The Top 10 Best Things About a Low-Carb Diet

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  1. You don’t need to eat low-fat cottage cheese again. Seriously, that watery crap doesn’t need to find itself in your fridge ever again.
  2. Broccoli and butter. Think you don’t like broccoli? Try it steamed with a tablespoon of butter melting over the top. Om nom nom.
  3. Steak. Lamb. Burgers. Sausages. (And this from a reformed vegetarian too…)
  4. You can eat chicken skin. And crackling. Turn up the oven to hot, hot, hot and make yourself your own pork scratchings.
  5. You will fart less. Seriously.
  6. Smoked salmon and scallops (on a rich day, obvs).
  7. Your appetite will feel as if it is under control, because your blood sugar levels will stay steadier and protein is more satiating.
  8. You get to try out lots of lovely recipes, thanks to the world wide web! Obviously, we feature great recipes here at Diabetes Diet, but check out BBC Good Food, Authority Nutrition and the Atkins website for more.
  9. You can go longer without eating because of the natural satiety effects.
  10. Finally, you will feel healthier, more energetic and happier – again, because of steady blood sugar control.

What do you love about eating low-carb? We’d love to know… And if you would like to try out a low-carb diet, with expert advice on medication management for going low-carb, try out the Diabetes DietPic thanks to Wikipedia

Are Starchy Foods Needed for a Healthy Diet?

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ruthRuth Buttigieg, BSC (Hons), MSc, ANutr is a qualified nutritionist who works at Natural Ketosis, where she helps people to better their health by changing their diet and lifestyle by following a low sugar low starch approach. Ruth read biochemistry for her undergraduate degree and she also has a Masters in Public Health Nutrition from Queen Margaret University. Here she blogs for us on a question that often comes up when it comes to diabetes and nutrition – are starchy foods really needed for a healthy diet?

We are constantly being told that foods such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and cereals are required for a healthy diet as they are full of nutrients. However, does their nutrient density outweigh their impact on our blood sugar levels and, in turn, on our health?

With more people being diagnosed with diabetes or diagnosed as pre-diabetic, the message of prevention is better than cure is a constant headline in the media. What else needs to be done to improve the nation’s health? What else can people do to change their lifestyles and improve their health? Our food choices are not immune to this spotlight.

Turning to the NHS for guidance, one meets with the constant message that starchy foods are an essential part of a healthy diet. With the debate heating up about which food item is public health enemy number 1 – fat or sugar, in this piece we explore why starchy food items aren’t needed for a healthy diet and in fact substituting these items for other vegetables will have a positive impact on your health. Continue reading

Your (burnt out) doctor will see you now……

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There never has been some mythical golden age when every patient got the time they really needed with their General Practitioner, but seeing your GP is expected to get even harder.

Reviews by both the Centre for Workforce Intelligence and GP taskforce have concluded that the UK has too few GPs and the ones that we do have are increasingly stressed, burnt out and feel unable to deliver health care safely.

GP funding is 8.3% of the cost of the NHS in return for providing 90% of medical contacts. This percentage of funding is at an all-time low. Failure to keep pace with the aging population, complex illness, cancer survivors, the rising female workforce, the doubling of specialist doctor workforce and the tendency for GPs to prefer portfolio careers to full time General Practice all have played a part in the current workload/manpower mismatch.

Dr Veronica Wilke, professor of primary care from the University of Worcester, says, “Students and trainees who witness stressed, burnt out GPs, who feel isolated and unsupported, are unlikely to choose general practice for a career. Preventing attrition in the existing workforce is as important as recruiting new trainees. Hospitals have fewer beds, and the call is for more care in the community. GPs and primary care nurses are retiring, leaving and emigrating. Cornwall, Reading and Bristol cannot recruit enough GPs to keep practices open and training schemes remain unfilled.”

So, what can you do to prevent your GP getting sectioned into the local mental hospital or running off to Australia?

Here are my tips:

  1. Think about what you want to achieve in your consultation with your GP.
  2. You only have ten minutes, so either one big thing or two small things is realistic.
  3. Write these things down. Use the Patient Concerns Questionnaire from our book.
  4. Do you need to see a GP for any of these things? Sometimes a nurse, health visitor or health assistant would be more suitable. There are often ways for obtaining results or repeat prescriptions or immunisations that the practice has already set up.
  5. Make the appointment in the name of the person who is to be seen.
  6. Don’t ask for other family members issues to be squeezed in while you are there.
  7. If you can possibly come to the surgery instead of asking for a house call do this.
  8. If your issues can be dealt with by phone is there a way this can be sorted out by the practice?
  9. Be as well educated as you can about the illnesses you have and on keeping yourself fit and well.

Now, it’s time we heard from you.

Have you noticed any change in how your General Practice care has been affected by the manpower crisis?

Have you any other tips to help patients get efficient service from their GP team?

Any tips for these stressed GPs and practice nurses?

