Alternative food?

Just wondering I’m seeing alternative recipes online that are safe to eat. Are they any better? I think the hardest part so far is knowing exactly what I can eat and can not eat. Of course less sugar and carbs, that’s a long list

Like pancakes, brownies, ice cream, ceral, what about bacon. Yes I know I’m listing food that is generally bad all around. Though was nice to have once in awhile. I’m sure this has been a question many have asked before, I apologize

No need to apologize, and if you are new welcome to the forum. If you have not consulted with an endo and (for this specific topic) a nutritionist, I encourage you to do so. With the knowledge we have now many of most of us can choose pretty much what we want as long as we know how to cover the carbs and handle fatty foods - fat can delay absorption of insulin. Of course just because you can eat something doesn’t mean you should live off it, even if you do know how to cover it, but if you keep an overall healthy lifestyle hopefully you can enjoy it. Don’t forget everyone needs to consider the effect foods have on cholesterol - or will in the future.
We are not medical professionals and don’t know details about you that your doctor should have so note I’m using the term “hopefully.” I still see a nutritionist now and then for a refresher (I’ve been diabetic for nearly 60 years) and they look at my regimen and advise me where I may be falling short over overdoing. Yours can help you keep balance while working in foods that are not at the top of the healthy list.
What type of alternative recipes are you looking at? There are discussions on the forum from people who follow low carb plans and perhaps others, if that’s what you’re referring to. Apologies if I mistakenly use “alternative recipe” in reference to such plans if the term does not fit.
I myself have found an online recipe app I like (I use Yummly but there are many of there). The nutrition may be hard to find but I find it works pretty well for me.

Dean @Dean112 , the words “Good” and “Bad” are banned from my diabetes vocabulary, most especially when it / they apply to foods or BG Check [a finger-stick with a meter is not a “test”, but rather a check]. An exception would be if I did a BG check and got a " BAD reading" because I didn’t wash my finger just after eating a jelly donut.

Your “diabetes diet” should focus primarily on foods that give YOU nutrition, energy, satisfaction, weight-management, and do not conflict with other body conditions you may have. Yes, you need to know the carbohydrate count of all foods you choose to eat; this information must be printed on package label - portion size is the most important bit of information. If you are accustomed to eating two cups of cooked spaghetti, count the spaghetti on your plate as 82 grams of carb. I also have a wonderful “Calorie King” book in my kitchen which lists Calorie, Protein, Carbohydrate for hundreds of foods both rad/fresh plus prepared - and even a section for restaurant menus.

Be especially cautious if a packaged food has “Dietetic”, “Healthy”, etc. as a come-on label. Carefully read the ingredient section and portion size. For instancem a very popular snack-cracker package is labeled “healthy”, but the portion size is 3/4 of the regular crackers and the carb-count is higher. I ask, “healthier for whom?”, certainly NOT for a person attempting to manage diabetes.

You will also see people say that that you can count “0 carbs” for all meat - this is true if portion size is limited to something like 4 ounces. When I eat at a steak emporium, I need a significant amount of insulin for the serving, including the pork porterhouse. If my beef steak is “Prime Cut”, 8 oz. I need insulin while I eat the tasty meal, plus another shot a few hours after eating to allow for the “prime marbling”. Quessing the correct amount of insulin will come over the years for you and hit-or-miss practice. Yes, we all make errors, and that is life living well with diabetes.

Just agreeing with everything that’s already here, and adding that we were taught that a healthy diet for someone with T1D is the same as a healthy diet for anyone else.

It’s just (ha! “just”!) that people with diabetes need to give themselves the insulin that other people’s bodies produce automatically. So eat a healthy diet because everyone needs a healthy diet, but for your T1D, take insulin.

Now, it’s a little bit more complicated than that, of course. Some foods enter the blood stream faster than others, and the insulin you take probably won’t bring your blood sugar down at the same speed as the food you eat brings it up.

So especially at first, we tended to think of very fast-acting carbs like juice as if they were medicine. We’d give my daughter juice to fix a low, but not just to drink because she’s thirsty. Not because there’s anything wrong with drinking juice every once in awhile, but because the sugar in juice makes it into your bloodstream so much faster than the insulin can bring it down. The insulin will catch up eventually, but having high blood sugar for a few hours until then doesn’t feel very good, and it’s not as good for your body as staying in range would be, either.

Foods that pair carbs with a lot of fat (pizza, cheeseburgers, lasagna, that ribeye with potatoes and dinner rolls — yum!) have the opposite problem. The fat slows the carbs down too much, and your insulin races ahead. So you end up low at first, only to go high later.

As you get more experience with how your body reacts, you will get better at matching when you take how much insulin to different foods and food combinations. And some of the alternative recipes you’re seeing might be from people with T1D who want to eat lower-carb because they find that easier to manage. That’s a totally valid choice, but it’s not required. There are some very experienced posters on this forum, like Dennis @Dennis, for example, who eat a “normal” diet and have truly excellent blood sugar management.

Another big variable in the carbs + insulin equation is exercise. You’ll find out, over time, how your body reacts to different kinds of activity, and then that will factor into your choices, as well. Most (though not all) people find that sustained aerobic exercise brings their sugar down, for example, and if that’s you, then on days when you exercise more, you’ll need less insulin or more carbs or both in order to stay in range than you do on days when you exercise less.

Other things factor in, too: stress, heat, illness, etc., but as I said in another thread, you have enough on your plate at the moment. The bottom line is where I started: a healthy diet is a healthy diet. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

That’s the thing, not even sure I’m looking in the Right area. When I say alternative food I googled diabetes breakfast lunch funnier… I’m open minded… unless you say use cauliflower instead of noodles… I tried this jerk Mac and cheese waaay before I even knew I had type 1…

Siren wrap with butter and salt would have been better lol

You don’t necessarily have to follow a formal “diabetes diet” the way someone would who has food allergies for instance. A long time ago there was a diabetes diet with a very short list of foods that may have been as tempting as the saran wrap dish you referenced😊. Then there was an “exchange plan” with foods from different lists and you could exchange quantities of items from one list with ones from another. @Dennis has a huge wealth of knowledge and memory and he may recall this. Eventually the understanding of carbs came out and it’s been more a matter of getting good nutrients and a good assortment, and covering the carbs and accounting for the effect of fat.
A nutritionist can help you make sure you’re eating healthily, diabetes or not, and your team will help you figure out how to cover the fats.
Having said all that, I checked out the Mediterranean diet (I hate to use the term “diet” as it’s more of an eating style). It works well for me when I stick to it and the dishes I’ve tried are delicious. Very simply it’s mainly fresh foods prepared by hand rather than the easy packaged stuff that’s so easy to pick up so it takes commitment. If you like to cook is great. I found the dishes on the lighter side overall. Do your own research (please!) but it’s considered very healthy. I strayed from my commitment and have been using some of the faster ingredients - need to get back on track because I did enjoy it.

Hi Dean! @Dean112 I was diagnosed almost a year ago at age 45. Like you, I had a baby at home (he was 7 months old at the time). I was taught that I can eat what I want as long as I cover the carbs and fat with the correct amount of insulin. That said, I have discovered that some of my favorite foods needed to be eaten at a different time of day. For example, I now eat my occasional bagel or bowl of Captain Crunch cereal at lunch. I learned that eating those foods in the morning, no matter how much insulin I give myself, shoots up my blood sugar. I don’t have the same issue after noon.

Both of My parents are type 2 diabetics. They have to change their diet completely. As a Type 1 diabetic, I haven’t really changed what I eat. I do eat a lot more veggies and exercise most days because I found it helps me have better blood sugar control. Also, I watch my weight more because weight gain can mean more insulin. Other than that, I enjoy my life! You are doing great! Soon all of this will become practically automatic.

1 Like

@Dean112 Sorry, a little late to the conversation, but it seems like people covered most things. Something I like to do is to add veggies to everything. I love veggies though, so I don’t mind that part. If I have pasta, I load it up with veggies and chicken to still be full and eat carbs that work for my diet. And by diet, I agree with @wadawabbit that by diet, I mean what kinds of foods I eat/ eating style. I think that sometimes alternatives try to swap too much stuff out and while there are definitely some out there that are tasty, they tend to be a little weird to get used to. I am 18, but I love cooking. I cook every day!! I love to add lean protein and veggies to traditionally “Carby” meals like pasta. I load my potato salad up with celery. I put apples in my coleslaw instead of the traditional sugar. I also use my spice cabinet a lot, can make some more boring foods taste really good. I think little swaps are sometimes more effective and satisfactory than say swapping out noodles for cauliflower.
As for if alternative recipes work for you, you won’t know unless you try them. In terms of pancakes, I have found a lot of great recipes for protein pancakes, that I really enjoy!! That being said, all of the things you listed as “bad” are traditionally thought of as “unhealthy” but if non-diabetics can eat it, so can you. I like to eat those foods as treats occasionally and within a serving size so that I feel good about what I am eating. That is probably most important, that you (emphasis on you) feel good about what you are eating. If it feels like it fuels your body and is also enjoyable, I feel like nothing should be off the table. Websites will tell you all of the many different ways to improve “diets” and blah blah blah, but feeling good about what you eat and feeling like it was satisfactory (Not too little or too much), I find, helps me feel like I ate a balanced meal and didn’t have to swap out a bunch of foods I want to eat!! I say, explore and get creative with food. Trying a couple of recipes that are not to your liking, is well worth it to find some of your new favorites.

1 Like