Diets...ugh!

My husband is currently at serious risk for getting diabetes. We, of course, want to prevent this. The doctor is recommending a low carb diet, until his sugar/insulin is under control, then a regular low-cal/fat diet, plus regular exercise. Since I need to lose weight as well, I'm joining him on his diet. Can't hurt, right?

He isn't supposed to have more than 30 carbs of any kind a day, probably for the next two months. He's scheduled to see a nutritionist soon. The problem we're having right now is, until we see the nutritionist, we're unsure of what to eat! Almost everything has carbs in it. Has anyone been on a low-carb diet, and have any recommendations/recipes?

I have an incredible sweet-tooth, and I thoroughly enjoy baking, so any low carb baking recipes would be appreciated. Do these even exist = ( ?

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MeiLin's picture

Most High

Exercise is what's going to keep him from getting diabetes. Cinnamon also helps with blood sugar. If you're interested in nutrition, take a look at Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Your nutritionist will not like it, but I swear it has helped me.

I did not eat this way before my first heart attack; my occlusion rate in my heart was then 8% as measured during an angiogram. That's reasonable for someone 41 years of age. Four years later, when I was back for my second and third heart attacks (again, I have a weird condition that's completely separate from diet or the usual heart stuff), I had been eating like this for three years. My occlusion rate had dropped by half to 4%.

The more I follow Nourishing Traditions, the better my health is. I hope I can get back on my feet and get back to it soon.

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

There will ALWAYS be more to learn about health, but after reading some of the introduction of the book the MeiLin recommended, I think it's in line with what I know about health and a healthy diet/lifestyle.

I work in a Natural foods store and try to observe as much knowledge as I can. We have a nutritionist who believes in supplements and is always trying to base her lectures on the latest studies, acctual science, what is important to the cell. She emphasizes that eggs have a lot of good things in them and that the cholesterol they contain should be counteracted by the natural lecithin it also contains. Eggs are good for your brain. She recommends having some sort of protein for breakfast every day, and I think 30 g a day total. Protein also takes more energy for your body to convert into useable forms. It really is more about unprocessed foods and exercise than counting your calories per say. Anything that helps you adjust your portion sizes seems to be helpful for weight loss though.

On the subject of portion control, my 18 year old brother got into a study where they gave him the lapband. He's finally at a healthy weight again and has no more signs of nash. And there's this product I'm considering trying in my own family, "Reset," which is a high protein, low calorie, but more importantly low in glycemic index, shake. It also helps you feel full with carefully extracted beta-glucan fiber from oats. It's not a meal replacement, it's meant to help you reduce total caloric intake.

What else can I say? I'm no expert, but yeah, more unprocessed foods! Oils, nutrients, proteins, organic vegetables... These are all big topics. Don't be ashamed for not knowing where to begin! Many people give up before they've even tried! Any progress is commendable. Smile

faile486's picture

Petitioner

Occlusion, is that how blocked arteries are?

I love being outside, playing sports ect - I haven't really done it since I met my husband though, because he thinks the sun was created simply to torment him >.> The only temp he likes is air conditioned. We're getting an energetic puppy to help with the exercise Kiss 2

Why wouldn't the nutritionist like the book? Does it contain any recipes, or just general guidelines?

Thanks Mei! I hope you're feeling better soon too!

Davik's picture

Embodiment

I don't know where you live, but if climate and land area permit, put in a garden. Not only is it good exercise (it's quite a bit of work to do it right), but it makes a real difference in what you want to eat. When the only veggies I can get are from the grocery and are horrible quality, I don't eat well, but when I can pick the stuff fresh and have it on the table within an hour of it being on the plant I can live off fruits and veggies. The taste is just completely different. I know I'm going to be living off tabbouleh for days at a time once my tomatoes start up, and tabbouleh is about as good for you as it gets (though you might have to have a hardboiled egg with it for protein).

LaurenF's picture

Petitioner

From what I've seen, a low carb diet is effective quickly, but in the long run is hard to maintain. I suppose if your husband's doctor needed him to drop the weight rapidly, a low carb diet would work, but as you've found, it is very difficult to avoid carbs, especially if you're a bread-lover like myself. Like GreenGlass said, eggs are ridiculously good for you. The more protein you can get, the better. Try to eat more fish and chicken in addition to the eggs. If you find that you simply can't stand the low-carb diet, go for a low-fat diet instead. It will be much more satisfying to you, and combined with proper exercise will help you take off weight and keep it off, whereas a lot of people I know who were on the low-carb diet experienced some weight gain after stopping the diet. I hope your nutritionist is able to give you a plan that allows you to enjoy some of the foods you love in addition to losing the weight at a pace that is healthy. Best of luck to you and your husband!

faile486's picture

Petitioner

Well, while he *does* need to drop weight, it's not really the concern right now. He's right on the verge of having diabetes, and needs to get it under control. Eating carbs (sugar and starch) are what causes your body to make insulin, and an excess of that is what leads to insulin immunity, which causes diabetes.

