Lack of low carb options in stores!!

retrogamer

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Are big companies missing a trick here or is it really that difficult?

I have read articles and watched numerous videos of people producing their own low carb foods that emulate regular daily products that non diabetics enjoy such as bread, biscuits (cookies if you're American lol) cakes, pastries etc. They're using low carb flour blends to achieve the end result and for many of the products, apart from the measurements being very precise it's not exactly rocket science!

On my trips to any of the big 4 supermarkets (I'm in the UK by the way) I am greeted by an entire aisle full of "free from" products. These items are gluten free, lactose free and free of many other things that people cannot tolerate due to their conditions. I searched through these entire range of products and none of them are carb free or low carb. Surely if these companies can produce products without using regular milk so they're lactose free then they could do the same for us diabetics. It's not like we are such a tiny group. Apparently in the UK alone there are between 4 & 5 million diagnosed diabetics but we are forced to rely on small online manufacturers who charge OTT prices for everyday items, £4.99 for a loaf of bread! £3.99 for 4 bread rolls! I even saw 1 place charging £12 for a box of 4 individual cakes!!!

I'm sure others have asked this same question but it just seems like such a missed opportunity for the likes of Warburton's, hovis or other big manufacturers.

Or am I completely way off the mark and it really wouldn't be feasible?
 

Kernow Debra

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You can be sure if it was a big enough market, the big manufacturers and Supermarkets would be all over it.
I fear it’s a very small market, the majority of diagnosed are for whatever reason oblivious to low carb/Keto and rely on meds.
We are a small minority, which goes some way to explain the high price tag.
 

retrogamer

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You can be sure if it was a big enough market, the big manufacturers and Supermarkets would be all over it.
I fear it’s a very small market, the majority of diagnosed are for whatever reason oblivious to low carb/Keto and rely on meds.
We are a small minority, which goes some way to explain the high price tag.
But surely the market for diabetics food products isn't much smaller than lactose intolerant products??

Is it just the perception of a small market because of the differing opinions on dietary requirements for diabetics? I've read on this forum numerous times now that there are still dieticians preaching about carbs in a daily diet plan even though it has been proven that this is the main issue for t2s!

I do think that even just for a main staple product such as bread, any big bakery would be on to a winner. I've been searching for a bread substitute that I can enjoy since my diagnosis because it's one of the few things I do miss. I now use Warburton's milk roll very sparingly to ease the craving.
 

Kernow Debra

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But surely the market for diabetics food products isn't much smaller than lactose intolerant products??
Sadly I think it’s way way smaller.
Many many people avoid or can’t tolerate gluten, lactose etc.
Then there’s the Vegan market too.

I’d agree that people with diabetes can’t tolerate many carbs, but that doesn’t seem to make any difference for many.
It doesn’t help when so many HCP’s advocate the current NHS Eatwell guide.
 

lovinglife

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I agree with @Kernow Debra, the market is very small in comparison to gluten & lactose intolerant and celiac. Just this weekend we have been discussing on the forum a closure of a food company that sold keto and low carb bread products going under which a lot of us used and they purported to have 37K customers.

Also show me 20 diabetics and I’ll show you 20 different ways they deal with their diabetes. Everyone has different levels of tolerance to carbs, how much they can eat and what they choose to eat within their parameters, then you have the different types of diabetes whos diets are totally different.

On the whole low carb is considered a diet choice not a necessity - as in we won’t be extremely ill if we eat a one slice of white bread or have one glass of milk, not so with gluten or lactose free foods for some even getting it on their lips is a massive problem
 

KennyA

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But surely the market for diabetics food products isn't much smaller than lactose intolerant products??

Is it just the perception of a small market because of the differing opinions on dietary requirements for diabetics? I've read on this forum numerous times now that there are still dieticians preaching about carbs in a daily diet plan even though it has been proven that this is the main issue for t2s!

