will introduce some points to Diabetes type 2

The majority of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes usually occurs in people over 30 years of age but it may occur in overweight teenagers and children with a family history of diabetes. Diabetes often runs in the family and can be triggered by aspects of lifestyle such as overweight and inactivity.

People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to carry excess weight around the waist and to have high blood pressure. They are also more likely to have raised cholesterol and heart disease. This is called the “metabolic syndrome”

Initially insulin is still produced by the pancreas, but is less effective than normal. This is called insulin resistance and is an inherited characteristic made worse by carrying extra body fat. Because insufficient insulin is available for glucose to move from the blood stream into the body cells and the liver, excess glucose remains in the blood stream resulting in higher than normal blood glucose levels (BGLs).

After several years of diabetes, the pancreas may become “exhausted” and produce less insulin.

Unless blood glucose levels are very high, symptoms may not occur, so many people with type 2 diabetes may not be aware they have diabetes.

If symptoms occur, there may be thirst, tiredness and/or frequent urination. Some people experience other symptoms, such as blurred vision, thrush infections, and sometimes weight loss.

You are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes if you:

* have a family history of diabetes
* are older (over 55 years of age ) - the risk increases as we age
* are over 45 years of age and are overweight
* are over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure
* are over 35 years of age and are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
* are over 35 years of age and are from Pacific Island, Indian subcontient or Chinese cultural background
* are a women who has given birth to a child over 4.5 kgs (9 lbs), or had gestational diabetes when pregnant, or had a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

In type 2 diabetes, many people have no symptoms at all, while other signs are dismissed as a part of ‘getting older’. By the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the complications of diabetes may already be present. Symptoms include:

* Being excessively thirsty
* Passing more urine
* Feeling tired and lethargic
* Always feeling hungry
* Having cuts that heal slowly
* Itching, skin infections
* Blurred vision
* Gradually putting on weight
* Mood swings
* Headaches
* Feeling dizzy
* Leg cramps.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

catmad, you are right, the diet of every person is different, should be taylor for just "a" patient. And if yyou are under medical supervision, by all mean that is what you need to follow.

It seems to me you're following a ketogenic diet.

I did post a sample of a "safe" diabetic diet, as a guide ONLY, and I said clearly to contact / seek professional help

A healthy diet recommends that adults obtain 45 to 65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20 to 35 percent from fat, and 10 to 35 percent from protein.

A diet to reduce weight should be from a very restrictive 800 calories to a moderate 1500 calories, Most times a 1200 calories is recommended for many reasons.

Usually for diabetic to avoid complications, recommendations are for 55 to 60 percent of total calories to come from carbohydrates (approximately 275 to 300 grams for a 2,000-calorie diet) and of total caloric intake, approximately 45 to 50 percent of calories should be from complex carbohydrates, and 10 percent or less from simple carbohydrates

It is important to consume a minimum amount of carbohydrates to prevent ketosis , a condition resulting from the breakdown of fat for energy in the absence of carbohydrates. In this situation, products of fat breakdown, called ketone bodies, build up in the blood and alter normal pH balance. This can be particularly harmful to a fetus. To avoid ketosis, daily carbohydrate intake should include a minimum of 50 to 100 grams. In terms of dietary fiber, a minimum intake of 20 to 35 grams per day is recommended.
The Institute of Medicine chartered by the National Academy of Sciences recommends 130 grams (520 kilocalories) of carbohydrate per day, which is the average minimal usage of glucose by the brain, as a minimun daily intake
The American Dietetic Association stated that
30 and 55 grams of carbohydrate per day are less than the minimum 130 grams necessary to prevent loss of lean tissue (muscles and organs).

Myself, I would not recommend such restriction in a diet.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

As I was careful to say, this is an individual situation. There are, of course, many schools of thought on the complete diet and lifestyle needed to manage T2 diabetes. I prefer to keep the medication levels as low as possible, so I do what works for me. Others prefer to use meds to keep their BG in a "safe" range. I have documented, peer-reviewed articles that support this lower carb approach, but I am not a dietician. The guidelines a registered dietician gave me for diet didn't work. That's just for me, and I understand that.
It is not for everyone, or even the majority of T2 patients, possibly a very small number.
My diet is high in non-starchy vegetables, and quite high in fiber, and I am not in ketosis. By calorie count, it may not be in the ranges you suggest, but it's not that far off. I have tried to discover what might be missing in my diet by eliminating the carbs that affect my BG, and can't find much, other than carbs themselves.
For some, conventional "diabetes guidelines" aren't the answer.
That's all :)

Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Thanks cristina!