So, while weight loss is a long term goal, getting this under control FAST is our priority. Once this is under control, she wants him to switch back to a normal low-cal diet. Low carb isn't what we're using for long term goals!

Thankfully he loves eggs and fish - unfortunately for me I hate them >.> I'm not having sugar issues though, so if I need to eat more carbs, oh well.

GreenGlass - from what I've been reading you should eat half your ideal body weight in protein mgs a day. So for him, his ideal body weight is 200 lbs, and his protein intake should be 100mg a day. This stuff is all kinds of confusing though... there are three 'types' of food, carbs, protein and fats. Eating to many carbs causes diabetes, eating to much protein causes kindey failure, and eating to much fat causes heart disease. Argh.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

And that's not even getting into the different *types* of carbs and fats...!

I would look up popular science/general education books, articles, and websites that discuss diabetes. If any of them push one specific, trademarked diet, especially includes buying specific brand name products/supplements - skip it. Otherwise, have a look at those resources for ideas. Here's a place to start: the recipes & nutrition section of the American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org/food-nutrition-lifestyle/nutrition.jsp

judisheshok's picture

Postulant

Ting! I purchased book. _sigh_ Reading

sherinik's picture

Postulant

I LOVE carbs, so I feel for you. I tried the low carb diet at one point, stuck it out for two weeks and didn't lose a single kilo. No bread or rice or cous cous for two whole weeks! Nearly killed me.

So a couple of quick ideas - lots of garden salads and steamed veges, with protein sides. You have to be careful about the veges, none of the really starchy ones like potato or taro. Try slicing veges into 2" long very thin sticks, then laying fish over the top and steaming with a squeeze of lemon juice for 5 minutes.

Breakfast for me was baby spinach leaves, capsicum, tomato, maybe a little diced bacon, mushrooms, topped with an egg and a handful of cheese then into the microwave for 90 seconds. Instant eggs florentine!

Something I recently heard about but haven't tried yet - cauliflower rice. Whizz cauliflower in a blender until it's all crumbled, then steam. Could be a good alternative to rice or cous cous as a side dish?

The Which's picture

Embodiment

Low carb diets can make their breath smell really, really BAD.

While I avoid white flour as much as I can without being crazy, I'm opposed to the all-encompassing low carb diets. Seriously, I can't eat FRUIT????

MeiLin's picture

Most High

The no-fruit no-root-veg diets make me a bit nuts, and not in the "I want carbs" way. I just eat heavy on the protein and good quality fat and light on the carbs, especially grain carbs.

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

When you get bad breath from a low carb diet, that's a symptom of ketosis. People don't seem to worry much about a ketotic state in people, which I find bizarre because those of us in the animal care business jump all over it as a metabolic disease that can/will kill if left untreated. So yeah, like any "extreme" diet, I'm leery of low/no-carbs.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... quite extreme, as far as low-carb diets go, does not generally keep you in a ketotic state for more than a couple of weeks during the heavy weight-loss phase. But you're right. Ketosis is a sign of unhealthy metabolic stress. It is also, incidentally, quite unnecessary for loosing weight. Atkins, or generally going low-carb, works reasonably well as a diet if you can keep it up, but not for the reasons Atkins thought it would.