I do think that even just for a main staple product such as bread, any big bakery would be on to a winner. I've been searching for a bread substitute that I can enjoy since my diagnosis because it's one of the few things I do miss. I now use Warburton's milk roll very sparingly to ease the craving.
I agree with you. There are a couple of smallish operations doing low-carb breads but they don't seem to have the capacity to produce enough to supply a nationwide chain.

I do wonder if the inaction might have something to do with the fact that there are lots of low-carb foods around, they're just not badged up as such - I mean things like meat, fish, green veg, butter and cream. Most of the low or zero carb foods are a) unprocessed or minimally processed b) fresh and tend to have short shelf life and c) the current media dogma is still unfortunately that we should eat less fat and meat and dairy. This means that they are both labour and cost-intensive to stock, and it might worry the majority of supermarket shoppers if they started to label meat and fat and dairy as "T2 healthy".

The official advice, as seen in the Eatwell Plate, is still unfortunately for T2s is to base all meals around starchy carbohydrates. Corporations are risk-averse and won't openly go against the official advice.

And ultimately there just isn't enough money in it for them. Contrast the ways they sell as much alcohol as possible.
 

Rokaab

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Apparently in the UK alone there are between 4 & 5 million diagnosed diabetics but we are forced to rely on small online manufacturers who charge OTT prices for everyday items, £4.99 for a loaf of bread! £3.99 for 4 bread rolls! I even saw 1 place charging £12 for a box of 4 individual cakes!!!

Noting that a lot of gluten-free (and probably other free from stuff) stuff also costs a lot more than the 'normal' version as well - my wallet is never happy because I need to have gluten-free stuff.
Some of it is probably due to economies of scale and the extra checks they have to due to specify them as gluten-free (or whatever-free)
 

retrogamer

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And there I was thinking I had hit on a million dollar idea that big corps were ignoring lol

I honestly thought the keto diet, both for dietary choice and necessity for T2s was a much bigger market. I understand the difference between wanting or even needing to reduce carbs vs the immense dangers of lactose and gluten for some people but after reading an awful lot about carbs over the last few weeks I discovered a lot of people are ditching high carb food for health reasons.
Maybe at some point it will be viable for a manufacturer to produce a carb free range. Until then I'll continue trying to bake (badly)
 

HSSS

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But surely the market for diabetics food products isn't much smaller than lactose intolerant products??

Is it just the perception of a small market because of the differing opinions on dietary requirements for diabetics? I've read on this forum numerous times now that there are still dieticians preaching about carbs in a daily diet plan even though it has been proven that this is the main issue for t2s!

I do think that even just for a main staple product such as bread, any big bakery would be on to a winner. I've been searching for a bread substitute that I can enjoy since my diagnosis because it's one of the few things I do miss. I now use Warburton's milk roll very sparingly to ease the craving.
You’ve hit the nail on the head. We are ”officially” told the eat what everyone else eats (and get worse and take more meds but that’s not the point:banghead:). And for as long as that’s the case the food situation is unlikely to change.

And despite this forum making it appear that most type 2 are low carb, in the wider world we are a drop in the ocean with most not having a clue about the option. They are never told more than cut the sugar and for whatever reason don’t go looking for more information the way we have
 

retrogamer

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They are never told more than cut the sugar
I've been told nothing yet but it is early days for me.

I've read on so many other sites though that fruit, rice, pasta and many other foods that are high carb are the way forward for T2s. Some of these people were allegedly told these things by healthcare professionals and dieticians fgs!!!
 

JenniferM55

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You're right, supermarkets are missing a trick. I buy online, mainly it's with Tesco, but occasionally with Asda and Ocado.

I have to congratulate Ocado, if you search for 'Keto' in their search engine, pages and pages of suitable keto products appear, I've just done an Ocado keto search and 182 products popped up. Why can't other supermarket websites do the same. Often I've bought keto products via Ocado's search results on a whim, or bought something I'd not heard of.

There is a lot supermarkets can do, including making sure suitable foods, for all sorts of diets are easily found.
 

retrogamer

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You're right, supermarkets are missing a trick. I buy online, mainly it's with Tesco, but occasionally with Asda and Ocado.

