Diabetic Dieting Principals

Diabetic dieting principles

Diabetic Dieting PrinciplesDiabetic dieting principles are not about doing without and starving they are about being aware of the type of foods you are putting in your mouth and, in fact, most people eat more rather than less. Many people benefit from a detox diet, unfortunately, the short term detox diet is harsh and very hard to follow. A healthy way of detoxing is to choose a 28 day plan. What most people don’t realise with a 28 day detox diet is the fact they often eat more than they did before.

Before deciding whether a detox diet is going to work for you, you need to be honest with yourself. If you’re not honest with yourself then you won’t know whether this diet will help you and you may embark on yet another diet that doomed to failure before you begin. The questions you need an honest answer to our these.

Do you feel tired all the time?

How many times have you dieting to lose weight but failed to keep it off long-term?

How many times have you looked at a magical slimming formula?

How many years is it since you got into your wedding suit or wedding dress?

Do you  weigh yourself every day and get depressed?

Do you ever weigh yourself?

Have you got an exercise bike languishing on your premises and unused?

How many times do you feel guilty when you eat? When you feel guilty about your food choices does that create another spiral of guilt eating?

Although the answers to these questions may be depressing thinking about them especially if you answer yes to most of them may inspire you to try something else.

It is a spiral bad eating habits. Any form of bad eating habits which are consistent is disastrous for everyone but especially for diabetics. Who was the last person you knew who consistently out too much salad. Now you’re getting to see what I mean loads of people me included having the past the whole package of donuts in one sitting! There will be a few of you reading this who will be saying “what only one?”

Many of you will know the feeling you get up in the morning determined to eat the right things. You know what they are, your diabetic nurse has driven them into you hundreds of times. Before you turn around you have a cup of coffee with cream and sugar in front of you. As you start to drink, after all it’s only one cup of coffee, you have put a couple of pieces of toast into the toaster. When they come out you mindlessly slather on a mountain of butter and some sugary toppings such as honey or jam. And of course, you can’t eat all of this without another cup of coffee. Before you finish breakfast you are already starting the day with a massive guilt complex.

Diabetic dieting principles

When you are at work mid-morning and you have the opportunity to eat a donut or a pastry or some other equally sweet concoction there is no incentive at all to stop doing it because you’ve already had a bad morning. This carries on throughout the day until eventually you fall into bed feeling that you are disgusting and weak.

What you are in reality is human! All of us have days like that. Even Leo who was the most discipline reformed diabetic I know has some days when he eats all day. However, he doesn’t tend to compound the problem by eating a massive amount of sugary things. Every morning he has a cooked breakfast which includes bacon or sausage, an  egg or maybe two if he’s hungry, he has either boiled mushrooms or grilled tomatoes with this and they cover half his plate he also has a piece of fish. Every morning he has half a piece of toast. This toast is always multigrain and wholemeal and he never has anything on it. He uses the tomatoes to lubricate the toast or he puts the scrambled eggs on the toast or the fried eggs.

As you can see, this isn’t great food for a detox diet it has to salt in either the bacon or the sausage and both are processed foods. The idea of a detox diet would be that you would avoid alcohol and processed foods for the whole month. It also means no caffeine and no dairy. Some people find in the first few days that they have a headache which is usually down to giving up caffeine cold turkey. That’s the downside the plus side is that most people lose about 3 kg or 5 pounds and never feel hungry.

The biggest difference though usually most people find they feel energised. I make sure I do a complete detox diet for two weeks every year. However, if I haven’t the time when I have been eating too much rich food or drinking a little too much then I just detox for a few days. Next week, for instance, looking at my diary I find that I have a dinner date with friends which will involve too much alcohol and probably a mountain of pasta (that is because it is the one food that Leo cannot eat even wholemeal pasta senses sugar levels through the roof, so I only eat it on high days and holidays when I’m out and he’s not there). I also have a business meeting in a posh hotel which will certainly mean a few treats and also I have dinner with my brother. Knowing that this is coming up this week I followed a detox diet for five days and next week I will have alternate days. The day before going out and enjoying myself I will detox and will be detoxing in between.

That will make a huge difference to my life! What it does mean is that I won’t feel guilty. I know I can eat and drink what I want to do in those three days because I have prepared for them beforehand. I won’t lose weight, but I won’t gain any either.


