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Managing diabetes on a low income????

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by NotoriousPaC, May 6, 2015.

  1. NotoriousPaC

    NotoriousPaC Type 2 · Newbie

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    Hi Everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone can give me advise on food shopping, while living on a low income?? I've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a few months ago, am trying to eat healthy, but struggling on what to buy when I go to the shops??? I spend more time looking at Sugar and Fat content and come out with next to nothing.

    I don't know if any of you have the same problem????

    What do I buy????

    Many Thanks

    Peter
     
  2. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi Peter,

    @daisy1 will give you some info about diabetes and food.

    In the meantime, be aware that all carbohydrates turn to glucose in the body so when looking at food labels ignore the 'of which sugars' bit and look at the total carbohydrate content.

    As a very general rule, meat, fish, cheese, eggs, nuts and berries are good for us. Reduce your intake of rice, pasta, bread and potato (yes I know - the cheap foods).

    Ask more specific things if you need to.
     
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  3. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Making casseroles and stews in larger batches, soups too. Curries, buying 2 for 1 items, Some fruit and veg that is near it's sell by date, that you are comfortable with eating., is cheaper. The reduced plinth in a supermarket which has dented tins at a reduced rate. Also going later at night, if you are able to, as they sell off produce at bargain prices.. Coley is a cheaper fish to buy and can make a lovely fish curry. Good luck.

    RRB
     
  4. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    @NotoriousPaC Forgot to mention that you will find many forum members advocate a Low Carb High Fat diet (LCHF). There is plenty of evidence to suggest that once you reduce your carb intake, the fat does a lot less harm. Maybe worth thinking about?
     
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  5. Pasha

    Pasha Prediabetes · Expert

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    Its all covered here and with plenty of detail. Hope this helps.

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/
     
  6. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    Do you like to cook, and what sort of food do you like?

    That might help tailor the suggestions.
     
  7. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
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    @NotoriousPaC

    Hello Peter and welcome to the forum :)

    Here is the information we give to new members and I hope you will find it useful. Ask as many questions as you need to and someone will be able to answer.


    BASIC INFORMATION FOR NEWLY DIAGNOSED DIABETICS

    Diabetes is the general term to describe people who have blood that is sweeter than normal. A number of different types of diabetes exist.

    A diagnosis of diabetes tends to be a big shock for most of us. It’s far from the end of the world though and on this forum you’ll find over 140,000 people who are demonstrating this.

    On the forum we have found that with the number of new people being diagnosed with diabetes each day, sometimes the NHS is not being able to give all the advice it would perhaps like to deliver - particularly with regards to people with type 2 diabetes.

    The role of carbohydrate

    Carbohydrates are a factor in diabetes because they ultimately break down into sugar (glucose) within our blood. We then need enough insulin to either convert the blood sugar into energy for our body, or to store the blood sugar as body fat.

    If the amount of carbohydrate we take in is more than our body’s own (or injected) insulin can cope with, then our blood sugar will rise.

    The bad news

    Research indicates that raised blood sugar levels over a period of years can lead to organ damage, commonly referred to as diabetic complications.

    The good news

    People on the forum here have shown that there is plenty of opportunity to keep blood sugar levels from going too high. It’s a daily task but it’s within our reach and it’s well worth the effort.

    Controlling your carbs

    The info below is primarily aimed at people with type 2 diabetes, however, it may also be of benefit for other types of diabetes as well.
    There are two approaches to controlling your carbs:

    • Reduce your carbohydrate intake
    • Choose ‘better’ carbohydrates

    Reduce your carbohydrates

    A large number of people on this forum have chosen to reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat as they have found this to be an effective way of improving (lowering) their blood sugar levels.

    The carbohydrates which tend to have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels tend to be starchy carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and similar root vegetables, flour based products (pastry, cakes, biscuits, battered food etc) and certain fruits.

    Choosing better carbohydrates

    Another option is to replace ‘white carbohydrates’ (such as white bread, white rice, white flour etc) with whole grain varieties. The idea behind having whole grain varieties is that the carbohydrates get broken down slower than the white varieties –and these are said to have a lower glycaemic index.
    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/diabetes-and-whole-grains.html

    The low glycaemic index diet is often favoured by healthcare professionals but some people with diabetes find that low GI does not help their blood sugar enough and may wish to cut out these foods altogether.

    Read more on carbohydrates and diabetes

    Eating what works for you

    Different people respond differently to different types of food. What works for one person may not work so well for another. The best way to see which foods are working for you is to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter.