I have to congratulate Ocado, if you search for 'Keto' in their search engine, pages and pages of suitable keto products appear, I've just done an Ocado keto search and 182 products popped up. Why can't other supermarket websites do the same. Often I've bought keto products via Ocado's search results on a whim, or bought something I'd not heard of.

There is a lot supermarkets can do, including making sure suitable foods, for all sorts of diets are easily found.
Tip of the year here!!

I never thought to try this, I'm more an in-store shopper but after looking on ocado website I might just try online shopping.

Lots of keto products, plenty of keto snacks. Yes, all the usual suspects like meats, cauliflower etc but there's loads I've never seen before.

Thanks for the advice.
 

MrsA2

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The trouble is "keto" isn't a defined legal word as regards food. It can mean many different things and some products actually contain large amounts of carbs as well as other odd, manufactured or artificial ingredients. There's no standard they must make to, hence a wide variety of products all of which claim to be "keto" when that means nothing in reality.

The key ingredients of low carb tend to be expensive to buy and to use minimal processing. It wouldn't be easy or cheap to make decent products, let alone with a decent shelf life
 

retrogamer

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99
Type of diabetes
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Most things that's good for me
The trouble is "keto" isn't a defined legal word as regards food. It can mean many different things and some products actually contain large amounts of carbs as well as other odd, manufactured or artificial ingredients. There's no standard they must make to, hence a wide variety of products all of which claim to be "keto" when that means nothing in reality.

The key ingredients of low carb tend to be expensive to buy and to use minimal processing. It wouldn't be easy or cheap to make decent products, let alone with a decent shelf life
Yes I understand the difficulties using the word keto to describe low carb or carb free. I've seen many products labeled keto or my personal favourite "diabetic friendly" and upon checking the nutritional information there are more carbs than a slice of Warburton's toastie!!

The good thing about online shopping is the nutritional information is available to check so we can see if products are suitable before we buy.

With the buying power these big companies have they could certainly buy in large enough quantities to bring the price down to a fairly acceptable level. It would never bring the price down to the same level as a mainstream loaf of bread but could maybe make it slightly more affordable. Shelf life is probably the tricky part unless it's an item that could be frozen, I'm sure they would find some preservative to add though.
 

Estragon

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Too many to list here . . .
3.2 million people with T2 Diabetes, 2019-2020 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/386742/individuals-with-diabetes-by-type-in-england-and-wales/ ). How much does this cost the NHS daily, monthly or yearly?

Having had T2 Diabetes destroy 80% of my descending Cardiac arteries, necessitating/requiring a Quad By-pass, I’ve now recovered and flourish daily, I’m even more a strong advocate of the need to pre-emptive strikes on this silent and mostly, mostly avoidable condition. So yes, food chain providers need to be strong armed into creating what we need. Oh yeah, far better prominent packaging and labelling. Here’s a radical thought, similar to cigarette graphics designs showing the lungs of cancer patients, how about a foot being eaten by T2? Too graphic? Unacceptable? Well, you or anybody, come up with another shock tactic.

Where’s our Government‘s decision-making traction to influence the food chain companies to provide urgent, critical and relevant food stuffs? Notwithstanding its our own responsibility to eat, exercise and employ strategies to improve our health, but looking at the early adopters to Diabetes so much more could and needs to be executed by our Government. I’d start by providing to one and all Pricks and Sticks. Radical? Oh yes, but until all Governments decision makers wise-up to the recognition that our country is drowning in an Ocean of Glucose, the NHS will continue to be perpetually operating with a foot on its neck, by spending money playing catch-up on Big Pharma therapies and, thankfully, highly skilled surgical consultants and surgeons daily, and Canute-like, fighting this gushing tide of the Glucose Waves swamping our Nation.
 

PenguinMum

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3.2 million people with T2 Diabetes, 2019-2020 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/386742/individuals-with-diabetes-by-type-in-england-and-wales/ ). How much does this cost the NHS daily, monthly or yearly?

