Best and Worst Meals for Diabetes

By jigsaw Latest Reply 2014-03-05 15:25:25 -0600
Started 2014-02-23 17:42:03 -0600

It never fails to amaze me, when I see the amount of calories and carbs in some meals. Better to be amazed by reading about these foods, rather then eating them and finding out the hard way. Many of us discover what is acceptable in our diets with some experimentation. Of course it is advantageous to to find out by reading when possible.
Here is a link that I thought was helpful and interesting. See if you agree.

43 replies

Shawn Grant
Shawn Grant 2014-03-01 15:02:45 -0600 Report

I strongly disagree with the good meals that are recommended in link. 40 grams of carbs is way more than I can handle to keep my BS normal. One meal they had close, the pork tenderloin. Why add the dinner roll? Rest of that meal is fine. There no reason to cause a slow death with diabetics by telling them to round out the meal with a dinner roll.

The Mexican is wrong. Enchiladas are made with tortillas. That's high carbs. When at a Mexican restaurant, I get fajitas and don't eat the tortillas. The burger substitute was bad. Still had bread. I know they substituted a healthier meat for fear of a heart attach. Increase heart attack risk is from the high blood sugar you will get from the whole grain bun. Have a regular burger and swap the bun for lettuce wrap. I wouldn't have ketchup on it either as it has sugar.

My dad was great at following the recommended meals in the link above and from the ADA. He's dead! Carbs have got to be much lower than what they are recommending.

jigsaw 2014-03-02 08:46:33 -0600 Report

There are so many variables to consider with people, diabetes, and even medical information. I don't believe I saw the ADA mentioned in my post. On that point, I somewhat agree with you. Certainly one would have to modify any food recommendations to meet their own personal needs, no matter what the source. One example that you have mentioned ( your dad ) does not speak for the rest of those with diabetes. If you are primarily referring to your own needs, then I have little to say. After all, I know little about your food plan, exercise routine, or any thing else that you include in your daily routine.

During my first 7 years with diabetes, I kept my carb consumption lower then I have during my remaining 13 additional years of living with diabetes. It was during the first 7 years that some health problems ( not related to diabetes ) began to develop. I suspect, as do a couple of my doctors, that it was related to going a bit to low on my carb consumption. Consequently, I increased my carb consumption a bit, modified , my diet, and all has been well so far.

I don't believe you or I have the answer for all those with diabetes. I can't say in detail how many carbs are right for you. We can generalize to a point when it comes to many with diabetes. More specifically, I believe it's accurate to say that most people with diabetes need to watch and manage their carb consumption carefully. On the other hand, if I run marathons everyday, I bet I could consume more carbs safely, then most others could with diabetes.

I wish you the best with your diabetes management. I'm sure we both incorporate some similar and beneficial concepts into our own personal diabetes mgmt plans. I'm sure we include some differences also.

IronOre 2014-02-26 02:13:44 -0600 Report

A couple points:
As typical with an article like this; what they show applies not only to diabetics but to all people, with or without diabetes.
The article was unrealistic when showing the preferred choice over the common choice.

jigsaw 2014-02-28 18:10:56 -0600 Report

A feather in your cap, it does apply to people that don't have diabetes! As far as it being unrealistic with it's comparisons, well, you're entitled to your opinions.

Type1Lou 2014-02-25 15:58:09 -0600 Report

Finally had a chance to look at the link…really eye opening! I want to send it to my Type 2 daughter-in-law and some other friends. Thanks for posting it. When I make gumbo at home, I just eat it without the rice and get rid of the rice carbs which certainly makes it a healthier option for me. Carb awareness is the key for me!

jigsaw 2014-02-25 18:01:34 -0600 Report

I'm pleased that you liked it! I thought it was quite amazing also. By the way carbs are my nemesis! I agree with you concerning carb awareness. It is critical for those with diabetes.

