This is used in the treatment of Diabetes and Hypoglycaemia, with a time limit of one month. After this if the diet has been successful in helping the symptoms you should keep off tea, coffee, sugar and alcohol except for the odd occasion and be careful to keep up your 2-hourly snacks. You can now have bread and potatoes as often as you like but not as snacks. In other words only have sandwiches or crisps as part of a light meal; and always have them with slow burning foods e.g., lentil soup.
On this diet you may feel slightly worse before you feel better, but that should not last for more than a few days. You may have a headache caused by caffeine withdrawal. If you are concerned or on drugs or insulin see your own doctor or a nutritionally qualified physician. Make sure that you substitute permitted for forbidden foods and that you have a wide variety of food and eat the proper amount, chew well and eat in a quiet frame of mind. You should also rest and get plenty of sleep.
Recent research regarding the glycaemic index of food, which gives an indication of the rate at which food is converted into glucose, suggests that the higher the index, the greater the rate of conversion and the less desirable these foods may be for those with a blood sugar problem. These are the foods which are avoided in this diet. There appear to be many differences between very similar foods and their ability to affect the index, and all the previous rules about simple and complex carbohydrates have now been proven to be unreliable. One point, however, which is probably valid is that like anthracite coal, small packages seem to burn slowly whilst large ones seem to burn quickly. When food is in its natural state, wheat for example, it will have a low glycaemic index, but as soon as the package is broken i.e. by grinding it into flour, the glycaemic index rises. For this reason, legumes such as lentils, kidney and soya beans are extremely good for patients who have blood sugar problems.
It is important on this diet to eat little and often. You should eat 3 meals a day but these should not be large meals. Between each meal you should take a snack - so that you are eating something every 2 hours or before you get a drop in energy or a gnawing hunger. Snacks should consist of raw nuts or seeds (such as pumpkin or sunflower), a glass of milk, yoghurt, bombay mix or unsweetened oatcakes, e.g. Patersons. If you are getting very bored with these after a few weeks you can add more animal proteins as snacks, e.g., cold chicken, sardines, tuna etc. It is probably easiest to work out a menu for 2 weeks in advance to ensure that the restrictions on certain foods are adhered to. If weight is a problem, you may include protein powder or capsules once or twice daily instead of a snack.
Foods to avoid completely
- All refined and processed food
- All forms of sugar, honey, all sweets and confectionery, all products containing sugar, glucose, glucose syrup, honey, dextrose, fructose, etc
- Cereals containing sugar
- Cakes and biscuits, pies, puddings, bananas, custard
- Tea, coffee, alcohol, soft drinks, hot chocolate, Ovaltine
- Cough syrups, laxatives, medications with caffeine or sugar, relish, ketchup, mustard, sauces
Substitutes which can be eaten in unlimited quantities
- Unsweetened oatcakes, 100% rye crispbread, wholemeal pasta, pulses - all types of beans, peas, lentils etc, brown rice
- Sugar-cane molasses may be used for sweetening in cooking. As a honey substitute, use unsweetened jams such as those made by Robertson's, Nature's Store and Whole Earth
- Unsweetened muesli, porridge, nut butters, e.g. cashew nut butter
- Fruit including citrus fruit, fresh or stewed without sugar, yoghurt, cottage cheese, raw nuts, seeds, pancakes
- Cow's milk, grain coffee, e.g. Caro Extra, herb teas, maté and rooibosch teas, unsweetened fruit juice, vegetable juice
- All other vegetables, wholemeal pasta, pulses, etc.
- Olive oil, sunflower oil.
- And no smoking!
Foods which may be eaten in limited quantities
Each week you may eat 2 meals using white fish, 2 meals using meat, and 2 meals using eggs (2 eggs to each meal), while pasta may be eaten twice a week. 1-2 slices of rye bread may be eaten every day or 1 slice of wholemeal bread. Wholemeal flour may be used for cooking pastry and flans which may be eaten twice a week. Only 1/8 teaspoon salt is allowed daily. Butter or margarine in small amounts is permitted on bread, etc. Cook with oil. Raisins and other dried fruits are allowed in small quantities twice a week only. Full fat cheese may be eaten twice a week.
Suggested meal pattern *
- Uncooked breakfast: Grapefruit segments fresh or canned in natural juice. Muesli, rye crispbread, fresh fruit.
- Cooked breakfast: Poached or boiled eggs, pancakes, porridge, unsweetened baked beans, mushrooms or tomatoes on toast.
- Lunch or supper: Meat, white fish, cheese or eggs. Vegetable purées can be used to replace gravy or other sauces. Wholemeal pasta, pulse dishes. Vegetables, salads.
- Uncooked lunch or evening meal: Salads, bread or toast, rye crispbread, with suitable spread - lentil paste, cottage cheese, unsweetened jam, vegetable paté, etc.
- Desserts: Fresh or stewed fruit, baked apples, nuts, yoghurt, fruit fools made with stewed fruit and yoghurt. Pancakes made with wholemeal flour.
* These menu plans were originally conceived for Western tastes, please use the general diet guidelines to prepare menu plans appropriate to your own taste.