Pedes's picture

Postulant

OK, I may be using wrong terms now, but...
I am a sweet-tooth person, to be precise: chocoholic. So after my whole diet went through a makeover I still could not get rid of them.
A week before Easter I decided to cut on sweets. I started with cutting on the simple carbohydrates (or whatever their name is) and combined it with change of eating habits (good breakfast, not skipping the meals, eating small regular meals to assure even lever of insulin). In a week I lost a kilogram Biggrin But it was hard D:
Then came Easter and it went back.
After Easter I did not go back to the hardcore level of diet, but I'm keeping an eye so I don't eat too much sugar (I don't have problems with eating too much generally or with fatty food - I can't eat it I don't digest it well anyway - or with junk food). Two weeks, but the kilogram is gone again Biggrin And with no pain really.
My problem is that I have metabolism of the kind "using up everything you eat" that is I don't really need much food to keep going (this might have gotten screwed up due to bad diet earlier). Also I don't really like much eating, so I guess that's when my sweets habit became bad - I did not want to eat so I didn't until my stomach protested too much and I was weak, so I ate a little of something energetic for it to settle down. Yet I found that if I eat regularly that alone allows me to take in roughly 30% calories more and not take on any weight (the metabolism is better and body makes less food into fat "for the cases of shortage". I think my metabolism is generally changing now too, and for the better). That with keeping eye on calories and carbs is working as far - still this is planned for a long-term diet, not fast loss of weight. I keep an eye on how energetic the meal is and when I ate the last one/how energetic the last one was. It's pretty much a way of approximated keeping the insulin level OK. So I can allow myself a bit of chocolate provided I take it as a meal and take into account how much energy it gives me and for how long.

OK, but a short guide from what remember what kills and not; note that this is mostly a list made for me and it's rather "what is more and less cool" so it's rather for you than your husband...
Carrot - raw is OK, boiled - not so much.
No: sugar, sweets, beans, potatos (peas? not sure...), soda(KILLS)
White flour is evil. Bread - only dark and whole grain is OK, pasta - if you can get whole grain it's cool. Cakes and cookies - only grain-oatmeal-whatever (for some reason I prefer them to "normal" kinds).
Be careful when it comes to:
Juices, yoghurt, cookies, katchup and sauces, jams and whatever. Some things that you'd never expect to contain sugar. Always read the labels. Also bananas.
Fish is cool. Careful - some are fatty! (though it's not always a bad fat)
If you have to eat sweets - and for someone with sweet-tooth it's a matter of habit not choice Wink - then eat really really dark chocolate - min 60-70% of cocoa. Chocolate DOES have calories, sugar and fat, but the fat is quite OK and it also has lots of good stuff. So as long as you eat the chocolate in pieces not in bars (1-2 pieces, not 1-2 bars Wink ) it's actually good for you. If you have tendency to eat too much of chocolate seek for 90% - it's hardcore stuff, almost not sweet at all (think: chocolate version of Italian espresso) and even I can't eat more than 2 pieces (and I'm a person who drinks unsweetened cocoa version of espresso).
As said above: eggs are uber-cool.

But this all comes after: how much do you eat? Do you really need that much? How much fat? What kind of fat? What kind of grains? How much? Veggies? and fruit? How much do you drink? Do you exercise?
Those questions are important, because (for normal people) simple (?) carbohydrates (sugar etc) hurt less if you use them up instantly. If you can estimate your daily needs you'll be able to eat a bit of anything you want provided you keep the overall balance well (and it's not poisonous Wink ).

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

You got the vast majority of the words right (better than I could probably do in anything other than my native language), so don't be too self conscious. Wink (Btw, I seem to recall you were one of the people who asked to have spelling/grammar corrected, so yogurt and ketchup - at least around where I'm from.)

Grats on losing weight, but don't forget that weight fluctuation is fairly normal - maybe not on the order of a kilo per week, but it might have had a small effect on it. In other words, don't freak out if the weight doesn't just melt off right away. It's different for different people and you might just start on an upswing.

Davik's picture

Embodiment

Spelling it yoghurt is fairly typical in some other countries from what I've seen. I know I've seen it quite a bit in Indian and middle eastern cookbooks and packages; it's also consistent with spelling in the UK.

Pedes's picture

Postulant

I've got spellcheck for that, actually Wink although there is always the IK-US difference (also I never remember who wears pants on the top....)

I know about the weight fluctuation, I take it into account. There is always a kind of range where the weight fluctuates and I always check for a few days in the row. If the range shifts I take it as a change of general weight Biggrin

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

The US has pants on top, underwear on bottom. In the UK (and other Received Pronunciation countries, I assume) it's trousers on top, pants on bottom.

Certainly gives "caught with your pants down" two rather different degrees of embarrassing.

Pedes's picture

Postulant

"Americans are so stupid they wear pants on top" ;P

I never know what to write... like today my pants/trousers ripped and writing it in journal gets difficult XD. (I usually write it like that "pants/trousers" so people know what I mean XD)

MeiLin's picture

Most High

We use "pants" and "trousers" interchangeably. (Unlike SOME people who invented the language.) So going with the British standard won't make you misunderstood in American idiom.

