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Lower Carb cooking

New Diabetes Diagnosis

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#1 smishu

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:59 AM

This might overlap with the healthy cooking thread, but my SO just got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Until now his favorite food was pasta, and drank gatorade as his main beverage. Besides for replacing sugar with splenda in baking, how can I cook/help him adjust to the lower carb lifestyle?

#2 Red Hare

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:36 AM

Did his dr say to go lo-carb? Or did he say to replace white carbs with whole grains ?
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#3 Pinchas

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:53 AM

Yeah - whole grain pastas cost a bit more but you could still make yummy meals with them...

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#4 lyric

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 09:59 AM

You sure type 1? Most adults get diagnosed type 2.

My husband is also diabetic (type 2) and I try and keep his carbs to low GI rather than no carbs. So he had oat cereal for breakfast which is a much lower option than wheat, and yes I cook with Splenda instead of sugar but I also give him things like new potatoes instead of big old ones, and basmati rice instead of long grain or American rice. Both are good low GI choices.

Can he be persuaded away from sugary carbonated drinks to diet sodas? As it happens pasta is NOT a high GI choice so he can continue having pasta.
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#5 smishu

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 12:49 PM

Thanks all. His dr said that he can eat whatever he wants, but he just needs to take insulin according to the carbs in the meal. IMO though, its better to eat less sugar so he doesnt have to inject a lot of insulin.

Lyric, yeah its type 1..I didnt know that you could get type 1 in your 20s either..

Pinchas, yeah I am buying whole wheat pasta and rice not, and diet soda/beverages. powerade makes a zero calorie drink too.

You sure type 1? Most adults get diagnosed type 2.

My husband is also diabetic (type 2) and I try and keep his carbs to low GI rather than no carbs. So he had oat cereal for breakfast which is a much lower option than wheat, and yes I cook with Splenda instead of sugar but I also give him things like new potatoes instead of big old ones, and basmati rice instead of long grain or American rice. Both are good low GI choices.

Can he be persuaded away from sugary carbonated drinks to diet sodas? As it happens pasta is NOT a high GI choice so he can continue having pasta.


Oh is basmati rice better? cool.

#6 lyric

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 03:31 PM

I keep MH's sugar levels OK on diet alone (so far)
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#7 smishu

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:57 AM

I keep MH's sugar levels OK on diet alone (so far)


Right diabetes type 1 means the body does not produce enough insulin, so he has to inject insulin. type 2 can be controlled through diet, since the body still produces insulin, just doesnt use it as effectively.

#8 Guest_Shuli_*

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 04:53 PM

(I know this is old; I'm bored.)


You can make a lot of diabetic-friendly meal adjustments:

- swap turnips, celeriac, parsnip, or cauliflower for potatoes in recipes (parsnip makes a great puree or baked fries, celeriac is nice in soups, cauliflower is great roasted or in 'fauxtato' salads). You can also go half-and-half if he misses the potatoes, and it will still bring down the carbs in the dish.

- Swap regular pasta with a low-carb version (some diabetics don't experience a spike, some do, so have him test afterwards to see how it affects him) or use spaghetti squash as a base for your standard pasta dishes. You can also use a mandolin to cut zucchini ribbons, sautee them briefly, and toss with pasta sauce (or butter and parm). It's definitely not the same, but it may be an acceptable substitute, and regular pasta can be a 'special occasions' dish. You may also want to consider homemade ravioli, rolling it as thin as you can get it and then overstuffing it, so he has a 'pasta experience' without actually consuming that much pasta.

- Egg drop soup can be made virtually no carb if you don't thicken it. Other soups can be thickened with pureed veggies/legumes instead of with a roux. If he's open-minded, bean sprouts are reaaaaally good in broth-based soups; very satisfying 'crunch' that sort of makes up for a lack of pasta.

- Roast veggies instead of glazing or adding sugar.

- Remember meat dishes are really diabetic friendly, and what guy doesn't like steak/roast/chicken? Use fresh herbs and homemade marinades instead of the bottled stuff.

- I used xylitol to sweeten sauces or dressings that really needed it (keep in mind classic dressings like caesar DON'T need sweetened, and maybe try to fix those more often). Xylitol should only be used in small quantities because consuming too much can lead to digestive discomfort. Splenda has bulking agents that spike some peoples' BS, so you may want to watch out for that (Splenda is also the foulest thing on the planet, but that's just my opinion...)

- Heavy cream is lower-carb than milk, so consider using cream in dishes where you might use milk or a roux. You can cut it with water for most applications.

- Substitute low carb crepes for sheet pasta, as in lasagna (I have a great recipe for that).


Here's an example of some menu items you could serve that would be diabetic friendly:

Prime Rib w/ Horseradish Sauce
Green Beans w/ Whole Roasted Shallots
Whipped Parsnips w/ Roasted Garlic
Caesar-dressed Coleslaw
Pan-Seared Tuna with Ginger-Shiitake Cream Sauce
Roasted Cauliflower (either alone or tossed with greens and a vinaigrette for a warm salad)
Turnip Gratin
Mushroom and Spinach Frittata (or insert his favorite ingredients)
Lamb Stew w/ Leeks and Baby Artichokes (freezer section)
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pecans and Carmelized Shallots
Chicken Marsala (omit flour)
Coq au Vin
Shepherd's Pie (top with whipped parsnips or cauliflower puree)
Stir-Fry (just omit cornstarch)
Brisket with Onion Gravy
Beer-Braised Beef and Onions
Lemony Fauxtato Salad
Turkey Club Salad w/ Avocado and Mayo
Ginger-Garlic Green Beans
Dark Chocolate Mousse (for a lower-sugar dessert)
Omelets
Braised Leeks (great side as-is or tossed with vinaigrette)
Ratatouille
Salad Nicoise (omit potatoes)
Kale Chips (these are oven-baked kale leaves that are colloquially referred to as "kale crack"...if he's open-minded, they're yum.)