tabby9146 2014-02-24 10:45:11 -0600 Report

Mary, that is great about your husband! My husband is headed straight for something, either diabetes, or without D, having a heart attack, his weight is in his mid section, he used to have high blood pressure years ago, started eating better, stopped the bad snacks and sodas, walked everyday after work, it came right off, just as soon as he stopped all that, and started eating wrong again, the lbs came back on. he is not terribly overweight, but quite enough for sure. I have tried and tried for years, to get him to stop. He sees what I eat, he knows all about it, he went to 2 our of the 4 diabetes classes with me way back in early 2009 so he knows lots of things, but he just keeps on and I can't get him to change. I told him, just start small, just start with no sodas at all, drink more water, eat your high fat snacks for a while, but start there, then decrease the snacking eat a little less at meals, he won't do any of it. Even his mother for many years was overweight never exercised, never ate right, then when she started having health problems, she lost all the weight but she still won't exercise for anything and now unfortunately, very sadly, she had dementia and has for years, and was on cholesterol and blood pressure medications. I hate to see this, when I wonder, perhaps, if her dementia could have possibly been prevented. who knows. there is much research out there, pointing to the fact that many can decrease the chances of things like that with preventive measures of diet and exercise. Even that does not scare him enough. Even her hard work and success with the weight did not motivate him. I can't help but worry. He never gets his blood pressure checked regularly anymore. I've tried to get him to have a check up for yrs now.

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2014-02-24 12:18:26 -0600 Report

I am sorry to hear that your husband is in denial over his health. I am also sorry to tell you there is very little if anything that you can do about it. Dick, my husband listened to what I had to say and he watched Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil points out on nearly every show how what is happening in your life is your responsibility. Only you can change it. My husband got the message and made the decision to go on my program. Without that decision, we would have not gotten anywhere.

All the great information and advice is just that until you decide to put it into action. Action is the step that changes lives.

You need to take care of yourself, eat right and exercise. Possibly your actions will inspire your husband to get onboard and take care of his health as well.

I am sure it's very frustrating for you not to be able to help your husband. When that frustration wells up inside you just remember this very important truth: The only person you can change…is you.

God bless!

jigsaw 2014-02-24 17:10:30 -0600 Report

Sadly, I have to agree with you. Only we can change ourselves. However, there is one exception that I will mention. My wife is a junkfood junkie, with little regard for the potential health risks possible. Probably the fact that her health has been miraculously good is part of the cause. I have shown her time in and time out, a great deal of info on nutrition, and the dangers of a diet that is lacking. All to no avail!
I finally solved the problem to a great extent. I currently do all the meal preparation, and cooking. I even do all the food shopping. No junk food in this guys house! She either eats a healthy meal that I prepare, or she has to cook a meal for herself. It works fairly well, because she hates to cook. LOL !

tabby9146 2014-02-24 10:12:21 -0600 Report

I loved reading what everyone else has to say. I love the whole wheat tortillas and lots of times what I like to do, is with limited time early mornings on week days, for a quick b'fast for myself and my daughter I like to scramble eggs (sometimes egg beaters sometimes I use regular) put some low fat cheese of your choice inside and whatever else you may want, sometime I put some diced green pepper and onions, and roll up placein 350 oven for about 5 mins. until the tortilla is crispy, really healthy.

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2014-02-24 11:51:20 -0600 Report

I would like to caution you that using low fat or fat free foods of any type is not a good idea. First because you need fat in your diet. Fat does not make you fat per Gary Taubes.

Second, because when the manufacturer takes the fat out of food, they put in sugar in one form or another. They have to do that because if they didn't the food stuff whatever it is would taste like that cardboard package it comes in!

Additionally check the package of any breads, cereals, tortillas, etc. that claim to be "whole wheat" or "multi-grain" or Whole Grain.

According to an ABC News report on February 7, 2012 called Companies Not Telling The Whole Truth About Whole Grains. Here's an excerpt from that story: "On Wednesday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest will petition the Food and Drug Administration to stop letting manufacturers label their foods “Whole Grain” when they really aren’t and to start putting the percentage of whole grain on the packaging."

I think I can put this without it getting deleted from this post:

We eat real butter, real eggs, real bacon and real meat with the fat on it. We've done that for the last 11 years. But we've cut way back on and we control the amount of carbohydrates we take in every day.

Eating an overabundance of carbs will make you fat.

You should always check with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. I am sharing with you what we do/did and what I have learned. My posts are in no way intended nor should they be construed to be a diagnoses or treatment of any illness. What I post is what worked for us as well as what we have learned over the years about diabetes.

jigsaw 2014-02-25 05:18:34 -0600 Report

I am aware that fat is a secondary source of energy, and carbs are a primary source of energy. By lowering your carb intake enough, your body will begin to utilize fat for energy. Could be good, but could also be harmful. Also, lets not forget that there are healthy fats as well as unhealthy fats!
Any source of calories in excess, can cause weight gain. If not, then where do excess calories go?
Here are two excellent links from respected sources:

haoleboy 2014-02-24 22:49:45 -0600 Report

I keep an eye on the amount of fat not for weight control but for heart health. As a stroke survivor and diabetic with hypertension heart health is my #1 priority.

