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dlish's picture


My mother was just diagnosed with diabetes. I am so sad. I am doing a lot of reading about the disease and learning more about it. My folks enjoy the good life of eating great food and desserts, and now my mom feels like it is all over. She HAS to change the way she eats. This is going to be a VERY big challenge.

I've been reading up on some different recipes geard toward a diabetic diet. The meals seem pretty good, nothing too different from what they already eat. Portion control is going to be an issue though. I know for snacks they suggest low-fat cheese. Low-fat cheese is not good and tasty cheese. I've noticed that in diabetic dessert recipes don't seem good at all.

Can you please point me in the direction of some good recipe resources? Recipes that have good flavor and don't use a lot of processed ingredients. I want to help my parents learn a new way of cooking and eating. Eventhough my father and I don't have diabetes, it will be a great support to know everyone is buying into it.

Thank you! Sorry for the long post.

MadMom's picture

(post #31464, reply #1 of 11)

My DH was diagnosed with diabetes related to some heart problems.  He has watched his diet (sort of) and taken medication, and his blood sugar is totally under control.  Jean has a lot of information about diabetic diets.  I don't think it's necessary to look at this as a death sentence, and certainly it is not the end of eating food food.  You just have to pick and choose intelligently.

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Jean's picture

(post #31464, reply #2 of 11)

There are lots of cookbooks geared to the diabetic. Better Homes and Gardens has put one out not too long ago. I'd suggest you browse in your library and in your local book store to see what you can find.

There's lots and lots of information on-line about diabetes and related diet too. Many people are happy using artificial sweeteners, but I'm not one of them. Try them though, because many folks find them acceptable.  I would rather use a regular recipe and eat 1/4 of a serving of the real thing, but that takes a discipline that not everyone has.

An increase in exercise on a regular basis can do a lot to control the disease. Taking her medicine and eating the same amount at the same time helps keep things on an even keel also. It's not the end of the world, really. 

I still love to cook and bake for other people and can confine myself  to being satisfied with just a taste. Just remember that you are not the one that will be in control of the disease.  That's entirely up to your Mom. The most you can do is give her some tools and encouragement. You just can't police her every bite.

If she will be testing her blood glucoses at home, she will soon find out there are certain foods that will send her sugars sky-rocketing.. potatoes for example, and there are others. You can check on line for a list of high glycemic index foods that will help her to know what she should restrict from her diet, or eliminate completely. That's a hard thing to do, I usually allow myself a taste of forbidden pleasures on occasion. You can't take all the fun out of life, eh?

Tell her she has lots of company and not to get discouraged. It gets easier when you understand more about the disease.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
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tcurda's picture

(post #31464, reply #3 of 11)

I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes back in March of this year, and subsequently diagosed with metastatic colon cancer. I have had to be quite diligent with monitoring the diabetes as the cancer metasticized to the liver.

When I was first diagnosed with the diabetes, I posted here and got some wonderful information from a number of the people here. Here is the thread:

When life throws you a lemon curveball..

In addition, I found a book that has been a great help to me:

"Type 2 Diabetes: The First Year" by Gretchen Becker. Highly recommended.


Tom aka tomcatt

Live today like there's no tomorrow.

Smile - People will wonder what you're up to.

Edited 9/28/2005 10:16 pm ET by tcurda

Tom aka tomcatt

Live today like there's no tomorrow.

Smile - People will wonder what you're up to.
courgette's picture

(post #31464, reply #4 of 11)

My mother has been diabetic for about 17 years. She is on Insulin but has very good control and will have a small taste of things, rather than a serving. Basically, a diabetic diet is just plain old heathy eating. Lots of fruit and veggies, some carbs and protein, restricted sugar. There are lots of desserts you can make that are within the guidelines. And there is so much more information/cookbooks available  now than 17 years ago.

After a few months of adjustment it should be no big deal. Good luck.


dixie's picture

(post #31464, reply #8 of 11)

Lots of fruit and veggies

My DH has to really watch most fruits which he has always loved.

courgette's picture

(post #31464, reply #9 of 11)

Guess that depends on the individual, what they are sensitive to. Mom eats lots of fruits, and manages her blood sugars very well. By lots, I mean two or three servings/day, not more than that.

Gretchen's picture

(post #31464, reply #10 of 11)

To me that is not "lots" at all.  ;o)  
Friends of our son have a child that is diabetic and we were eating  with them one evening at a food court. It was interesting to see them really balancing out all the various kinds of carbs--could have carrots but not something else (that may not be exact, but something like that).


Jean's picture

(post #31464, reply #5 of 11)

You and your mother can subscribe to a helpful newsletter "Stop diabetes in its tracks" by signing up here.

Today's  issue has a chocolate angel's food cake recipe that sounds pretty good. Plus lots of other tips etc. for making life more pleasant.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
dlish's picture

(post #31464, reply #6 of 11)

Thank you all so much. I will definitely check into the resources you named.

My mom was feeling so sick last week. Dry mouth and weak. However the amount of sugar she was craving didn't even phase me. She asked me to go to the store and buy popsicles which she downed one after the other. I totally didn't get it. We all just thought well maybe she's anemic again or perhaps her ulcer was acting up again. Who knows! After reading some diabetes info, she had all the classic symptoms.

She's been kind of lax about good eating & exercising habits this year because she was diagnosed with breast cancer in Feb. So she was kind of just doing what she wanted. She was only doing radiation treatments and that ended in July. So, she was just starting to get her energy back when the diabetes struck. It is difficult to watch your parents be sick.

Anyway, she's been to the Dr. everyday this week for a shot. I guess they are trying to stabilize her sugars.

I'm the only kid left in town, so I feel a responsibility to help out where I can. Dad always says, "we're a team." There are good, healthy times ahead. We just need to tackle this.

Thank you again, you have my very heartfelt appreciation.

KarenP's picture

(post #31464, reply #7 of 11)

  My younger sister is diabetic has been for 40 years without any problems, good eyes, kidneys, etc, etc.  She finds the South Beach Diet pretty close to what her requirements are. 

Elisabeth's picture

(post #31464, reply #11 of 11)

I have been reading quite a bit about nutrition in the last five years or so and I have found the topic very interesting to study. You parents might enjoy the study too, perhaps a class at a senior center or joining a local eating well group if there is such a thing and if they are social creatures. Trips to farmers markets could be fun for you and your parents and the market tends to awaken eating sense. The fall greens season is coming up in my area, talk about instant food and the rich combination of nutrients is perfect and balanced. I'm talking about real food and natural food nutrition type learning rather than the academic chemistry kind which is a bit dry for most. It is fascinating to get to really get to know what is on your plate, it's origins, history of use, effect on the body, etc. It sounds like your mom is depressed and exercise and eating well is such an antidote to depression. I hope she will get back to it soon.

I'm tempted by sweets as much as the next person but I find that sugar is a cheap thrill. In contrast, whole, fresh, real foods are a deep thrill. I wish you and your parents the best with many good meals and lost of good living.