Food struggles

Kavb

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi all, I am newly diagnosed type 2. I have been advised to cut down on carbs, try and cut out as much sugar as possible. I normally live on carbs like pasta and bread, so I'm really struggling atm. Does anyone have any advice for me? Also, takeaways.....how do you go about having foods like kebabs, pizzas etc?

Any advice is greatly appreciated
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Welcome to the forum @Kavb

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

Yes, you are quite right, it is the total carbs that you need to be aware of, not just the ‘of which sugars’ as the body is very efficient at breaking down carbohydrate pretty speedily whether it is white, brown or whatever. Some people have more success with wholemeal and seedy versions, but for others it makes little difference - the most important thing is to establish your own tolerances and develop a way of eating that suits you.

This may sound daunting at first, but many people later reflect that they really enjoy their new way of eating with a huge variety of flavours and none of the ‘beige padding’.

Adjusting to a lower carb higher fat menu can take a bit of rethinking, but members here will be on hand with a wide variety of approaches and ideas from moderate 150g-a-day, down to very low carb / keto type approaches of 60g of carbs a day or less.

Some meals can be quite readily adapted - there are lower carb alternatives to rice which you can make out of cauliflower grated and *just* cooked, or mashed with butter and cheese to top a shepherd’s pie. Many of the carb elements to dishes are mostly there to provide a transport for the sauce and flavour, so some things will be a bit like switching to vegetarian alternatives to mince... the new dishes aren’t 100% identical, but they are still really enjoyable, and most of all if they keep your BG in check they are much better for you.

There are crustless ‘fathead’ low carb pizza bases, and the meat part of a kebab will be fine for your BG (though you may have to be a little restrained if you have a few pounds to lose)

There are quite a few ideas this section of the forum - perhaps have a browse through a few pages of ’what did you eat yesterday’ to see what lower carb options others are choosing.

Also consider getting a Blood Glucose monitor so that you can see quite how your metabolism and gut biome responds to the food you are eating.

Some people find before-and-2hrs-after pairs of readings along with a food diary (ruthlessly honest!) are a great first step.

Good luck, and let us know how you are getting on, and if there are any padticular meals/dishes that you are struggling to adapt.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hi and welcome.

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis but you have found the right place for support, advice and empathy or maybe a kick up the pants if you ask for it... ;)

Following a low carb way of eating does seem pretty impossible when you first start because most of us have been used to piling our plates up with them all out lives.... I was a big bread and spud eater as well as having a shockingly sweet tooth pre-diagnosis and now I follow a very low carb way of eating and still enjoy my food but it took me several months to adjust.

The trick is to cut down slowly. Start off by keeping a food diary and be honest with yourself about everything you eat and drink in a day and then start to look for the things you could cut out or change more easily than others.... So if you eat crisps or biscuits as a snack, swap to a chunk of cheese or a few nuts or a boiled egg with a dollop of mayonnaise and restrict yourself to just one snack a day. Then focus on one meal and make a few changes.... breakfast is usually easiest because we often have the same thing for breakfast most days and also morning time is when we can be most insulin resistant so reducing our carb intake at breakfast can have a significant impact on out Blood Glucose for most of the day....
If you give us an idea of what you currently eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner on an average day we can give alternative low carb suggestions.

Getting yourself a Blood Glucose Monitor can be hugely helpful in finding which foods cause you more of a problem than others, for instance you might be able to eat a small portion of pasta without too much problems but pizza might cause your BG to skyrocket and stay there for many hours, so that might be a no go. Alternatively, you might be OK with a few potatoes but pasta spikes your levels too much. BG meters are relatively inexpensive to buy @ approx. £15 for a basic model but the on going purchase of test strips for them is where the costs can rack up and for that reason it makes sense to buy a meter which has the cheapest test strips. Here on the forum we recommend the SD Gluco Navii or the Spirit healthcare Tee2 blood glucose meters for that reason as their test strips are £8 for a pot of 50 strips whereas other test strips can be 2x or even 3x that price and you get through quite a lot of test strips in the first few months whilst you test different foods to see how you react to them. Most GPs do not supply BG meters and test strips to Type 2 diabetics unless they are on specific medication which can cause their Blood Glucose levels to drop dangerously low, so self funding is often necessary.

Can you give us an idea of how you came to be diagnosed and what your HbA1c reading was at diagnosis.... this will usually be a number of 48 or above and also what if any medication you have been given?
 

HenryBennett

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi Kavb and welcome. You’re in the right place for advice. Read the pinned posts and the DUK website is a great resource.

You clearly know it’s all about carbs, not just sugar, and that’s important. We’re all different so you need to find out what works for you by measuring your blood glucose (BG) with a meter. There’s plenty of info here.

