Newbie

MichelleN

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
Hi There

I’ve just been told that I am prediabetic from my doctor they said they have referred me to a prevention programme through the NHS but with things the way they are, I haven't had any contact from anyone. I’m struggling on where to start and would love any information that could help me.
 

Vonny

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @MichelleN and welcome to our friendly forum :) If you're prediabetic you should be able to reduce your blood glucose quite well without the need for any medication and will have an hba1c reading of between 42 and 48 I believe.

While you will obviously associate sugary foods such as cake and biscuits with diabetes, it's not so obvious that carbs are a problem. However, carbs immediately turn to glucose when ingested, which is why I (who rarely ate sweet things) was diagnosed with an hba1c reading of 76 this year.

Reducing your carb intake should see a reduction in your blood glucose and if you do this sufficiently, you are likely to drop below the pre-diabetic level of 42. So that's cutting down (or out altogether) on spuds, pasta, rice and bread as well as cakes and puddings. There are several of us here on very low carb, relatively high fat diets but you may not need to go the whole hog if you are pre-diabetic.

I'm sure other people will be along soon to give you more suggestions.

Best wishes
 

MichelleN

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
Hi @MichelleN and welcome to our friendly forum :) If you're prediabetic you should be able to reduce your blood glucose quite well without the need for any medication and will have an hba1c reading of between 42 and 48 I believe.

While you will obviously associate sugary foods such as cake and biscuits with diabetes, it's not so obvious that carbs are a problem. However, carbs immediately turn to glucose when ingested, which is why I (who rarely ate sweet things) was diagnosed with an hba1c reading of 76 this year.

Reducing your carb intake should see a reduction in your blood glucose and if you do this sufficiently, you are likely to drop below the pre-diabetic level of 42. So that's cutting down (or out altogether) on spuds, pasta, rice and bread as well as cakes and puddings. There are several of us here on very low carb, relatively high fat diets but you may not need to go the whole hog if you are pre-diabetic.

I'm sure other people will be along soon to give you more suggestions.

Best wishes
 

MichelleN

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
Hi Vonny
Thank you for your reply, yep my reading was 42.
Same I’m not really a sweet toothed person so was shocked. I don’t tend to eat pasta, rice but my downfall is bread and potatoes.

I didn’t realise about carbs so that’s something I’ll certainly have a look at and any other suggestions from people would be great.

Many Thanks
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi Vonny
Thank you for your reply, yep my reading was 42.
Same I’m not really a sweet toothed person so was shocked. I don’t tend to eat pasta, rice but my downfall is bread and potatoes.

I didn’t realise about carbs so that’s something I’ll certainly have a look at and any other suggestions from people would be great.

Many Thanks
There are some low carb breads around. My preferred one is Hovis Lower Carb, which has around half the carbs of regular bread. LivLife, HiLo and Bergen are also low carb varieties. Unfortunately there are no low carb potatoes but since your HbA1c is only at 42 you might only need to reduce your portion sizes.

Martin
 

MichelleN

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
There are some low carb breads around. My preferred one is Hovis Lower Carb, which has around half the carbs of regular bread. LivLife, HiLo and Bergen are also low carb varieties. Unfortunately there are no low carb potatoes but since your HbA1c is only at 42 you might only need to reduce your portion sizes.

Martin
Thank you Martin, would you say there’s any particular diet I should follow? As I’m not the greatest of cooks I feel like I need some guidance on what I could possible follow.
Thank you
 

Vonny

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Just some simple changes may suffice @MichelleN. For example I used to have a bagel for breakfast most mornings, now I have a 2 egg cheese omelette. Probably the same calories but very few carbs. If I'm going into the office early (I mostly work from home) I take around 250 cals worth of mixed unsalted nuts as there is no cooker to do my eggs. Another excellent breakfast (which I picked up from some kind person on this forum) is chopped hazelnuts, mixed seeds, blackberries and double cream. Now that feels so decadent, but perfectly acceptable on a low carb diet. You need the fats to keep you feeling full.

Can you give us some examples of what you'd normally eat in a day?
 