Good Reasons Why Diabetics Should Eat Mackerel

Mackerel is an oily fish best eaten fresh. It is characterised by its bright skin see below and the colours which may be green or blue should be visible. The eyes also should be very clear if the skin looks at and the eyes on bright then the fish is old
Good Reasons Why Diabetics Should Eat Mackerel

Because mackerel is found all over the world, in both tropical and cold waters virtually every cuisine is a method of cooking mackerel. One of the best curries I ever ate was a Goan mackerel curry. Since then I have eaten it in Japanese and Korean restaurants and one of my favourite ways of eating it is simply with a plum sauce and spring greens. The recipe is below

Serving mackerel

you can cook mackerel in a variety of ways, it can be cooked whole which is generally my preference. However, I do understand people who freak out when they find fish has a head on it. You can always ask your fishmonger to fillet it for you!They are pretty easy to fillet yourself with a sharp knife.
I generally either steam the fish or I grill it or sometimes pan fry just with two drops of sesame oil. It is an oily fish does not need to be drowned in olive oil. The plum sauce may sound overly complicated. If you can’t get Japanese plums by plums in natural juices. The balance should be between salty and sweet flavours. If you can’t find rice vinegar then use a simple white wine vinegar. You toast the sesame seeds by putting them in a dry pan for about 40 seconds until they turn brown.

Chinese style mackerel with plum sauce

good reasons to eat mackerel Serves one
2 good-sized mackerel fillets
Himalayan pink salt
freshly ground black pepper
juice of a lemon

Plum dressing

1/2 cucumber
2 preserved plums in vinegar (umeboshi)
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Soy sauce to taste

Pit the plums and mash them. Combine with the rice vinegar and soy sauce, sweeten with honey or sugar if necessary. Slice the cucumber Add the plum sauce and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the top.Grill the mackerel fillets skin side first and then turn over when they are crispy.

Baked Mackerel with Vine Tomatoes

This is a more robust way of serving mackerel. Now when I lived in Spain in Andalucia for very nearly 30 years. The Spanish mackerel is not as meaty or as oily as its British counterpart and consequently it didn’t stand up as well to serving on its own grilled. However, this method I used to cook it was fabulous especially when served with last night’s roast vegetables. Baked Mackerel Spanish Style

Serves 2
4 Mackerel Fillets
Juice of 1 lemon
2 large handfuls of orange thyme
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 loaf of ciabatta bread, torn
1 red onion, finely sliced
250g of cherry tomatoes
150g of sundried tomatoes
1 tablespoon of aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
A good handful of basil, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Put the bread chunks in the roasting tray and drizzle with a generous drizzle of olive oil. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and then place in the oven until toasted and golden for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, orange thyme and garlic and then add the onion, cherry tomatoes, sunblush tomatoes, toasted bread and toss until completely coated.

Place the mackerel on a plate and drizzle with a little olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and a handful of lemon thyme and oregano.Grill or fry for three minutes on each side. Add the tomato ingredients and serve with last night’s roasted vegetables.

Good Reasons Why Diabetics Should Eat Mackerel

Mackerel is packed with good healthy fats. It is tasty and filling and best of all it takes lots of other very pungent flavours such as the Japanese wasabi paste or horseradish. This makes it a great supper just horseradish and grill mackerel or even smoked mackerel. Other benefits of eating mackerel is the fact it cooks very quickly in five minutes it is cooked.

Grazing as a diabetic

grazing as a diabetic

Modern research would seem to indicate that a quarter of what we eat in total in the day is in snacks. Nothing at all wrong with that if you are taking into account the calories in those snacks. In fact many diabetics find it more comfortable and easier to eat little and often. Where these grazing habits become dangerous is when you are taking in empty calories such as artificially sweetened drinks or alcohol. It’s a funny thing but the body does not feel as satiated when it has drinks it doesn’t feel the fullness it would do with the equivalent amount of calories from solid food.

grazing as a diabetic

One of the most effective ways of cutting down on portion sizes, is to be aware of what you are eating. That means that when you eat you don’t sit in front of the television and just stuff calories in your mouth. You have to take the time to concentrate fully on what you are eating. That means you are not having any distractions of your phone, or outside noises or anything else you are just concentrating on eating. It also helps to chew your food well and eat very slowly. It takes at least half an hour for the stomach to tell the brain that it has had enough to eat. It can’t do so if you bolt the food down.

Another great way to cut down on calories is to use a smaller plate. In Leo’s case when he was first starting to cure his diabetes I actually dug out my grandparents dinner service. There were only three plates left but they were substantially smaller than modern plates. You don’t have to use this option it is possible to buy a small plate just for you. Many people dismiss this as being overly simplistic but try it for a week and it doesn’t work what have you lost?

Stop your meal when you have eaten about 12 my bites, put down your fork and rest for two minutes. Check on your hunger and fullness signals. One way that works for me is to start eating and really meditate and concentrate on the food you’re eating and realise how exquisite it is. Be aware of its taste, aroma and texture. The very first time you put a forkful of food in your mouth and it doesn’t taste as exquisite stop. That is stop eating immediately because you no longer want that food. If this doesn’t work for you take a 10 minute break halfway through your meal and decide whether you want to resume eating. Leo tended to bolt his food down and for a while I gave him chopsticks. He could manage with chopsticks but it couldn’t shovel as much food into his mouth as quickly. Whatever it takes you need to slow down your pace of eating substantially.

It is certainly possible to overeat on healthy foods. Quite a lot of people eat a massive bowl of fruit salad. However it is rather difficult to overeat when you are eating raw broccoli. It’s not the raw broccoli doesn’t taste good but it takes so long to chew that it is difficult to overeat. Choose to eat proteins with healthy fats and slow burning carbs most of which come from vegetables and fruits. This makes it less likely that you will overeat.

This is complicated to some degree when you go out to a restaurant to eat but it is not impossible to choose healthy options stop you can choose to eat bulgur wheat, quinoa, barley or even teff as your carbohydrates. If none of these carbohydrate options are available choose one very small new potato and add another portion of vegetables. When deciding on a protein choose fish, nuts, lentils eggs, grass fed beef, free range poultry or cottage cheese. Don’t forget when you are eating try to add one colour from the seven colours of the rainbow to your diet every day. Blueberries, aubergines, pumpkin everything with a splash of colour.

Of course if you go out once in a blue moon for your anniversary dinner then by all means eat what you like as a special treat. The reality these days though is that most people eat out at least once a week. It’s easier to be more strict with yourself when you know you can eat out again soon. Another point to mention no when you are ordering food in a restaurant distinct shapes and amounts are much easier to gauge in terms of portions are big blob of mashed potatoes is rather difficult to tell as is a huge mound of macaroni cheese. If you eat a small baked potato with salad and steamed fish you know how much potato you are eating.

That doesn’t mean a course that you can have pasta but it does mean that it shouldn’t be the main focus of your meal. Cook it primavera style large amounts of spring vegetables or black beans with lots of garlic and fresh herbs. We tend to eat what we see so be careful what you put on your plate. Eating five or six mini meals can be an effective weight management system for diabetics. However it is not a one fit for all answer. Leo loves to eat little and often but I love to eat once a day. If I have a little breakfast then it leads to a little snack and an even bigger lunch and then a bigger snack and then a big hot chocolate to keep me going about 5 o’clock and finally a dinner.

grazing as a diabetic

The downside of eating once a day when I also cook means that I can be in the kitchen when I’m starving hungry. My first task in the kitchen is to peel a carrot and chop into bite size chunks or cut down some broccoli and I graze whilst cooking dinner. These days dinner tends to be a very quick affair because I want my food to be very clean and not messed about. Let’s get real here how much raw broccoli can you eating 20 minutes?

However if you stick a bowl of peanuts in front of you when you are quickly you can easily eat for 500 cal without even noticing. Try also not to be the human dustbin after meals. It is also easy to pop food in your mouth rather than put it in the dustbin. There are very good reasons for this you hate to throw away good food but by putting in your mouth you could be eating an extra for 500 cal a day you are not even noticing because you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing.

