Diabetic Diet – Reversing Type 2 Diabetes
I am a diabetic. My medical team are still trying to figure out which type I have as I have symptoms for both. So that does mean that I am type 1.5? Latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA) for the posh name. Who knows? Quite frankly does it really matter what label you give it? This article is about a diabetic diet that I have put together that helps me keep fit, healthy and off the diabetic medication. This is my story; I am most definitely not a health practitioner and so please do the research and speak to your own practitioner before doing anything as everybody is different. Other than the diabetes I am fit and healthy and have had ALL the tests to prove it.
In August 2015 my initial HbA1c was a sky high 126 and capillary glucose levels of 26. My specialist threatened me with insulin. I was still walking around and leading a normal life (apart from the gallons of water I was consuming). So I said no. Taken aback he put me on the maximum dosage of Gliclazide (320mg/day) After all, they are consultants, so I consulted with the specialist and then made my own decision. If you have ever been on Gliclazide medication, it is very effective but because it drives insulin production it is very easy to get hypos from it (I went sub-4.0 on many occasions). So I decided this wasn’t what I wanted either.
The Internet can be a wonderful thing and after searching on “diabetic diet” I came across the web site: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/ This has been a life saver for me and if you are a diabetic and would like to follow a diabetic diet that has the chance to get you off the medication then take the free online video course for a sensible “low carb” diet at: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/lowcarb/ . I also like learning from books and the book, “Reverse Your Diabetes: The Step-by-Step Plan to Take Control of Type 2 Diabetes” by Dr David Cavan is the book where I got a lot of background science from and the confidence to take myself off my medication. Follow the link to see the review: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-books/reverse-your-diabetes.html
The only thing I also do which comes from Dr Michael Mosley’s book, “The 8-week blood sugar diet” is the idea that the body needs periods of not eating so that you burn fat rather than glucose (which your body is designed to do) and so I don’t do the intermittent fasting bit but try to leave a 12 hour window of not eating between 19:00 and 7:00. I would do longer but with a busy life it’s hard to eat earlier than 19:00 at night. A less busy life and I might try the intermittent fasting.
This is the diet I follow and I have been medication free for over 12 months. My HbA1c is a steady, normal at 35 (well below what is considered normal of 42 and a lot less than that set for diabetics of 48). All through following a simple low carb diabetic diet! I am not in remission yet but I can see progress each month, especially after being more systematic with the regular exercise.
On the site you will also find a lot of really useful information on diabetes and recipes that will make your diet more interesting whilst staying off insulin and the drugs.
I test myself daily (usually first thing in the morning before breakfast). If I have eaten something I shouldn’t and the day starts higher than normal then I may test myself before lunch and dinner to be on the safe side.
Exercise plays a key role and so I have a Fitbit which I use to monitor number of steps taken, heart rate and theoretical calories burnt. I have a road bike on a low cost turbo trainer so that if sugars do go a little crazy, 30 minutes on the bike with a heart of 160 tends to brings things back under control quickly.
When we started Designed2eat we set out to sell healthy treats and snacks because although it is fairly easy to put together your breakfast, lunches and main meals with some forethought and pre-prep it is a lot more challenging to quickly produce tasty treats that you can share with your friends and family. We find this whether you are a diabetic, gluten or dairy intolerant or a following a vegan or paleo diet.
For my breakfast I eat 70g of Rawnola with some blueberries and brown goo made from cashews, chia seeds, protein powder and vita powder (a replacement yoghurt if you like). (Recipe to follow in a later article.)
Lunch is pre-prepared and consists of raw chopped cabbage, celery, a chopped pepper, spring onions, chopped avocado (a little life saver!), tablespoon of Helmans (normal) then some white meat (chicken) or an oily fish (salmon, mackerel etc). I cook a chicken once per week and keep the meat stored in a tupperware box (what would we do without them!) Tins of oily fish are then used when the meat runs out in order to maintain the balance.
Evening meals are relatively easy with above ground veg and protein (in my case meat or fish). Cheese is for a treat as it sometimes throws my sugars. Seasoning from a bottle is a bit restrictive but 50% reduced ketchup seems to work, Kikkoman Soy sauce doesn’t appear to have any sugar in it and of course pepper, paprika etc can add taste. A knob of butter on the veg is a nice addition that doesn’t seem to throw the sugars. Table sauces are work in progress.
For snacks, a handful of nuts can work well and so we sell clean, unprocessed nuts (without any peanuts) in either BIG Nuts 1kg Bag of Raw Mixed Nuts packets or handy packs of Little Nuts 100g Bag of Mixed Nuts .
Our next project is to develop diabetic protein bar for when you are out and about and your next meal has been delayed or you are out doing physical exercise. (I walk, kayak, bike, sail and ski and so having a 150 calorie bar handy that won’t throw my sugars is invaluable.) We have designed the bars and are currently testing them on myself. Our kitchen is 5 star rated by the local authority and so the plan is to launch a home-made version next.
If you would like to take part in the research into a protein bar for diabetics then drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you have found the article useful and if you have any stories where you have used to control symptoms caused by a long term condition (LTC) then drop me a line again at email@example.com and I will post them on the site as it will hopefully others to join the debate and break free of the medication.
Author: Peter Dickinson
Disclaimer: Please note that we are not a professionally qualified Doctor, Dietician or Nutritionist. The information on our blogs are based only on my own experiences and the research we have found in academia.
If you are interested in changing your diet we would highly recommend doing so under the care of a qualified Health Professional. We firmly believe that there is a no diet that suits everybody. You have to go out there and discover it for yourself and enjoy the journey along the way.