Beef Stroganoff – Low-Carb Main Courses

low carb main coursesBeef Stroganoff is a quick and easy dish for two. All in all, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare. The classic accompaniment is rice or noodles. If you are following a low-carb diet, try cauliflower rice instead, broccoli or a huge salad.

Beef Stroganoff

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 300g rump steak (Aldi sells rump steaks in this size)
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 100g onion, finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1tsp Dijon or wholegrain mustard
  • 100ml reduced-fat crème fraiche
  • 2tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Chop the steak into 2cm chunks. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the steak pieces. You might need to do this in batches to prevent over-crowding the pan.

Depending on how you like your steak, cook for 2-4 minutes – the lesser time will mean a rarer finished dish.

Remove the steak from the pan and add the onion and mushrooms. Cook for five minutes until softened and lightly browned. Add the salt and pepper, steak and mustard and cook for one minute. Add the crème fraiche and cook through. Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Allow about 10-12g of carbs per portion.

 

Spinach and Feta Crust-less Quiche

low-carb recipesI’m writing this in the middle of a heat wave. In Scotland. Yup, you read that right. For the last ten days, the BBC weather forecast has looked topsy-turvy with the western upper half of the island illustrated with suns, while the eastern section down below shivers in wind and rain.

Ha!

Heat waves don’t go along with cooking, unless it’s barbecue. Most barbecue foods lend themselves well to a low-carb diet, but if you’re bored of burgers, a crust-less quiche is a delicious alternative.

I don’t bother with fresh spinach these days. Frozen spinach is much cheaper and easier to use. It’s already shrunk down so you don’t have to battle with an over-flowing pan as you try to get it to wilt.

frozen spinach

Allow roughly 4g of carbs per serving.

This goes well with a sliced tomato salad. Slice tomatoes finely and dress with shredded basil, some olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar.

For the carb-eaters, serve with a baked potato or some crusty bread.

 

 

Crust-less Spinach and Feta Quiche

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 300g frozen spinach, defrosted
  • 150g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C. Lightly butter a Pyrex or equivalent dish.
  2. Spread the spinach evenly over the bottom of the dish. Mix the eggs, crumbled feta, salt, pepper, garlic powder and double cream together.
  3. Pour over the top of the spinach and sprinkle with the chopped spring onions, along with a little extra black pepper.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Take the foil off and bake for another 10 minutes to brown the top.

 

 

Spinach pic thanks to Karen Arnold on publicdomain pics.

 

Happy New Year!

new-years-day-1064217_960_720Happy New Year to everyone who follows The Diabetes Diet blog. We wish you health and happiness (and normal blood sugar levels) in 2016.

If you’re planning to kick-start low carb eating or in need of low-carb menu planning ideas, check out our blog as we’ve got loads of delicious recipes here, and plenty of information via the D-Solve course and the How to course which will help you work out how to deal with your diabetes.

And if you want that little bit extra help in a book where all the information is in one place, check out the Diabetes Diet here.

Rob Kardashian Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

Världsdiabetesdagen

As you might imagine with a condition as prevalent as diabetes, the topic is in the news frequently.

One article that caught our eye this week was the news that Rob Kardashian has type 2 diabetes. Rob Kardashian (in case any of you are saying to yourself, “who??” having recently returned from an extended sojourn on Mars) is a member of the all-powerful Kardashian k(c)lan*.

Members of the family are famous for breaking the internet with their ginormous bottoms, transvestism, dating men their girlfriends really should have sat them down and had an “avoid like the plague” word about, and spending vast sums of money.

Rob has been famous of late for steering well clear of family gatherings, most notably sister Kim’s wedding to Kanye West, and publicity.

As publicity loves nothing more than rumours of family fall-outs and fatness in celebrities, it found him anyway and recent pictures have shown a rather over-weight and unhappy looking young man.

According to TMZ, the 28-year-old was recently hospitalised and subsequently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. High-profile people with type 2 diabetes aren’t hard to find – Brian Cox, Tom Hanks, Sir Steven Redgrave and Larry King for starters – but Rob is unusual because he’s so young.

On the other hand, diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is on the rise – and it’s on the rise in people of a younger age. One 2007 article, for example, looked at incidences of type 2 diabetes in children under the age of 17 in the UK and found that “the frequency of type 2 diabetes appears to be increasing” blaming it on the increase in childhood obesity.

Poor Rob is likely feeling overwhelmed and unhappy at this moment in time, wondering what this diagnosis means for him and the way he lives his life.

On the plus side though, having now been diagnosed he can get on with making himself feel much, much better. Type 2 diabetes can and is improved all the time by lifestyle factors such as diet (and of course we’re going to promote the low-carb diet here a la The Diabetes Diet) and exercising regularly.

And of course if Rob would like any of our recipes for the dishes that can support his return to health, he’s welcome to peruse our website!

