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having to change diet to 'no sugar' after diagnosed with diabetes.

(42 Posts)
xShellyx Fri 23-Jan-15 14:04:11

I'm 35weeks pregnant and after my gtt iv been told they believe to of found pre-existing diabetes but cant get any help on type etc till baby is born and they double check.

Iv been told I have to cut sugar completely out of my diet. Including lactose! I have a sweet tooth and enjoy biscuits with a cuppa around midday, I eat tons of fruit + my craving is twister ice lollies. Today is day 2 of my diet change, iv swapped fruit for salad and veg, white bread for seeded Brown bread, lactose free milk, dairy free butter, sugar for sweetners.

Today I'm really, really struggling, I didn't realise how much I'd crave a sugary snack and when my nurse said she would put it on a par with quitting smoking because no one realises how addicted to sugar they are, I can see why.

Does anyone have any suggestions for food replacements, ways to kick my sugar craving up the bum etc? Did anyone else have to cut sugar out their diets completely?

I'm fed up of hearing 'my neighbours friends cousins cats kitten was a diabetic and they still had normal milk, cakes, chocolate and loads of fruit....'

ToffeePenny Fri 23-Jan-15 18:37:55

I was borderline gestational diabetes when pregnant (you're always at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes afterwards apparently) so I cut sugar and have pretty much kept it up since. The things I found that helped go 'cold turkey':

1. Don't let yourself get peckish. If you're never hungry then you don't turn to the snacks in the first place and find it easier to pass up on them if offered. But don't try to fill up on foods containing high amount of carbs (bread, root veggies inc potatoes, pasta, rice etc) as these just convert to sugar and put you back in the problem area. Google paleo diet, ketones diet, and look at the low carb mums netted for an idea of the sort of foods to eat that will keep you full - mostly meats, fish, eggs, then green veggies, then other stuff.

2. Get your sweet stuff sorted - sadly you have to prepare a lot yourself unless you want to rely entirely on Atkins bars (the coconut one is good though). Stevia sweetner stays pretty stable during cooking so is good for egg custard and low carb chocolate brownies (you use oil instead of butter, ground almonds instead of flour, and unsweetened cocoa). Robinsons Sugar free jelly is excellent to have as a permanent standby. I also used to make the Dukan diet's 'galettes' - similar to an American pancake but made of oat bran (which doesn't impact your blood sugar levels) with a lot of sugar free vanilla and cinnamon. Check the recipe for that though - it includes a little full fat Greek yogurt.

3. Read the labels on everything. EVERYTHING. Some of the bastard supermarkets add 'succulence' to raw meat and chicken by injecting it with a sugar-containing saline. All processed products are different - surimi sticks, roast ham, cooked chicken slices etc can be 10% sugar when they should all be close to zero. Just because you checked the label and ate it before doesn't mean they haven't modified the recipe since.

Aside from your diet ask them about testing for pre-eclampsia. Both diabetes and pre-eclampsia show in the urine test and one can mask the other.

xShellyx Sun 25-Jan-15 13:30:03

Thank you for that. I appreciate it.

I'm still so confused, my hospital have left me in the dark regarding my diet, am I counting carbs instead of sugars? Iv been counting sugar contents of foods because thats what the nurse told me, looking at the foods I'm eating, they're so high in carbs so I feel like iv failed already! I'm so stressed and confused, I'm coming off other tablets, dealing with health/pregnancy complications and now I have this to deal with ontop of it all sad

capsium Sun 25-Jan-15 13:34:05

Will you be taking tablets? Or insulin? Have they advised you how much carbohydrate to eat? If you have any medication the dosage will be set with an amount of carbohydrate in mind, which you will have to stick to.

If not low carb diets can be done fairly easily.

SaltySeaBird Sun 25-Jan-15 13:43:25

I was diagnosed with diabetes three years ago (while I was pregnant). I'm type 2 but controlled mainly with insulin.

When you initially cut out sugar it is very hard and you will constantly crave it. That does pass though and I eventually found sweet things lacked any appeal at all. The second I start eating sugary food again that craving soon comes back (damn you Christmas). Be strict and for the rest of your pregnancy go low sugar and stick to good carbs. Essentially you want to follow a low GI diet and the combination of what you are eating will have an impact on your sugar levels.

Toffee has excellent advice on checking labels - scrutinise them.

