I do not control which ads are displayed by Google Ads nor do I endorse the products advertised. Ads claiming diabetes is curable or reversible should be ignored.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm Type 2! What Should I Eat?

I often see these questions, in one form or another, on the various diabetes forums I read:

"How many carbs can I eat in a day?" or "What ratio of fat to carbs to protein should I eat?".

I think that is the wrong way to approach the subject for us as individual type 2 diabetics. Very few of us will actually sit down and work out the calories and fat:carbohydrates:protein ratios we are eating on a daily basis, nor does a daily limit for carbs work very well when our response to those carbs may be quite different at different times of day.

I do not deliberately plan to consume any particular proportion of daily fats, protein and carbs, nor any set daily carbohydrates level or limit. Instead, when I slowly developed my present way of eating I followed a simple process to work out what suited me.

My logic is fairly basic. I need to get all the appropriate nutrients for good health, but I need to get them in a way that does not jeopardise any of my various afflictions, including diabetes. I learned very soon after diagnosis that eating excessive carbohydrates caused blood glucose spikes, so I used this technique to adjust my carbohydrate levels until that did not happen: Test, Review, Adjust.

But other people, including my doctor, were then concerned that I may be missing out on vital nutrients. So I used a diet analyser to check what I actually ate to see if that was true. This is the most recent analyser I have found for that purpose: CRON-o-meter; there are others on the web if you do some searching. I also have regular blood tests; those can also show if I am deficient in various vitamins and minerals. If analysis or blood tests showed that I was missing something I then used the USDA nutrients guide to see what foods I could use to include those missing nutrients without increasing blood glucose levels.

In general terms, I found that eating a variety of proteins such as meat, fish and eggs in normal serve sizes, and replacing most of my starchy carbs, such as breads, potatoes, corn, pasta and similar with a wide range of colourful vegetables, such as cabbage, spinach, celery, onions, peppers, cauliflower, egg-plant and similar meant that there were very few nutrients I missed out on. In fact the increased variety of foods, especially vegetables, in my diet improved my nutrient intake in several areas.

If, and only if, I could not obtain a nutrient by adding a food to the menu I then added a supplement. At the moment my only supplements are vit D3, fish oil and magnesium.

When I do take the trouble to work out my fat:carbohydrates:protein ratios I find they are usually surprisingly close to those suggested in these interesting papers by researchers Mary C Gannon and Frank Q Nuttal:

Effect of a High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Blood Glucose Control in People With Type 2 Diabetes

Control of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes without weight loss by modification of diet composition

I did not use those as a guide, but it is reassuring to see that there is some science supporting my present way of eating.

Cheers, Alan

Everything in Moderation - Except laughter

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Serendipitous Cajun Chicken

Last night I had some chicken pieces to cook but I didn't feel like baking them, so I made the following up as I went along. I'm not sure this could really be called a recipe because the quantities and directions are not exactly quantified or normal, but the result was delicious.

I started with a chicken maryland (drumstick and thigh) and two wings. I jointed all those and ended up with eight small bits of chook, to be cooked for two.

I browned all those in a wok in a decent splash of peanut oil. When they were browned but not fully cooked I removed them to be returned later.

I sliced or chopped one red onion, a stalk of celery and a medium carrot and sautéed those in the chicken-flavoured oil; adding a minced clove of garlic when they were nearly cooked. Then I added a half teaspoon of cayenne, a half-teaspoon of turmeric, a half-teaspoon of paprika, a half-teaspoon of salt and a grating of pepper. The measurements were by calibrated eyeball. I also added just a few flakes of my ultra-hot dried birds-eye chili from the garden and some dried oregano, also from my garden.

I returned the chicken to the veges in the wok, gave it a good stir, then covered it all with chicken stock. I brought that to the boil and then reduced it to simmer and went off to upload some movies to my travel blog. That turned out to be an essential and serendipitous part of the cooking technique.

The up-loading took a little longer than I expected. Some time later (probably about a half-hour) I returned to find the wok had boiled almost dry and the veges on the bottom were starting to stick to the pan and going rather black. On tasting, the flavour had developed a slightly charred characteristic (hence the cajun tag) but still seemed edible.

I added a little water and gave it a good stir to de-glaze the wok and to mix the black flecks into the mass of veges; just enough water to result in a nice gravy consistency. I did not use any thickener in the recipe; no flour or guar gum. Then I returned it to the simmer for about ten minutes; this time under supervision.

I served it with some trepidation. The tasting judge, my better half, thought it was wonderful. She claimed it was the best chicken she had eaten for a long time. Surprisingly, so did I. Of course, she may have just been trying to ensure that the cook continues to cook for her...

I'm not quite sure how to write that down as a recipe technique: "cook until just charred but not burnt".

I haven't worked out a nutrition count but the only significant carbs would have been the carrot. It hardly caused a blip on my peak post-meal BGs.

Bon appetit,


Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter