New and confused!

Roobee

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
Hello everyone.
I have been told by my GP that I have high sugar levels in my blood and must adjust my diet and lifestyle in order to prevent developing type 2 diabetes.

I have been researching and was advised to buy a book called 'Fast, Feast, Repeat' by Gin Stephens. I am really confused about what I can and can't eat! I understand the obvious - cakes, biscuits etc and that some carbs turn to sugar. Am confused about which fruit is good and which isn't, how many carbs I can have ( wholemeal bread, past etc) Is meat OK? What do people snack on?
Would be grateful for any help or guidance as am still in a bit of shock! I am slightly overweight and am exercising at least 4 times a week.

I also watch my salt and fat intake.

Thanks for listening!

R X
 

everydayupsanddowns

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

Sounds like you have an enquiring approach, which will serve you well!

Unfortunately there isn't a perfect ‘one size fits all’ diet that works for everyone, because different people have very different reactions to the same foods, ut you are right that it is ALL carbohydrate that the body uses to turn to glucose for energy, not just sugars, so it pays to be careful about rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, cereals, grains, anything made with flour and many fruits.

Some people find it helpful to aim for an amount of carbs per day, but that too can vary widely. Some do well on 100-130g a day... others find 80-90g works better... and still others struggle on much more than 60g a day.

So your best bet is usually to start where you are, keeping a food diary - a brutally honest one - and try, if you can to work pit the vague carb count of different meals/snacks.

Then get a BG meter and add checks immediately before, and again 2hrs after eating, to see the ‘meal rise’. And begin to make swaps, portion reductions and tweaks to try to reduce these rises to 2-3mmol/L. Gluco navii and Tee2 are affordable options if you are self funding (links in the newbies/useful links thread)

At the start the numbers themselves are less important than the rises. if you can reduce the rises... the numbers will come down gently on their own - which allows your body time to adapt and is easier on rhe nerves and fine blood vessels.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!
 

Ralph-YK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Welcome to the forum Roobee.
It's isn't food that raises our blood glucose (BG) levels. It's carbohydrates in particular. It can raise it higher and quicker, sometimes giving us a spike. Thinks like meat, cheese etc don't have the same affect. (Weight management is another issue.)
I'd suggest first things to look at is any breakfast ceriel you're having (including those that don't have sugar).
My normal suggestion is to get a meter and self test. That way you can see what affect food has on your BG, along with any changes you make.
Keep a food diary, along with a record of your levels. After a couple of weeks you should start to see a pattern.
 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @Roobee. To start with you are going to get all sorts of confusing advice so take your time, get the principles sorted and work out a plan which suits you. As ED&D has said, if you get into your mind that there is no magic solution which fits everybody, then you will get there.

A couple of early points. I'm guessing hat your GP has told you that you are at risk of diabetes because of the result of an HbA1c blood test. An HbA1c of over 48 earns you a straight diagnosis of diabetes. An HbA1c of over 42 but under 48 gets you the at risk warning. Did your GP tell you what the result was? If not, ask for it because it is your measure of progress and future readings will tell you if your plan is working.

Common experience says that with a few changes you can get your HbA1c down to under 42 without too much panic.

Basically diabetes means that for some reason or other your system is not regulating the glucose in your blood as well as it might. Glucose mostly gets into the bloodstream from your gut where enzymes convert carbohydrate in food into glucose. This leads to the very simple principle that if you ingest less carbohydrate, less glucose turns up in the blood and your system does not have to work so hard to absorb it and keep it under control.

The next thing to appreciate is that ALL carbohydrate needs to be considered. There are two basic sources. Sugars and starches. Both are carbohydrates and both need to be taken into account. Reducing the amount in your diet will reduce the glucose in your blood and reduce your HbA1c. How you go about reducing the carbohydrate intake is very much down to you, your likes and dislikes and your lifestyle which is why there is no one size fits all answer.

The suggestion to make a food diary is a good place to start, particularly if you write down everything you ate last week and work out your current carb intake. That will give you somewhere to start as well as getting in some useful practice in carb estimation!
 

Madeline

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Can recommend My Fitness Pal as an easy to use free app to track everything. Also gives you the opportunity to add in goals for weight and macros (fat, carbs, protein).
 

Sammybrown87

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Morning everyone!

I have been told by my GP that I have high sugar levels in my blood and must adjust my diet and lifestyle in order to prevent developing type 2 diabetes.

