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Meals for a pre-diabetic (i.e. no sugar)


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Home Forums General Forums Food, Hydration, and Nutrition Meals for a pre-diabetic (i.e. no sugar)

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  • #1304806
    Luke Schmidt
    BPL Member

    @cameron

    Locale: Alaska

    We just found out my dad is pre-diabetic and needs to cut back on sugar. Trouble for him is most backpacking food is sugary. Here is what we've come up with

    Summer Sausage
    Beef Jerky
    Cheese
    Crackers
    Nuts of various kinds and flavors
    Organic Fruit (no added sweeters)
    Peanut Butter
    Olive Oil
    Mtn. House Meals
    Potato Chips
    Banana Chips
    Baby Carrots
    Apples (first day)

    Any other ideas? Its hard when you are trying to avoid sugar and minimize wheat.

    #2001180
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    As a general rule for pre-diabetics, you want to avoid sugary stuff that is high on the glycemic index, like pure sugar. You can still eat some of that, but you need to balance it with a lot of stuff that is low on the glycemic index. Leave out the Gatorade, and you ought to be fine. Your list is OK.

    One of my favorites is dehydrated quinoa. I buy the grain, cook it, and then dehydrate it, so I get these little tan nodules. It is a complete protein, which is unusual for a vegetable food. I rehydrate it on the trail using warm water, or I can eat it directly as a snack. It works best when mixed with some soup base and simmered.

    –B.G.–

    #2001334
    Ben H.
    BPL Member

    @bzhayes

    Locale: No. Alabama

    You might want to check out what his doctored said about sodium. The foods you list are pretty high in sodium and I thought reduced sodium was a big part of diabetes prevention too.

    It seems like you should be aiming for complex carbs and reducing sodium.

    #2001343
    Luke Schmidt
    BPL Member

    @cameron

    Locale: Alaska

    I don't know about Sodium, I'll be checking on that.

    #2001351
    Link .
    BPL Member

    @annapurna

    #2001465
    Miguel Arboleda
    BPL Member

    @butuki

    Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan

    I'm diabetic. Have been for 17 years. I eat a low carb diet.

    If you're going to reduce your carb intake it is imperative that you keep up the sodium, not reduce it. This is due to a physiological change that causes your kidneys to start flushing out sodium with potassium, which is essential for your health. A high carb diet (150 g or more) offsets this and you can safely reduce your sodium, but not on low carb. If you don't keep up the sodium you will feel lethargic, weak, possibly even nauseous. Also you should find a good source of potassium, like beef broth, because when you cook meat a large amount of potassium is leeched out.

    If you continue to eat higher amounts of carbs, even after lowering them more than you ate before, you won't see the benefits of low carb. You must go down below your personal carb intolerance level, which is different for everyone. It's usually around 50 g a day or so for anyone who has metabolic syndrome, is pre-diabetic, or is full-on diabetic. What you are aiming for is for your body to switch to ketogenic (fat using) metabolism.

    Also, if you reduce your carbs, you must up your fats so that you get enough calories for the work your body will be doing on the trail. You can't get enough calories from protein, and too much protein is unhealthy. The thing is, it takes your body at least two weeks to adapt to a low carb diet. If you try this in the mountains without giving it the necessary time to change over, you might not have the energy to do much of a walk, or you might feel pretty sick. I'd say stay with the high carbs for now if you don't have time to adapt before hiking, and do the change over when you get back.

    If you're going to be doing high energy movement, then make sure you have enough carbs to deal with hypoglycemia. You don't want to pass out on the trail due to depleted glycogen in your muscles. If you are keto-adapted, you should already be able to deal with eating less food, but this is not something you want to discover on the trail.

    Since you're pre-diabetic there is a very high possibility that you can reverse your condition if you learn how to eat low-carb. It's insulin resistance that is the culprit, and all that revolves around how much carb you eat. Try reading The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff S. Volek and Stephen D. Phinney (and the accompanying book for athletes, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance), that will clarify what is happening in your body, and then The New Atkins for a New You, also by the same authors, which tells you how to eat low-carb, and offers recipes. It's a completely revised take on the older Atkins book, based on much more recent and experiential research.

