Tag Archives: diabetic diet

David Mendosa Loves Chana Dal

Indian woman cooking chapati

Indian woman cooking chapati, a type of wheat-based bread

Chana’s not a woman’s name.

Chana dal is a particular legume popular in India. It seems to be a variety of chickpea. Dal is an Indian term for legumes: beans and peas. A serving of most legumes has a relatively high carbohydrate count, which could spike blood sugar too high if you have diabetes.

David Mendosa has type 2 diabetes. As far as I know, he’s still a vegetarian, but somehow manages to restrict dietary carbohydrates. He notes that regardless of carb grams, chana dal has very little effect on his blood sugar. Maybe that’s because of relatively high fiber content. Chana dal’s glycemic index is only eight, which is very low, especially for a legume.

You may be aware that a third or so of Indians in India are vegetarian of one stripe or another. Dals (legumes) are a very important source of protein for them. Dals are usually consumed with meals that include bread or rice.

Chana dal is a Hindi word. The British English equivalent is Bengal gram dal. In Bengali, it’s chholar dal. BTW, over 50 languages are spoken in India.

The nutritional analysis of chana dal is a matter of some debate. Here’s one that David found. In 100 g of dry chana dal:

  • 3.7 g fat
  • 25.4 g protein
  • 47.4 g carbohydrate3.2 g ash (inorganic material, such as minerals)
  • 11.2 g crude fiber
  • 327 calories

See David’s post for much more detail, including recipes and sources of chana dal. I think he’s been working on this post since 2001 and has revised it several times. He notes that in recipes calling for garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), chana dal can be substituted. (I assume garbanzo beans have a much higher glycemic index.)

If you’ve had chana dal or try it in the future, I’d love to hear your comments on it, especially how it affected your serum glucose levels.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If this post is closed for comments, you can reach me at steveparkermd (at) gmail (dot) com.

 

Comments Off on David Mendosa Loves Chana Dal

Filed under Recipes

Does LCHF Eating Help Indians With Diabetes?

Surfing the net, I ran across an Indian lady named Tina who is successfully treating her T2 diabetes with LCHF eating (low-carb, high-fat). Both she and her husband lost excess weight, too. Click for her website.

In turn, she directed my attention to a YouTube channel by Dr. S. Vijayaraghavan, who is also a LCHF advocate for people with diabetes, type 2 anyway. Check out Goodbye Diabetes.

Comments Off on Does LCHF Eating Help Indians With Diabetes?

Filed under India, Uncategorized

Ivor Cummins Found a New Low-Carb Diet Convert: Priyanka Wali, M.D.

Dr. Wali is an internist in San Francisco. In her medical practice, she saw first-hand how standard “diabetic diets” weren’t helping her patients and many others who have carbohydrate intolerance. Welcome to the club, Dr. Wali!

PS: She’s also a good stand-up comedian.

1 Comment

Filed under Carbohydrate

Two sons REVERSED their father’s T2 diabetes by making him cut out pasta and bread 

DailyMail.com has the story.

BTW, you’ll read below about body weight expressed in “stones.” That’s a term used in the UK and Ireland. One stone equals 14 pounds or 6.35 kilograms.

Click the link below for more details. Here’s a snippet:

“The story of how Anthony and his younger brother Ian, 37, a documentary maker, intervened to bring their father back from the brink is told in a powerful new BBC film, called Fixing Dad.

The searingly honest documentary is a salutary tale for the 3.6 million people with Type 2 diabetes in the UK.

With his family’s help Geoff believes he has managed to ‘reverse’ the disease: he now weighs 13 stone and his blood sugar levels are so low he no longer needs diabetes medication.

His sons believe this may not have happened had they not stuck Geoff on an 800-calorie-a-day diet for eight weeks, an approach pioneered by Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University’s Diabetes Research Group.They also dramatically slashed his carbohydrate intake — by banning pasta and bread — after studies in the journals Nutrition & Metabolism and Diabetologia in 2008 and 2012 found this may be one of the best approaches to reset the release of insulin to safe levels again.”

Source: These sons REVERSED their fathers diabetes by making him cut out pasta and bread | Daily Mail Online

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Here’s more info on the Newcastle Diet.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Are You Visiting This Site From India?

Gadi Sagar temple on Gadisar lake at sunset, Jaisalmer, India

Gadi Sagar temple on Gadisar Lake, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

I’ve been surprised by how many blog visitors I get from India—often more than I see from U.K, Canada, or Australia.

