Type 2 Diabetes, weight loss and what my six go-to products to get you started
Nowadays, we are all familiar with Type 2 Diabetes. It is such a common health condition that is partly caused by unhealthy eating habits and lifestyles. It is a progressing condition that gradually creates more and more negative impacts on our health over a period of time depending on how well we control it.
Our diet plays an essential part in preventing and treating Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Australia has recently published a new position statement in 2019 on low carbohydrate eating and Type 2 Diabetes management. It states that there is reliable evidence suggesting low carb eating helping to lower HbA1c (up to 6 months); manage weight (up to 12 months) and reduce in cardiovascular risk factors (up to 2 years). Cut back on carbohydrate to a low level (50-130g) has a quite positive impact on preventing and treating Type 2 Diabetes. I personally think roughly 100-150g per day is more realistic for people to achieve. Therefore, we are going to focus on this most important area for managing diabetes – lowering carbohydrate including added sugar intake and give you plenty smart shopping and cooking tips.
Sometimes, knowing the facts is one thing, but knowing how to do it is a completely different thing. It is very easy to think that following low carb eating means you have to cut out all the fun food like breads, pasta, sweet drinks etc and just have vegetable leaves all day. No, you don’t need to do that. Try my 6 go-to products for swapping and easy practical shopping tips today to get it started.
Pasta is one of the foods that everybody on earth eat and love to eat. However, because of its high carbohydrate content, people tend to find it hard to control their blood sugar level when eating pasta. Two pasta products are brought to you as delicious and appropriate alternatives to help you manage your sugar level. However, portion controlling is still an important thing.
- San Remo Pulse Pasta
It’s made from pulses e.g. lentils, chickpeas and beans etc. These little beans are not only naturally 35% lower in carbohydrate, higher in protein and good fat, but also higher in prebiotic fibre which is the prefect fuel for our good gut bacterial compared with tradition pasta. Therefore, it is a prefect swap for traditional pasta. It’s currently available in Coles and Woolworths.
- Guzzi’s linguine and fettucine
As Pulse Pasta is made from pulses, it has a different taste and texture compared with traditional pasta. For those who don’t like the different taste and texture, Guzzi’s linguine and fettucine could be your option. Guzzi’s is a local business located in Sydney. They use top-quality high protein DR1 durum wheats. The linguine and fettucine from their company have 25% less carbs, more protein from extra eggs, and much higher in fibre compared with other traditional pasta. Since they are made from durum wheat, there is no different in taste and texture at all. It will not let you down. If you want to know more about information about this product, check out my another blog article here. They are currently available in Coles and Woolworths.
We all know that soft drinks are extremely high in added sugar. However, the world is still drinking tons and tons of it right now every day. Why? Because they taste good! Luckily, we find a couple of great tasting alternatives for you.
- Nexba drink
Nexba is a soft drink range that contains no added sugar but only natural sweetener stevia which is extracted from a natural plant leaves called stevia rebaudiana and proven to be safe for long term use. It has a great range of flavours like Cola, Lemonade, Pineapple and Tonic Water etc. It’s full of bubbles and refreshing sensation. I quite like it especially the Cola flavour as it tastes quite similar to traditional Coke. They are currently available in Coles and Woolworths.
As a trendy soft drink alternative, kombucha must be mentioned here. Traditionally, kombucha is an Asian fermented tea drink packed with probiotics. It suddenly becomes very popular in Australia recently. Although we don’t really know how much probiotics it retains after commercial packaging and longtime storing on shelf, almost all current kombucha products in Australia has no or very minimal amount of sugar and therefore can be a great alternative. Traditional kombucha does not taste sweet at all, most of the sweet sensation in current kombucha products sold in supermarket comes from stevia. By adding extra ingredients, kombucha could be made into different flavours like ginger lemon, mixed berry and apple crisp etc. Basically, you have a great variety to choose from. By the way, Nexba also makes Kombucha. You can fine them in every supermarket.
Sauces is a big area to investigate too. Open your pantry, if you see things like Tomato Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Sweet Chilli Sauce etc for dipping; and Sweet & Sour, Teriyaki or Oyster Sauce for cooking, you are highly likely to eat a lot of hidden refined sugar which raises your blood sugar level in a sneaky way. Check out the nutrition information panel and you will know what I mean. It packs with added sugar. Let us show you a couple of alternatives to minimize your hidden sugar intake when it comes to mealtime.
- Celebrate Health Tomato Sauce, BBQ Sauce and Sweet Chilli Sauce
Surprisingly, these Tomato, BBQ and Sweet Chilli Sauce has no added sugar which is a huge difference than traditional versions! Thank to small amount of carrot juice concentrate, vinegar and stevia, it brings a very similar taste as traditional sauces and therefore a great alternative to regular sugary sauces. This product range is currently only available in Coles, not Woolworths.
- Five Tastes Stir Fry Shots Thai Basil & Chilli and Vietnamese Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime
With 2.3g and 1.6g sugar per serve (per shot), it is almost nothing considering an average teaspoon of sugar weights 4g. 300-400g vegetable and 300-400 protein e.g. chicken or fish can be added with each shot. The added sugar content is almost negligible. It really brings a traditional Thai and Vietnamese flavour to your stir fry! Check out my blog for full review on this product and why I think this product is great. Highly recommend it! They are currently in both Coles and Woolworths.
If you are following these shopping tips, your carbohydrate and added sugar intake will naturally drop without trying hard, you will gradually see an improvement on your short and long term blood sugar level, body weight, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular condition.
However, special consideration needs to be addressed for those on sulphonylureas and insulin to control the blood sugar level as these medications increase the risk of developing hypoglycemia. Speak to your dietitian for more personlised help.
What I listed and covered is just a very small part of foods we could swap to prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. I’ve recently set up a Facebook group (free to join) called Eat Savvi Healthy Shopping Community.
For more information re: diabetes friendly products and smart shopping tips, just head to Facebook and search and join the group “Eat Savvi Healthy Shopping Community” and start learning it today! And, yes, it is all free for you! I’ll see you up there.
Written and data collected in July 2020.