Foody Friday: How Reducing Carbohydrates has helped start to Reverse my Diabetes!

When I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes earlier this year, it was the wake up call I needed to review my lifestyle and I set out on a journey to try and reverse the ‘blood sugar’ readings to ‘normal’ levels.

The NHS here in the UK haven’t yet acknowledged that ‘reversing’ diabetes is possible and therefore I thank my lucky stars that I came across a research study which is currently turning some of the ‘theories’ on their head. Dr Taylor at Newcastle University has achieved significant success in rapidly reversing diabetes in a number of patients, using a very low calorie and low carbohydrate diet.

Although I wasn’t comfortable reducing my calorie consumption to 600 calories per day, having read the study, it seemed like a ‘no brainer’ to massively change my eating regime and significantly reduce the amount of carbohydrates I eat.

Over the last few months, I’ve lost 1.5 stone in weight (21 pounds) and my blood sugar readings have come down from 60 to 45. I am informed by the Diabetic Nurse that 45 is a borderline pre-diabetic reading. A non-diabetic would be considered to be functioning normally with a reading of less than 40.

So, whilst I’m not yet in the ‘normal non diabetic range’, I have reversed my readings to a ‘pre-diabetic’ borderline reading having followed a Low Carbohydrate diet for the last 6 months, whilst also enjoying some really tasty and filling food along the way.

The guidelines provided by the ‘professionals’ which I felt compelled to follow in the 1970’s, 80’s & 90’s is now being shown to be VERY WRONG and yet the NHS/NICE are still giving confusing messages about what Diabetics should and shouldn’t eat. Previously, the advice was to:

  • Cut out/down on red meat
  • Swap butter for low fat spreads
  • Eat rice, pasta, potatoes as a ‘staple’ food
  • Swap from full fat to skimmed milk
  • etc….

Research is now showing that this was probably the ‘worst’ diet to follow and has probably contributed to the rise (my own included) of obesity.

Whilst I appreciate that some people may want to wait for the Newcastle Study to be finalise and the results to be published, I didn’t!  I wanted to make the change immediately to minimise the impact of diabetes on my body.

I came across the 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet Book, which takes the key principles being used successfully in the Newcastle University Study and provides some really helpful information into how swapping to a low carbohydrate diet can work very effectively in the fight against Diabetes..

According to Doctor Michael Mosley, The 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet is for anyone who:

 Is concerned about their blood sugar

Already has raised blood sugar and wants to reverse it

Needs to improve or reverse diabetes

Wants to lose weight and stay healthy

https://thebloodsugardiet.com/

 

However, I would also add that many people, even if they haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, would benefit from making a change to a ‘lower’ carbohydrate diet and I would encourage you to read up on the ‘principles’ detailed in both the Newcastle Research Study and Dr Mosley’s 8 Week Blood Sugar Diet book and decide whether you think they would be good changes to make.. You may also want to check with your Doctor first… The research really is very illuminating!

Personally, I think I was so ‘indoctrinated’ into believing what the professionals had previously told me was considered to be ‘healthy’, that in some respects it was quite hard to shift away from this and eat virtually the opposite! It took some convincing but now the evidence is speaking for itself as I am feeling much healthier!

So – What Key Dietary Changes Have I Made?

  • Eating butter and NOT low calorie spreads which often contain harmful fats and chemicals…
  • Using Olive Oil in salad dressings etc.
  • Increasing the amount of protein in my diet e.g. red meat, chicken and salmon
  • Eating eggs several times per week (apparently the official guideline here in the UK has now been changed to state ‘unlimited eggs’ can be eaten each week)… I’m wondering if the level of ‘greenhouse gasses’ would increase if everyone ate ‘unlimited’ amounts of eggs? – YIKES! ….
  • Cutting out bread, oats, pasta, rice, potatoes etc.
  • Adding crème fraiche or cream to sauces, as this helps satisfy the hunger and contrary to popular belief is a much healthier option than eating the carbohydrate.
  • Eating more nuts as a snack and including nuts in some of the recipes
  • Cutting out biscuits, cakes etc.
  • Cutting out some fruits which are high in natural sugars e.g. bananas, grapes, mango etc.
  • Eating more Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries
  • Swapping breakfast from porridge/fruit to Full Fat Greek Yoghurt/berries

I thought I was being ‘healthy’ by eating porridge with fruit and a bit of honey for breakfast when in fact it was particularly ‘unhealthy’ for me!

