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Discussion in 'Food, Nutrition and Recipes' started by Lgs0754, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Lgs0754

    Lgs0754 Prediabetes · Newbie

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    Hi, I have just been advised I am pre diabetes and I have 4 months to change my diet and bring down the levels. I am confused by everything I have been reading on different sites. Can someone explain please in simple terms, what I should be looking for when I read food labels? Is it the carbs per 100g? is it the sugars per 100g? What meats can I eat and not eat? What fish can I eat and not eat? What vegetables? Can I eat beans and pulses? What fruit should I eat or not eat? I really want to get to grips with it but I feel like I am wading through fog trying to understand. Thank you in advance for any assistance.
  2. AM1874

    AM1874 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Lgs0754 .. and welcome
    You have certainly made a good move coming here .. I was diagnosed T2 in early Feb and, like you, I was a bit shell-shocked with no information and no idea of what was happening to me. Since joining this forum, though, the folks here have given me so much info, advice and support that I am now much more confident about the journey ahead. So ask your questions and be assured that you will receive the answers that you need. It's still early for me but, in my experience, it gets easier .. very quickly.

    Managing and controlling your diabetes (or pre-diabetes) through exercise, diet and testing your Blood Glucose seems to be the best way forward for many people. For me, committing to an LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) lifestyle and testing 3-5 times a day seems to be working and you'll find that there is a wealth of info, relevant advice and positive support about LCHF on the forum ..

    I have tagged @daisy1 for you and I suggest that you read up on the Low Carb Program in the information that she will soon be sending you. You might also find the discussion on the Low Carb Diet forum helpful .. and the following Diet Doctor websites which will give you all the info that you need on what and what not to eat ...
    Low Carb Intro and Information
    Low Carbs in 60 Seconds

    It is a top priority that you get yourself a meter for testing your blood glucose and, for this, the following websites might help:
    for the SD Codefree meter, which costs £12.98 or:
    who distribute the TEE 2 meter, which is free.
    I have both which I alternate for comparative purposes and I have never found any significant difference between them.

    Unless you are prescribed a meter and test strips by your doctor (unlikely), the costs of testing comes down to the ongoing charges for test strips and lancets. Make sure that you tick the appropriate box on the on-line order form and you won't pay VAT on the cost of your meter or strips.
    For the SD Codefree, the strips are £7.69 for a pack of 50 and there are discount codes available for bulk purchases:
    5 packs x 50 use code: 264086 .. cost is £38.45
    10 packs x 50 use code: 975833 .. cost is £76.90
    For the TEE 2, the strips are £7.75 for a pack of 50 .. there are no discount codes currently available for bulk buys
    I'm testing 3-5 times a day which works out at around £10 to £12 per month for either of the two packages above but, more importantly, I know what my BG levels are .. and I can now manage them

    Hope this helps
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Lgs0754

    Lgs0754 Prediabetes · Newbie

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    Wow thank you AM1874!! If your prompt and full response is anything to go by then I have certainly found the best forum. I will take a look at the links you gave added thank you.
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  4. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    To answer your question.. in simple terms look for the number of carbohydrates per 100g ( I tend to aim for 5g or less as a rough guide) it all turns to glucose in your body anyway.
    Meats and fish are all fine.
    Vege is best to have non starchy so any leaves, broccoli, cauliflower in short anything that grows above ground.
    Beans and pulses not so great best avoided.
    Fruits are on the whole best avoided apart from berries in moderation.
    Cream. butter and cheese are all good.
    Over time you'll become an expert label reader and can miss out whole aisles of the supermarket which contain mainly "carbage" especially the breakfast cereal aisle!

    You're in the right place to help with getting yourself better so welcome.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

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    Hi @Lgs0754 and welcome to the forum. It's good that you are being proactive and looking for ways to reduce your blood sugar levels before you bcome fully diabetic. I wish I had done that.
    As @bulkbiker says it's the total carbohydrates you need to watch out for. In the UK that would include the sugars. But total carbs is more relevant as carbs turn to sugars in our bodies.
    When buying processed food or ready meals it's best to avoid anything that is more than 10 gms of carbohydrates per 100 gms (ie 10%). 5 gms of carbohydrates per 100 gms (5%), or less, is best.
  6. Dairygrade

    Dairygrade Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum lgs0754
  7. Alison Campbell

    Alison Campbell Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    Getting and using a meter to test my blood sugar levels and using this forum for support and advice has played a huge role in me taking the action needed and not progressing to type 2.

    You really have found the best place to be for help and support.
  8. daisy1

    daisy1 Type 2 · Legend

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    Hello and welcome to the Forum :) Here is the Basic Information we give to new members and I hope that it will be useful to you. Ask as many questions as you want and someone will be able to help.


    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 well over 245,000 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

    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.

    Over 145,000 people have taken part in the Low Carb Program - a free 10 week structured education course that is helping people lose weight and reduce medication dependency by explaining the science behind carbs, insulin and GI.

    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 blood glucose 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.

    Take part in Diabetes.co.uk digital education programs and improve your understanding. They're all free.
    • Low Carb Program - it's made front-page news of the New Scientist and The Times. Developed with 20,000 people with type 2 diabetes; 96% of people who take part recommend it... find out why
    • Hypo Program - improve your understanding of hypos. There's a version for people with diabetes, parents/guardians of children with type 1, children with type 1 diabetes, teachers and HCPs.
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