Looking for low carb, high calorie meal / food suggestions please...?

My 15 year old son has just been diagnosed with T1. His endo wants to keep him to 150 carbs/day total (he usually eats 45 breakfast, 45 lunch, 30 snack, 30 dinner). I’m having trouble filling him up and getting him enough calories.
Wondering if anyone had some good suggestions? (he doesn’t eat meat & cheese together).

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We have a recipe section here: Recipes - TuDiabetes Forum. Most of these recipes are low carb/high fat (but good fats). Olive oil, butter, cheese added to meals will help your son feel full up, as will meat or fish. Also leafy greens contain carbs, a large salad or serving of cooked green vegetables are filling, especially with a knob of butter to garnish them. There are lots of explanations of a low carb diet on the net, also lots of recipes and explanations of what you can eat under this diet. No need for your son to feel hungry at all.

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Hi - Thanks! I’ve had a look at the recipes section. It looks great. My concern what counts for high calorie or filling for most people is not what counts for a teenage boy. They are generally bottomless pits.

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I do have a bit of experience with this! I’ve been in a situation for about a year where I eat low carb (to control BG) and high calorie (to not lose weight). A lot of it comes down to adding oils and fats to everything. There is something online called “fat bombs,” often made from butter, coconut oil, flavoring, then frozen. Don’t like them, but they can work. Other very high calorie, low-carb options include:

  1. Fathead pizza crust (can also be made into other bready items)–largely cheese and almond meal, can look it up on Google: “Fathead Pizza Recipe”

  2. Almond-flour based low-carb bread recipes: I like one that is egg, almond flour, baking powder in a “mug bread” format. Again, look up “low carb mug biscuit” or similar on google.

  3. I put heavy cream in my coffee.

  4. I eat cheese and almonds and mixed nuts as snacks.

  5. When I do serious training during the summer (for triathlons) and am burning 3,500-5,000 calories per day (comparable to a teenager I imagine), I drink bulletproof coffee in the morning: 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons grassfed butter, strong coffee blended with a stick blender. It’s like a 600 calorie zero carb latte(ish).

  6. Low-carb cheesecake is magic for calories: with an almond flour crust and sweetened with Erythritol, one slice is about 4g carbs and 500-700 calories. Look up “low carb New York cheesecake” or check my comments in the recipe section here.

  7. Fatty meats: I quit buying 90% lean burger, and get 70 or 80% beef and lamb; I eat bacon with my veggies; I eat a couple of bratwursts (I know, some people will be horrified by the nitrates); I eat my chicken with the skin on.

I don’t actually enjoy eating fatty foods, but I’ve found I have to. You can only eat so much protein before your kidneys get damaged or it all gets converted to glucose and raises BG anyways. For me, the magic numbers have been: under 100g carbs per day; high fiber (>30g per day); moderate-high protein (about 150g protein for me); and fill the rest of the calories up with fats (my caloric needs vary from 2,500 to 5,000 depending on workout).

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This is super helpful, David. Thank you! Since he’s got a lot of growing left to do and is also a runner, we really need to keep his calories up.

Yep, it can be very challenging! One thing to be aware of: much of the recent research indicates that the “beware high fat diets” mantra in nutritional advice is, more or less, total garbage. Since I cut carbs and started eating a lot of “good” fats (fish oil, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.), my cholesterol and liver/kidney function tests have gotten consistently better over time. Not much wrong with eating good fats.

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Maria Emmerich has some great recipes, here is her latest book.

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I’ve found that natural peanut butter is a very effective tool for adding calories to breakfast (or lunch)

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At the end of my mother’s life, her doc told my sister and myself as caregivers to get more calories into her however we could. During that period, I would settle her comfortably in the kitchen and we would convert old family recipes to low-carb versions I could eat. The first two that pop into mind are a cheesecake with a ground pecan and butter crust (with sour cream in it, as well) and a very rich walnut cake made with nut flours. Both are even better with whip cream on top. Also my holiday stuffing made with a ton of butter and WASA flatbreads (a little higher carb, but a lot of calories in every carb)…Anyway, does your son like sweets at all? My recipes us stevia and very occasionally a little Splenda…There are also cookies and fudge and flourless dark chocolate cakes on the sweets side. Lasagna with tons of cheese and chard leaves between layers. Or a good old meatloaf/meatballs made using ground flax for the cereal—a nutty slightly sweet addition…etc…Must get to bed now, but will check in tomorrow…My eldest grandson is 13—I get it…Judith in Portland…

I’d get bernstein’s book, he is very low carb, you don’t need to go that low but it will tell you all you need to know…

there are his free videos on youtube on most things

The hardest part is overcoming the low fat dogma for the last 40 years. fat and a bit more protein replaces the lost carb energy

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In a pinch there is always:


Thanks, Judith! Yes, he loves sweets and he’s frustrated that none of the sweets he’s used to eating are “worth it” because they’d use up so much of his allowed carbs. I’d love some recipes!

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thanks, Jack. Does it have recipes? He’s a teen so even if cholesterol was a problem with high fat diets, I’d do it anyway – getting him lots of calories to fuel his growth for the next 5 years is most important right now.

just google ‘low carb’ for a wealth of recipes.

for a family, I think it would be easier to adjust the meal as you dish it up. In one pot meals, you are now going to have 2 pots, the starches are cooked and dished up separately. 3 or more separate food items are easy.

bernstein is more low carb higher protein, similar to paleo caveman diet.(which is also high fat) than LCHF, you will mix then all up to get something to suit your son. The goal is stable glucose levels without rollercoasters

you will need to google about later studies on cholesterol, if anyone has high cholesterol, they are better on a low carb high fat diet. The marker for blood fats, triglycerides sdLDL, goes down on a low carb high fat diet.
Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base - ScienceDirect.

butter/fat sauces will help,
google : stick blender hollandaise and home made mayo with a low poly oil. light flavoured olive or canola/rape seed. stay away from margarine and high poly oils like sunflower/corn oil etc.

So sorry I haven’t got back to you with sweet treats. We’re moving for the first time in 27 years and things are crazy. But I haven’t forgotten!..Soon…I think a couple are in the recipe link that Marie posted. Mine are YaSureYaBetcha—developed in MN with my mom. And some of mine I got from Gerri—look for her basic almond flour “sugar” cookies. I developed some variations…more soon…

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It sounds like your son is vegan. If so, you might check out this group on Facebook.

Hi - No, he’s definitely not vegan. Thanks!

Thanks! I forgot to mention that I already cook low carb for my T1 husband, but his caloric needs are just not nearly as high as a growing, active teen boy.

Here’s the walnut cake—very rich and satisfying…

Try this recipe.