#9 lyric

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 04:59 PM

Parsnips are a high GI carb, so not suitable for diabetics.Not all potatoes are a no no...small new potatoes are more dense so have less starch than parsnips. Just keep away from the large floury ones.

Personally I MUCH prefer Splenda to Xylitol but again that's MY opinion.
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#10 Guest_Shuli_*

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 05:13 PM

Parnsips are a high GI carb, so not suitable for diabetics.Not all potatoes are a no no...small new potatoes are more dense so have less starch than parsnips. Just keep away from the large floury ones.

Personally I MUCH prefer Splenda to Xylitol but again that's MY opinion.


You're totally right about parsnips. A better alternative would be turnips, cauliflower, celeriac, or rutabagas. My understanding is that some diabetics tolerate potatoes better than others (ditto parsnips, rice, carrots, fruits, and "low carb" pastas), so I think it's important to test after meals and keep track of those items that spike blood sugar.

The two sweeteners have totally different applications, as you wouldn't use heaping cups of xylitol in baked goods, for example. I'd recommend the OP look into naturally-derived sweeteners like Truvia before opting for Splenda (or ideally, just not use fake sweeteners at all, and keep desserts to low-sugar, once-in-awhile treats).

#11 smishu

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 09:12 AM

Thanks Shuli, I appreciate it :)

Its funny, I just tried making diabetic friendly cookies by using xylitol, they came out AWFUL and wouldnt rise at all. I heard that xylitol hurts peoples stomachs, your saying splenda does too? I was thinking to use splenda next time instead, since they have formulas for baking..

Also, how do you recommend I prepare the spaghetti squash? I tried it, and it came out really crunchy..

#12 Guest_Shuli_*

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 09:26 AM

Thanks Shuli, I appreciate it :)

Its funny, I just tried making diabetic friendly cookies by using xylitol, they came out AWFUL and wouldnt rise at all. I heard that xylitol hurts peoples stomachs, your saying splenda does too? I was thinking to use splenda next time instead, since they have formulas for baking..

Also, how do you recommend I prepare the spaghetti squash? I tried it, and it came out really crunchy..


I think Splenda is probably your best bet for baking; it's certainly the most common sugar sub used in baked goods, so there's lots of support out there if you're having trouble baking with it. Xylitol should really just be used in spoon-quantities as too much will definitely cause some unpleasant side effects in many people.

You can roast or micro spaghetti squash; if it came out crunchy, you just didn't cook it long enough. :) If you slice it in half before roasting, you can check on it as it cooks by just running a fork through and tasting a few strands. Too short a cook time and it's crunchy; too long and it's mushy - it's a fine balance. After that, I like it tossed with sauteed garlic, capers, green olives, and fresh tomatoes (and the EVOO they were sauteed in).

#13 smishu

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 05:30 PM

I think Splenda is probably your best bet for baking; it's certainly the most common sugar sub used in baked goods, so there's lots of support out there if you're having trouble baking with it. Xylitol should really just be used in spoon-quantities as too much will definitely cause some unpleasant side effects in many people.

You can roast or micro spaghetti squash; if it came out crunchy, you just didn't cook it long enough. :) If you slice it in half before roasting, you can check on it as it cooks by just running a fork through and tasting a few strands. Too short a cook time and it's crunchy; too long and it's mushy - it's a fine balance. After that, I like it tossed with sauteed garlic, capers, green olives, and fresh tomatoes (and the EVOO they were sauteed in).


OK, nice. A friend of mine puts meat sauce on the squash, I want to try that too.

How do you make the kale, I just bought some at trader joes.

#14 Guest_Shuli_*

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:47 PM

OK, nice. A friend of mine puts meat sauce on the squash, I want to try that too.

How do you make the kale, I just bought some at trader joes.


Wash and dry thoroughly (having it very dry is important), cut out stems and tear into chip-sized pieces, toss with a tablespoon or so of oil (make sure you thoroughly coat each piece without drowning them in oil). Lay the pieces out individually on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 250 for about 25 minutes, or until crispy and chip-like. Once you have the recipe down, you can shake it up with different seasonings or kinds of kale. :)

#15 smishu

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:01 PM

Wash and dry thoroughly (having it very dry is important), cut out stems and tear into chip-sized pieces, toss with a tablespoon or so of oil (make sure you thoroughly coat each piece without drowning them in oil). Lay the pieces out individually on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 250 for about 25 minutes, or until crispy and chip-like. Once you have the recipe down, you can shake it up with different seasonings or kinds of kale. :)


Baking, will report back :)

#16 smishu

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 08:53 AM

Made it, I loved it, he ate one haha. Oh well. Its usually eaten as a snack or would you ever serve that as a side?

#17 Guest_Shuli_*

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:40 PM

Made it, I loved it, he ate one haha. Oh well. Its usually eaten as a snack or would you ever serve that as a side?


I think you can do whatever you want with it. There are plenty of dishes that would benefit from the texture/color contrast.




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