Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Diabetic Diet Plan - Great Gifts for People with Diabetes

I wrote a couple posts last year suggesting some diabetes-specific gift ideas and several of you wrote me that you found them helpful so I'm going to reprise the earlier suggestions and add a few more.

In the spirit of transparent disclosure, let me mention that some of these suggestions pages link to Amazon and if you visit Amazon using these links and buy things Amazon gives me 2-3% of the sale amount.

1. A Food Scale. I wrote a whole post about the power of the food scale to get your diet working again and fine tune insulin doses. You can read the whole post HERE

2. Pedo meter, blood pressure meters, blood testing strips, etc. You can read more about all these gifts in this post HERE

3. Low Carb Treats. As most of you know, most of the products being marketed as "low carb" are not, because they contain maltitol, lacitol, francs and other food ingredients which will, in fact, raise the blood sugar or anyone who does not have a very strong second phase insulin response. For this reason NEVER give a product labeled "sugar free" to someone with diabetes. They raise blood sugar and taste foul.

Fortunately, there are a couple low carb products that are truly low carb.

Here are some ideas:

a. DaVinci Sugar Free Syrups. These come in a multitude of flavors. They are sweetened with Splenda but have no additional sugars added the way that powdered forms of Splenda do. I use them as the sweetener when baking low carb treats like macarons. I also use them when making low carb cocoa. One tbs of syrup is the same as one tbs of sugar when baking recipes though you might bake a bit longer to boil off the fluid. My favorite flavors are White Chocolate, Germanwings Chocolate, Caramel and Vanilla. One bottle lasts me a very long time and never goes bad.

You can mail order these from a mail order company that supports an excellent low carb discussion group where I Actively participate. They ship quickly and their products are very well packed to avoid breakage.

b. Not Starch. This is a mixture of fibers that will thicken gravy or homemade ice cream very nicely. It gives a slippery mouth feel you will immediately recognize as it is used in so many frozen food restaurant and gravies. Also available from

c. Protein Powder. Look for one that has no more than 2 grams of carbohydrate per serving. You can use these shakes or you can bake in a bewildering selection of low carb baked goods with these. Most include artificial sweeteners or stevia. I just bought a "Natural flavor" that one has no sweetener or flavor at all, but have not tested it yet user.

d. High Quality Dark Chocolate. The higher the percentage of chocolate in a chocolate bar, the child it will be to your blood sugar. You can find many 70% and higher bars on the market today and if a person does not have problems with portion control they can make a very nice gift. Read the label and stick with chocolates that have no more than 6 grams per square if possible.

e. Gourmet Cheese. People have different tastes in cheese and some gourmet cheese has become very expensive in the U.S. because of our falling dollar, so find out what kind of cheese your favorite person with diabetes likes before investing. But if you know, you can not go wrong in buying them a premium cheese. I do mail order these, however as I have yet to find a mail order company Whose cheeses were not filled with additives.

f. Steak. Low carb and delicious and available from mail order companies. Do not send mail order ribs or pork as they tend to arrive Bathed in extremely sugary sauces.

g. Fancy Nut Assortments. Full of good fats and delicious. Do not give these to someone who is Actively Pursuing weight loss, though, as most of us have trouble eating "just one."

h. Gourmet Coffee. The very best coffee I have ever tasted is available by mail order from Dean's Beans. Dean is a real person who I've met. He is obsessive about both buying beans in ways that benefit the people who grow them and the enviornment and finding the most delicious beans available. My personal favorite is the "Half-caf" blend which is 1 / 2 strength but richly flavored. I also like the "Rattlesnake Gutter" blend, named after a local ravine, and the "Liberation Decaf." Dean's baking cocoa cocoa makes extremely delicious when mixed with DaVinci syrup, half and half and boiling water.

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