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

jadajoy', I continue the information, I feel we all should have about Diabetes type 2

As we know, Type 2 diabetes is sometimes described as a ‘lifestyle disease’ because it is more common in people who do insufficient physical activity and are overweight or obese. It is strongly associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and an ‘apple’ body shape, where excess weight is carried around the waist.

In diabetes there is too much glucose, a type of sugar, in the blood. The two main types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2.

Type 2 diabetes is by far the most common form of diabetes. It affects 85 to 90 per cent of all people with diabetes. While it usually affects mature adults, younger people are also now being diagnosed in greater numbers as rates of overweight and obesity increase. Type 2 diabetes used to be called non-insulin dependent diabetes or mature onset diabetes.

The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, but research suggests it occurs when something in the environment such as a viral infection triggers the immune system to destroy the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. There is presently no preventative measure or cure for type 1 diabetes.

The causes of type 2 diabetes are known and in some cases it can be prevented. However there is no cure for type 2 diabetes.


Pre-diabetes is a condition in which the blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Pre-diabetic conditions include impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance. It is important that people with these conditions reduce their risk of developing diabetes by increasing their physical activity and seeing a dietitian to develop a healthy eating plan and assist them to lose weight.

Type 2 diabetes management options
The aim of diabetes treatment is to maintain blood glucose levels within the normal range, which is between 3.5 and 6 mmol/L (65 and 110mg/dL) before meals and 3.5 and 8mmol/L (65 and 150mg/dL ) two hours after meals. This will help prevent possible long-term problems that can affect the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol within the recommended range is also very important to help prevent these long term problems.

Healthy eating, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and doing regular physical activity are also important.
Sometimes tablets and then insulin may also be needed.

Newport News, VA(Zone 11)

Thanks. Its scary to think about. I get tested because it runs in my family, but so far so good..

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

jadajoy, if you look after your weight, eat a healthy diet and keep your activity up, even with family history you could control your risk and not become a diabetic.Be positive!

Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be labeled a type 2 diabetic. According to medical comsensus, if ignored, borderline diabetes will turn into type 2 diabetes within 10 years.Type 2 diabetes is a life-altering disease with many complications.

For any one who is borderline diabetes, the good news is that if you make lifestyle changes now, you can prevent developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed with the following blood tests:

* Fasting blood glucose level -- diabetes is diagnosed if higher than 126 mg/dL on two occasions.
* Oral glucose tolerance test -- diabetes is diagnosed if glucose level is higher than 200 mg/dL after 2 hours.
* Random (non-fasting) blood glucose level -- diabetes is suspected if higher than 200 mg/dL and accompanied by the classic symptoms of increased thirst, urination, and fatigue (this test must be confirmed with a fasting blood glucose test).

At the time of diagnoses ask your Dr or health care provider how often you should see him/her.
(If possible) You should see your health care provider every 3 months. At these visits, you can expect your health care provider to::

* Check your blood pressure
* Check the skin and bones on your feet and legs
* Check the sensation on your feet
* Exam the back part of the eye with a special lighted instrument called an ophthalmoscope

The following tests will help you and your doctor monitor your diabetes and prevent complications:

* Have your blood pressure checked at least every year (blood pressure goals should be 130/80 mm/Hg or lower).
* Have your glycosulated hemoglobin (HbA1c) checked every 6 months if your diabetes is well controlled; otherwise every 3 months.
* Have your cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked yearly (aim for LDL levels below 100 mg/dL).
* Get yearly tests to make sure your kidneys are working well (microalbuminuria and serum creatinine).
* Visit your ophthalmologist) at least once a year, or more often if you have signs of diabetic retinopathy.
* See the dentist for a thorough dental cleaning and exam. Make sure your dentist and hygienist know that you have diabetes.


The immediate goal of treatment is to lower high blood glucose levels. The long-term goals of treatment are to prevent diabetes-related complications.