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

I'm fairly sure that 'undergarments' or 'underwear' will cover the concept of underwear/pants for nearly any variety of English.

Trousers sound a little more formal than pants, I think, but I doubt that people would have trouble understanding.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

What the hell. I had an appropriately inappropriate rely to this comment. And now it’s not here. Damn. :beam:

Pedes's picture

Postulant

"My pants are falling down" can be a bit ambiguous Wink

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

We typically just say that a person -has- a sweet-tooth, rather than being a "sweet-tooth person." That's an idiosyncrasy of the idiom.
I've seen yogurt, yoghurt, and (from a Swede, so it might just be the Swedish version) joghurt.

Pedes's picture

Postulant

I never get this one right. Probably I've seen both version and got confused: is or has.

Yogurt/yoghurt yeah, I've seen both too. And in Polish it's Jogurt XD @.@

Zandu Ink's picture

Embodiment

Joghurt is what I have after a good 30 minute run.

Blum 3

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

is to get his sugar under control, not to lose weight, right? Then the low cal diet is for weight control once the sugar is down? That's the impression I'm getting, but correct me if I'm wrong.

For baking low-carb, the best recommendation I can give you is to look at resources for people who are already diabetic, especially Type I, which is usually controlled with diet. There are *tons* of resources out there for diabetic people who can't eat a lot of sugar or carbs, and I see no reason why they couldn't help you too. Look into artificial sweeteners, especially Splenda or Stevia which are generally safer than aspartame/nutrisweet and can be used in baking, since they are safe at high temperatures (which aspartame is not). Check out this list of ingredients for low-carb alternatives to baking ingredients. There are some tips here as well.
You might also want to see if there is a specialty food store near you, since a lot of low-carb recipes call for weird stuff like sugar alcohol or wheat gluten.

People with this cookbook really seem to like it, although I have not used it myself. If you get it off Amazon, make sure to use Mei's link!

That's all I have. Just keep an eye out for stuff that's sugar free. If you like soda, try switching to flavored seltzer. On a diet that's low in carbs, you're going to need to eat a lot of protein and fat to feel full, and that's okay. You do still need the energy, and in general, starving yourself will always make you cheat on your diet and that's not good. Eat a lot of meat, no matter what kind of meat it is, eggs, raw or cooked vegetables, and don't be afraid to eat things like fatty salad dressing or oil. You probably get most of your calories from carbohydrates right now, so keep in mind that you may have to eat a lot more protein and fat to make that up. Just because you're in diet mentality, doesn't mean you should be hungry, try to eat less, or focus on cutting out more than just carbs right now, so don't be afraid of fat. You do need some fat in your diet. Good luck!

april.raines's picture

Petitioner

I did a Candida - or anti-Candida - diet several years ago. It was low sugar/ low carb. Or more specifically, all carbs had to be whole grain, which is another thing to think about. We ended up with rice pasta, special non-risen breads (Candida's a kind of yeast, so no yeast on the diet), and *lots* of veggies and protein. Snacks were stuff like pea pods and cucumber. I like PB & cucumber is good. Nuts.

It can be done. I did it for 6 months and felt a lot better. I really should do it regularly, but haven't the will power - or won't power - lately.

Good luck!

Voyeur's picture

Earlier this year I got a Wii with WiiFit. I never liked working out, but this is fun (if you can ignore the chipper instructors who should DIE IN A HORRIBLE FLAMING ACCIDENT). I doubt its as effective as the gym, but I do work up a sweat. I tend to drop 5 pounds over 2 weeks. There is a weight limit for the balance board, so investigate that before you purchase, if you decide to go that route. I really wish stores would set it up for trials. My friends are addicted to it, so we generally have competitions when its my night to host. Good luck.

applejax's picture

Supplicant

I named my instructors silly names, so that if they were being extra annoying I could yell at them directly. Obviously that didn't do anything, but it made me feel better, although my parents were a little weirded out. I don't have gym access when I'm at home, and I found that using the WiiFit consistently kept me in decent shape, especially when I did the high reps of things like hula hoop and higher difficulties of the rest. The only drawback is the jogging, since it goes by how your arm is moving instead of your legs, so it's not the most accurate (and you can cheat, as my brother found out while we raced)

GreenGlass's picture

Supplicant

You can name them? I've been doing WiiFit for a little over a month now and I'm very happy with it! When it comes to exercise, it's whatever works, and for me this works!