    One problem is that there is very little information on low carb recipes for hiking, especially if you want to reduce weight and bring foods which won't spoil. I'm still very much seeking information on this.

    #2001477
    Bob Shaver
    BPL Member

    @rshaver

    Locale: West

    I'm diabetic, injecting two types of insulin plus taking oral meds. I've found that when I do endurance sports events like cycling or backpacking, I generally don't have a need for insulin. The exercise promotes the body to produce insulin. Don't be too fast to eliminate carbs from the diet during heavy exercise. test for blood sugar and eat accordingly.

    Of your list, potato chips and banana chips have lots of carbs (sugar in the case of banana chips) but might be just what he needs when hiking. My danger is in taking too much insulin, waking up in the middle of the night, and then having to get the food bag down from a tree to eat.

    #3747979
    R Y
    BPL Member

    @rhyang

    I’m in my mid fifties, and have been backpacking for a couple of decades now.  I’m not overweight, and get a lot of regular exercise, but I have a family history of diabetes — my father had to inject insulin, and my younger brother is prediabetic.  I just had a blood test which said my glycosylated hemoglobin % is firmly in the prediabetes range.

    So now I’m going through my cupboards and fridge, tossing out things with lots of added sugar, most refined carbs, etc.  I plan to see a dietitian before too long.

    I saw Miguel’s recommendation above, and there is a lot there I should probably research.

    Up until now I have been having a carb-laden dinner before a trip, and then carbs pretty much all through, because, well, muscles need energy and that’s how we do things.  Is that OK still ?

    I kind of doubt that my health plan dietitian will know anything about backpacking, but I guess I could be surprised.

    Thanks for any advice !

    #3748010
    Jon Fong
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    IMO, there are a couple things to consider.  I am a type II diabetic (ALC ~6.5).  There is a lot of advice about handling Type II diets in normal conditions.  It is not super clear to me that while backpacking the same rules are the same.  Eating sugar/carbs will increase your glucose levels over about a 2-3 hour period.  Protein and fats can help mitigate the peaks and slow the digestive system down, a bit.  It seems to me that eating carbs and hiking is a good counterbalance, as you need the energy at that time anyway.  While backpacking, I tend to eat carbs at breakfast and lunch and less so at dinner.  Since many people go calorie negative, this makes it much more difficult for a Type II to carry enough food.  Please correct me if I am wrong, as I diagnosis is only a few years old.

    #3748060
    bjc
    BPL Member

    @bj-clark-2-2

    Locale: Colorado

    Dehydrated refried beans with crushed Fritos corn chips.

    #3748063
    Jon Fong
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    From the web – nutrition for instant re-fried beans.  35 g serving size seems small to me.  Only 170 calories though. 18 grams net carbs is good, most guidannce suggect for a type II less than 50 g permeal (or so they say).

    Nutrition Facts
    For a Serving Size of 1 serving (35g)
    Calories 170 Calories from Fat 4.5 (2.6%)
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 0.5g –
    Sodium 470mg 20%
    Carbohydrates 32g –
    Net carbs 18g –
    Sugar 1g –
    Fiber 14g 57%
    Protein 10g
    Vitamins and minerals
    Vitamin A 0μg 0%
    Vitamin C 0mg 0%
    Calcium 20mg 2%
    Fatty acids
    Amino acids
    * The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs.

    #3748064
    bjc
    BPL Member

    @bj-clark-2-2

    Locale: Colorado

    Jon, You’re right about the serving size as I use more even though it ups the total carbs per meal. Add the corn chips and cheese and calories pop up a lot. My son is a type I diabetic and I have been borderline pre diabetic. But when I am backpacking my blood sugar levels drop quite a bit as they do on my daily 5-8 miles of running/walking. Plus a high fiber diet does wonders for blood sugar levels. My son is more climber than hiker and he literally had to turn down or turn off  his pump when exercising. Fortunately his new pump and sensor does all that automatically. I think it’s all a function of how you manage the entire day’s diet as well as your amount of exercise. But it certainly can be a challenging balancing act!

