David Unwin reveals his delicious recipes to help fight diabetes

If you're struggling with obesity or type 2 diabetes, this low-carb plan – part of the Good Health for Life series – should give you control of your health again.

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Here dr. David Unwin – the NHS GP behind the plan – explains how it works, while chef and food writer Katie Caldesi reveals some exclusive low-carb recipes.

The word & # 39; diet & # 39; reminds us of denial – and hunger. But as those who switch to low carbohydrates discover, this is far from their experience.

On Saturday I told the story of my patient, Roy Almond, who reversed his type 2 diabetes & # 39; – or, rather, put it in drug-free remission (meaning he no longer needed medication) – just four months after he & # 39; had become low in carbohydrates.

I told Mail readers for the first time about the incredible results that can be achieved in this way earlier this year. Since then I have shown that type 2 diabetes is not the only condition that low carbohydrate can help with (file photo)

I told Mail readers for the first time about the incredible results that can be achieved in this way earlier this year. Since then I have shown that type 2 diabetes is not the only condition that low carbohydrate can help with (file photo)

Roy, who is 74, and his wife Pat were delighted, especially because he also lost 3rd. And Roy & # 39; s blood pressure readings are now better than they have been for years, despite receiving his blood pressure medication.

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And he did it without being hungry – or wanting sugar. He used to have a sweet tooth, but says he is "surprised" at how little he craves for cakes or cookies.

"The strange thing is that I am not as fond of food as before; I'm not hungry anymore & he says.

How is that possible? Going low in carbohydrates comes down to completely giving up table sugar, as you would expect.

But also cut down on starchy carbohydrates, such as cornflakes, muesli, bread, spaghetti and crackers, because the body splits all this into sugar.

I had 18 patients who switched to a low-carbohydrate diet - and for more information, I went with them on a low-carbohydrate basis. It was incredibly easy. As an example, instead of a curry with rice, I would put the meat and sauce on green vegetables (file photo)

I had 18 patients who switched to a low-carbohydrate diet - and for more information, I went with them on a low-carbohydrate basis. It was incredibly easy. As an example, instead of a curry with rice, I would put the meat and sauce on green vegetables (file photo)

I had 18 patients who switched to a low-carbohydrate diet – and for more information, I went with them on a low-carbohydrate basis. It was incredibly easy. As an example, instead of a curry with rice, I would put the meat and sauce on green vegetables (file photo)

The starchy carbohydrates that you cut are replaced with green vegetables, fish, meat, as well as eggs, nuts, whole dairy products such as cream, cheese and yogurt, and healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil or even butter. And these are very filling!

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Roy is now my 66th patient who has achieved type 2 diabetes remission with the low carbohydrate approach.

I told Mail readers for the first time about the incredible results that can be achieved in this way earlier this year. Since then I have demonstrated that type 2 diabetes is not the only condition that low carbohydrate can help with.

In August, two eminent colleagues and I published a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, which showed that a significant number of my patients not only reversed their type 2 diabetes, but were also able to get rid of their blood pressure medication .

The starchy carbohydrates that you cut are replaced with green vegetables, fish, meat, as well as eggs, nuts, whole dairy products such as cream, cheese and yogurt, and healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil or even butter. And these are very filling! (File photo)

The starchy carbohydrates that you cut are replaced with green vegetables, fish, meat, as well as eggs, nuts, whole dairy products such as cream, cheese and yogurt, and healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil or even butter. And these are very filling! (File photo)

The starchy carbohydrates that you cut are replaced with green vegetables, fish, meat, as well as eggs, nuts, whole dairy products such as cream, cheese and yogurt, and healthy fats such as olive oil, coconut oil or even butter. And these are very filling! (File photo)

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And the message about low carbohydrates is spreading. A set of tables that I made with the surprising degree to which starchy carbohydrates, such as bread, can affect blood sugar levels have been officially approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the care watchdog, as a useful resource for people with type 2 diabetes.

Low carbohydrate is a kind of revolution popularly spread through social media thanks to people with type 2 diabetes. In many cases, doctors learn about the low carbohydrate diet of their patients.