I’ve featured a few of the recipes that I’ve tried and tested along my journey and will continue to add more as I come across any new ones. Here are links to some of my previous recipes:

Firm Favourite – Really quick and easy to make are the Tomato & Pesto Stuffed Peppers: https://brilliancewithin.com/2016/06/01/recipe-5-steps-to-tastiest-stuffed-peppers/

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Lemon ChickenThis was a lovely summer evening recipe: https://brilliancewithin.com/2016/05/25/brilliance-within-recipe-basil-lemon-zesty-spring-chicken/

Basil & Lemon Zesty Chicken

Moussaka – I keep this one as a ‘treat’ as it’s not ‘no carb’. Moussaka remains one of my childhood ‘comfort eating’ foods so when I feel like a bit of ‘comfort’ is necessary, this is my healthier alternative to my mum’s original recipe which contained potatoes.. Swapping the potato for sweet potato reduces the amount of carbohydrate but doesn’t cut out the carbohydrate altogether. You could go completely traditional and use Aubergine instead which would be even healthier..

https://brilliancewithin.com/2016/05/24/recipe-sweet-potato-moussaka-variation-on-a-classic-greek-dish/

Sweet Potato Moussaka Recipe

Lamb & Pine Nut Meatballs: https://brilliancewithin.com/2016/04/13/8-week-blood-sugar-diet-recipe-review/

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Pomegranate Lamb Stuffed Aubergine: https://brilliancewithin.com/2016/09/30/foody-friday-8-week-blood-sugar-diet-recipe-review/Another on my list of tasty favourites!

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Then of course there was the DIY COOKING DISASTER – DO NOT TRY THESE AT HOME https://brilliancewithin.com/2016/06/04/diy-healthy-cookery-disaster%f0%9f%98%a5-dont-try-this-at-home/

Uugghhhhh!!! Skinny Bean Burgers… NOT RECOMMENDED

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You could always give the DIY Disaster Burgers to the cat – They are used to coughing up dry fur balls – well these were pretty similar in texture!

I’ll continue to post more ‘tasty and healthy’ recipes as I continue my journey to ‘REVERSE’ diabetes and I hope you enjoy trying some of the above in the meantime!

 

 

 

 

 

38 thoughts on “Foody Friday: How Reducing Carbohydrates has helped start to Reverse my Diabetes!

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  1. Great information which is spot on in my life. After a cardio event and then years of following my doctor’s recommended diet with resulting weight gain, blood sugar increase and diminishing energy, I switched to a diet similar to what you are advocating. I also try to follow Dr Barry Sears diet plan which distinguishes between slow release carbs and fast release. It seems our government guidelines are about 20 years behind the latest advancements.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great minds think alike then Larry! It’s hard to believe that this is only just coming to light now after all these years of professional advice slowly killing millions of people (gosh that’s a bit depressing!). I’m enrolled on a course run by the NHS and it’s clear the professionals are still struggling and over complicating what to me seems relatively simple. They simply won’t come out and tell people not to eat rice, pasta, bread etc. – bizarre! (rant over).. That sounds an interesting book by Dr Sears – I’ll take a look at that too.. I think once I get down to my target weight I’m hoping that I’ll be able to re-introduce a few ‘slow release’ carbs back in .. watch this space! x

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  2. Well done Wendy. Michael Mosley seems to be very forward thinking. I find my fibro symptoms are better on a low carb diet. I tend to feel less hungry if I have good proteins for breakfast. Porrage does the opposite – it gives me the munchies all day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes – that’s something I’ve really noticed – I don’t get the same ‘hunger pangs’ now I’m following the higher proteins – it definitely helps! I didn’t realise it was good for Fibro.. it just shows that this must be a much more ‘natural’ diet than the one they encouraged us to eat for so many years! Have a brilliant weekend xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great read. So happy you’ve found success. When I was pregnant, I had gestational diabetes, so I understand lowing the carbs. I am really happy that you decided against the butter substitutes and spreads. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I should’ve listened to my mum who continued to eat butter as a ‘natural’ product instead of listening to the ‘professionals’ .. Mum’s know best was definitely true in that instance! Thanks for reading and commening – very much appreciated! ps – hope you’ve finished cleaning! x

