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Expert chef reveals what to cook for type 2 diabetes

by Prudence Wade
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When Katie Cardesi’s husband, Giancarlo, was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over a decade ago, the couple “didn’t take it seriously.”

Cardesi and her husband are restaurateurs, so food is a big part of their daily routine, so they didn’t initially plan on making any major changes to Giancarlo’s diet.

“We didn’t take it seriously and just thought, ‘Well, I guess a lot of people think that.’ It’s just one of those things,” Cardesi, 60, said. To tell.

Giancarlo, now 72, has stopped adding sugar to his coffee after being told to cut back on it. [more] That’s the information available at the time,” Cardesi said.

But then his condition “deteriorated even further,” she recalled. “He is gluten intolerant, has all kinds of pain, and was told he has severe gout and severe arthritis.”

This led him to quit gluten, which is no mean feat for a pasta-loving Italian, but Caldesi says it “probably saved his life.”

From there, the couple embarked on a journey to discover low-carb diets. In 2015, Giancarlo’s type 2 diabetes became prediabetic, and by 2017, it was in remission.

Although Cardesi does not have type 2 diabetes, she says she benefits from a low-carbohydrate lifestyle. “I have more energy,” she says.

“Years ago, as a secretary, I ate high-carbohydrate lunches. Sometimes I would fall into a slump at my typewriter after lunch, but I thought that was normal. But in the afternoon It’s not normal to take a dip midway through; your body doesn’t need to feel like it needs a nap.”

Furthermore, she adds: “If I keep my blood sugar stable, I don’t feel tired or extremely hungry. I had to eat as soon as I got out of bed because I thought I would pass out if I didn’t eat. And now… Now, most mornings I go without breakfast.”

Ms Cardesi, who is based in Buckinghamshire, has written her 18th cookbook, which focuses on creating low-carb meal plans. While we recommend seeing your doctor if you have any questions about type 2 diabetes or your personal health, these are Kaldesi’s tips for those who want to try a low-carb diet.

Seafood and Nduja Stowe from The Diabetes Weight Loss Plan by Katie Cardesi (Maya Sment/PA)

Please know that starch is sugar.

This is the first point Kaldesi wants everyone to know. “Starch breaks down into sugar, and I don’t think most people realize that yet.”

She suggests that when Giancarlo first quit sugar, he was still eating a lot of starchy foods, so it didn’t make much of a difference.

“That’s the message he needed to get across from the beginning. We didn’t really understand that starch breaks down into sugar, so giving up sugar is part of carbohydrates, but The other part of carbohydrates is starch.”

“Obviously stopping sugar didn’t improve his diabetes, because it got worse. It wasn’t until we stopped the starchy ingredients that not only did his weight start to drop rapidly, but his inflammation subsided. The arthritis went away, the gout went away, and when he got tested for HBA1C. [a test of your blood sugar levels] It went down to pre-diabetic levels and eventually down to normal levels. ”

Chocolate, Date, and Walnut Brownies from the Diabetes Weight Loss Plan (Maya Sment/PA)

Use alternatives

When Giancarlo first had to give up gluten, Cardesi said he “started experimenting” with his favorite recipes and found lower-carb options.

“I remember giving him his favorite recipe for ragu, which his father used to make, and it was like Bolognese, like a meaty Tuscan ragu,” she recalls. .

“I remember giving it to him on a ribbon of white cabbage, and it really looked like tagliatelle,” and he loved it.

That’s her favorite low-carb diet hack. “Use less starchy vegetables instead.” [things like] Pasta has been a game changer for us. There are so many things you can do with zucchini, leeks, and mushrooms. A really delicious pasta alternative and you can use the same pasta sauce. ”

“Diabetes Weight Loss Plan” by Katie Cardesi (Kyle Books/Pennsylvania)

However, you don’t have to cut the pasta completely.

Cardesi says: “Pasta isn’t all bad. In part, it’s not the end of the world. But I, for example, mix 25 grams of pasta with zucchini ribbons. That way I eat a little bit of pasta.” Because it makes you feel like, and it feels like you just took a bite of pasta.”

don’t make things restrictive

Kaldesi emphasizes the importance of replacing not-so-healthy foods with delicious ones, rather than cutting out everything you like.

She especially realized this when slowly transitioning her children to a low-carbohydrate diet.

“I got rid of the potato chips and replaced them with cheese and almonds,” she says. “The boys never said, ‘Where’s the potato chips?'” They never seemed to miss them. ”

Similarly, in her husband’s case, after working long hours at a restaurant, she knew he had a sweet tooth, so she made him a small dessert, “such as chocolate mousse or almond sponge pudding,” and gave him some instead. .

“If you just take something away, it’s devastating,” she says. That’s why it’s important to find an alternative that works just as well.

Katie Cardesi (Handout/PA)

Don’t worry if you fall off the wagon.

Going all-in on a low-carb diet can be daunting, so Cardesi wants you to not feel stressed about not sticking to it 100%.

In many cases, Cardesi explains, people may fall off the wagon and think “I’m done with it” and give up completely.

“But really it doesn’t matter. Giancarlo and I are going to indulge during the holidays,” she says, but will resume her diet once she gets home.

“Don’t beat yourself up if you overindulge. I hope you really enjoy it – and get back on track.”

The Diabetes Weight Loss Plan by Katie Caldesi is published by Kyle Books and costs £22. Photography by Maya Sment. Available now.

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