Make sure you have plenty of prepared food to hand, make healthy muffins etc. You can have some fruit but not to excess but I found things like strawberries and cream (unsweetened) were a nice treat that didn't make my blood sugar high.

marinerkk Sun 25-Jan-15 13:51:17

I had gestational diabetes, it got a bit boring at times but not too bad. Sugar free jellies are brilliant, also caffeine free or diet coke took the edge off too. On food labels I was told to look at the carbohydrates of which sugars figure per 100grammes and to ideally only have things between 5-15. I found breakfast tricky, cereal was a no go but toast was fine. There's sugar in nearly everything so just keep checking labels.

minipie Sun 25-Jan-15 13:55:02

Yes low GI is the key. Basically what you want to avoid is sugar AND the high GI carbs that your body converts very easily to sugar. Bread, cereal, mashed boiled or baked potatoes, anything flour based (pastry, baked stuff) are the worst for this.

Meat and dairy are all low GI, as are most vegetables except for potatoes and sweet root veg like parsnips. Most fruits are actually not too bad from a GI perspective. Pineapple, melon and very ripe bananas are bad, but other fruits are ok.

Some carbs are not too bad eg all pulses are good, basmati rice (esp brown) is ok, durum wheat pasta and egg pasta are ok especially if a bit undercooked, pearl barley is good. Cous cous isn't good. Quinoa is good.

You can lower the GI effect of a food by eating it with fat or protein. for example cheese on toast has much lower GI than just toast (even though it has higher calories). So when you do eat carbs, try to eat them with some meat or dairy.

Have you been given a kit to test your blood sugars after eating? if so then that should help you work out what meals make your blood sugar spike and which don't.

if you cook from scratch as much as possible you should be able to avoid hidden sugars, although as mentioned above even meat can have it added angry

xShellyx Sun 25-Jan-15 14:22:17

Wow, it is really confusing but I'm sure I'll get there. Won't have the kit till this week as they're leaving me waiting over a week to see someone! So I'm trying to sort my diet out myself before the appointment.

Is it a matter of controlling instead of cutting out? For example, dinner tonight was Goinf to be a homemade pie, with mash pots and veg. Obviously this seems pretty high in everything despite when I made the pie, I used low in sugar ingredients as the carbs or GI foods wernt explained to me. Iv gone onto lactose free milk and butter after being told not to have lactose and swapped sugar for lactose free sweetners. I panicked especially when looking at diabetic jams the other day that they Infact contain sugar, alot less than regular jams but still contain it. After the nurse told me to maintain a completely sugar free diet, I was in panic mode.

We eat alot of brown rice, lentils and other pulses, lots of veg and salad, iv been told to near enough avoid fruit but this is my go to when I need to snack, I Love fruit!

If something is high in sugar, but low in carbs, is it 'safe' to eat?

marinerkk Sun 25-Jan-15 14:28:59

I was told to still have carbs so rice, potatoes, pasta etc were all ok. That's where your 'energy' comes from. But don't double carb so if having pie for tea, I wouldn't have potatoes with that or only have a small amount. Fruit was a problem, it's natural sugar but still sugar - dietician said it's ok to have some but don't have your 5 a day all as fruit. As the other comment said it's a lot easier when you've got your testing kit and can see what works for you. I was fine with anything fatty so bacon sandwiches! Also Mediterranean veg was nice, cherry tomatoes are nice and sweet if this works as close to fruit? You'll be ok when you're in the swing of it.

xShellyx Sun 25-Jan-15 14:34:57

Iv been eating just one bit of fruit a day and eating lots of salads + tomatoes. Ill have pie with veg and no mash, just trying to stick to the correct info before getting my things, I know overloading on sugar sends my pulse and bloodw pressure was so high over christmas, I was feeling so faint and poorly, no one knew why untill diagnosing me, I was told if it increased any more I'd have to go to hospital, which I'm lucky it didn't especially as I had no idea what caused it to rocket. Past few days I haven't felt any symptoms of high bp so I think I must be doing something right smile

SaltySeaBird Sun 25-Jan-15 14:35:02

If I didn't have anything to control my diabetes with I'd probably avoid the pastry and mashed potatoes to be honest. Or just have very small portions of these parts of the meal.

Also don't cut out all dairy - you need calcium.

Have a read of this for more information about diet for gestational diabetes:


Healthy Eating for Gestational Diabetes

marinerkk Sun 25-Jan-15 14:49:21

Also noticed that if something is low fat it'll be high in sugar so with mayo or salad cream etc, don't use a low fat version. You can buy low sugar tomato ketchup but even then it was a bit of a treat. Sounds like you're doing well if you sorted yourself over Xmas, it's just about being aware I suppose. Maybe keep a food diary between now and when you see someone, they can then see what you like to eat etc and advise on what to tweak if you need to.

