1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Need help re what to eat

Discussion in 'Type 2 with Insulin' started by Northerngirl, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. Northerngirl

    Northerngirl Family member · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    53
    My husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 10 years ago, and a few weeks ago, moved on to using insulin in addition to metformin, rather than the many tablets he was taking. His approach to what to eat has always been a bit erratic. He used to often not eat breakfast, which he now does because of the insulin.

    His blood sugar levels don't seem to have come down really. There's so much information on this site, I'm pretty confused. Plus I don't want to be seen as nagging him about food all the time. He's a bit, but not very, overweight (a stone at the most) and gets a lot of exercise (Aquavit, swimming, Zumba, walking, Bowls) When he started having breakfast because of the insulin, he's been having porridge, which he likes. Since I've been looking on here, I'm wondering if that's a bad thing or ok.

    Say he continues with porridge for breakfast, is there anywhere straightforward that shows what other carbohydrates he can have in a day, set out in actual food terms eg a banana, 2 slices of bread, 2 apples sort of format? I don't think it's going to be possible for him to make lots of different changes to what he eats all at once. If it's not something straightforward he won't do it and then he'll get despondent, at which point he'll start eating cakes, scones, chocolate etc.

    Thanks
     
  2. DeejayR

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

    Messages:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    6,232
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Hi and welcome. Straight off I don't think any of those foods you mention are likely to be any good for your husband since they are all high in carbs and sugar. Having said that, make haste slowly. He needs to be testing his blood sugar regularly before and after meals so you both can see what's bad for him.
    I'll tag @daisy1 to give you her excellent guide to managing diabetes which you and your husband can read, and then ask more questions.
    The way to go is to find a breakfast which keeps his BS level within good limits and then try variations. (There are many, many recipes and discussions on here.) If you try a small amount of porridge with, say, some berries and double cream, you might get a good result. Some people are ok, others not.
    Take it easy and keep coming back.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    26,459
    Likes Received:
    4,873
    Trophy Points:
    248
    @NorthernGirl

    Hello Northern Girl and welcome to the forum :) Here is the information we give to new members which I hope will help you to help your husband. You will get plenty of good advice from members on the forum which should make a difference. Ask as many questions as you like and someone will be pleased to help.


    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 150,000 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.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Northerngirl

    Northerngirl Family member · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Thanks for the help both of you. I hope its okay if I carry on asking questions on this thread; that way I'll know where they are.

    This morning before breakfast, my husband's blood glucose level was 9.2. Two hours later we tested again and it was 10.5. I can see that neither of those are within the guidelines levels. But my question is, is that sort of level of rise in blood glucose from before to 2 hours later okay? Thanks
     
  5. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

    Messages:
    24,935
    Likes Received:
    30,474
    Trophy Points:
    298
    The actual rise isn't too bad, but both readings are high, as you know. The lower he starts, the lower he will finish, and double figures aren't good. Try to keep his carbohydrate consumption down, especially bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals. Fruit and milk can also be culprits, and look out for hidden carbs by looking at the nutrition labels on packaging. Look for the Total Carb amount (you can ignore the "of which sugars". More than 10g per 100g is high, unless it is a condiment or similar where you only have a very small amount at a time. If he changes his carb consumption drastically he will probably need to have his insulin dose reviewed, but I am no expert on this as I am Type 2 not on medication, but it needs to involve a visit to his diabetic nurse/doctor.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Northerngirl

    Northerngirl Family member · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Thanks Bluetit for your straightforward explanation. He's only started on insulin a few weeks ago, so the actual dosage that he takes hasn't been finally sorted yet. It seems very early days and still rather confusing!
     
  7. Northerngirl

    Northerngirl Family member · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Just to add, what I'm trying to do at the moment is to encourage him from worse options to not so bad options. My main concern is that if I become too pushy about it, what he is actually going to do is go and eat things in secret.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,165
    Likes Received:
    14,934
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Rises/ spikes of under 2 are considered OK, but as you've learnt his pre meal level isn't.

    Use the nutritional labelling on food packaging to learn their carbohydrate content, the "Carbohdrates...of which sugars..." one, but look at the total carbohydrate values, and try to keep these down as far as possible. Bread, cakes, biscuits - flour in general, cereals, potatoes and other starchy (usually root) vegetables, rice pasta, high sugar fruits (e.g. the bananas) - as well as all sugary foods are the ones to be cautious over. But also watch out for hidden added sugars in other processed foods too.

    Try not to keep any of those foods that he's likely to binge on off your shopping list and out of the house, then temptation will require more effort on his part...:D Instead look at low carbohydrate alternatives for him - it's possible to replace many baked goods with lovely low carb alternatives using ground almonds, coconut or sesame flour,etc, and low carb sugar alternatives such as stevia or erythritol, (or xylitol if you don't have dogs). Look in our low carb recipes section for recipes. On of our mambers Ewelina, also has an excellent set of recipes on her blog, too..