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  4. Doesn’t it feel great to have improved your health without medication ? Your post was very interesting. My very thin Japanese daughter-in-law basically follows this type of diet, and the more I read about nutrition and health the more I realize how right she is. Eating less carbohydrates and sugar is also a good way to prevent cancer, so good job Wendy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joelle – I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I haven’t had to start taking medication and am managing to get this under control without it. I feel like an evangelist now – haha!! – wanting to tell everybody that they need to change their diets as what we were taught for the last 40 years has been wrong! Thanks so much for your kind and supportive comment – it helps to keep me on track! x

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  5. Tell me, Wendy, are you ever going to go back to eating some carbohydrates? I was wondering about that. I know somebody who never combines meat protein with starches in the same meal, she says this is how she managed to lose weight and feel better.
    Also, I totally get it when you say you feel like an evangelist! I have felt exactly the same about additives and sulfites, which is what compelled me to start a blog. I am hoping that people looking for recipes will realize how bad those “preservatives” can be. Right now we are in the U.S. with our kids and unfortunately I can’t control what we eat as well as back home. As a result, my Significant Other has had a bad bout of asthma (almost like we are back to square one, four years ago) and since yesterday he has developed swollen eyelids, very attractive–is my Prince turning into a Frog? Must be those French kisses 😘
    I am trying to be funny but actually I am very, very upset about this food business!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gosh Joelle I can imagine that trying to control food intake to ‘healthy’ in the USA may be more difficult – certainly than France where there is so much brilliant fresh food available! Poor ‘significant other.. Yikes turning from Prince to Frog – that’s unfortunate.. haha!! (sorry to laugh..)
      I think there will be a point where I won’t be quite as strict with the carbohydrate once I get to the weight I’m happy with but am trying to be pretty disciplined at the moment (with the odd slip obviously…).. I’ve been so pleased with the change and it hasn’t been anywhere near as hard as I thought that this for me will be a ‘rest of life’ change with maybe a small addition of carb as a treat… I’ve heard of others who’ve done the ‘Slimming World’ diet which is the protein one day and carb the next – I tried this once and I did lose weight but as soon as I started eating more normally the weight returned with a bit extra.. I think with the diabetes, carbs simply need to be kept to a minimum for life.. I really hope your ‘frog’s’ asthma improves and he transforms back to the handsome prince very soon!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Me again (can’t get rid of me, can you?) 😬 Here is a link to an article about a doctor you may already know about, Mark Hyman:
    Nhttp://www.businessinsider.com/what-mark-hyman-author-of-eat-fat-get-thin-eats-every-day-2016-3/#avoid-or-skip-sweet-fats-like-full-fat-fruit-flavored-yogurt-7.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant – thanks so much (and I wouldn’t want to get rid of you Joelle – definitely not!!). I haven’t heard of this Doctor so I’ll be doing a bit of research – thanks so much for the link – it all helps for me to improve my knowledge and understanding. Very much appreciated!!! x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m delighted you enjoyed this post – thanks so much for the positive feedback! It’s a big and growing issue here in the UK – I felt like just another ‘statistic’ when I was diagnosed earlier this year and they wanted to immediately put me on medication to control it. I declined and am really pleased that so far I’ve managed to make a massive improvement with diet alone.. I’ll definitely be popping over to check out some more healthy recipes! x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well done, such a great achievement! Would love some feedback on my first 2 content pieces ‘a change for the better’ and ‘look at me now’😊https://malisehoney.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/look-at-me-now/

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey good job and great post. It’s tough to keep up a low carb diet especially one in such a calorie deficit. Would be really interested to know and be updated as to how it goes 6months to a year or longer down the line

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be tricky but I’ve managed to find quite a lot of replacements that make it easier and which are actually really tasty alternatives to the pasta. Goats cheese is my saviour! Thanks for popping across and I’ll definitely keep posting updates.. xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea I did keto for about 6 weeks and was the leanest I’ve ever been. However I do crossfit and found I was very tired a lot of the time and could not sustain the lack of calories and carbs. It’s great that it’s working for you

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Your diet sounds more extreme than keto, 600 calories is crazy low! In fact your diet sounds a lot like keto but with restricted calories also?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Sorry to confuse… The Newcastle University Study went to the 600 calories.. I didn’t! However, I have stuck to the low carb and high protein just not so extreme.. xx

            Liked by 1 person

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