That is exactly how I first came across the approach in 2012.

A patient surprised me by coming to the practice and losing stones in weight.

When we did her blood test, I was surprised to see that she had remedy her type 2 diabetes.

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I was fascinated to hear that she was part of an online community, on the low-carb forum diabetes.co.uk.

There were 40,000 people who helped each other with their condition, completely outside the NHS (there are now 308,000 on the forum).

To understand how shocked I was, I had not encountered any type 2 diabetes remission case as a general practitioner in the previous 26 years. I had no idea it was even possible.

My experience was that for most people this was a chronic, worsening condition and often, over time, the only answer was to add more drugs. But my patient and the low-carb forum make me think.

The truth was that although I advised my patients with type 2 diabetes to avoid table sugar, cookies and sweets, I had completely forgotten that starchy carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes, bread, and breakfast cereals are all converted to high sugar.

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Indeed, the starch molecule actually consists of glucose, the sugar that people with type 2 diabetes are struggling with. Someone recently described this to me as & # 39; starch is a bunch of glucose molecules that hold hands & # 39 ;.

It wasn't long before 18 patients switched to a low-carbohydrate diet – and for more information, I went low-carb with them.

It was incredibly easy. As an example, instead of a curry with rice, I would put the meat and sauce on green vegetables.

I still felt guilty because I had never mentioned it before and investigated how I could explain the "sugariness" of starchy foods to my patients – and that's how my tables now used by NICE came about.

Low carbohydrate is a kind of revolution popularly spread through social media thanks to people with type 2 diabetes. In many cases doctors learn about the low carbohydrate diet of their patients (file photo)

Low carbohydrate is a kind of revolution popularly spread through social media thanks to people with type 2 diabetes. In many cases doctors learn about the low carbohydrate diet of their patients (file photo)

Low carbohydrate is a kind of revolution popularly spread through social media thanks to people with type 2 diabetes. In many cases doctors learn about the low carbohydrate diet of their patients (file photo)

They are based on the glycemic index, many of which know that the "sugariness" of various foods is compared to pure glucose.

A more advanced measure is the glycemic load of the food, which looks at the "sugariness" of a part of that food and how it affects blood sugar levels compared to pure sugar.

For example, a banana has the same effect on your blood sugar as consuming 16 g of pure glucose. The problem was that my patients had no idea what 16 g of glucose looked like.

So I came up with a new idea, and with the help of someone who really understood carbohydrates in the diet and especially sugars – Dr. Geoffrey Livesey, fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine – we devised a way to show patients in a simple visual way how foods affected blood sugar levels

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In the case of the banana, the 16 g of glucose corresponds to 5.7 teaspoon of sugar. So eating a banana (or almost 6 teaspoons of table sugar) is pretty much the same in terms of what happens to your blood sugar levels.

I remember our first calculation that revealed that eating a medium-sized baked potato would affect your blood sugar level to the same extent as 9 teaspoons of real sugar. Even I was surprised!

We produced seven tables with food and their effect on blood sugar levels, from fruit to grains. Our work was published in 2016 in The Journal of Insulin Resistance.

The low carbohydrate approach is not just about weight loss and type 2 diabetes. After starting with the first 18 patients in 2013, we found unexpected improvements in liver function, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Significant numbers of my patients were able to get rid of their blood pressure medication.

I also benefited. Thanks to my low-carbohydrate diet, my previously high blood pressure dropped from 160/90 to normal, 130/80.

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Read the excerpt of tomorrow to find out more about this effect.

Note: If you use medication or are concerned about your health, consult your doctor before starting a change in diet.

Focaccia with olives, tomatoes and thyme

This recipe works well with so many toppings, just use your imagination. Serve focaccia with soups, salads, fish or roasted meat.

Serves 8

Per serving: carbohydrates, 2.3 g; protein, 11 g; fat, 22 g; fiber, 4.6 g; calories, 263

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For the dough

  • 75 g golden linseed, ground
  • 50 g of brine or water with mozzarella
  • 125 g bulb mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • 100 g of ground almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt For topping
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 12 black olives without kernel, halved
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt flakes and ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to a 200c / 180c fan / gas 6. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper and brush with oil.