If you’re Indian, is there anything in particular you’d like to see me address here? Leave a comment below or email me at steveparkermd AT gmail.com. Thank you.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Please let me know if you are aware of a good source of low-carb Indian recipes in English. I have a growing interest in curries.

3 Comments

Filed under India

Successful U.K. Rebellion Against Official Diabetic Diet Advice

DailyMail.com has a few of the details. A snippet:

More than 120,000 people signed up to a ‘low-carb’ diet plan launched by the forum diabetes.co.uk in a backlash against official advice.
More than 80,000 of those who ditched a low-fat high-carbohydrate diet found their blood glucose level drop after ten weeks.
By rejecting official guidelines and eating a diet high in protein and low in starchy food – along with ‘good saturated fats like olive and nuts – more than 80 per cent of the patients said they had lost weight.

An article at The Times says, “The results have led doctors to call for an overhaul of official dietary guidelines.”

Regular readers here won’t be surprised by these findings.

The road to this revolution is paved with scientific studies showing that dietary saturated fat has little or nothing to do with causing cardiovascular disease. I crossed that Rubicon in 2009.

If you want the benefits of low-carb eating, check out my free Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet. The book is even better.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you think carbs are bad, my books have zero net carbs.

low-carb mediterranean diet

Front cover of book

1 Comment

Filed under Carbohydrate

Is the Vegetarian Diet Good for Diabetes?

low-carb diet, spaghetti squash, paleobetic diet, diabetic diet

These can be part of a low-carb vegetarian diet

The answer to the headline question is: Maybe.

I was surprised to learn that well-known diabetes writer David Mendosa (Type 2 DM) has switched from a very low-carb diet to a low-carb vegetarian diet, eating no more than 50 grams/day of carbohydrate. Why?

For me the issue is that I don’t want to be responsible for harming sentient beings as much as I can avoid it while still following a healthy diet.

I respect that sentiment.

I’m sure David is monitoring the effects of the diet on his blood sugars and weight. Probably his blood lipids, too.

It sounds like all David had to do was drop fish from his prior diet. He still eats eggs (whites only?), cheese, and full-fat yogurt, so I’d call him a lacto-ovo-vegetarian.

If you’re already convinced that you know the perfect diet for people with diabetes, read no further.

What Is a Vegetarian Diet?

From UpToDate.com:

Vegetarian diets vary considerably depending on the degree of dietary restrictions. According to the strictest definition, a vegetarian diet consists primarily of cereals, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts; animal foods, including milk, dairy products, and eggs generally are excluded. Several less restrictive vegetarian diets may include eggs and dairy products. Some vegetarian diets may be grouped as follows:

●Macrobiotic — Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and seaweeds are included in the diet, while whole grains, especially brown rice, are also emphasized. Locally-grown fruits are recommended. Animal foods limited to white meat or white-meat fish may be included in the diet once or twice a week.
●Semi-vegetarian — Meat occasionally is included in the diet. Some people who follow such a diet may not eat red meat but may eat fish and perhaps chicken.
●Lacto-ovovegetarian — Eggs, milk, and milk products (lacto = dairy; ovo = eggs) are included, but no meat is consumed.
●Lactovegetarian — Milk and milk products are included in the diet, but no eggs or meat are consumed.
●Vegan — All animal products, including eggs, milk, and milk products, are excluded from the diet. Some vegans do not use honey and may refrain from using animal products such as leather or wool. They also may avoid foods that are processed or not organically grown.

A 2012 poll estimated that 7% of U.S. adults eat at least one meal a week that does not include meat, fish or poultry, 4% do not eat meat, fish, or poultry, and 1–2% do not eat meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, or eggs. Roughly 5% of individuals in the UK, Germany, and Australia describe themselves as vegetarian.

Switching to the paleo diet often leads to increased vegetable and fruit consumption

Are Vegetarian Diets Safe?

Vegetarians need to be careful to get enough high-quality protein, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and perhaps calcium. B12 comes only from animal products, as far as I know. You can make vitamin D by exposing your skin to sufficient sunlight. Some vegetarians will need to consult a dietitian to ensure adequate nutrition. (BTW, all my comments about vegetarian diets apply to adults only—I don’t treat children, so I’m not up-to-date on their nutritional needs.)