 

*In a gloriously egotistical way, mamma Kardashian insisted on naming all her kids with K names, even the ones with names not usually spelt with a K. You gotta admire it.

Pic thanks to Oskar Annermarken on flickr.

 

 

You only need one arrow: Dr Unwin proves it again

Dr David Unwin has completed another study in his practice patients showing that a low carb diet greatly reduces fatty liver, weight and blood sugar. The knock on effects on the prescribing budget, secondary care referrals and complications can only be a good thing for the struggling NHS. His practice alone, compared to those in his area, is making savings when it comes to diabetes care.  Currently 66-70% of the adult UK population is overweight or obese, 20-30% have non alcoholic fatty liver disease and 10% have diabetes. The low carbing community remains mystified as to how such a rational, safe and effective treatment option is still side-lined by most diabetology clinics, NICE, and Diabetes UK.

Dr Unwin estimates that between £15,000-£30,000 a year has been knocked off his prescribing budget for a single practice in which the low carb diet was routinely offered to patients. While the drug spend continues to rise in adjacent practices, his budget has not risen in the last three years. His patients are now officially thinner than in neighbouring practices and below the national average. In two years the average blood sugar has come down 10% and is now below the national average of 61.5 mmol/mol.

Here is the abstract which we are proud to present ahead of publication in Diabesity in Practice in September 15.

  • Unwin DJ1, Cuthertson DJ2, Feinman R3, Sprung VS2 (2015) A pilot study to explore the role of a low-carbohydrate intervention to improve GGT levels and HbA1c. Diabesity in Practice 4 [in press]

     1Norwood Surgery, Norwood Ave, Southport. 2Department of Obesity and Endocrinology, Institute of Ageing & Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool, UK. 3Professor of biochemistry and medical researcher at State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, USA.

    Working title: Raised GGT levels, Diabetes and NAFLD: Is dietary carbohydrate a link?  Primary care pilot of a low carbohydrate diet

    Abnormal liver function tests are often attributed to excessive alcohol consumption and/or medication without further investigation. However they may be secondary to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Considering the increased cardiovascular and metabolic risk of NAFLD, identification and effective risk factor management of these patients is critical. NAFLD is now prevalent in 20-30% of adults in the Western World

    Background Excess dietary glucose leads progressively to hepatocyte triglyceride accumulation (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease-NAFLD), insulin resistance and T2DM. Considering the increased cardiovascular risks of NAFLD and T2DM, effective risk-factor management of these patients is critical. Weight loss can improve abnormal liver biochemistry, the histological progression of NAFLD, and diabetic control. However, the most effective diet remains controversial.

    Aim We implemented a low-carbohydrate (CHO) diet in a primary health setting, assessing the effect on serum GGT, HbA1c levels (as proxies for suspected NAFLD and diabetic control), and weight.

    Design  69 patients with a mean  GGT of 77 iu/L (NR 0-50) and an average BMI of 34.4Kg/m2 were recruited opportunistically and advised on reducing total glucose intake (including starch), while increasing intake of  natural fats, vegetables and protein.

    Method Baseline blood samples were assessed for GGT levels, lipid profile, and HbA1c. Anthropometrics were assessed and repeated at monthly intervals. The patients were provided monthly support by their general practitioner or practice nurse, either individually or as a group.

    Results After an average of 13 months on a low-CHO diet there was a 46% mean reduction in GGT of 29.9 iu/L (95% CI= -43.7, -16.2; P<0.001), accompanied by average reductions in weight [-8.8Kg (95% CI= -10.0, -7.5; P<0.001)],and HbA1c [10.0mmol/mol (95% CI= -13.9, -6.2; P<0.001)].

    Conclusions We provide evidence that low-carbohydrate, dietary management of patients with T2DM and/or suspected NAFLD in primary care is feasible and improves abnormal liver biochemistry and other cardio-metabolic risk factors. This raises the question as to whether dietary carbohydrate plays a role in the etiology of diabetes and NAFLD, as well as obesity

Was Winnie the Pooh the Ultimate Caveman? By Ruth Buttigieg

The world's favourite bear...
The world’s favourite bear…

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”

A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

We all have fond memories of Winnie the Pooh and his adventures in The Hundred Acre Wood, not to mention his constant appetite for honey.

Honey is frequently hailed as a superfood, not to mention other health uses such as an antiviral and as an anti-fungal. Whilst these latter claims are well substantiated and have strong scientific claims behind them, the use of honey as a “healthy” sugar substitute or as a superfood are less-than glorious.

The micro-nutrient content of honey consists mainly of vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. However, from a nutrition perspective, that’s all – 5% of the total honey content. The other 95 percent is made up of a variety of carbohydrates, the main one being fructose. Continue reading “Was Winnie the Pooh the Ultimate Caveman? By Ruth Buttigieg”