Mix the dough ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined or give it a quick hover in a food processor.

The linseed absorbs the moisture and makes it thicker within a few minutes. Use one hand to collect the dough into a ball, keeping the bowl clean.

Wet your hands and crush the dough in an oval shape on the baking sheet to a thickness of just over 1 cm.

Put the onions in 1 tbsp of oil in a small bowl and sprinkle over the focaccia. Squeeze the tomatoes, cut them up and sprinkle them over the olives, herbs, salt flakes and black pepper.

Finish with the remaining oil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and the onions begin to caramelize.

Focaccia with olives, tomatoes and thyme

Focaccia with olives, tomatoes and thyme

Focaccia with olives, tomatoes and thyme

Pizza Quattro Stagioni

Easier and faster to make than wheat dough, this requires no rice time and the base contains a fraction of the carbohydrates of a traditional pizza.

After the pizza bases have been initially cooked, they can be cooled, packaged and stored in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for 3 months. Defrost before use.

Topping ideas are endless for the 4 tastes of quattro stagioni, but I have given a few suggestions below.

Do not be tempted by ready-made mozzarella – some brands contain potato starch, which means that it contains more carbohydrates and takes longer to melt.

Makes 2 pizzas of approximately 24 cm wide.

For 4 persons

Per serving (half pizza): carbohydrates, 4.3 g; protein, 29 g; fat, 48 g; fiber, 9.9 g; calories, 584

For the dough

  • 75 g golden linseed, ground
  • 50 g of brine or water with mozzarella
  • 125 g bulb mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • 100 g of ground almonds
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

For the tomato sauce

  • 200 g canned tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano, dried
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the toppings

  • 4 slices of salami
  • 8 black or green olives, stones removed
  • 25 g mushrooms
  • ¼ chili, finely chopped
  • 125 g bulb mozzarella, drained
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Small handful of rocket leaves
  • 2 slices of prosciutto
  • Handful of basil leaves

Preheat the oven to a 200c / 180c fan / gas 6. Cover two baking trays with baking paper and brush with oil.

Mix the ingredients for the dough together with a large spoon in a mixing bowl until well combined or give it a quick pinch in a food processor.

The linseed absorbs the moisture and makes it thicker within a few minutes. Use one hand to collect the dough into a ball and to keep the bowl clean.

Divide the dough in two and place a lot of dough on each tray. Press and shape each half with wet hands in a pizza base slightly less than 1 cm deep and about 24 cm wide.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough feels firm but has not darkened.

Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the sauce in a mixing bowl. Remove the trays from the oven and raise the temperature to 220c. Loosen the pizzas from the tray to make sure they remove the paper but leave it in place.

Cover each with half the tomato sauce and leave a finger-width edge over the edge. Add the toppings that you like in four around the pizza.

We just left a quarter behind, one topped with salami and olives, another with arugula after cooking and the last quarter with sliced ​​mushrooms and chili. Tear the mozzarella over the pizzas.

Drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the mozzarella bubbles and the crust turns crispy and brown.

Top all the areas that you like with rocket, prosciutto and basil. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Pizza Quattro Stagioni

Pizza Quattro Stagioni

Pizza Quattro Stagioni

Rolls with cheese and marmite

The Marmite flavor is subtle in these sandwiches and gives a background hearty warmth instead of a heavy yeast-like taste.

Try them warm and brush with butter, cream cheese or peanut butter. Fiber-rich psyllium husk helps to bind the dough; it is available in health food stores and online.

However, it must be a fine powder and will measure differently if it is still coarse; pulse in a food processor for a few minutes to break it off.

Makes 6

Per roll: carbohydrates, 1.5 g; protein, 12 g; fat, 13 g; fiber, 9.3 g; calories, 191

  • 2 teaspoon marmite
  • 150 g of hot water
  • 100 g of ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp finely ground psyllium peeling powder (20 g)
  • 1 teaspoon of gluten-free baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of fine salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin or other seeds

Preheat the oven to 200c / 180c fan / gas 6. Dissolve the Marmite with the very hot water in a jug. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Add the egg and stir briefly. Add the Marmite water and quickly stir together with a large metal spoon. You can mix everything in a food processor.