I have been researching and was advised to buy a book called 'Fast, Feast, Repeat' by Gin Stephens. I am really confused about what I can and can't eat! I understand the obvious - cakes, biscuits etc and that some carbs turn to sugar. Am confused about which fruit is good and which isn't, how many carbs I can have ( wholemeal bread, past etc) Is meat OK? What do people snack on?
Would be grateful for any help or guidance as am still in a bit of shock!

I am slightly overweight, need to lose about a stone and a half, and am exercising at least 4 times a week.

I also watch my salt and fat intake.

Thanks for listening!

R X
hello @Roobee I’m samantha I have type two diabetes
 

Sally71

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Basically foods which you can eat lots of include unprocessed meat, fish, cheese, eggs, green veg. Foods which must be treated with extreme caution are all foods high in sugar, bread, pasta, rice, cereals, potatoes, and most fruits. So start by looking at how much you eat of those in a day and see if you can reduce portion sizes of them or replace them with something else. Berries are the lowest carb fruits and will make your blood sugars go up much less than bananas and grapes for example, which are loaded with sugar. So for example you could have for breakfast: bacon and eggs, omelette either plain or flavoured with cheese, onion, pepper, mushroom etc, or maybe natural yogurt with a few strawberries and blackberries to give it flavour. Other meals: steak with salad but no chips, salad with chicken or salmon etc, roast dinner with loads of green veg but no potatoes, stews with green veg but no rice or potatoes etc. For snacks you could have things like peperami or mini Babybel cheeses etc.

Brown versions of bread or rice etc might go through your stomach slower and not spike your blood sugars so quickly, but they will make them rise eventually. Also many people seem to think that natural sugar (e.g. in fruits) is somehow better for you than added sugar, however as far as your body is concerned sugar is sugar regardless of where it comes from.

Obtaining a meter and testing is a good idea, if you test before you eat and then again two hours later, and you have not risen more than 2 mmol/l, then you can tolerate whatever you have eaten. Then you can experiment, some people find they can get away with a small portion of potatoes or a particular kind of cereal, other people have to avoid them at all costs. Burgen bread is lower carb than other bread so might be worth a try if you really love your lunch time sandwiches and can’t imagine what else to eat!

Above all take it one step at a time, nobody expects you to ditch all carbs instantly, just try to cut them down a bit at first and go from there. Good luck :)
 

zuludog

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello ROOBEE and welcome to the Forum

I haven't heard of 'Fast, Feast, Repeat', but it sounds like a combined low calorie & fasting diet book for weight loss and controlling diabetes
There are so many similar books now, that sort of thing is very popular, and it would be a never ending task to read them all, though as i said, i expect they all give the same sort of advice
The two best known, that started the trend, are -

The Fast 800 by Michael Mosley
Life Without Diabetes by Roy Taylor

Find them on Amazon Books; their Used are generally in good condition and good value

Your comments on food are only partly correct, and I think it would be useful for you to have a simple explanation about diabetes (we tend to just call it D on this forum)

When we eat carbohydrates they are broken down into the smaller glucose molecules, which then pass through the wall of the gut into the bloodstream to be carried around the body and into our cells for further use
the transfer of the glucose across the cell walls from the blood and into the cells is carried out by the hormone insulin, which is made in the pancreas

Sometimes not enough insulin is produced, so the glucose accumulates in the blood, and it is this increased level of glucose, or sugar, that causes the problems we call diabetes
This includes damage to eyes, kidneys, nerves, especially in the feet, and other problems
We can take medication/tablets to increase the amount of insulin produced, or take in extra insulin by injection

But the most important way to control D is by changing our diet, most importantly by reducing the amount of carbohydrates we eat
As all carbs are converted into sugar we must cut down on bread, spuds, rice, pasta, and breakfast cereals, as well as the obvious things like cakes, sugar, biscuits and sweets
Once you've grasped this, all the restrictions and other things we do fall into place

Have a look at the Learning Zone at the top of this page, and read through older Threads, especially Newbies, Food & Carbs, and Weight Loss, and you'll gradually learn & understand more

Well done on starting to lose weight
In fact many people take the onset of D as an opportunity and motivation to lose weight, cut out booze & fags, and change their diet - cut out carbs, junk food, a lot of fatty meat very processed food, bad fats, salt, and eat more veg, salads, good fats like olive oil & oily fish

Nothing in the body acts in isolation, and things like diabetes, blood pressure, heart & circulation, weight, and cholesterol are all interconnected
You will probably find that if you control D the others will improve as well, and you will feel better & brighter

I've seen the comment that 'I'm healthier now I have diabetes than I ever was before'

I must admit that I am also confused about fruit. I do eat it, but in moderation
Perhaps someone else can advise us, or I might ask a question on the Food section

Don't worry too much about being in a shock, everyone is at first
The important thing is to know that you can do something about it, and live well with D
However it will require some work by yourself, and a change to your diet
 
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Sally71

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
I have replied on your other thread on the general message board
 

Gappy

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello I always say don't fret too much, too many changes at once become like the new year resolutions that always get broken. Start with the little changes, they're easiest to keep to! And remember whatever change you do now is a step in the right direction to what you were doing a couple of weeks ago! Once the easy changes are the "new normal" it'll be easier to add more changes if needed.
 

Roobee

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
hello @Roobee I’m samantha I have type two diabetes
I am so confused about food that is good and food to avoid.... I have always been fairly careful with my diet so now not knowing which fruit is good and which to avoid?! Berries are good, but bananas are not. What about apple and pears?
 

Sammybrown87

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I’m not sure fruit is good even though I don’t eat a lot of fruit
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I am so confused about food that is good and food to avoid.... I have always been fairly careful with my diet so now not knowing which fruit is good and which to avoid?! Berries are good, but bananas are not. What about apple and pears?
We all, react differently to foods what suits one does not suit another.
 

HenryBennett

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
No need to be confused. It’s very simple. If you’re a conventional Type 2 it’s about carbs.

The solution isn’t especially simple because we’re all different and it’ll take time and effort. But, as everyone has pointed out a food diary and meter are the tools you need.

Good luck, you’re in the right place for help and support.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I am so confused about food that is good and food to avoid.... I have always been fairly careful with my diet so now not knowing which fruit is good and which to avoid?! Berries are good, but bananas are not. What about apple and pears?
Tricky to tell for sure without checking with a BG meter, but my experience slow - to - fast would be something like this

Slowest
melon, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries (in smallish quantities)
blueberries
apples and pears
oranges (smaller mandarins/clementines have less impact as long as you don’t eat several at once!)
bananas
pineapple / mangoes tropical fruits
grapes
Fastest

But as always Your Diabetes May Vary :)
 

ianf0ster

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi Roobee, Unfortunately all Diabetics are different due to different genes and different gut biome etc. Some of us Type 2 Diabetics can eat a small banana, but for the vast majority all tropical fruit are a no go! As are all fruit juices.
Berries are almost always OK if only a small quantity and eaten with some fat such as double cream or plain full fat greek style yogurt, but Blueberries are quite a lot higher ion carbs than other berries and so may not be OK for all T2D.
Apples, pears, cherries etc fit in between tropical fruit and berries.

The only way to know what is right for your body is to get a Blood Glucose meter and to test your Blood Glucose reading before and then2 hrs after eating your meal/snack.

Most of us have been misled by our health care professionals about what constitutes a healthy way of eating - not just about carbs but about fats too. While very few doubt that oily fish is good, there are much bigger disagreements about highly processed seed oils (falsely called vegetable oils), especially those which are high in Omega 6. There is even more disagreement about fatty meats, butter and cheese since these have more saturated fats.

However it is known that saturated fats don't 'clog up your arteries' - at least not directly because they are all processed by the body before getting into the bloodstream, neither is dietary cholesterol (in such as eggs) bad for you since cholesterol is required for life - hormones, immune system, brain function etc. Your body produces something like 85% of all the Cholesterol you use (even more if you hardly get any in your food). Also there was hardly any heart disease, Type 2 diabetes or obesity back in the 190th Century when people ate a lot more animal based food ( cooked with Lard) and ate much less grains, fruit etc.
 
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Drummer

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
You might need to up the salt and fat - both are essential and particularly this weather I need to remember to ad a small amount of salt to my morning coffee, along with cream and cinnamon, as otherwise I get cramps. I do not use salt in cooking and have no processed food other than a couple of slices of ham once in a while, or some bacon - but I boil that first which removes a lot of the salt.
 

Roobee

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
You might need to up the salt and fat - both are essential and particularly this weather I need to remember to ad a small amount of salt to my morning coffee, along with cream and cinnamon, as otherwise I get cramps. I do not use salt in cooking and have no processed food other than a couple of slices of ham once in a while, or some bacon - but I boil that first which removes a lot of the salt.
This is where my mind kicks in, I have been on a low salt/fat diet since last September as my blood pressure was slightly high... I don't know if I can bring myself to add salt to anything!!

I have just done a glucose test which was 7.2 after having a small portion of homemade veg with broccoli and green beans...
 
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