    #3748074
    R Y
    BPL Member

    @rhyang

    Very interesting, thanks.  It sounds like I need to worry more about my non-hiking meal planning, than what I am eating on trail days.  Though I should think carefully about the amount of added sugar in some of my trail protein mixes, oatmeal and cream of wheat.  And it sounds like most of the dinners I like are about 10-20g over the 50g limit.

    One additional issue is a swallowing disorder I acquired in 2016 following esophagus surgery.  I am still unable to swallow most fruits and vegetables without using a blender.  Not an issue at home, but carrying a Ninja Pro and Vitamix on the trail just doesn’t work very well :)

    Among other things I’ve been carrying Think protein bars, and Trader Joe’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, which I can still swallow.  I’m going to stop eating Think bars, and am looking at the Quest bars instead… any thoughts on those ?

    I used to like gorp, but after my swallowing disorder in 2016 couldn’t get it down.  I can still eat things like almonds, with a lot of water, at least at home.

    Regarding carbs the night before, I see there is now pasta made from chickpeas.  I used to like whole grain pasta, and will try that, too.  Maybe smaller portions and combined with nuts and fish …

    #3748076
    Jon Fong
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    Banzo Pasta (chickpea flour) is pretty.  In fact, just using dried garbanzo beans in meals make a nice backpacking dish: a little tomato sauce, re-hydrated chicken or beef – all good.

    #3750347
    Worth Donaldson
    BPL Member

    @worth

    I am type 2 and try to limit my net carbs (carbs minus fiber) to 60 Gm/meal on trips and 45 Gm at home. I also note that I can consume more carbs earlier in the day per meal vs. later in the day. Take a look at my dinner recipes for ideas. They are mostly soups and stews. Instead of dehydrating my own items I purchase bulk cans of freeze dried ingredients instead. My wife does not like the sound of the dehydrator running or the smells it gives off.

    https://worthdonaldson.weebly.com/recipes.html

    Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you want to look at it, I recently participated in a heart attack prevention study and discovered I am asymptomatic with moderate to severe coronary artery disease. I was advised to keep doing what I am doing but need to cut back on the fats and be more selective on the fats I consume. These recipes are pretty much high in the wrong fats. I was told I must go mediterranean and cut out red meat, pork, cheese and all forms of eggs. I was encouraged to go vegan which is now my goal. In time, these recipes will get tweak to meet my new requirements.

    #3750358
    Jon Fong
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    This is tough.  Nutrients can be broken down into 3 major groups, protein, carbs and fat.  Given that you want to reduce carb intake to <50 gm/meal and now need to reduce fats (at least the “bad” kind) it can make backpacking more difficult.  A lot of the ways people pump up calories on the trails is inclusion of fats.  Limiting your trail food to “good” fats can be done, but the old standbys of salami and such are out.

    #3750359
    R Y
    BPL Member

    @rhyang

    I don’t eat red meat anymore in any quantity (pork is red meat), and cold cuts have other nutritional issues.

    A few weeks ago I spoke to a health care professional at my HMO, and was told that with prediabetic A1C I could consume 45-60g carbs per meal normally, but could go as high as 70-75 when out backpacking.  That is pretty significant for me.

    I also discovered that my swallowing has actually improved in the last six years: nuts and GORP actually do work, at least as well as those sugar-filled cookies I was eating before.  And I can eat soft cooked vegetables, too, like zucchini, broccoli and brussels sprouts, which is helpful for my non-backpacking meal planning.

    Got out on a trip last weekend to make sure things were “working”.  So far so good.  I plan to get my A1C tested again in a couple months.  The exercise of improving my diet is definitely long overdue, whatever the outcome.  Thanks everyone.

    #3750360
    Jon Fong
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    A few weeks ago I spoke to a health care professional at my HMO, and was told that with prediabetic A1C I could consume 45-60g carbs per meal normally, but could go as high as 70-75 when out backpacking. That is pretty significant for me.

    Keep in mind that an A1c is an 80 to 120 day average. On backpacking trips 7-10 days or so, short excursions above 60 g/day should not move the needle too much. Additionally, since you are exercising, that should also help consume the excess blood sugar. That, and one of the best things for a Type II is exercise.  My 2 cents.

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