Based on an article by Veronica Wilkie: BMJ 2014;349:g6274

Pizza with Cauliflower Base – Gluten Free Pizza Base

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Emma:

Pizza isn’t usually an option when you are low-carbing, but here is an excellent way to make your own low-carb option.

Originally posted on Cooking Up The Pantry:

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It took me quite a long time to get my head around cauliflower as a pizza crust, it just didn’t make sense to me!

However, it does work, amazingly effective and nice and simple to make at the same time as the regular pizzas in our house.

This recipe made 2x30cm pizzas, the photo is deceptive!

Ingredients

1 cauliflower, around 900g, leaves trimmed

1 egg, beaten

100g Parmesan, grated

Method

Trim the cauliflower and, using a food processor, process the stalks first, then add the rest so that you have a very fine crumb.

Pop the cauliflower in a microwavable bowl, cover, and blast for 8-10mins until cooked.

Pour into a fine mesh sieve and allow to sit, draining any liquid as it cools.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade.

Once cool enough to handle pour into a bowl and add the egg and cheese, mix well.

Line two…

View original 56 more words

Spicy Chicken Stew – Low-Carb and Slow Cooker Friendly

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Is there a word for someone who eats the same meals day in/day out? Is it a new diet trend about to be reported in the Huffington Post a la mono eating?

Not yet – well, not yet, according to my crude Google searches, but I’d like to promote it. I’m the kind of person who will happily eat the same meal for dinner four nights in a row. It’s nice and easy (you only prepare food the one night and then that’s dinner sorted for the next four evenings), it means no waste and less shopping.

A good grater makes grating ginger easy-peasy.

A good grater makes grating ginger easy-peasy.

Nobrainermuscle.com puts forward some very good reasons for eating the same meals day in/day out because it’s low maintenance, easier and good for tracking. My version is perhaps slightly different – eat the same meal for four or five days and then change to another option for the next few days.

Anyway, that was a long and round-about introduction to another great, low-carb recipe. I first spotted this recipe on the rather fabulous eatdrinkpaleo website. The urge to tweak is always there with me, so I made the dish my own with a few substitutions and turning it into a one-pot slow cooker version. No browning and one dish only.

 

Spicy Chicken Stew – Serves 4

  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely crushed
  • 2-3tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 1tbsp turmeric
  • 1tbps hot paprika
  • 2-3 fresh chillies (omit seeds for a milder flavour)
  • 4 cloves
  • 500g passata
  • 3tbsp tahini paste
  1. Place all the ingredients in your slow cooker, mix well to combine. You might need to add a little water – just make sure all the chicken is covered with liquid. Cook on a slow setting for seven hours. Remove the cloves, then use forks to shred the chicken and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. This is good served over steamed cauliflower or broccoli.
Kudos to anyone who can suggest what to do with the rest of the cloves...

Kudos to anyone who can suggest what to do with the rest of the cloves…

 

Broccoli puree

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There’s a great recipe on this website for Broccoli puree.

Unlike the author, I do love broccoli… but if you don’t then this is one way of making it more appetising.

In addition, you could use this puree as a substitute for mashed potatoes when it comes to low-carb accompaniments to stews, chops and steak.

Low Carb Cookies

Sugar-free peanut butter keeps the carb count down.
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Here at the Diabetes Diet, we recommend you try out low-carb baking. Those who embark on a low-carb diet often feel they miss out on the sweet stuff, so low-carb baking can fill that gap – plus it comes with the added bonus that you won’t be eating the nasties that go into commercial baking.

Here’s a recipe for peanut choc chip cookies.

Peanut choc chip cookies

  • plain choc125g/4.5oz of chunky peanut butter
  • 185mls/6fl oz of double cream
  • 75g/2oz chopped pecans or peanuts
  • 35g/1oz plain chocolate drops (70% cocoa solids is best) or chunks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons of granular sugar substitute (see notes below)
  • 2 tablespoons soy flour or coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 deg/375deg/gas 5 and grease a baking tray or use a silicon liner on a baking tray.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a mixer or by hand in a bowl, but put the nuts and choc chips in last.
  3. Put teaspoons of the cookie mixture on the tray and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. These biscuits are very crumbly. Store them in a biscuit tin in the fridge and place layers of kitchen towel between each layer of biscuits. Like a lot of low carb baking, they will last a long time in the fridge, 2-3 weeks.
  5. If you double the recipe up, the amount of peanut butter is just short of a jar, so just use up the whole jar.

You can either use straight Splenda or in place of one tablespoon of Splenda ¼ tablespoon Splenda and ½ tablespoon of xylitol or erythritol.  Another substitute is 1/3 tablespoon of Truvia.

Makes about 8 – with a carb count of 5g per biscuit.

 

What’s your favourite low-carb cookie recipe? We’d love to know… Tell us in the comments, or email us a pic of your cookies and the recipe and we’ll feature it on our website.

 Chocolate picture thanks to Wikipedia.