On my part I eat pasta, rice and potatoes less frequently. Rice and pasta I weigh out a portion of no more than 60g. I rarely eat potatoes - a few small roasties occasionally or a couple of soup spoons of mash that I buy frozen from Tesco. No porridge, a small amount of low carb granola with yogurt. Blueberries (fresh) with yogurt. Fresh fish with fresh vegetables. A few times a week I’ll have a single slice of toast at breakfast.

So, just cut down. But takeaways ... stop!

Your health is extremely important.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
For takeaways I can get away with stir fried Chinese vegetables with a dish like char sui or chicken with ginger and spring onions, but I pass on the rice or just have a couple of dessert spoons to soak up the juice and being Type 1 I can inject insulin to cover that rice. As a type 2, you might get away with a couple of spoons of rice without it hiking your BG readings too high... or you might not.... a BG meter will tell you.
 

Kavb

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Welcome to the forum @Kavb

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

Yes, you are quite right, it is the total carbs that you need to be aware of, not just the ‘of which sugars’ as the body is very efficient at breaking down carbohydrate pretty speedily whether it is white, brown or whatever. Some people have more success with wholemeal and seedy versions, but for others it makes little difference - the most important thing is to establish your own tolerances and develop a way of eating that suits you.

This may sound daunting at first, but many people later reflect that they really enjoy their new way of eating with a huge variety of flavours and none of the ‘beige padding’.

Adjusting to a lower carb higher fat menu can take a bit of rethinking, but members here will be on hand with a wide variety of approaches and ideas from moderate 150g-a-day, down to very low carb / keto type approaches of 60g of carbs a day or less.

Some meals can be quite readily adapted - there are lower carb alternatives to rice which you can make out of cauliflower grated and *just* cooked, or mashed with butter and cheese to top a shepherd’s pie. Many of the carb elements to dishes are mostly there to provide a transport for the sauce and flavour, so some things will be a bit like switching to vegetarian alternatives to mince... the new dishes aren’t 100% identical, but they are still really enjoyable, and most of all if they keep your BG in check they are much better for you.

There are crustless ‘fathead’ low carb pizza bases, and the meat part of a kebab will be fine for your BG (though you may have to be a little restrained if you have a few pounds to lose)

There are quite a few ideas this section of the forum - perhaps have a browse through a few pages of ’what did you eat yesterday’ to see what lower carb options others are choosing.

Also consider getting a Blood Glucose monitor so that you can see quite how your metabolism and gut biome responds to the food you are eating.

Some people find before-and-2hrs-after pairs of readings along with a food diary (ruthlessly honest!) are a great first step.

Good luck, and let us know how you are getting on, and if there are any padticular meals/dishes that you are struggling to adapt.
Welcome to the forum @Kavb

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

Yes, you are quite right, it is the total carbs that you need to be aware of, not just the ‘of which sugars’ as the body is very efficient at breaking down carbohydrate pretty speedily whether it is white, brown or whatever. Some people have more success with wholemeal and seedy versions, but for others it makes little difference - the most important thing is to establish your own tolerances and develop a way of eating that suits you.

This may sound daunting at first, but many people later reflect that they really enjoy their new way of eating with a huge variety of flavours and none of the ‘beige padding’.

Adjusting to a lower carb higher fat menu can take a bit of rethinking, but members here will be on hand with a wide variety of approaches and ideas from moderate 150g-a-day, down to very low carb / keto type approaches of 60g of carbs a day or less.

Some meals can be quite readily adapted - there are lower carb alternatives to rice which you can make out of cauliflower grated and *just* cooked, or mashed with butter and cheese to top a shepherd’s pie. Many of the carb elements to dishes are mostly there to provide a transport for the sauce and flavour, so some things will be a bit like switching to vegetarian alternatives to mince... the new dishes aren’t 100% identical, but they are still really enjoyable, and most of all if they keep your BG in check they are much better for you.

There are crustless ‘fathead’ low carb pizza bases, and the meat part of a kebab will be fine for your BG (though you may have to be a little restrained if you have a few pounds to lose)

There are quite a few ideas this section of the forum - perhaps have a browse through a few pages of ’what did you eat yesterday’ to see what lower carb options others are choosing.

Also consider getting a Blood Glucose monitor so that you can see quite how your metabolism and gut biome responds to the food you are eating.

Some people find before-and-2hrs-after pairs of readings along with a food diary (ruthlessly honest!) are a great first step.