If this is your mode of eating track your snacks for a week. Don’t worry about calorie counts or anything else just write down how much you eat and when. The handful of potato chips you grab from your son’s desk, the jellybeans you find in the dashboard of your car. At the end of the week at all this amount up you may find that the amount surprises you. However you may also find the triggers that makes you do this mindless eating, maybe you are bored or tired because it almost for sure that you were not hungry. Make notes and see if there’s an opportunity to change the way you snack and graze at the diabetic.



Kefir – Why you Should Make it and Eat it

Why kefir Is A Superfood

There are several types of kefir – kefir grains, kefir cheese and kefir milk. Kefir becomes a fermented food which is also incidentally a
probiotic by culturing fresh milk with kefir grains. Kefir grains are life colonies of over 30 bacteria and yeast living together in harmony
in a stable symbiotic community. These grains are added to fresh milk to create kefir milk which in turn is used to make Kefir cheese. As a result of the fermentation process very little lactose remains in kefir. This makes it a great drink for those who are lactose intolerant.

Kefir grains look like cauliflower! The kefir grains themselves are actually a mixture of news lactic acid bacteria which comprise proteins lipids and sugar. The actual composition of kefir even when industrially produced is difficult to predict each batch is different due to a variety of reasons which include some of the kefir grains rise above the liquid or curds forming around the grain and the ambient temperature

Kefir MilkKefiran gives it a rope-like texture and the grains can be white or yellow.

It has taken the Western world considerable amount of time to accept that there are such things as good bacteria’s. Over the last 30 years there have been much more media coverage about probiotic drinks and yoghurts. So much so that these are often consumed on a daily basis. However kefir yoghurt is a superior product because it actually cultivates good bacteria in the digested gut.

The western world’s view on bacterial cultures as beneficial medicinal remedies has taken considerable time due to the lack of correct education on good and bad bacteria. However over the last few decades there has been much positive publicity for probiotic yogurts and drinks that so many of us now consume on a daily basis. As in much the same way, kefir grains offer a highly prosperous and health rich boost to your immune system.

This is a superfood for many reasons but it is better as with most healthy foods to make your own. When you buy manufactured kefir it has questionable additives and also very often added sugars.

Why is kefir good for you.

It supports a healthy immune system. Kefir has an indigestible fibre unique to itself called kefiran and this has anti-inflammatory
properties. It also supports the immune system by increasing the activity of the bodies natural killer cells which are called T-helper cells.
Equally importantly kefir helps maintain the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut desire to fight viruses bacteria and fungi. In recent
years there has been a huge increase in child allergies. No child is ever born with analogy it is always something that they acquire and
doctors think the reason this is occurring is because some children have less healthy bacteria in their gut.

It is also thought that the kefir breaks down the lactose the natural sugar in milk. This reduces symptoms of lactose intolerance which often cause bloating stomach pain.

Research in animals has shown that kefir can slow breast cancer growth but this has to be substantiated. Also some heart studies has shown
kefir may help lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol and blood pressure but other studies have shown no affect.

Kefir Milk Recipe (1 L or one 3/4 pints)

1 tablespoon of kefir grains
1 Litre of raw unpasteurised milk or whole pasteurised non-homogenous milk at room temperature.


Sterilise a clear glass jar and add the milk cover with a clean linen tea towel store in a dark dry place for four hours. I just put mine in
the kitchen cupboard.

Strain the milk and reserve the kefir grains to use in a new batch milk. Kefir milk will keep for about five days in the fridge but to get
the best of its probiotic properties you should use fresh milk. However, if you want to get a kefir cream it does continue to ferment in the
fridge and get thicker.

How to make Kefir Milk Cheese 
kefir cheese strengthens the immune system by feeding good bacteria in the gut.

Ingredients  Kefir Milk Cheese 
1 tablespoon of kefir grains
1 Litre or 1 3/4 pints of unpasteurised milk or whole pasteurised non-homogenised milk at room temperature.
Put the kefir grains in a sterilised glass jar and add the milk cover with a clean kitchen towel and store in the kitchen cupboard in the
dark between two and four days or until the liquid separates into solid curds and liquid way. When this happens the solid kefir grains
usually remain on the top layer of the curds, use a plastic spoon to remove them and make a new batch of milk or store them in the fridge.

Strain the curds and whey using a clean plastic serve into a large bowl. You only need the curds for cheese but I use the whey in cauliflower
soup or drink.You can use the curds as a soft cheese immediately I like to add soft herbs such as lemon thyme, orange time, marjoram, oregano, mint, basil and dill.