The dough looks wet at first, but the psyllium goes to work and absorbs the liquid, so let it stand for about 10 minutes.

Use your hands to shape it into 6 equally sized balls. Place this on a greased baking tray and flat light to about 7 cm.

Moisten the tops of the sandwiches with your fingers and a little water, stack the cheese and seeds on top and bake them in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cheese has melted and they feel firm.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a metal rack. The sandwiches are stored for about four days in a sealed container or in a bag in the refrigerator.

Rolls with cheese and marmite

Rolls with cheese and marmite

Rolls with cheese and marmite

Pumpkin soup with breadcrumbs and seeds

Serves 6

Per serving: carbohydrates, 12 g; protein, 14 g; fat, 26 g; fiber, 3.2 g; calories, 338

  • 1 large onion, approx. 250 g, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 25 g salted butter
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes, to taste
  • 1.2 kg pumpkin
  • 1.5 liters of hot broth or water
  • 4 tbsp cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 200 g breadcrumbs, in 2 cm pieces
  • 40 g pumpkin seeds

Fry the onion and garlic in the butter and oil in a large saucepan over a low heat until soft, which takes about 15 minutes.

Stir in the curry powder and chili and cook for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the pumpkin and cut into 3 cm pieces.

Put the pumpkin in the pan and stir in it. Add the stock and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. Use a hand blender or put the soup in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the soup back into the pan and heat. Add the cream, taste and adjust the taste if necessary. Bake the cumin seeds dry for a minute or two until you smell them.

Tip on a plate and fry the breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds together with herbs until they are light brown.

Once they are brown and the pumpkin seeds are split open, place them on the plate with the seeds. Spoon the soup into warm bowls and cover with the breadcrumbs and seed mix.

Pumpkin soup with breadcrumbs and seeds

Pumpkin soup with breadcrumbs and seeds

Pumpkin soup with breadcrumbs and seeds

Caraway and walnut rolls

Makes 6

Per roll: carbohydrates, 1.8 g; proteins, 15g; fat, 26 g; fiber, 6.8 g; calories, 314

  • 75 g of ground linseed
  • 100 g of ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 100 g walnuts, minced
  • 50 g sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed
  • 125 g bulb mozzarella, coarsely grated
  • 50 g of brine from the bag or water
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to a 180c / 160c fan / gas 4. Use a large metal spoon to mix the dry ingredients; Add mozzarella, brine and add the eggs.

Cover the dough and let it come to room temperature for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6, and roll each piece into a ball with slightly moistened hands.

Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until they feel light brown and firm.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack before slicing and filling.

Caraway and walnut rolls

Caraway and walnut rolls

Caraway and walnut rolls

Red Thai Chicken Curry Soup

Taste your pasta! Some red Thai curry pastes are hot, others are salty, so test the soup and add spices accordingly.

It is so fast to whip up, heats up on a cold night and it is also good to take to work. Use either remaining cooked chicken or poach the breasts in salted boiling water for 12 to 15 minutes until they are tender and the juices are clear and not pink.

We have replaced traditional rice noodles with konjac noodles, also known as shirataki, which are made from the konjac root and contain 1.8 g of carbohydrates per 100 g, while rice noodles contain 82 g per 100 g.

Serves 6

Per serving: carbohydrates, 9.3 g; protein, 22 g; fat, 20 g; fiber, 1.7 g; calories, 317

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • Thumb of ginger, grated
  • 6 tbsp red Thai curry paste
  • Juice from two limes
  • 500 ml chicken broth
  • 400g can of coconut milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cooked chicken fillets, split into pieces
  • 400 g konjac noodles, drained weight
  • Fresh herbs to decorate such as coriander, Thai or normal basil, thinly sliced ​​spring onions

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion for about 10 minutes on a medium heat until soft, but don't let it take on color.

Now add the garlic and ginger and stir in for a few minutes.