    To be able to see what effect a particular type of food or meal has on your blood sugar is to do a test before the meal and then test after the meal. A test 2 hours after the meal gives a good idea of how your body has reacted to the meal.

    The blood sugar ranges recommended by NICE are as follows:

    Blood glucose ranges for type 2 diabetes
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 8.5 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (adults)
    • Before meals: 4 to 7 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 9 mmol/l
    Blood glucose ranges for type 1 diabetes (children)
    • Before meals: 4 to 8 mmol/l
    • 2 hours after meals: under 10 mmol/l
    However, those that are able to, may wish to keep blood sugar levels below the NICE after meal targets.

    Access to blood glucose test strips

    The NICE guidelines suggest that people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should be offered:

    • structured education to every person and/or their carer at and around the time of diagnosis, with annual reinforcement and review
    • self-monitoring of plasma glucose to a person newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes only as an integral part of his or her self-management education

    Therefore both structured education and self-monitoring of blood glucose should be offered to people with type 2 diabetes. Read more on getting access to bloodglucose testing supplies.

    You may also be interested to read questions to ask at a diabetic clinic

    Note: This post has been edited from Sue/Ken's post to include up to date information.
     
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  8. NotoriousPaC

    NotoriousPaC Type 2 · Newbie

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    I like to eat anything healthy, I eat a lot of Pasta, as you can cook many things with it, Chicken, veg stuff I love to eat, yes I love to cook food I prefer to cook fresh food daily, but don't mind frozen food too.
     
  9. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
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    Hi NotoriousPaC
    welcome to the forum :)

    eating low carb needn't be expensive -- i am lucky that I have an Aldi and a Lidl about 6 miles away so I can pop into both for their fruit and veg offers.

    a great low carb alternative to potato is a mixture of cauliflower , celeriac , onion , celery -- all steamed together and then mashed with some butter .
    really tasty and not expensive.

    I use courgette cut into thin strips as a substitute for pasta -- covered in a bolognese sauce made from tinned tomatoes , onion , a pepper , some beef mince and seasoned with dried herbs.

    omelette with veg fillings or cheese or meat are good low carb inexpensive meals too.
     
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  10. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi and welcome don't worry about fat but do avoid the carbs other than some of the good high fibre ones such as beans & lentils, raw carrots and so on. Keep the pasta down.
     
  11. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    Thanks for coming back to me. I'm really pleased you like to cook, because that makes this whole adjustment process so much easier than relying on ready meals, which can make things tricky, if that's what you like every day.

    I'd urge you to do lots of reading on the site, around diet, as many of us have found that the NHS definition of healthy, and what suits us for our diabetes aren't quite the same. Many of us have found that foods rich in carbohydrates, including wholemeal are a bit of a challenge when it comes to our blood sugars. Sadly, few of us can eat pasta regularly, and many, including myself, have pretty much stepped away from it.

    Don't be afraid of fat, as that isn't quite the nasty thing it's been painted in recent years. There's been quite a bit in the press and TV suggesting sugars are more of an issue, generally, than fat, and that certainly holds true for most diabetics. The great news in that is that it means that the cheaper cuts of meat are very much on the menu, and although they can take longer to cook, they pack loads of flavour and needn't break the bank.

    An example of that would be today, in my local butcher I bought 2 Barnsley chops, which came to £7 - not cheap I'll grant you, but also a lovely piece of belly pork he had on offer. We like to slow roast it, and it gets great crackling. Two very large pieces came to £1.88. Quite a sharp contrast to the £7 for tonight's dinner, but we will enjoy the belly pork equally well, and probably go back for some for the freezer.

    There are some great "what have you eaten today" threads on the site, and I thoroughly recommend them for reading. There are 2 live threads and one that was locked a couple of weeks ago. Please don't miss the old thread as it is hundreds of pages long and jam packed with ideas.

    With a desire to cook, and an open mind, I'm sure you won't have any issues managing your budget; especially as shop bought biscuits, treats and ready meals are likely to be put to one side.

    Welcome aboard.
     
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  12. DeejayR

    DeejayR Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    I wish we had an Aldi or a Lidl nearby. However ... although the local shops are more expensive I am a good friend of Ron the butcher and helped him with some gardening one weekend, so now I'm still £4 in credit after choosing free belly pork, bacon, some chicken and lamb.
    Befriend people with allotments and you'll be inundated with free fresh veg almost all the year round, especially if you can help them in some way.
     
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  13. CheeseJunkie

    CheeseJunkie · Guest

    Good prices on fish: fresh mackerel; and big cans of tinned pilchards. Both of these are oily fish, which is the best from a nutritional perspective.
     