The primary treatment for type 2 diabetes is exercise and diet.

Temuco, Chile(Zone 9b)

The diet for Diabetes is what everybody should eat.

Being diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t mean you can't continue to enjoy food.
By making a few changes to your recipes, you can make them healthier and more in-line with what is now recommended for everyone who are interested in healthy eating.

For example, use ingredients and recipes that:
Are lower in fat, particularly saturated fat.
Are based on breads, cereals (preferably wholegrain), vegetables (including legumes) and fruits.
Contain only a moderate amount of added sugar.
Contain lower salt ingredients (always use salt sparingly).

Try some of these:

Fats and Oils

- In cooking, use small amounts of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats such as olive, canola and sunflower oils.
- Use low fat cooking methods such as steaming, stir-frying, grilling or microwaving.
- When baking or using a non-stick pan, try using a cooking spray oil.
- When frying or sautéing, use small amounts of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats.
- Try spreading bread with a thin layer of avocado, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, hummus or low-fat mayonnaise.
- On salads, try using an oil-free dressing or make your own using olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.


- Try low-fat yoghurt instead of cream.
- For desserts, use a mixture of reduced fat ricotta cheese and natural low-fat yoghurt. For flavour add lemon, strawberry or vanilla essence, or add fresh fruit/pulp, cocoa or coffee.
- Try evaporated skim milk that is chilled and whipped.
- For savoury creamy sauces, use low-fat evaporated milk, buttermilk, low-fat natural yoghurt or skim milk thickened with cornflour. Add seasonings to flavour.

Sour Cream
- Try reduced-fat sour cream, low-fat yoghurt, buttermilk or reduced-fat ricotta cheese as an alternative.


- Use low-fat milk, fat modified milk or skim milk. UHT milk is good to keep on hand as it has a long shelf life.
- Add low-fat hot chocolate to low-fat or skim milk.
- Try using low-fat fresh or UHT soy drink. Try low-fat beverages on breakfast cereal, as a drink, in soups, in custard or in cooking.
- Make fruit smoothies using a low-fat soy beverage and/or the new soy yoghurts or try some of the readymade flavoured soy beverages.


- Try using reduced-fat ricotta or low-fat cottage cheese.
- Use small amounts of reduced-fat block cheeses or use a smaller amount of a stronger flavoured cheese (e.g. parmesan).
- Sprinkle grated cheese, as you will use less.
- For sandwiches, use the reduced fat sliced cheeses.
- For a baked cheese topping, use half the cheese mixed with oats, breadcrumbs or wheat germ.
- Instead of using cream cheese, try light cream cheese or reduced-fat ricotta cheese (with a dash of vanilla essence for sweet dishes)

to continue ........

Norristown, PA(Zone 6b)

Cristina, I find your thread very useful and informative. I have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes now for about 5 years. Up until the last 2 years I was able to control my blood sugar through diet and exercise alone.

What changed for me was when I developed Plantar Faschitis and could no longer excercise with such painful feet, or stand up in the kitchen for long periods to chop ingredients and prepare healthy cooked meals. Thanks to the feet exercizes that you recommended, my feet have improved significantly and I am now back to regularly cooking and eating much better.

I'm still not back to exercizing as my feet can still take only so much standing each day. This week I'm am going to see if I can pedal my bike while it's locked into the trainer. Before I was unable to stand on one foot to mount it.

Further complicating this was a 3 month bout of Flu, Bronchitis and Pnuemonia that left me so winded, that even a stroll around my one acre of garden, would send me right back to the couch. But the last week I've started stopping at the Supermarket or Walmart or HomeDepot on the way home from work and just walking up an down the aisles. I'm still afraid to walk outside in the dark as stepping on the smallest stone or uneven pavement crack can turn these poor feet into agony.

My doctor had told me several years ago that she had never seen a person make such dramatic and consistant changes to their Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Heart rate and Body weight measurements that I had without any medication. I felt 20 years younger than I had at the start. At each appointment, she would recheck her staff's measurements and pore over the lab results to see if any of them were wrong.

I'd like to share some of the diet and lifestyle changes that I made so that they may help someone else. I'll do that in my next post.

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