Having had T2 Diabetes destroy 80% of my descending Cardiac arteries, necessitating/requiring a Quad By-pass, I’ve now recovered and flourish daily, I’m even more a strong advocate of the need to pre-emptive strikes on this silent and mostly, mostly avoidable condition. So yes, food chain providers need to be strong armed into creating what we need. Oh yeah, far better prominent packaging and labelling. Here’s a radical thought, similar to cigarette graphics designs showing the lungs of cancer patients, how about a foot being eaten by T2? Too graphic? Unacceptable? Well, you or anybody, come up with another shock tactic.

Where’s our Government‘s decision-making traction to influence the food chain companies to provide urgent, critical and relevant food stuffs? Notwithstanding its our own responsibility to eat, exercise and employ strategies to improve our health, but looking at the early adopters to Diabetes so much more could and needs to be executed by our Government. I’d start by providing to one and all Pricks and Sticks. Radical? Oh yes, but until all Governments decision makers wise-up to the recognition that our country is drowning in an Ocean of Glucose, the NHS will continue to be perpetually operating with a foot on its neck, by spending money playing catch-up on Big Pharma therapies and, thankfully, highly skilled surgical consultants and surgeons daily, and Canute-like, fighting this gushing tide of the Glucose Waves swamping our Nation.
Agree with all you say though I suspect the number of T2s is under reported. When I got access to my records online I discovered I had two abnormal glucose tests in the ten years prior to dx. Those were full raft of blood tests for something else but either weren’t reviewed by someone competant or I didnt have what they thought it was and they left it like that. As regards amputations just doing a tv ad with surgeons talking about the number of unnecessary amputations they perform each week would be something. Just emphasising the value of testing and supplying meters which with the NHS buying power would only cost them a few £ and supplying test strips in an ever reducing quantity over 6 months would motivate the individual to take control of their own condition and hopefully take it more seriously. Atm the strategy is to be called for A1c tests and a follow up with the DN which most people don’t question through lack of information. I wonder how much the NHS could save with a more proactive policy.
Nobody wants the kind of complication that you have had @Estragon but you have borne it like a hero and are an inspiration to me and others.
 

Estragon

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Nobody wants the kind of complication that you have had @Estragon
Totally agree. It wasn't and until my 5th yes 5th Ambulance ride to the London Hospital that one of the Doctors said, you've had a cadiac incident. And I said, ah c'mon, no man, can't be, no I havent. And the kind Dr said oh yes you have. On the 5th time an enzyme troponin was the trigger for the cardio team to get activated and I was wheeled into the Resuscitation Area - BTW I was very much aware. Now, having spoken with several professionals the response has been, but they all knew you were a T2 diabatic? Why no angiogram (also known as a cardiac catheterisation) is a heart test that looks at the blood supply of your heart. It helps the doctor spot any narrowings from the 1st hospital visit!?! I've been met with a kind of weary disbalief that this wasn't, hadn't been picked up before the 5th Ambu transport.
 

HSSS

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You're right, supermarkets are missing a trick. I buy online, mainly it's with Tesco, but occasionally with Asda and Ocado.

I have to congratulate Ocado, if you search for 'Keto' in their search engine, pages and pages of suitable keto products appear, I've just done an Ocado keto search and 182 products popped up. Why can't other supermarket websites do the same. Often I've bought keto products via Ocado's search results on a whim, or bought something I'd not heard of.

There is a lot supermarkets can do, including making sure suitable foods, for all sorts of diets are easily found.
Just be careful that it’s not manufacturer/s jumping on the keto bandwagon and pushing highly processed junk at us in an attempt at health washing. So many of these made keto products have terrible ingredients not at all good for us, even if they manage to make it low carb (And that’s not always all that low!). Reading labels and ingredients is essential.

But essentially I agree. Even without changing items at all a decent search facility would be very useful online. You can search by almost every other food choice - veggie or vegan; gluten, nut, lactose free; halal, kosher, fat free, high protein, low salt but not low carb or keto
 
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