Are you a diabetic vegetarian?

Most vegetarians seem to eat a lot of breads and fruit along with veggies. I tend to stay away from large amounts of bread and I don’t eat fruit at all. I can see how a non diabetic could be a vegetarian, but how do you diabetics balance the fruit and breads. My diet seems to have a lot of veggies and meat.

I don’t really plan on become a full vegatarian but I do want to eat a lot less meat. Maybe a couple times a week instead of every day. How do I substitute the meat without effecting my sugar?

Any thoughts?

Are you wanting to eat less meat for ethical reasons, for health reasons, for cost reasons? There might be different answers depending on what your motivation is. Like for example, ethical vegetarians tend to eat a lot of soy products. Personally I think soy has real health drawbacks, so I would not make that trade. If you are wanting to switch because the idea is that eating lower on the food chain is less expensive, then saying “Well, you could substitute fish for meat” may not be a great option (I know fish isn’t a vegetable, but if you’re not opposed you could be a pescatarian or an ovo-lacto person). Nuts are always good, but unlike meat they are not carb-free, so that does tend to add up.

Beans, nuts, seeds are great sources of protein, as well as fiber. Along with some dairy (provided you aren’t going vegan) and higher-protein veggies (asparagus, peas) it will probably work out ok. I still eat quite a bit of meat, but will eat some vegetarian meals and supplement most meat meals with some of the above. The most difficult hurdle for me was that my mom didn’t use beans (or any of the above for that matter) in anything and they were completely foreign to me as an adult…

I would say health reasons. I want to eat less fat and probably a little less protein. I have avoided beef and pork for the past few months and eating mostly chicken and fish. Also so you know, I am type1.

So you think replacing the chicken breast with beans will work out? Any particular type of beans, or is that more of a personal preference?

I am diabeteic vegan. Even harder than vegs who may eat eggs and dairy. :slight_smile:

I was a vegan before I was dx’d so I already knew alot about the diet. Unfortunatley, most of my diet was bread, bread, bread. :slight_smile:

The normal vegan diet has a lot of high carb staples. Bread, rice, pasta, potatoes - all things we diabetic can’t eat alot of of - or not at all.

I dumped all of those things from my diet when I was dx. I don’t eat any fruit right now but I want to try to incorporate some in there.

At 8 months later, I do eat some bread. I have one piece of low carb toast for breakfast. I can have very small portions of pasta but I rarely do.

Mostly what I eat are nuts, seeds, veggies, greens, vegan protein drinks,beans, avocadoes and faux meat products.

I am Type 2 though so you may be ablle handle more things than me since you can adjust your insulin.

Substites for meat for vegetarians are mostly tofu, tempeh, beans, and soy meat products. These things DO have carbs in them. The idea is to portion them out and be creative.

Lot of people on here can’t eat soy so there are people so will not be for it. The faux meat products you buy at the store tend to have a lot of soy. There are some that don’t - you can find some veggie burgers that have no soy - they might have lots of grains though so check the carbs.

I will look into some of the faux meat. I didn’t even think about that. Maybe I can balance some faux meat and beans as a substitute for meat. Thnx!

If you are a vegetarian/vegan for health reasons, why would you eat a highly processed food like faux meat? I just wonder if something like Quorn processed from fungi in fermenters is really safe? I just think it is better to eat whole foods?

less fat.

Dont’ eat the Quorn products Mikey. No veg I know ever eats those things. Bleech.

Go for the Organic faux meat like Tofurky, Amys or Food for Life. Those are the better quality faux meats and include more health ingredients.

If you get tempeh, there are brands that are already marinated and have different flavors like BBQ.

bsc & KimKat - Thanks for the tips. Sounds like I should try mostly beans and when I have a huge urge for meat, then I will try faux meat. I still plan on eating real meat just not as often. I have a huge appetite so I’m not sure how well this will work out.

Forget to mention. But there is also seitan in various flavors as a veg meat sub - forgot to mention. Has no soy - it all wheat gluten for a meaty texture. Has a lot of protein though.

For filling faux meat meals, go for the veggie burgers or the sausages. Those are the bigger meals.

Not sure where you can shop though. Whole Foods will have the best variety.