Stir in the curry paste and cook for about 5 minutes. Add lime juice, broth, coconut milk and black pepper and bring to the boil.

Taste the soup and adjust the flavors accordingly. Add the chicken and the noodles and bring to the boil again. Serve immediately in warm bowls strewn with herbs and sliced ​​spring onions.

The cooled soup lasts a maximum of 2 days in the fridge and is easily reheated.

Red Thai Chicken Curry Soup

Red Thai Chicken Curry Soup

Red Thai Chicken Curry Soup

Mushroomsoup

Serves 6

Per serving: carbohydrates, 5.2 g; protein, 3.4 g; fat, 11 g; fiber, 1.6 g; calories, 140

  • 15 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1.5 liters of hot water or broth
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 50 g of butter
  • 500 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • A handful of sage
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp double cream

Soak the porcini mushrooms in half the water. Meanwhile, fry the leek and garlic in half of the butter.

Add the chestnut mushrooms, some of the sage leaves and season to taste. Bake for 10 minutes until the water has evaporated from the mushrooms.

Add the porcini mushrooms. Sift the mushroom water and pour it into the pan. Bring to the boil. Blend and put the soup back on the fire.

Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and when it starts to froth, fry the smaller sage leaves until crisp and the butter is light brown.

Serve with a dash of thick cream and brown butter in each bowl, with a few sage leaves and a hint of black pepper on it.

Mushroomsoup

Mushroomsoup

Mushroomsoup

Surprising food that raises your blood sugar level

Given the role that sugar plays in type 2 diabetes, obesity and tooth decay, it makes sense to avoid foods that contain it. But this is not as easy as it sounds.

7 rules for low carbohydrate

Use these simple rules to help you keep your low-carb goals.

1. Reduce or eliminate your intake of sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods. These include breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, rice, crackers, oats, cakes, candy, and sugary drinks.

2. Fill in lots of non-starchy and salad vegetables such as kale, broccoli or sweet pepper with every meal to make you feel full.

Fasting between meals and & # 39; at night helps improve your body's response to insulin (file photo)

Fasting between meals and & # 39; at night helps improve your body's response to insulin (file photo)

Fasting between meals and & # 39; at night helps improve your body's response to insulin (file photo)

3. Eat good fats. Includes fatty fish, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and animal fats; they are good for your metabolism and help you feel full.

4. Choose low-sugar fruits such as berries and apples.

5. Eat some form of protein in every meal. It is essential for the recovery mechanisms of all your body.

6. Stop snacking. Fasting between meals and at night helps improve your body's response to insulin.

7. Drink two liters of water a day.

First, there are many different types of sugar.

This is often used by manufacturers to hide the sugar content in their products, and confuses the consumer, who may not understand that, for example, the sucrose, glucose, corn syrup, maltose and dextrose on a list of ingredients are all forms of sugar (handy tip: many ends on -ose).

Secondly, sugar is also & # 39; hidden & # 39; in starchy carbohydrates such as rice, breakfast cereals or brown bread.

These are made from many glucose molecules that are interconnected, but the digestion process breaks these starches back into smaller glucose molecules, which, when absorbed, raise our blood sugar levels by surprisingly large amounts.

This is shown in the graph (right), which I designed to help my patients understand how foods can affect their blood sugar levels compared to a teaspoon of sugar.

This is not the same as saying that the food has this number of teaspoons of sugar, but it shows the similar effect on blood sugar levels.

Many people are surprised to hear that a small bowl of rice can raise your blood sugar to the same extent as, for example, 10 teaspoons of table sugar.

Or that 100 g (about three slices) of brown bread has the impact of more than 10 teaspoons of sugar; and a glass of 200 ml pure apple juice, 8 teaspoon of sugar.

This is important information if you have type 2 diabetes or are struggling with your weight.

Note: Always consult your doctor before starting a new diet plan, especially if you are taking prescription medication.

Recipes by Katie Caldesi. For more low-carb recipes, see The Diabetes Weight-Loss Cookbook, by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi, published by Kyle Books for £ 20.

Go to to order a copy for £ 16 (offer valid until October 7, 2019, p & p free) mailshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640.

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