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  14. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    OK. I seem to have a little more time this morning, so I'll add a little here, if I may.

    Have a read through these pages:

    http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf#advice

    http://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/a-new-low-carb-guide-for-beginners.68695/

    Both of those pages include really great information on foods that have been found to help many of us control our diabetes; and they're not the bonkers sort of "Manuka, with virginal Yak Milk solids and cloven hoof trimmings" (OK, I actually made that up!) things. It's all decent, usually easy to source, food.

    Before I was diagnosed, I always used to have a quite squint in the reduced fridges at the supermarket when I was in. I'm fortunate to have had decent budgets available, but I used that process to try things I'd not have otherwise chosen, and I discovered some new things I liked. So, I've carried that on now; albeit with a trimmed allowable (to me) list of stuff I'm likely to buy. (My Scottish heritage sometimes shows in curious ways).

    Looking through both the "what have you eaten" threads, and the low carb recipe sections should, I hope give you some inspiration. If you particularly like something, like steak pie (randomly off the top of my head!), or lemon cake (closer to my heart....), a quick consultation on the recipe section here and with Dr Google will almost always return a recipe or idea. There are some very clever and inventive people out there who either choose or have to eat modified diets.

    I would say that eating well with diabetes is so much more enjoyable with a bit or pre-planning, so that we always have something tasty available to eat. I've never been a snacker, but that's even surprisingly easy with a bit of thinking.

    I'm sure it'll come together for you. Good luck.
     
  15. CheeseJunkie

    CheeseJunkie · Guest

    Absolutely. To add to what DeejayR has already said, for the OP:

    Some people are given an allotment slightly too big for their needs, some allotment holders will cope less well with the work as they get older... and in any case there is often a glut of something.

    There are - apart from individual allotments - often community veg gardening projects that you can get involved in... The produce is shared among those taking part, and you get to meet new people. Check out if there is one in your area (I have one about 300 yards from my home, in London).

    If keen on growing, why not also register for an allotment in your area (it may take weeks or years to come up, depending on where you live!), and check out Landshare.net to see if there are any land sharing/growing possibilities near you.

    With allotments, where there is a waiting list, there are often ways of getting up the list: being prepared to accept a not-ideal plot is one; and helping out as a volunteer on site activities is often another.

    Gardening/growing is also good exercise :)
     
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    #15 CheeseJunkie, May 7, 2015 at 9:26 AM
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
  16. Pinkorchid

    Pinkorchid Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It has been said here before that is not easy when you are on a low income to do LCHF as it can be more expensive but there are people here who do manage it. Perhaps someone who is doing it on a budget would come on and give you some tips on how they make it affordable
     
  17. vintageutopia

    vintageutopia Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Buy produce in season. It is less expensive and you can buy extra and freeze it. In the summer months, I freeze extras from our garden, my parents garden, and also stock up on berries/stone fruit/melons and freeze them during picking season. It is nice to enjoy during those cold, winter months and I am always amazed at what I can freeze and use at a later time.

    Rather than buying pre-sliced cuts of meat, buy a large slab and cut/portion it yourself. Unless, you have a butcher friend that can do it for you. ;)Then, freeze for later.

    If you have access to milk, you can easily make your own mozzarella and yogurt.

    Can you join a CSA (community-supported agriculture)- I think it was mentioned above- or join in on a cow or pig with a few others? We do that and it is fresher and less expensive. Also, our local farmer's market also offers a discount to those who are seniors or on a restricted budget.

    Eggs are relatively inexpensive and a perfect food in many ways. Eggs aren't just for breakfast, so make a frittata or combine with kale & tomatoes for a nice lunch/dinner. I buy egg shares from a local farmer too.

    Cheese - avoid shredded and pre-sliced and do it yourself. I don't know if the UK has warehouse style stores like Sam's Club or Costco, but we buy large cuts of cheese and slice it/shred it ourselves. Plus, the do-it-yourself version doesn't contain extra fillers to keep the cheese from sticking.

    We are fortunate enough not to live on a limited budget, but I like good food from local farmers, so I save a lot by buying/prepping/growing it myself. Good luck to you!

    Edit: Another thought...if you know someone is going on vacation...er, holiday, many friends/families/neighbors will let you pick what you want from their gardens while they are gone, so it doesn't go bad.
     
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    #17 vintageutopia, May 7, 2015 at 5:10 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2015
  18. Fayefaye1429

    Fayefaye1429 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi they say it's about planning meals before shopping. Replacing fresh with frozen to stretch the budget. For example frozen stir fry
     
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