SpottyTeacakes Sun 25-Jan-15 14:54:21

I don't know if this will help you at all but as a type 1 diabetic I can tell you that if I eat pie and mash I need quite a lot of insulin. If I eat a carb free meal I don't need any and that obviously includes cheese etc. You may be surprised to know that peas are quite high in carbs. Carbs and cals is a brilliant book/app if you find that you do end up going onto insulin injections.

Good luck smile

TheReluctantCountess Sun 25-Jan-15 14:56:23

Aldi do sugar free cookies. They are rather nice. My son can't tell the difference between them and Maryland.

marinerkk Sun 25-Jan-15 14:59:41

Sugar free biscuits and chocolate can give you a bad tummy though! smile

SpottyTeacakes Sun 25-Jan-15 15:04:13

I would avoid any food marketed as 'diabetic' too.

TheReluctantCountess Sun 25-Jan-15 15:05:58

Yeah the label does say excessive consumption could cause laxative effects. Sugar free Polos say the same. grin

minipie Sun 25-Jan-15 15:08:57

Yes the advice to cut out all dairy sounds very odd to me too. Dairy contains lactose which is a sugar BUT it also contains lots of protein and fat so it's actually low GI and won't make your blood sugar spike. (Do avoid any "low fat" yoghurts etc though, especially as they tend to have added sugar).

Was the nurse a diabetic specialist?

Re your dinner - the pastry and mash are both high GI so would tend to make your blood sugars spike. Sorry!

High in sugar but low in carbs is NOT safe no - sugar is a carb and is the highest GI form of carb.

xShellyx Sun 25-Jan-15 15:35:21

I really do appreciate all your help, and its helping me understand this a little better. I drink alot of milk so was told to buy lactose free milk and butter, but I can still eat cheese!?

I'm sure you can understand my confusion lol.

Apparently she was a diatricion and works with diabetic mums. Her advice now iv been given it by you lot and what iv read online seems very odd and has confused matters all the more.

I'm Goinf to do that for dinner for the oh + lo, I think I'm going to have a salad, again with some eggs + skinless chicken.

Can someone suggest things for lunch and breakfast? I'm really struggling with breakfast and have been having plain porridge (not the sachet stuff) but I'm expecting that to be wrong, lunches iv been eating salads to be safe and toast + scrambled eggs. But this seeded bread is very bland and I don't like Brown bread. Only other bread iv really liked is the pumpkin seed loaf from Morrison's but haven't bought it in so long

SpottyTeacakes Sun 25-Jan-15 15:40:22

The Vogel soya and linseed bread is good. You could have eggs/omelette. Greek yoghurt bit bland on its own though.

Wotsup Sun 25-Jan-15 15:43:42

You may get help on the Diabetes UK website OP.

Holdthepage Sun 25-Jan-15 15:47:13

There is blog called started by someone who had to cut sugar out of their diet completely. It may be worth a look, I am definitely going to be giving her sweet potato brownies a try.

SaltySeaBird Sun 25-Jan-15 16:38:32

I find porridge gives me a high blood sugar spike, my cousin, sister and mum however find it is okay (also all diabetic).

For breakfast things which are good are things like:
• scrambled egg with ham or smoked salmon
• mackerel on a slice of brown toast but you have to limit the fish a bit in pregnancy so don't have this too ofteng
• grilled meats are okay so a sausage or bacon with s poached egg.
• slice of brown toast with cream cheese
• Greek yoghurt with a handful of red berries

SaltySeaBird Sun 25-Jan-15 16:41:55

Oh and lunch I had a lot of things like:

• home-made soup (processed ones can contain a lot of sugar)
• toast with baked beans and cheese
• salad with chicken / cheese
• oven roasted vegtables with some grilled meat
• left overs from dinner such as vegetable curry or chilli

xShellyx Sun 25-Jan-15 16:54:17

I was expecting my new diet to be restricted and bland. Been on diabetes uk and looking at their recipes/ideas and suggestions on here seems anything but! I'm happy I can enjoy halloumi still too, and my fresh fish. Looking forward to more healthy and fun meals to try out with my fussy lot too, I'm sure I'll feel more refreshed for it as well.

I love smoothies and there's some ideas online with veg etc so Looking forward to those too, would of never thought about putting cottage cheese in a smoothie - another must try!

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