Anitram

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thank you Martin, would you say there’s any particular diet I should follow? As I’m not the greatest of cooks I feel like I need some guidance on what I could possible follow.
Thank you
Diets are very individual and we're all different in the way our bodies react to certain foods. I have Weetabix for breakfast, for example, but there are members who'll tell you they wouldn't go near one, so I would never recommend my diet to anyone else. However, what I can say is that it's rich in fresh meat & fish, salads, green veg, eggs, cheese and nuts. I still eat pasta but use wholegrain spelt pasta and only have a half portion. I use riced cauliflower instead of rice and cauliflower mash instead of potatoes. I don't eat sweets, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, chips, crisps or pizza and don't even miss them anymore. If I fancy a snack I'll grab a nut bar (usually one of ALDI's, as they are only 5.9g carb) or a portion of Graze Chilli & Lime nuts (8.7g carb). I keep a food diary on a spreadsheet so that I know how many carbs I'm getting through each day and I weigh and measure portions. My target is to stay under 120g on average. So far, so good.

Martin
 

MichelleN

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
Just some simple changes may suffice @MichelleN. For example I used to have a bagel for breakfast most mornings, now I have a 2 egg cheese omelette. Probably the same calories but very few carbs. If I'm going into the office early (I mostly work from home) I take around 250 cals worth of mixed unsalted nuts as there is no cooker to do my eggs. Another excellent breakfast (which I picked up from some kind person on this forum) is chopped hazelnuts, mixed seeds, blackberries and double cream. Now that feels so decadent, but perfectly acceptable on a low carb diet. You need the fats to keep you feeling full.

Can you give us some examples of what you'd normally eat in a day?
I never really ate a breakfast but Since being told that I’m a pre diabetic I’ve started having a small bowl of granola and pumpkin seeds and soy milk.
Lunch would be some kind of soup, I do get hungry during the day and normally I would grab a packet of crisps but I’ve been eating nuts and some berries.

Is there a limit on how much sugar you should have on a typical day ?
 

MichelleN

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
Diets are very individual and we're all different in the way our bodies react to certain foods. I have Weetabix for breakfast, for example, but there are members who'll tell you they wouldn't go near one, so I would never recommend my diet to anyone else. However, what I can say is that it's rich in fresh meat & fish, salads, green veg, eggs, cheese and nuts. I still eat pasta but use wholegrain spelt pasta and only have a half portion. I use riced cauliflower instead of rice and cauliflower mash instead of potatoes. I don't eat sweets, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, chips, crisps or pizza and don't even miss them anymore. If I fancy a snack I'll grab a nut bar (usually one of ALDI's, as they are only 5.9g carb) or a portion of Graze Chilli & Lime nuts (8.7g carb). I keep a food diary on a spreadsheet so that I know how many carbs I'm getting through each day and I weigh and measure portions. My target is to stay under 120g on average. So far, so good.

Martin
It’s good to get idea of some of things people eat. I’m trying to adapt as I don’t eat a lot of fish. Any information is really helpful thank you.
 

MichelleN

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
I never really ate a breakfast but Since being told that I’m a pre diabetic I’ve started having a small bowl of granola and pumpkin seeds and soy milk.
Lunch would be some kind of soup, I do get hungry during the day and normally I would grab a packet of crisps but I’ve been eating nuts and some berries.

Is there a limit on how much sugar you should have on a typical day ?
I’ve been looking at the labels on food packets and I would look at the section that is (carbs - of which sugars) is that the correct ?
I also I’ve been eating apples, pears
 

Mark C

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
I look at the total carbs and ignore the 'of which sugars' part. All carbs get turned into glucose by your body.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
You are looking in the right place for the info but the wrong part of it. Ignore the "of which sugars section. All you are interested in is the total carbohydrates. They all get broken down by the digestive system into glucose and absorbed into the blood stream, not just the sugar.
Most Granolas can be as high in carbs as any other cereal so you need to be careful in your choice. There are some low carb Granolas, Eat Natural protein granola is one of the lowest I have found at 34g carbs per 100g of granola. I tend to have just a 40g portion which really is not a lot when you see it in a bowl so it is a good idea to start weighing your portions out, as we have got so used to just tipping some in a bowl and eating it that we have lost any idea of what a portion actually is and as diabetics, we need to have less than the recommended portion. I have it with berries and seeds and creamy Greek natural yoghurt to bulk it out. That will be about 25g carbs.