However you can make a smoother and also a denser soft cheese by wrapping the curds cheesecloth and hanging it overnight and leaving it to
drain. Generally I hang it over the tap so the excess whey drains into the sink. I also love it when you add seeds such as pumpkin, flax,
crackling feed and nuts. Sometimes I add tahini and Brazil nuts which is one of my favourite combinations. The fun of making your own cheese experimenting and bringing it to your taste. I see no reason why you could not use added dried apricots or cranberries.

Vegetarians can still use kefir milk by adding Armond, hazelnut, soya, coconut, rice or oat milk to kefir grains. One of my favourite usage
is to use it as a starter for sourdough bread. Because kefir is fermented and therefore mildly acidic it also can be used to tenderise beef.

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Diabetes and fatty liver

diabetes and fatty liver

Diabetes and fatty liver were not thought to be connected until Italian medical researchers described the reversal of diabetes patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery. After major got surgery patients are unable to eat and now they thought that through a drip. In this case they were drip fed a total of 1800 calories a day for six days. After the first week most of them have lost about 6 kg but what was the most startling result was the fact that they glucose tolerance level was normal.

This weight loss and subsequent reversal of diabetes was not a result of the surgery because it occurred before they started eating and utilising the new got. The doctors concluded that there diabetes had reversed because they were unable to eat and the drip was less calories than they would normally having in the day prior to surgery.

The weight loss was accompanied by loss of fat from the liver, and the study is the why this happened was taken up by Prof Roy Taylor from Newcastle University. His objective was to examine the effect of sudden weight loss on the blood glucose levels and the fat in the liver of 11 people with an existing type II diabetes condition.

He carried out there is blood test and MRI scans to look at the liver and pancreas. They were then placed on a strict 600 calorie liquid diet for eight weeks. The same thing occurred as in the Italian study within a week the glucose levels had returned to normal and this was accompanied by a reduction of fat in the liver. Although it didn’t happen in the first week gradually the amount of fat in the pancreas also reduced.

Definite Proof that diabetes and fatty liver are connected

At the end of the eight-week study the pancreas was producing insulin normally, but more remarkably the liver was no longer resistant to the effect of insulin. When both of these changes occurred the people in the Newcastle study no longer had diabetes because there insulin in sensitivity was reduced and insulin production was now normal. The really startling result of this experiment was the fact that type II diabetes is directly related to the amount of fat in the liver and in the pancreas and a reduction in calories would reverse the disease.

This research obviously gave great hope to hundreds of diabetes sufferers, diabetes type II was no longer a life sentence. What it did prove that weight loss alone could  reverse diabetes it was not necessary to have bariatric surgery. That evidence was sufficient for Leo. He did not want to lose weight by drastically reducing his calories as he realized that in the long term this was not sustainable. But what it did do was give him hope that he fee effectively reduces weight he would be able to effectively reverses diabetes!.

What was so exciting about this research was that although it was only conducted with 11 people which is not exactly enough to be a statistical study 77 more people who had reversed their diabetes contacted Prof Taylor. The reversal of diabetes was considered to to have been successful in 61% of cases over all, and it was more successful in those that have been recently diagnosed with diabetes and those who had lost the most amount of weight.

Prof Taylor’s research was followed up in the US, but in this study the results were not as remarkable because the diabetic lost less weight and fewer subjects reverse their diabetes, however they were not placed on a strict very low calorie diet. Further research is necessary to establish how many people as a percentage can reverse their diabetes and also for how long. Having said that Leo is just starting his six-year the big diabetes free.

Of course as Leo ages it is possible that he will become a diabetic again! But even if this occurs he will have had some good years without any diabetic medication. In my view this result was so startling that there should be a revision of the treatment of diabetes which will mean that newly diagnosed diabetics were given counselling and diet advice. In the long term as diabetes is becoming a global epidemic this has to be a cheaper option than supplying medication for decades. It is a fact that diabetic medicine is not expensive but treating the complications of diabetes such as diabetic retinopathy, loss of limbs, kidney disease and other serious organ damage cannot be cheap either on the resources of the health system or other people concerned.