Good luck, and let us know how you are getting on, and if there are any padticular meals/dishes that you are struggling to adapt.
This is brilliant advice, and I thank you. It really is daunting, as it's all new and sudden for me. I have a monitor and am using it at least 4 times daily, like you say before a meal and 2hrs afterwards, and am keeping track of what affects me more than others.
I'll definitely have a look at other threads.

Thank you
 

Kavb

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi Kavb and welcome. You’re in the right place for advice. Read the pinned posts and the DUK website is a great resource.

You clearly know it’s all about carbs, not just sugar, and that’s important. We’re all different so you need to find out what works for you by measuring your blood glucose (BG) with a meter. There’s plenty of info here.

On my part I eat pasta, rice and potatoes less frequently. Rice and pasta I weigh out a portion of no more than 60g. I rarely eat potatoes - a few small roasties occasionally or a couple of soup spoons of mash that I buy frozen from Tesco. No porridge, a small amount of low carb granola with yogurt. Blueberries (fresh) with yogurt. Fresh fish with fresh vegetables. A few times a week I’ll have a single slice of toast at breakfast.

So, just cut down. But takeaways ... stop!

Your health is extremely important.
I used to literally live on takeaways, bread and pasta, big reason I'm having problems nowadays I definitely need to eat more stuff like you've mentioned and hope it works.

Thank you for your advice
 

Kavb

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
For takeaways I can get away with stir fried Chinese vegetables with a dish like char sui or chicken with ginger and spring onions, but I pass on the rice or just have a couple of dessert spoons to soak up the juice and being Type 1 I can inject insulin to cover that rice. As a type 2, you might get away with a couple of spoons of rice without it hiking your BG readings too high... or you might not.... a BG meter will tell you.
I made a curry from scratch last week, and the little bit of rice I had made my bg skyrocket so will try to avoid from now on.

Great advice, thank you
 

Kavb

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi and welcome.

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis but you have found the right place for support, advice and empathy or maybe a kick up the pants if you ask for it... ;)

Following a low carb way of eating does seem pretty impossible when you first start because most of us have been used to piling our plates up with them all out lives.... I was a big bread and spud eater as well as having a shockingly sweet tooth pre-diagnosis and now I follow a very low carb way of eating and still enjoy my food but it took me several months to adjust.

The trick is to cut down slowly. Start off by keeping a food diary and be honest with yourself about everything you eat and drink in a day and then start to look for the things you could cut out or change more easily than others.... So if you eat crisps or biscuits as a snack, swap to a chunk of cheese or a few nuts or a boiled egg with a dollop of mayonnaise and restrict yourself to just one snack a day. Then focus on one meal and make a few changes.... breakfast is usually easiest because we often have the same thing for breakfast most days and also morning time is when we can be most insulin resistant so reducing our carb intake at breakfast can have a significant impact on out Blood Glucose for most of the day....
If you give us an idea of what you currently eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner on an average day we can give alternative low carb suggestions.

Getting yourself a Blood Glucose Monitor can be hugely helpful in finding which foods cause you more of a problem than others, for instance you might be able to eat a small portion of pasta without too much problems but pizza might cause your BG to skyrocket and stay there for many hours, so that might be a no go. Alternatively, you might be OK with a few potatoes but pasta spikes your levels too much. BG meters are relatively inexpensive to buy @ approx. £15 for a basic model but the on going purchase of test strips for them is where the costs can rack up and for that reason it makes sense to buy a meter which has the cheapest test strips. Here on the forum we recommend the SD Gluco Navii or the Spirit healthcare Tee2 blood glucose meters for that reason as their test strips are £8 for a pot of 50 strips whereas other test strips can be 2x or even 3x that price and you get through quite a lot of test strips in the first few months whilst you test different foods to see how you react to them. Most GPs do not supply BG meters and test strips to Type 2 diabetics unless they are on specific medication which can cause their Blood Glucose levels to drop dangerously low, so self funding is often necessary.