    He may need to adjust his insulin as he adjust his carbohydrate intake so hopefully someone will advice you on this.

    Robbity
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Northerngirl

    Northerngirl Family member · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    53
    One of the problems is that I think I am more concerned about his high glucose readings than he is. He would say he is concerned, but finds it hard to carry that into practice. There's also part of him that believes now he is using insulin, he can worry less about what he eats, because the insulin will sort it. I find it hard not to shout at him about how ridiculous that is, sometimes!

    Another problem is that I don't have a sweet tooth. So, dating back to before he was diagnosed, he would buy chocolate etc himself to snack on, and have snacks when I'm not having them. It was never me that bought it in the first place. I find the suggestions of suitable snacks on this site eg celery and peanut butter a/ attractive b/the sort of thing I would eat anyway. He wouldn't think so.

    Another problem is that one of the activities we do together is go out for a coffee. If it's first thing in the morning, it's coffee by itself. If it's mid morning we have a scone. (I guess there is some progress there over the years, because he used to have cake.)

    I don't mean to sound negative, it's just that I can't really see the way through this.

    A question, I've not seen it on here, but is there a separate forum for partners/ families of people with diabetes on here? Thanks
     
  10. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

    Messages:
    24,935
    Likes Received:
    30,474
    Trophy Points:
    298
    I don't have a sweet tooth, and I hate dark chocolate, but MANY people on here buy the high cocoa dark chocolate, which is better than the milk varieties. I think Green and Blacks do one, Lindt, and various other common makes.

    I doubt there is any difference between a portion of cake and a scone in a café as far as BS are concerned. However, as a treat, one piece wouldn't do much harm, and ensure he has a load of butter on the scone as this helps keep any spike down. Hopefully the coffee he likes is with cream or black, not with milk!

    For snacks he can have nuts. Not many at once, a small handful, or cheese. Any cheese, but some folk like Babybells for convenience for snacks. Personally I never snack because I'm never hungry. It is carbs that make you hungry, so the more you have, the more you want and think you need. Good fats like dairy, cheese, full fat yogurts, cream, butter, eggs, avocadoes, meat and fish fill you up far more than the carbs and last you through to your next meal. If he is a bread lover, there are some low carb breads on the market (Bergen, Livlife from Waitrose, and Lidl high protein rolls)

    There isn't a separate forum, but there are a few threads about this subject. You aren't on your own by any means.

    How about a lovely fry up for breakfast or lunch (bacon, eggs, high meat content sausage, mushrooms cooked in butter, and a tomato?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. DeejayR

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

    Messages:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    6,232
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Yes, it seems overwhelming at first, especially when you're trying to do it for someone else who isn't very committed and thinks insulin is the cure-all.
    You may have to accept that this is going to take some time and it's better to make progress slowly than try to hurry and end up taking two steps forward and three back. Perhaps you can get your husband's attention by showing him some of the unpleasant effects of diabetes further down the line related on here.
    We are always here to help if we can.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Northerngirl

    Northerngirl Family member · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Quick response re coffee, Bluetit. Yes, he changed from cappuccino to americano a couple of years ago. Thanks for the other suggestions, I'll read through them in more detail now.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. Northerngirl

    Northerngirl Family member · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    53
    Deejay re unpleasant side effects, it's a bit strange really. His grandmother had to have her leg amputated because of her 'sugar ', but he thinks that won't happen to him! I'm thinking that eyesight may be the best one to approach with him.
     
  14. Robbity

    Robbity Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,165
    Likes Received:
    14,934
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Eyesight was my main motivation when I was first diagnosed, as I'd had a serious fright when I ended up with chronic iritis (reason unknown and years before diabetes "struck") - it was extremely painful and debilitating, and I was for a time semi blind - my worst fear and I never want to be in that situation again.

    Robbity
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Northerngirl

    Northerngirl Family member · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    53
    To update, my partner succeeded in cutting out all snacks today. His reading before evening meal was 12.1 and two hours later it was 12.0. When it came to bedtime it was 5.0. At which stage we worried and he had a snack before bed.

    Was it right to worry about the 5.0? Was having a snack the right thing?
     
  16. Northerngirl

    Northerngirl Family member · Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    53
    An update: we are both pleased. The last 5 mornings his reading has been between 7 and 8 (I know that's still a bit high, but it's loads better than before) and this morning it was 6.1. There's been a big change in terms of snacking, it's far less often and usually just a few nuts. He's a lot less hungry now his blood sugar is down so much. And he's still ok in terms of BG rise having a much smaller bowl of porridge, made with milk (it's always been chunky oats - can't remember the proper name!), so he enjoys the start to his day.

    I know this has to be an ongoing change, but I think now he's achieved some ok readings, he feels much more confident that he can make the necessary changes.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Ali H

    Ali H Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    571
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Join Pinterest, it is full of low carb recipes for everything, from pizza to cakes, biscuits to potato alternatives.

    Ali
     
    • Like Like x 2
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook