“Chocolate Staves Off Diabetes” – not so fast…

Low-carb chocolate fudge

Chocolate could help stave off diabetes… Another day, another sensationalist headline of the kind favoured by the Daily Express/Mail as it acts as perfect click bait.

What’s the story behind this one? Researchers have found that certain compounds found in cocoa can help the body release more insulin and respond better to increases in blood glucose levels. Therefore, this is of benefit to type 2 diabetics.

Beyond the headline is this qualifier. Study leader Professor Jeffrey Tessem from Brigham Young University said you would probably need to eat a lot of cocoa, and that you wouldn’t want the accompanying sugar that usually comes with it.

And the study did centre on cocoa and its compounds, rather than actual chocolate.

If you are looking for a healthy chocolate fix, we can help. We have plenty of chocolate recipes on our website that use cocoa powder or high-quality plain chocolate. Feel free to try them out…

Low carb chocolate fudge

Low carb chocolate chip cookies

Low-carb chocolate

Good quality plain chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids and above) doesn’t have that many carbohydrates in it – generally, about 10g per 40-50g, which is a decent portion. Don’t eat it late at night though, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, as you might find it hard to get to sleep.




Diabetes in the News

What’s new in the world of diabetes? We’ve rounded up the news for you…

The BBC reported that a pioneering therapy is safe for type 1 diabetics. The therapy retrains the immune system, and it was tested on 27 people in the UK. It showed signs of slowing the disease. Like many of these kinds of treatments, though, it only works on people who have been diagnosed recently – it’s unlikely to help those who’ve had the condition for years.

Another BBC report focused on the rise of Type 2 diabetes in children. More than 600 children and teenagers in England and Wales are being treated for the condition. A report from child health experts found 110 more cases among the under-19s in 2015-16 than two years before. Local councils have warned this is a “hugely disturbing trend” – and that urgent action to tackle childhood obesity is needed.

Bedfordshire News reported on a new approach to type 2 diabetes treatment the University of Bedfordshire and the local branch of Diabetes UK is trying out. The university is hosting weekly exercise sessions so people can take advantage of regular exercise sessions and support to help them make changes to their lifestyle. One 70-year-old told the newspaper the clinic had made a huge difference to his strength and energy levels.

How do you feel about your diabetes? Amy Mercer thought she’d come to terms with her condition a long time ago, but a chakra reading revealed pent-up anger and frustration. Amy wrote an interesting post on what she learned from the reading on Diabetes Self-Management.

Finally, it’s not a week if there isn’t at least one article purporting a ‘cure’ for diabetes… Clinical trials have begun for ViaCyte’s PEC-Direct – an implant that grows insulin-producing cells from stem cells, according to futurism.com. ViaCyte’s president, Paul Laikind, said he thought the PEC-Direct product had the potential to transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes.



Buy Our Book!

diabetes diet
The Diabetes Diet is now available in paperback and e-book.

Forgive our wee plug – but if you’re looking for a comprehensive explanation of how you can use low-carb eating to help with diabetes (type 1 and type 2), we’ve got the answer with our book, The Diabetes Diet. 

How can it help you? If you’re a type 2, we give you detailed menu plans for different levels of carb intakes and lots of recipes, including plenty of baking and treats so you don’t feel as if you’re missing out on anything.

The missing link with many low carb diet plans is that they don’t tell you what happens if you take insulin or any other blood glucose lowering medication. (Hypos!) Our book explains how you manage your medication to prevent or minimise that and how you work out how much medication you need to take for protein. Yes, that needs taking care of too.

We also include some case studies of people who’ve used a low-carb diet to manage their diabetes and how it has helped them, including one from a vegan…

It doesn’t cost much and it might help you a lot.

Thanks in advance! Emma and Katharine.


World Diabetes Day

world_diabetes_day_logo-svgToday is World Diabetes Day. We send fond greetings to all those with diabetes all over the world.

No doubt, innovations in healthcare continue to offer improvements for we diabetics. When I was diagnosed in the 80s, blood testing wasn’t routine, there were few insulins on the market and logging your results meant writing them down in a little book. [As a teenager, I used to sit in the doctor’s waiting room, filling in the results using different-coloured pens to fool the doctor that I’d been doing tests regularly – did anyone else do this?!]

And now – there’s continuous glucose management, FDA approval of a so-called artificial pancreas and access to tonnes of information about diabetes thanks to the internet. There’s never been a better time to be a diabetic.

On the other hand, levels of type 2 diabetes are soaring. Our healthcare systems will not have the funds to cope with this epidemic. What will happen in the future when there are so many people suffering from diabetes-related complications? What will happen to families, watching people suffer from this condition?

Take time to think about diabetes today. If you have diabetes yourself, we wish you long and continued good health. And if there’s a diabetic in your life, give them an extra hug today.

Dr Lois Jovanovic:Everything you need to know about diabetes in pregancy

Dr Lois Jovanovic from Santa Barbara is an expert in getting great results with diabetic women in pregnancy. This video series from Diabetes in Control covers in depth interviews with Lois. Even if you are not pregnant or intending to be you can pick up information on how to get excellent blood sugar control in these videos.

Continuous glucose monitors give 1% reduction in Hba1c

free styleVancouver doctors took 12 patients  type two diabetes who were using insulin and gave them continuous blood sugar monitors to help them improve their blood sugars.

Participants used these for 3 months, kept food records and maintained weekly contact with a registered dietitian/registered nurse team.  After 3 months, patients were told to discontinue sensor use and weekly contact and return to usual care.

HbA1c averages started at  8.2  which decreased to 7.1 during the program period and did not increase during the 15 months of patient follow-up.

Hypoglycemia (glucose < 4 mmol) at the beginning of treatment, was an average of 3.5  per week and was unchanged at the end of the study to 2.8.

“In conclusion, our program empowered patients with the knowledge and skill to maintain glycemic control,” Dr Haniak said. “Furthermore, this program is a very effective teaching tool for those patients with severe hypoglycemia to also sustain and maintain glycemic control.”

Haniak P, et al. Abstract 179-OR. Presented at: American Diabetes Association’s 75th Scientific Sessions; June 5-9, 2015; Boston.

Focused Care Improves Control Without Hypoglycemia Risk

From Diabetes in Control June 26th, 2015

My comments: Surely giving patients the Freestyle Libre or similar for a period of time combined with education on a low carbohydrate diet and blood sugar management would be cost effective in the NHS?

More Children Suffering from Type 2 Diabetes

diabetes lettersThe BBC reported this week that there has been a worrying rise in the number of children developing Type 2 diabetes.

Figures for England & Wales show that 533 children and young people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Last year’s figure was 500. Most children have type 1 diabetes and the type 2 figure represents 2 percent of all cases of diabetes.

While type 2 diabetes is much more common overall, it is still rare in children. Type 2 diabetes is linked to obesity.

The Local Government Association, which represents local councils who have responsibility for public health, believes cases will continue to rise. They believe the Government’s childhood obesity strategy, which is yet to be published, needs to take bold action.

The LGA has called for teaspoon sugar labelling of products and reduced sugar in fizzy drinks, as well as greater provision of tap water in schools. The association also thinks councils should be given the power to ban junk food advertising near schools.

The government has postponed the publication of its childhood obesity plan a number of times. It is expected to be published later this summer.

The Department of Health said it was determined to tackle obesity and that the strategy would look at everything that contributes to a child becoming overweight.



*Pic thanks to Practical Cures on flickr