As for the instructors and the annoying time wasters that are not skippable, yeah, I finally lost it when my female instructor took a day off. I got a virtual instructor to aoid crap like that! I said I wanted a female! Just change the woman, not the gender! Also, my husband doesn't want to use it, but he measured his weight once and now it's begun to ask about him! Why does it ask me about him? None of its business! I turned it off when that question came up.

Despite the quirks I love getting to try out yoga and seeing slow improvement at the games and exercises. I am enjoying it! Mostly. Smile

applejax's picture

Supplicant

I wish I could name them in the game, but really I just yell at the TV. My mom says that since I left for school it was asking about me - I think it's so your other family members will encourage you to use it more? It seems like a good idea if it didn't sound so creepy when it asked. I like that it graphs your progress, so if I have a day where I ate a lot I'll notice and try not to do it again. It's great to have a visual of your progress, instead of just a number on the scale and how you feel. Now I miss my WiiFit!

A's picture

Postulant

More important than grams of carbs is what kind of carbs.

"Not all carbohydrate foods are created equal, in fact they behave quite differently in our bodies. The glycemic index or GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. Choosing low GI carbs - the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels - is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss." http://www.glycemicindex.com/

My mother is diabetic and has followed the GI for her carbs for years. Any diet that stabilizes blood sugar is a win.

You might also check out the Sugar Busters! diet. It's rather interesting.

The Zone Diet also regulates blood sugar. I did it for while in the 90s and it felt great.

Good luck. Changing your diet is one of the hardest things to do. Once you figure it out, though, it gets easier.

faile486's picture

Petitioner

kawaiikune - Yes, it is strictly to get his blood sugar under control, and then we will switch to a different diet for long-term weight loss. Thanks for the great suggestions! I'll have to look into the second sweetener you mentioned, as I've always disliked Splenda.

I think he has a WiiFit at the workplace. I honestly have no idea why we don't have one here. He collects games and gaming related items at a borderline compulsive level >.> That's undoubtedly one of the contributing factors to our weight issues ^^; We used to enjoy DDR as well (I even have a hard pad), but the constant jumping/stomping was to much for my ankles, and I've had to give it up, at least until I'm able to lose weight.

Thank you for all the great ideas everyone!

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

It's a lot, lot sweeter than sugar, so you need considerably less. Look up conversions before you try to use it. I think it will probably go reasonably well in baking, but I've found that I don't really like it in coffee or tea.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

...though I know a lot of folks like it.

Katie's picture

Embodiment

there are lots of different stevias, and some of it's good and some of it isn't. I haven't tried it though, it's too bloody expensive.

And for baking I know there's stevia with a bulking agent to make it comparable to sugar.

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

Sweeteners: I find that I can tolerate non-sugar sweeteners better IN things with other flavours (baked goods) or in carbonated drinks (but not in FLAT drinks), and if there's a little sugar or honey as well to offset the flavour. My favourite low GI or cal-free sweeteners are Agave (which I have heard is safe for diabetics) and Erythritol (I drink a soda that is stevia/erythritol, cal free, and delicious).

Diet: I have been eating on alternate days, pretty much consistently, for 2 years now. I've done it to varying degrees, and you can also simply restrict heavily on the 'down days'. For the past 3 weeks, I've been fasting usually completely on down days (doing about 100 cal today though bc my body's screaming for it), and then 500-1000 on up days. I was trying to lose weight before, but it wasn't happening - this plus a lot of exercise has really kicked in the weight loss for me. I'm not at the point where I'm weighing or measuring yet, but I will be soon.

The nice thing about the alternate-day eating is that it does incredible things for your insulin/blood sugar chemistry. Incredible! Complete fasting isn't a good idea for diabetics, but alternating moderate normal eating with heavy restriction is. I can talk more if you're interested. Smile

ETA: My diet is also very low carb atm.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

You did NOT look to me like you need to lose weight, missy!

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

You saw me at what is very overweight for me. This is a problem for a variety of reasons. Nyah

Sloooowly improving, though.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

okay, I'll just have to take your word on it!

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

From the pictures I've seen, you appear to be a VERY healty woman.

fairnymph's picture

Embodiment

I haven't taken any pics in a whiiiiiile.

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

Perhaps it's time to remedy that then...

V's picture
The Which's picture

Embodiment

I find that I dislike the bland sweetness of sugar in my tea now. Agave doesn't have a pronounced flavor like honey, but it also has a taste other than "sweet."

The low glycemic index is also a big plus.

Pedes's picture

Postulant

I seem to be intolerant towards some but still haven't figured out which 0o

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