Can you give us an idea of how you came to be diagnosed and what your HbA1c reading was at diagnosis.... this will usually be a number of 48 or above and also what if any medication you have been given?
I was starting to have vision problems, so went for a eye test. Then I suddenly started with symptoms of constant thirst, more urinating than usual. Went to gp for bloods after an eye check and they sent me to hospital for further tests and told me there and then. My hba1c was 104, BM 28.9, ketone 4+. I am on abasaglar, metformin twice daily and pills for high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Food wise, I dont often est breakfast as I'm not normally that hungry. Lunches can vary from things like tuna pasta, sandwiches, sausages bacon egg combo, All depends on how i feel at the time. Again with dinners, can vary on what i have in and how I feel, maybe a meal like curry rice and chips, sometimes things like egg on toast, often have breab and chips with most meals up until diagnosis. I was given an accucheck meter and strips when discharged from hospital, and currently have a repeat prescription for all bits needed like strips and needles
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Ah, that changes the goal posts a little. Being on insulin means that you will have to go steady with reducing your carb intake so that you don't drop too low.
Can I ask if you were carrying much excess weight pre-diagnosis and have noticed any weight loss along with your sudden onset symptoms? Do you know if they have done any tests to check if you might be Type 1 rather than Type 2. These would be C-peptide and GAD antibody tests.
Your sudden onset symptoms and ketones suggest you might be type 1.... weight loss would add extra weight to that possibility if you excuse the pun.
I was similar to you in that my diet was very carb heavy and I was a self confessed sugar addict as well as consuming a lot of bread and potatoes and pasta. My HbA1c was 112 at diagnosis but by then I had already spent 2 weeks dramatically reducing my carb intake so I managed to avoid a visit to hospital. I had 6 more weeks of very strict low carb diet and oral meds before they started me on insulin and it was a couple of months after that that I was tested for Type 1 and came back positive. Having the correct diagnosis can make a significant difference to your treatment options and management. Many adults get misdiagnosed because it is assumed that Type 1 only exhibits in children and young people. so if you are a mature adult they assume you must be Type 2. I was 55 when I was diagnosed Type 1. There are many of us here on the forum.

Not saying you are definitely Type 1 but I would be asking for testing to clarify it.
 

Kavb

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Ah, that changes the goal posts a little. Being on insulin means that you will have to go steady with reducing your carb intake so that you don't drop too low.
Can I ask if you were carrying much excess weight pre-diagnosis and have noticed any weight loss along with your sudden onset symptoms? Do you know if they have done any tests to check if you might be Type 1 rather than Type 2. These would be C-peptide and GAD antibody tests.
Your sudden onset symptoms and ketones suggest you might be type 1.... weight loss would add extra weight to that possibility if you excuse the pun.
I was similar to you in that my diet was very carb heavy and I was a self confessed sugar addict as well as consuming a lot of bread and potatoes and pasta. My HbA1c was 112 at diagnosis but by then I had already spent 2 weeks dramatically reducing my carb intake so I managed to avoid a visit to hospital. I had 6 more weeks of very strict low carb diet and oral meds before they started me on insulin and it was a couple of months after that that I was tested for Type 1 and came back positive. Having the correct diagnosis can make a significant difference to your treatment options and management. Many adults get misdiagnosed because it is assumed that Type 1 only exhibits in children and young people. so if you are a mature adult they assume you must be Type 2. I was 55 when I was diagnosed Type 1. There are many of us here on the forum.

Not saying you are definitely Type 1 but I would be asking for testing to clarify it.
I was tested in hospital and they said I'm definitely type 2. Yes I have a lot of extra weight which doesn't help. Slight loss in the last 2 weeks, but nothing major so far. The symptoms cleared almost immediately as soon as i was on medication, which I'm happy with. I'm only 25, but years of abusing my body has badly affected it. I'm learning from my mistakes now, sadly it takes something like this to make me realise how serious it could be
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Once you start injecting insulin you will feel better and the symptoms will subside.... this would happen if you were Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 testing usually takes several weeks for the results to come back so I would be very surprised if they could be certain you were Type 2 at the time you were diagnosed in hospital. Being in your mid 20s also makes Type 1 more likely. Did you see a diabetes consultant in hospital?
I abused my body with carbs and sugar in particular for 30 years before diabetes hit. I too regret my excess and I have now turned over a new leaf and feel so much better for my new low carb diet but the tests indicate that I have Type 1 and not Type 2. It is worth keeping an open mind on your diagnosis and asking questions about GAD antibody and C-peptide tests when you next see your nurse or doctor to find out if they were done.
 

Kavb

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Once you start injecting insulin you will feel better and the symptoms will subside.... this would happen if you were Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 testing usually takes several weeks for the results to come back so I would be very surprised if they could be certain you were Type 2 at the time you were diagnosed in hospital. Being in your mid 20s also makes Type 1 more likely. Did you see a diabetes consultant in hospital?
I abused my body with carbs and sugar in particular for 30 years before diabetes hit. I too regret my excess and I have now turned over a new leaf and feel so much better for my new low carb diet but the tests indicate that I have Type 1 and not Type 2. It is worth keeping an open mind on your diagnosis and asking questions about GAD antibody and C-peptide tests when you next see your nurse or doctor to find out if they were done.
Yes it was the diabetic nurse who told me the test results. That's brilliant, well done. Hopefully I can do the same. And yes I will ask about all of that when I next see them. Thank you
 
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