Why are so many recipes unsuitable for diabetics?

Statistics are consistently showing a steady increase in the diabetics among us. Yet it seems the majority of recipes still ignore the need to reduce caloric intake (sugars and carbohydrates).

Many people do not yet suffer from diabetes--but are at of risk of becoming diabetics if they do not modify their diet.

Any ideas?

Chef DavidS


drbabs September 12, 2011
Here's another article that you might find interesting:
Ophelia September 12, 2011
I'd like to say though that most of the cookbooks I own are pretty filled with what would be considered good healthy food and none of them are sold as such. Most of the things in my Moroccan and Indian and Japanese, etc cookbooks are either diabetic/low-carb friendly or easily can be.
I suggest the there may be some sample bias involved in your conclusion of most of the recipes you can find being bad food. When I learned I was allergic to milk it seemed like suddenly I couldn't find anything to make that didn't have milk in it, but the feeling passes.

There may also be something to the thought that recipes trend toward special occasion food (desserts, etc) because they're the ones you don't have a special recipe for already in our heads (mom's chicken soup or uncle Joe's chili, roasted chicken, etc), they're the cool recipes that people like to show off.
SKK September 12, 2011
Another answer may be in this chart: What an Average American Eats
healthierkitchen September 12, 2011
In addition to the lack of control we have over processed foods, people also forget that white grains such as white rice, white bread, etc. convert to sugar very quickly in our bodies. It takes time and effort to cook (and shop) in a healthyand sometimes new way, and though it's worth it, not everyone has the time or thinks they have the time to do so. My priorities have been to cook at home much more, serve many more vegetables, grains are mostly whole, and to save sugar and white flour for treats, not regular additions to a meal. As drbabs says, moderation for most of the time, with well planned treats!
sexyLAMBCHOPx September 9, 2011
I stay away from processed foods, exercise and tend to be a low-carber, by choice. Nature's bounty, such as carrots & corn, to name two are high carb & sugar. I eat salads for breakfast. Genetics, high carb and/or high sugar based diets, stationary lifestyle will certainly put you "at high risk." A recipe is a recipe. You could always modify a recipe to abide by the guidelines of healthy grams per day for carb & sugar intake. Limit bread, pasta, and unhealthy desserts. Exercise. Change your diet, educate yourself & be mindful of what your eating and the portion size, and a walk everyday could help immensly. Don't skip meals or snacks.
beyondcelery September 9, 2011
I'm with drbabs: anything in moderation. As a society, we don't like to take this to heart. It means sometimes saying "no" when we want to say "yes." The media tells us we deserve to have everything we want, when we want it, so building a better diet requires a fundamental shift in how we think about our lives. I was raised on fairly healthy food (didn't know about McDonald's until I went to kindergarten and my parents had me convinced for years the ice cream truck was the "music truck"). Even so, when I found out I needed to be gluten-free, it required a huge shift in my diet. I started eating a lot more fresh vegetables and fruits--and felt so much better for it. It's all about taking recipes you love and embroidering better nutrition into them.
SKK September 9, 2011
Sugar and fat is cheapest and makes the most profit for major food companies. There is false advertising as well which shapes what buyers purchase. Watch the movie Food, Inc. for a broader view.

The leading generators of food sales (more or less in order):
1. Soft drinks
2. Refrigerated milk
3. Ready-to-eat cereal
4. Fresh bread
5. Bottled water
6. Cookies
7. Chocolate candy
8. Potato chips

ChefJune September 9, 2011
I agree. It's not so much about recipes as about life style. In general, we are a nation of junk food couch potatoes. This is a recipe for Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and a whole host of other dastardly diseases.

When a child is fed good food from birth, rather than a steady diet of junk food (or even junk food as treats) (s)he learns good eating habits, and is more likely to grow into a healthy adult. As well, we should be encouraging our children to play outside more (or inside, in a gym), so they develop healthfully, rather than sit around playing video games and texting.

If you are an adult who does not have good eating habits, even as a Type 2 you can do much with your diet to improve your health, but it does take determination and time to prepare healthful, delicious dishes.
drbabs September 9, 2011
I think the answer to this question is complicated and has less to do with recipes and more to do with overall eating habits. As a nation, we've increased our calorie consumption and decreased our activity level over time. This has led to overweight and overweight leads to obesity and obesity leads to Type2 diabetes. As a chef, you develop recipes for every day and recipes for special occasions. You make dinner at home and it's like Amanda's fish recipe that she posted today--simple, fish and corn, a little olive oil. Healthy and nutritious. But, as we know, fat makes things taste good. So it's not callousness--it's wanting to create the best flavors and experience. That's special occasion eating. A huge percentage of the diabetes issue seems to be with processed foods--not foods we make ourselves (where we can control the ingredients and reduce the fat and change the grains to whole grains as we wish). But with foods that we don't control--restaurant meals, fast food, processed food we buy to save time. There's a lot of epidemiological research at the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/ddt.htm
Dr. Weill's blog is a good resource: http://www.drweilblog.com/home/2011/9/9/is-snacking-making-you-fat.html and there's a great interview with Michael Pollan here: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02840/How-to-Eat-in-Seven-Words.html

My philosophy is anything in moderation. I love to bake and I'm always working on desserts or cakes or pies. We eat a small amount at home and share it--with neighbors, co-workers, etc.

Eating mindfully does require constant thinking and planning---it's really just so easy to order Chinese food or pizza. Not that either of those things are inherently bad--you just don't know what you're getting.

As a chef, you can modify recipes as you wish to meet your dietary guidelines. I'd love to see what you come up with.
susan G. September 9, 2011
From a woman I know who recently had a heart attack and hospitalization (and whose diet is shockingly terrible) -- "I don't eat vegetables." Our pleasure in food should be balanced by our pleasure in good health. Ignorance, stubborness, narrowmindedness, naive belief that someone else needs to worry about health/not me, reliance on stimulants for energy instead of optimizing one's own physiology... and there are more stupid and self-destructive reasons why people do not act (eat) in their own self-interest.
Chef D. September 9, 2011
Probably lack of awareness of problem--or even callousness. I never thought about it until I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
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