Fruit is also high in carbs (natural sugars) and needs to be rationed too. Berries are the lowest carb fruits. Apples and pears are somewhere about the middle and exotic fruits like banana and pineapple and mangoes etc are high carb. Grapes are often referred to as little sugar bombs and we tend to eat far to many of them than we should because they are moreish, so avoid those or be very disciplined with your portion size with them and literally just have 5 or 6. I would suggest it might be best to ration yourself to one piece of fruit a day and make a banana a once a fortnight treat or have half one day and half the next. Eating higher carb foods with high fat foods can slow the rate at which the glucose from them is released so having your banana with cream or creamy natural yoghurt works well.

I'm not a great fan of fish either but I keep trying as it is good for us. I am reasonably happy now to have a salmon fillet marinaded in lemon juice for 5 mins and then pan fried in butter with steamed broccoli and I usually throw some diced aubergine or courgette or mushrooms into the pan to soak up the remaining butter to have with it. I often have it with a couple of pieces of sweet potato but do be aware that sweet potatoes contain carbs just like ordinary potatoes so need to watch the portion size. They also provide quite a lot of vitamin C and fibre (more than ordinary potatoes) so I will have them once or sometimes twice a week, but just 2-3 small pieces. Some people avoid sweet potatoes altogether because they spike their BG levels too high. It is an individual thing. As someone who is Pre diabetic or at risk of diabetes, you will probably be fine with them or a small portion of potatoes but a lesser portion than you would normally have.

You may notice that I mention cream and butter and creamy yoghurt and that is because fat fills you up and stops you feeling hungry. It also provides slow release energy to replace what you are not getting from the carbs that you have cut down on. Other fats like olive oil and coconut oil are also good and avocados are high in good fats and fibre but low in carbs so include those in your salads if you like them.
 

MichelleN

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
You are looking in the right place for the info but the wrong part of it. Ignore the "of which sugars section. All you are interested in is the total carbohydrates. They all get broken down by the digestive system into glucose and absorbed into the blood stream, not just the sugar.
Most Granolas can be as high in carbs as any other cereal so you need to be careful in your choice. There are some low carb Granolas, Eat Natural protein granola is one of the lowest I have found at 34g carbs per 100g of granola. I tend to have just a 40g portion which really is not a lot when you see it in a bowl so it is a good idea to start weighing your portions out, as we have got so used to just tipping some in a bowl and eating it that we have lost any idea of what a portion actually is and as diabetics, we need to have less than the recommended portion. I have it with berries and seeds and creamy Greek natural yoghurt to bulk it out. That will be about 25g carbs.

Fruit is also high in carbs (natural sugars) and needs to be rationed too. Berries are the lowest carb fruits. Apples and pears are somewhere about the middle and exotic fruits like banana and pineapple and mangoes etc are high carb. Grapes are often referred to as little sugar bombs and we tend to eat far to many of them than we should because they are moreish, so avoid those or be very disciplined with your portion size with them and literally just have 5 or 6. I would suggest it might be best to ration yourself to one piece of fruit a day and make a banana a once a fortnight treat or have half one day and half the next. Eating higher carb foods with high fat foods can slow the rate at which the glucose from them is released so having your banana with cream or creamy natural yoghurt works well.

I'm not a great fan of fish either but I keep trying as it is good for us. I am reasonably happy now to have a salmon fillet marinaded in lemon juice for 5 mins and then pan fried in butter with steamed broccoli and I usually throw some diced aubergine or courgette or mushrooms into the pan to soak up the remaining butter to have with it. I often have it with a couple of pieces of sweet potato but do be aware that sweet potatoes contain carbs just like ordinary potatoes so need to watch the portion size. They also provide quite a lot of vitamin C and fibre (more than ordinary potatoes) so I will have them once or sometimes twice a week, but just 2-3 small pieces. Some people avoid sweet potatoes altogether because they spike their BG levels too high. It is an individual thing. As someone who is Pre diabetic or at risk of diabetes, you will probably be fine with them or a small portion of potatoes but a lesser portion than you would normally have.

