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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

What to Eat at First

Every so often a newly diagnosed person arrives on the various forums I read who has no meter and is unlikely to get one for a period. Of course, I suggest they don't delay in correcting that, but that doesn't help in the short term. So this page is some suggestions for people in that position. Not advice for a permanent menu, but as a temporary measure until a meter is available and blood glucose testing can be started.

These are broad guidelines that should help minimise post-meal blood glucose spikes without jeopardising overall nutrition. Note that these are just my opinion, I'm a diabetic, not a doctor. If you are on insulin you should discuss them with your doctor - but if you are on insulin you should also have a meter.


Anything made in a bakery.
All wheat products.
All corn products.
All cereals and other processed grains.
Starches - especially root vegetables.
All sugared drinks - sodas, sport drinks, milk.
All juices.
All fast foods.
And ignore colour, fibre content, or advertising hype about wholegrain or low-GI.

Be wary of:

Fruits, good in small portions, possibly harmful in large portions.


All vegetables, apart from root vegetables.

Use in appropriate portions:


Those lists are not exhaustive but I think you'll pick up the trends.

Cheers, Alan


SierraBella said...

I was diagnosed with Type 2 yesterday. This post is just what I was looking for.
Was also diagnosed with high cholesterol, so will need to strike many of the allowable foods from your list.
While I'm waiting for my follow-up appointment (and meter,) you've given me a wonderful start.
Thank you!

Alan said...

Don't be too quick to cut foods for cholesterol. For example, eggs, in moderation, are a good food and an easy quick breakfast.

Serum cholesterol and ingested cholesterol are not directly related. Excess of any food component - carbs, fat, cholesterol can lead to bad lipids. In my opinion the quickest way for a new type 2 to improve triglycerides is to cut back on the carbs.

Vienna said...

Thanks Alan! I just had a fasting blood glucose test that came back high, and I had the second test today. Waiting. . .

While I wait, I want to learn everything I can. This was just what I needed. I look forward to reading more of your blog.


Anonymous said...

Alan, I just had my second fasting blood sugar test today...the first one was high.

I can't just idly wait, I have to learn everything I can about diabetes. This post really, really helped.

I look forward to reading more of your blog.


Anonymous said...

Hey Alan great blog and there's a lot of useful info on here. I'll be looking in regularly for any updates.

Zahir Shamsey said...

This is helpful. Excellent work and thanks.

Margie's Musings said...

Thank you, Alan. I am in a quandary what to fix for Bob for dinner and what kind of snacks he can have. He likes nuts and eggs so that is helpful. If I fix ham and beans, is that acceptable?

Alan said...

It's impossible for me to answer that directly. Ham won't raise his blood glucose levels, but beans may or may not.

I suggest that he eats that dinner and then tests his blood glucose levels about an hour after he finishes the meal. That is the best indicator.

Margie's Musings said...

The ham and beans put the blood sugar back up above 200. It has been a seesaw. It has never been down below 175 yet and today is three weeks.

He had another fasting test done this week and it is still high.

The doctor suggested she may have to add a med...or at least increase his present med.

Anonymous said...


It is not the abosulte value that counts when mesuring the effects of food, it's the before & after difference. The max increase usually occur 45- 60 minutes after eating and may take some trial & error to find. A difference of 25 is quite low, meaning that the meal was well tolerated. You need to work on reducing the 175. Ways to do that include reducing carb intake, increasing exercise, eating plenty of vegetables, increased medication, losing weight, but ultimately its a balance between them all. It does take a long time to bring down fasting blood glucose.

Alan said...

While I agree with the closing statements in the previous comment I should note that I don't quite agree with the opening statement. I think the absolute level counts. Although the delta, or difference, between pre- and post-meal tests shows the effect of a specific food or meal the absolute level of the spike is, to my mind, the target to be reduced closer to normal numbers for better health.

Both matter. One gives the effect of food, the other is the target we are attemptng to stay below.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much alan..your blog has been so helpful to me.. I was diagnosed a week ago and go back 2 day for my a1c and to get meter and all of that..

I have been searching the entire web for info and everything was so confusing.
Then I found your blog..its so easy to understandand very helpful..Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks- 64 years old, diagnosed last week with 6.2 A1C. Started the diet recommendations and exercise immediately. Waiting for a nutritionist meeting and a meter, but after 1 week have dropped 4 pounds and brought my fasting blood sugar down from 116 to 107. Restricting the carbs really works.

Alan said...

Thanks for the feedback. I wish you a long and successful continuation of your better health.

Anonymous said...

Hi ,

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with us readers. Those of us who are discovering Blood sugar, in old age,(60),need to read your observations. I have already ordered your book.

I have been told all the traditional beliefs that use whole grains multi grain etc.etc.. but did not like them much. Of course metformin is the life line for docs here in India. 1000mg is not a problem it seems. It gave me drug reaction and I was advised , to reduce the dose.

Another observation: I felt,cravings for some food items, like eggs, more vegetables, some fruit. I will follow your advice and eat in moderation and alter my diet.

http://mysisterwasastbernard.blogspot.com said...

I'm cetainly enjoying these questions and answers--big help and comforting after recent diagnosis (146 FBG). Should get a meter in a few days. Makes it seem almost doable! Thanks Alan.

Cheers from far northern CA, ~Kathi (kauailover)

Yvette said...

Thank you so much. I am so overwhelmed--this falls in line with everything I've been reading on wordier websites but was much more concise and helpful.

Thank you for relieving a bit of my stress today.

blake said...

Hey brother

Thank you for this. I was just diagnosed today....I will be back monday in to see my dr to discuss treatment. I suffer from depression (untreated due to $$$) and I have another chronic illness (progressive and incurable) so naturally I'm super hysterical.

This has been a super valuable resource.