Good Luck. Let me know if you need any more faux meat advice. :slight_smile:

I was vegetarian for decades before being diagnosed T1. I tried, but didn’t have good control eating this way. In order to get enough protein, vegetarian was way too high carb for me. Without sufficient protein & fat I was hungry constantly. Taking large doses of insulin wasn’t something I was willing to do. I prefer whole foods with minimal processing & didn’t eat faux foods when I was vegetarian.

When I cut carbs & ate higher fat, my lipid profile improved. Many others have experienced this also.

It’s excess carbs, not fat, that cause poor lipid profiles, if that’s one of your concerns. Dietary saturated fat doesn’t turn into cholesterol.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published their research that included about 350,000 subjects. Their conclusion–dietary saturated fat was not associated with increased CVD or CHD risks.

This is an interesting article

Yeah that is my biggest fear that I will eat more carbs and have to take more insulin. I don’t want to be a vegetarian but I want to substitute a lot of my dinner meat with something that is not meat or all carbs. Beans look like a good way to do that.

I remember when I first got on insulin I learned how important it was to have a balanced diet. When I did that my numbers improved. I am just afraid I am eating too much fat and getting too much protein from meat. I have a pretty big appetite sometimes.

Beans send me soaring & hope you have better success.

This is a good calculator to help figure out how much protein you need.

Gerri - I’m just gonna have to cut back a little meat and bite my nails often. Maybe I need to eliminate instead of substitute.
Those are great links. Thanks.

At least nails are carb free:)

Yes, beans are high in carbs but they also have fiber.

I can eat a portion of beans and be fine. I normally try to eat them when I test low before dinner. 1/2 cup of most beans is around 23 carbs.

1/2 cup of beans is pretty small. It is fine for me but than I get filled up quickly and I eat like a bird and I am tiny. Adding some veggies with the beans might help to make it a more fulfilling meal for you.

If I have refried beans, I add some tomatoes, green onions, olives and tofu sour cream and taco seasoning to mine. Some times I will have with a half tortilla shell.

If I have kidney beans, I will put cajun spice on them with either the sour cream or a vegan gravy and make them more southern style.

Our family of four is all vegetarian (I’m vegan). My daughters have been vegetarian their entire lives (9 and 7). They were both diagnosed ~5 years ago. The key (for them anyway) is that the meal has to be balanced. They have a grain (bread, crackers, rice, pasta), a serving of fruit (whatever is in season), a protein (beans, soy product, veggie protein) and vegetables (again, whatever is in season). If the meal has all of those components, their blood sugars act as expected and we don’t have any unexpected high. If we don’t cover those bases, the sugars are unpredictable. Snacks are the same. We eat a lot of trail mix for snacks and peanut butter pretzels (!).

Fruit and pasta don’t seem to have the same impact for them. We typically lower the carb count for these items when they eat them. However, any fat content sends them soaring. Our meals are very low fat. My girls and husband eat cheese and eggs very sparingly. Not even once weekly, for the most part. We use almond milk since it can be low sugar and low fat. We even make our own ice cream with it.

We get a lot of variety. My husband cooks a lot of Mexican and Asian dishes and I like making Indian dishes as well as a variety of hearty soups in the winter.

I have been able to continue as a vegetarian since my diagnosis, Mikey, but I do it by spending a lot of time (and money) on cooking. Cooking is one of my favorite things and I have the time, but I’d be hard put to be able to eat vegetarian as a diabetic if I didn’t. It takes a fair amount of creativity. I don’t eat low carb, but moderate low, about 100 carbs a day. I nearly always have protein for breakfast (eggs, frijoles, cheese) and lunch (cheese or nut butter or humus), but not always for dinner. I’m like Gerri, I’ve never cared for faux meat, and I don’t eat a lot of soy products either. The only faux I eat is a vegie burger when I’ve nothing prepared ahead. I only very occasionally eat tofu, and sometimes dinner has beans or lentils or cheese. If I have a salad I usually throw nuts in it for added protein. Often it is just vegetables but in some kind of interesting configuration. I’d die of boredom just eating a plate of steamed vegies! As a vegetarian I needed to really change my habits on diagnosis. I thought I ate very healthy and I did…just not for a diabetic: lots of pasta and rice and bread. I’m lucky I can eat beans, about 1/2 cup refried beans with my eggs in the morning (15 carbs) and I can eat 3/4 C or a whole cup if it is part of dinner.