JSJB 2014-02-24 10:25:17 -0600 Report

Ditto on the breakfast and I am using the tortillas with salads. You can practically do anything with them. Good Eating

tabby9146 2014-02-24 10:33:13 -0600 Report

sounds good. I like to put some of that deli type spinach and light mayo on them, I like that Kraft mayo with olive oil, and lettuce, usually romaine that has a bit of nutritional value, and some really lean turkey or ham, sometimes green peppers, things like at Subway, really good eating!

JSJB 2014-02-24 05:15:45 -0600 Report

I've been a carb counter for weight loss since 1975. I do wonder away from it every now and then but get right on it asap and keep my count to 60grams. Now with this condition I try not to go off course except around holidays. I am constantly looking for lo-carb items and just recently read that items with fiber lowers the carbs. If I eat anything that needed a roll or bread, I use a whole wheat taco wrap. I have had this condition for 2 1/2 yrs. that I know of and my eating habits have changed drastically. Eat healthy everyone and enjoy life but don't forget exercise.

jigsaw 2014-02-24 06:12:53 -0600 Report

Funny that you mention taco wraps. I occasionally cook up an enchilada using a low carb wrap. I stuff it with ground turkey, chopped green pepper, onions etc. I have to devour it immediately, otherwise my wife will snatch it up, in the blink of an eye. Add a bit of black beans to the meal, and I'm on my way to meeting my daily fiber requirements. Reaching daily fiber requirements can be difficult. It definitely helps to keep the digestive track running smoothly, when you do.

tabby9146 2014-02-24 10:13:27 -0600 Report

for dinner some nights, when my family insists on their flour tortillas for tacos and my homemade enchiladas, I use whole wheat, flour for them and I always put some black beans in mine.

JSJB 2014-02-24 10:27:18 -0600 Report

I used to use black, red, kidney etc beans with everything but for some reason I stopped. Will have to start up and I am sure the pantry is loaded with beans.

jigsaw 2014-02-24 16:21:12 -0600 Report

I do love beans! You do have to watch the carbs with some beans. They can be high in carbs, so I watch the portion size. Works well for me.

tabby9146 2014-02-24 10:35:01 -0600 Report

I love almost any kind of beans. my family eats only a small amount of them at times, but I like to put them in stews and soups and even my homemade chilli. At times when they do not want them, I just try to put whatever I am cooking in another small pan and add my beans to it, and they make fun of me having to have my beans LOL

Fefe12 2014-02-23 23:26:40 -0600 Report

I'm a carb counter also. I always stay in my 45 range. I never deprive myself but there are foods I just don't eat. My weight has always stayed stable and my A1C has been perfect since the beginning of my treatments. I eat what I want and I don't watch calories or fat. So I think I'm doing good. I believe my health is important and I will do what ever it takes to stay that way. But bottom line, I still think its your mind you have to deal with before carbs, calories or fat. Because if you don't believe in yourself or believe your worth it you will always be fighting your food and yourself. Always ask yourself "WHY?" before you eat it. "Is it worth it?" I have grandchildren I want to run after, a husband I love and a seventeen year old man child to raise. Again, my health and the health of my family is too important to risk on that extra cookie or pasta. Because I'm worth it. I'm also sure your worth it too!

jigsaw 2014-02-24 06:19:13 -0600 Report

Looks like you've discovered a good combination for mgmt. Good reasoning on your behalf, and great advice! Stay healthy, keep running after those grandchildren, and loving your good husband, for many years to come.

Fefe12 2014-02-24 14:23:02 -0600 Report

Thanks I will! Of course I'm getting tired, wondering if they are getting faster or I'm getting older. I really never knew there were so many different feelings over this disease. I got very sick, survived by prayer, and was told I was a diabetic. Didn't like the way I was told but did what I had to do to carry on. I found foods that worked and learned how to eat what I like with some changes. I never thought of being embarrassed, hurt, depressed, sad. I was too busy. It wasn't until I joined DC did I see others with different attitudes. I honestly don't believe im better than anyone else I just don't have the time to feel sad or sabotage my health. I've lost friends to cancer and have two more who are fighting that awful disease. I thank my lucky stars I don't have to fight that ugly fight. Lets keep up the good work and spread the joy, we could be in a much worse situation.

jigsaw 2014-02-24 16:26:03 -0600 Report

I like your attitude! Very refreshing and uplifting. How we view things really is a state of mind to a great degree.

camerashy 2014-02-23 19:41:49 -0600 Report

Well, I looked at the first and the second ones, and according to what they said, I'm mostly doing things right, but then I count carbs and stop eating when I feel satisfied, and never eat until I feel full. I have to use insulin for the number of carbs in a meal, and I've lately been having to use less insulin.

jigsaw 2014-02-23 20:34:12 -0600 Report

Hello camerashy,! It appears that you're getting some good results. Being able to cut down on insulin, speaks for itself. Glad your doing well.

