Lack of low carb options in stores!!

carol43

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I carry a small magnifying glass in my bag because sometimes the nutritional information is so small.
Is the Carbzone bread any good, I think I would like a toasted bacon sandwich. I've just looked and it's 3.7 per slice - not worth it.
 

KennyA

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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.
My figures are thoroughly out of date and for the USA but might be useful as comparators. All figures taken from Bilous and Donnelly chapter 4 "Public health Aspects of Diabetes".

USA 2002 - annual economic burden of diabetes estimated at $132billion (>10% of annual total US health expenditure)

75% of direct costs attributable to longterm vascular complications, ie not the management of diabetes itself

90% of resources spent on T2

Drug costs rose from $6.7bn (2001) to $12.5bn 2007
 

Resurgam

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I have no trouble filling my fridge and freezer from what I find in Lidl - all under 11% carbs except for the chocolate, which I eat very sparingly anyway.
 

Hiitsme

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Lidl used to do amazing rolls. Triangular and large and many on here including me said it didn't affect blood sugars. Didn't last as I assume not enough people buying. Waitrose sells Livlife bread but having moved north not sold up here. Although Sainsbury's sell Hilow bread not my local one. So often these helpful products don't last. M & S did a low carb cracker for a while.
 

AndBreathe

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I'm low carb, although I have done keto in the past. I am also gluten-free. Do I want to buy stuff labvelled "low-carb£, or "keto" in some "free-from/reduced" isle of the supermarket? No thanks.

I'll just stick with buying real food which is naturally low carb and gluten-free. If something isn't "low carb", I am just mindful of portion size.

I found going low carb to be a pain at the outset, but got used to it pretty quickly. I founf going gluten-free trickier. It lurks in unexpected places. There are only two things I seek out as GF alternatives - soy sauce (if I can't source coconut aminos for some reason), and Worcestershire Sauce, because I like it, and I just want it from time to time.

I'm 10 years in now and find it straightforward these days.
 

Lainie71

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The term "big boned" lol repeatedly told this growing up!
When I was diagnosed I was told to eat to the "eat well plate" eat every 2 hours - what if I wasnt hungry?! To eat starchy foods and not test only once a week and off I trotted with a script for Gliclazide. Thank goodness I took it upon myself and hubby to look into type 2 and diet and exercise etc more. I dread to think what I would be looking at if I hadn't gone down the route of lchf. I have to be very careful what I eat as I cannot cope with gluten products but I have found some keto recipes and foods that have really helped in my journey. I don't trust a lot of companies that claim to be low carb etc and I have had some terrible reactions to stuff that's in the products. I generally, apart from the occasional keto bread, stick to high fat cuts of meat etc and cook from scratch. That way I know what's in my food. I do agree that there is a lot of trickery in the food industry full stop.
 
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Munkki

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Interestingly, I found some keto products in Finland, some with simple ingredients such as seed crackers. I sometimes appreciate them when travelling. Once we went to a café and found they had some keto items on the menu like coffee with ice cream and a cake. I had the cake, which was warm (probably stored in the freezer) and came with a huge dollop of whipped cream. It was nice to order a cake in a café after years of not doing that. I was pleasantly surprised. Finland has a small population, and my Finnish mother is being recommended the classic "eat well" diet with potatoes, etc.
 

Estragon

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Too many to list here . . .
@KennyA - Thanks for quoting my Post. More people need to wise-up their local GPs and Health Specialists. Think about this too, my Pharmacy is earning income from my condition, to quote, "We hand them out like sweeties" - and yes we sneered at the ironic choice of wording. My thoughts are that this is similar to the painkiller drugs sweeping the USA. But this is my opinion.
 
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frankjudy

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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?
Totally agree as while in Australia the had 4 to 5 different brands including burgen 85% lower carb which I believe sell in uk without lower carb .why
 
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Melgar

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I'm going to have a whine here, so I will apologise in advance. I keep reading in the comments on this thread that there are lots of gluten free products available. I don't know where this idea comes from. Here in Canada I have, Cornflakes (Gluten free as regular cornflakes contain wheat), three types of pasta, penne, spaghetti and sometimes linguine, several types of cookies/biscuits, all of which are tasteless, bread that costs around $10 a loaf (In pounds that's around 6 pounds a loaf.) Several cake options, all of which cost three times as much as regular cakes and a gluten free soy sauce option. Gluten free products contain massive amounts of carbs and sugars, far more than the regular items. Gluten is in everything and don't get me started on all the hidden gluten in products that are used further up the food processing line that do not have to be disclosed on the ingredients list. Even rolled oats, for god sakes can contain gluten, how perverse is that. Remember that those of us with coeliac could very well end up in hospital after consuming just a few crumbs that contain gluten. The UK may have a few more options, but it is dismally small, given that the entire food store is brimming with gluten containing choices. As for lactose free, we have milk, cheese (cheddar only), cream and butter. Please don't tell me that there are lots of gluten free choices when our choices are a tiny fraction of what is available for those of you who can tolerate gluten. Sorry again for my comment but is got to me.
 