You may notice that I mention cream and butter and creamy yoghurt and that is because fat fills you up and stops you feeling hungry. It also provides slow release energy to replace what you are not getting from the carbs that you have cut down on. Other fats like olive oil and coconut oil are also good and avocados are high in good fats and fibre but low in carbs so include those in your salads if you like them.
Thank you, it really is an eye opener on the things that you are able / not able to eat.
Everything is really helpful.
 

Oblivious

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hi @MichelleN, it sounds like you've managed to get your diagnosis in time to make some slight changes to prevent the full diabetes diagnosis. And because your HbA1c was quite low don't try to be too strict with yourself as it'll make the changes harder to maintain in the long term.
 

rebrascora

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Yes, there is so much misinformation in the press and general information and even from health care professionals and the NHS in general with regard to dietary advice.
Because you are just at risk of diabetes, you will not need to be too radical with your dietary changes and smaller portions of carb rich foods should be enough to turn things around and hopefully return your readings to normal levels. Some of us had extremely high levels and had to make quite drastic changes. The interesting thing is that the change in my lifestyle as a result of my diabetes diagnosis means that I am now slimmer and fitter and healthier than I ever was before my diagnosis nor would have been if it wasn't for diabetes.... it really gave me the kick up the pants I needed to sort myself out. I still enjoy my food but I am no longer a slave to it as I was before (and most of my life). 2 meals a day is usually enough for me and I don't feel hungry and very rarely crave like I used to. On top of that, I no longer get Migraines which were a chronic and severe problem (stopped as soon as I changed my diet) and I can drink red wine now with my cheese on an evening without it triggering me and that was my main known trigger. My joints don't give me grief like they used to either and I walk/jog most days up and down hills, so my knees get plenty of work. I would rather not have diabetes but it has made me a much slimmer, healthier and fitter 56 yr old.
 

everydayupsanddowns

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

It is worth mentioning that the eating plan that everyone ends up on will be slightly different, and that what works for one person may not suit another (either in taste/texture or in BG outcomes).

Do make sure you are retaining flexibility, and keeping options open. Rather than assinging loads of things to a ‘never again’ list I think it’s more workable to think of things as

‘often’, ‘less of it or less often’, ‘rarely’ and ‘not worth the bother’

And the same food might go into any category for different members!

This can be where a BG meter really helps, once you have a rough eating plan worked out, because you can check before and after different meals and see how they affect your BG (taking 2 readings allows you to see the meal rise)

You can also experiment with adding things back-in... or with reduced portions of things that may have been a bit spiky eg a full bowl of granola might be too much, but a bowl of full fat greek yoghurt, a handful of berries and a sprinkle of granola over the top might be even more delicious, keep you fuller for longer, and have a substantially reduced effect on your BG

Good luck, and let us know how you get on :)
 

MichelleN

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
At risk of diabetes
Yes, there is so much misinformation in the press and general information and even from health care professionals and the NHS in general with regard to dietary advice.
Because you are just at risk of diabetes, you will not need to be too radical with your dietary changes and smaller portions of carb rich foods should be enough to turn things around and hopefully return your readings to normal levels. Some of us had extremely high levels and had to make quite drastic changes. The interesting thing is that the change in my lifestyle as a result of my diabetes diagnosis means that I am now slimmer and fitter and healthier than I ever was before my diagnosis nor would have been if it wasn't for diabetes.... it really gave me the kick up the pants I needed to sort myself out. I still enjoy my food but I am no longer a slave to it as I was before (and most of my life). 2 meals a day is usually enough for me and I don't feel hungry and very rarely crave like I used to. On top of that, I no longer get Migraines which were a chronic and severe problem (stopped as soon as I changed my diet) and I can drink red wine now with my cheese on an evening without it triggering me and that was my main known trigger. My joints don't give me grief like they used to either and I walk/jog most days up and down hills, so my knees get plenty of work. I would rather not have diabetes but it has made me a much slimmer, healthier and fitter 56 yr old.
For me I’ve had the diagnosis and panicked, I seemed to have cut a lot of things out very quickly, I’m reducing my portion sizes and starting to look at total carbs, I’ve upped my fitness too. Being on this forum and getting all this great advice has helped me.
 
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