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2014-02-23 18:58:15 -0600 Report

How right you are! As we tell those people who take our classes on How We Beat Diabetes, if you're going out to a restaurant to eat, look online at the menu and the nutrition sheet. Know what you're going to eat BEFORE you go to the restaurant. Know the amount of carbs in that meal. Then stick to it. Knowing ahead of time what you're going to eat, I believe is crucial to being able to stay with your plan.

I would like to add that my husband and I have never counted a calorie. My husband lost 100 pounds only counting carbohydrates. Naturally, we are committed carb counters :) and have been since he lost 80 pounds in 2003 and then another 20 pounds a few years later. Funny how very simple counting carbs becomes. I love it.

haoleboy 2014-02-23 21:44:32 -0600 Report

Interesting read jigsaw … always enjoy your links.
Mary … it's all about the carbs for me too. Went from 235# to 160# in 2013 by watching my carb intake (and exercising). Having one time weighed 325# I find my self in the odd position now of actually trying to put on a few pounds so I am always looking for low carb/higher calorie/high protein meal options. Plain non-fat Greek yogurt has become a staple.

- Steve

jigsaw 2014-02-24 06:39:52 -0600 Report

I love yogurt! I keep some frozen strawberries, bluberries,, blackberries, and rasberries on hand to flavor my yogurt. Just recently, my wife surprised me with a yogurt maker! So now, I not only have a great wife, but I have a constant supply of delicious yogurt!

haoleboy 2014-02-24 10:15:17 -0600 Report

I enjoy mine with berries as well … Also throw in a couple tablespoons of flax seed meal and some chopped walnuts or almonds. That's lunch on most days.

jigsaw 2014-02-24 16:30:20 -0600 Report

Absolutely, with flax and walnuts! Walnuts are one of my favorite snacks. Great source of omega 3s as a bonus. I sprinkle flax on my cereal, salads, smoothies, and yogurt. Very beneficial, and a great source of fiber.

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2014-02-23 23:05:55 -0600 Report

haoleboy - Awesome!!! So happy for you!! What a great problem trying to put on a few pounds! You won't gain weight on protein high calorie or not. You know that's true from how you were able to lose weight by watching your carb intake.

Gary Taubes is one of my heroes. Side story here if I may share this with you all: I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Taubes at a lecture he presented at The Ohio State University School of Medicine. When Dr. Clay Marsh of the School of Medicine heard our story, he asked if I would give a talk to open the lecture by Mr. Taubes. I was thrilled. You can see a portion of my talk at the oh dear I wonder if I can post that link. well, if it is cut just go to ohio state university medical center and look for gary taubes. I am in the yellow sweater giving the opening talk. Unfortunately, they didn't have a mic for me at the beginning of the talk so they only posted the portion with the proper audio.

Anyway, as I was saying Gary Taubes is one of my heroes. I love his explanation on why we get fat. I will paraphrase it here with apologies to Mr. Taubes. Carbohydrates drive insulin. Insulin stores fat.

So if you can add a few carbs to your daily diet that might help you to gain a few pounds over time. But be careful. As you probably know, carbs are addictive and you can easily fall back into carb addiction :)

God bless. Again, I am so happy for you! What a great job going from a high of 325 pounds down to your present 160 pounds! Amazing.

haoleboy 2014-02-23 23:52:53 -0600 Report

my inclusion of protien is to ensure I am adding muscle as I have also increased my resistance training. I survived a stroke a year ago and exercise options are limited but weight/resistance trainig seem to work.

- Steve

jigsaw 2014-02-24 06:29:54 -0600 Report

I found strength training helped with my glucose mgmt, quite a bit. Unfortunately, I backed off from it about a year ago. It's time to start strength training again! I felt better, looked better, and did it avidly for two years. I admit that a bit of laziness slipped in the door, but it feels to good to give it up permanently.

jigsaw 2014-02-23 20:27:05 -0600 Report

A very powerful and amazing story concerning your husband. I saw his before and after, and WOW! Very impressive! He looks fantastic.

I don't count calories either, although I do try to avoid high cal foods. I no longer count carbs, since I now know what gets the results I'm after. Portion control helps me also.