Melgar

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Obviously, I am also in the diabetic boat trying to navigate the carbohydrate storm so I get it 100%. When a manufacturer removes a key ingredient such as carbohydrates or sugars they will replace it with something else. That something else will likely be something that is ultra processed. A chemical substitute if you will. I think of cancer when I think of UPF's. When gluten is removed from foods they fill that flavour profile with extra carbs and sugars to give it taste. It's not like reducing salt which the manufacturers don't have to worry too much about because people expect reduced salt to be less salty. Carbohydrates and sugars are a key ingredient like gluten and it will be replaced with something. I cook my own stuff from the fresh produce section. I can tell you that I fell into the can’t cook won’t cook brigade. I ate out. A few years ago now, but when I moved to northern Québec there was only a greasy cheap burger joint and a pizza place. I don’t like either so a learned how to cook because I love my food. Thank goodness I did because that was my life saver when I went from having ‘silent’ coeliac to it becoming an out and very loud condition.
 

retrogamer

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I keep reading in the comments on this thread that there are lots of gluten free products available
It was never my intention to imply that other groups of "intolerant" people were well catered for. My initial point was that although the range is small compared to the number of products an average supermarket carries, there are gluten and lactose free products.
For us "carbohydrate intolerant" (yes I do believe that should be a thing) diabetics, the supermarkets make no attempt to cater for us at all.
Maybe it really isn't feasible, maybe the products are just too expensive even at wholesale level for the supermarkets to take the gamble, maybe its more to do with storage of the products to keep them fresh as I do know low carb and carb free breads have a very short shelf life at room temperature.

I don't know the reasons why, I was just hoping maybe somebody more knowledgeable would be able to explain why carb free is not a thing on the high street. It's a niche market that could be explored by someone surely.
 

Melgar

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It was never my intention to imply that other groups of "intolerant" people were well catered for. My initial point was that although the range is small compared to the number of products an average supermarket carries, there are gluten and lactose free products.
For us "carbohydrate intolerant" (yes I do believe that should be a thing) diabetics, the supermarkets make no attempt to cater for us at all.
Maybe it really isn't feasible, maybe the products are just too expensive even at wholesale level for the supermarkets to take the gamble, maybe its more to do with storage of the products to keep them fresh as I do know low carb and carb free breads have a very short shelf life at room temperature.

I don't know the reasons why, I was just hoping maybe somebody more knowledgeable would be able to explain why carb free is not a thing on the high street. It's a niche market that could be explored by someone surely.
Yeah I came across as a bit preachy. Sorry retrogamer. I struggle with food choices and the price of anything gluten free is triple regular products. I 100 % get you on the lack of carbs.
 

Outlier

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explain why carb free is not a thing on the high street. It's a niche market that could be explored by someone surely.
At a guess, I would venture that not many non-T2 people even know about low carb (after all, how many medics do?), and even if they did, we are too small a group to make manufacturing changes cost-effective. And even if this did happen, it's likely, being a small slice (crumb?) of the overall market, the food would be much more expensive and prospective customers would be indignant about that.

But that's just my take, and it's entirely possible some of you would know better.
 

retrogamer

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I would venture that not many non-T2 people even know about low carb
I absolutely get that. The medical professionals that advise diabetics on a daily basis often give incorrect advice. I have read that much on this forum and on a couple of Facebook groups.

Low carb isn't just a T2 thing though, it's been touted as a healthier lifestyle choice in a variety of diets since the 1990 as far as I am aware. (Atkins being the most well known) and many people swear by low carb lifestyles. You would think some supermarket would have attempted to capitalise on the trend, particularly when big name movie stars announced they were following this particular diet.

I may be talking complete rubbish though.
 

lovinglife

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As someone who does keto - which is often used as a word to describe extreme low carb but is so much more than that - if I’m honest I probably do “dirty” keto as I do use some things that aren’t considered a clean keto diet such a diet drinks on occasion and the very occasional sugar free sweeties.

I probably wouldn’t buy anything that was processed to be keto or low carb. I can buy plenty of keto/low carb friendly food with the vast choice of meats, poultry, fish, above ground veggies, cheeses, eggs. What I would buy would be things like the frozen cauliflower rice, M&S used to do a fab ready made cauliflower mash but that didn’t seem to last long. I do buy bread, rolls & wraps from seriously low carb but I don’t think they would be viable as a supermarket product- they need refrigeration and have a short shelf life unless frozen, the cost can be prohibitive for some too.

I still think it’s all far to a niche market at the moment, and not a profitable one for a mainstream retailer
 
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ianf0ster

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I too handle eating Low Carb by almost always eating whole foods and (my wife) cooking from basic ingredients.
Having said that, we do use pre-made sauces and I drink red wine and eat some squares of 90% dark chocolate.
Eating out it's often steak and salad, or Nandos, or a burger and ditch the bun, or Chinese or Indian meat dishes with a plate of low carb veg instead of rice.

However, although we may be considered to be thrifty, we are fortunate in that we have no budgetary concerns. I appreciate that too many people can't say the same.
 

boronursey

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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!!!
20 years for me and as far as diet goes I've been told nothing, given no information, I was initially told by my sister (diabetic lead) eat same as everyone else only less, she still doggedly sticks by this.
 

filly

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Spicy food which is too hot. Nasty people who have no idea on your life journey but feel the need to comment and be cruel.
20 years for me and as far as diet goes I've been told nothing, given no information, I was initially told by my sister (diabetic lead) eat same as everyone else only less, she still doggedly sticks by this.
Interesting. I am surrounded by nurses. (friends/family).Even after giving them my new Hca1c reading (41) they are still encouraging me to eat lots of things I should not.
They say I am stubborn for not following doctor or nurse. Interestingly enough back in the 80's and 90's when my Gastro consultant (I worked for him) told me to eat Wholemeal products. Weight went up, and felt rubbish most of the time. I knew I had a carb problem even then.
 
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