I’ve written about vegetarian diets for diabetes before: here and here. Dr. Michael Greger couldn’t convince Dr. Harriet Hall (or me) that we should avoid eating all animal products.

The Grashow Question

Someone claiming to be Charles Grashow left a comment on one of my blogs:

As I’ve posted before, this [vegetarian macrobiotic diet] took Insulin Dependent T2D [patients] OFF MEDS within 21 days!

Seems much better – but then again this diet is vegan not paleo!

http://www.hoajonline.com/internalmedicine/2052-6954/2/3
Ma-Pi 2 macrobiotic diet intervention during 21 days in adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus, Ghana 2011

http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/11/1/39
The effect of the macrobiotic Ma-Pi 2 diet vs. the recommended diet in the management of type 2 diabetes: the randomized controlled MADIAB trial

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jnme/2012/856342/
Medium- and Short-Term Interventions with Ma-Pi 2 Macrobiotic Diet in Type 2 Diabetic Adults of Bauta, Havana

SO – my question is this. Why do you not recommend this type of diet instead? Or does it not fit into your paradigm?

I responded:

Charles, that macrobiotic Ma-Pi 2 diet looks like it has significant potential. I quickly scanned your first link only. For those not familiar with the diet, here’s a description from your first link:

“Vegetarian Ma-Pi 2 macrobiotic diet, designed especially by Mario Pianesi for treating diabetic patients. Total volume of the Ma-Pi 2 diet consisted of 40–50% whole grains (rice, millet and barley), 35–40% vegetables (carrots, savoy cabbage, cabbage, chicory, onions, red radish, parsley), and 8% legumes (adzuki beans, chickpeas, lentils, black beans). As a complement we used gomasio (roasted ground sesame seeds with unrefined sea salt), fermented products (miso, tamari, umeboshi) and seaweeds (kombu, wakame, nori). Bancha tea (theine-free green tea) was the main liquid diet.”

“The assayed Ma-Pi 2 diet is lower in energy than the traditional one recommended for diabetic patients, but safe, with adequate satiating effect due to the high fiber content, adequate in protein (12% of the total energy), with an acceptable amino acid score, low in fat (15% of the total energy), and high in complex carbohydrates (73%). The diet has a high antioxidant capacity and a high content of bioactive compounds with recognized functional properties (Table 2). Foods were elaborated by culinary macrobiotic specialists from UPM, Italy, and offered at the hospital during breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Unfortunately, the variety of vegetables was restricted because of limited availability.”

I wonder if that would be deficient in vitamin B12.

It looks like it would be worth a try for a type 2 diabetic under medical supervision (some risk of hypoglycemia). I’d like to try a few meals with those ingredients, some of which I’ve never heard of, prepared by someone who knows what they’re doing. Unless I missed it in the link, it might be hard for the average person to replicate that study diet. If I understood correctly, the study participants stayed in a hospital for three weeks and meals were prepared for them.

I don’t have time to hit the other links right now.

-Steve

My Current Stance on Vegetarian Diets For Diabetes

I say “current stance” because I’ll change my mind based on scientific evidence as it becomes available.

I’m not convinced that any of the vegetarian diets is clearly superior to the other available “diabetic diets” in terms of quality of life, longevity, and avoidance of diabetes complications.

We have some evidence that some vegetarian diets may help control diabetic blood sugars and help reduce the need for diabetes medications, at least short-term.

If my diabetic patients want to try a vegetarian diet, I have no objections as long as these criteria are met:

  • it’s a well-designed diet that provides adequate nutrition (which may require a dietitian consultation)
  • blood sugars, hemoglobin A1c, body weight, and blood lipids are monitored periodically
  • the patient is able and willing to self-monitor blood sugars fairly frequently
  • physician oversight, especially for those taking diabetes drugs

Vegetarian diets can be very high in carbohydrate content, which potentially could wreck blood sugar control. If that happens, consider a vegetarian diet with fewer starches and sugars.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Did  you catch that the Ma-Pi 2 diet is “lower in energy than the traditional one recommended for diabetic patients…”? That means a reduced-calorie diet. Drop calories enough on most any diet, and you’ll likely see lower serum glucose levels, reduced triglycerides (and perhaps other lipid improvements), and loss of excess weight.

Comments Off on Is the Vegetarian Diet Good for Diabetes?

Filed under Vegetarian Diet