Newly Diagnosed Diabetic Husband

Updated on October 17, 2011
G.L. asks from Salt Lake City, UT
10 answers

Okay, y'all, I'm looking for a little help and wisdom.

Here's the deal... My hubby has just been diagnosed with diabetes, and is in complete denial. He literally walked out of the doctor's office when she told him. I also have two active, growing kids, and I'm looking for meals that will satisfy the needs of all the eaters in the house, without being too obvious about the carb-cutting I'm going to need to do to take care of my hubby while he gets his head on straight. I could really use some tasty high protein lower carb meal ideas, as well as some ideas for satisfying substitutions to take the place of the carbs. (I've already made the switch to whole grains - what else?) I already feed my family mostly unprocessed, homemade natural or organic food. I do plan to do my own research on how to feed a diabetic person, but I'm looking to the moms here for a few good, quick ideas to help tide me over while I figure this out. (I know, he needs to take responsibilty for his own condition and care, but we're not there yet.)

Also, any ideas on how to gently help my hubby move forward on this without resorting to physically kicking him in the a$$ would be appreciated, too. I'm rather frustrated with him at the moment, and could use a little wisdom from y'all.

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So What Happened?

Thanks, y'all. You've given me an idea where to start as we embark on this new "adventure." While my hubby adjusts to his new reality, I'm going to take what steps I can to help him take better care of himself.

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answers from Erie on

My 22 year old daughter was just diagnosed with diabetes in August.
I am SO proud of her-she lives on her own, and she took charge of her needs as soon as she learned she has it. She's lost about 30 pounds, and her sugar has stablized. Her doctor is even switching her to pill form instead of shots in a couple of months.
If you don't get any other answers from others, I could find out from her and let you know (private message me if you would like), but she really hasn't changed too much what she eats, but more, how much she eats. She does steer clear of sugar quite a bit more, and also pasta.
I think meats and veggies are mostly good, so you should still be able to make a lot of satisfying meals.
Hope this helps a little! And hopefully he'll cool down shortly-it's built into men to be strong-that's probably why he's in denial. Fortunately, as I'm seeing with my daughter, the diabetes doesn't have to control a person's life. She feels better than she has in a long, long time, and she's very active and enjoying life!

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answers from Pocatello on

Go to the site

They have recipes and all sorts of information. Buy whole grain everything, and stay away from "white" grains and starches: potatoes, bleached flour, white bread, white rice, sugar...

A carb serving is 15 grams of carb. All meals & snacks are usually 1 serving of carb total, except lunch and dinner. Each carb serving should be paired with a serving of protein. Don't forget to add in carbs from dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), condiments (dressings, ketchup, sauces), and drinks. You can use artificial sweeteners IN moderation... but he needs to inform his dietician because if he is on medication some artificial sweeteners can cause problems with it. Diabetics are usually encouraged to eat several small meals all day.

BUT- he should be sent to a dietician. they will give him a specific plan for managing his diabetes based on his age, height, weight, activity level, the severity of his condition and family history. if you can GO to the meetings with him, and take notes! Start good habits now by reading all labels and measuring out foods to the correct serving size.

He needs to take this seriously- uncontrolled diabetes can have SERIOUS complications, several of them are deadly!

But, you know that- good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

Contact the American Diabetes Association today. Their web site is

They have tons of information on "Living with Diabetes," "Food and Fitness" with recipes, and even guides for those new to a diabetes diagnosis. There are message boards (see "Connect with Others") so he could communicate with others like him -- yeah, men his age, new to diabetes, etc. -- and that might help him realize this is for real, for good, and he must stay healthy or he won't get to see his kids grow up.

He certainly should see a dietitian as someone else said. If there are diabetes support groups in your area, try to get him to attend one and if he won't, you go and find out all you can. If he persists in denial, please, get his doctor to give him a tough talk and lay it all on the line -- this is SO controllable today, but he risks everything -- yes, his life -- if he doesn't take advantage of the many resources just waiting for him so readily.

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answers from Chicago on

He really needs to meet with a dietitian to address his needs specifically. The dietitian can sit down with him and figure out where changes and substitutions can be made based on his lifestyle and likes/dislikes. Being diagnosed diabetic does not mean he needs to change everything. It also does not mean he can't eat carbs or sugar. What it does mean is that he needs to learn which foods contain carbs and the proper serving size of those foods, and then how to spread them out over the day so that his body can keep up. Six small meals spread over the day is a great starting point. He does need to eat foods that contain carbs, just not in huge portions, and the healthier the food is the better. It used to be thought that a person with diabetes cannot have sugary foods. That isn't actually true. It's like this, he will have a certain amount of carb servings he is allowed for the day. They will need to be evenly spread over the course of the day. The food choices that he makes will matter. Sugar is not off limits, but the sugary foods count for more carb choices, and are far less filling.

All of this can be so overwheming, and I understand your husband's denial. Small changes, done over a period of time, will help. But get with a dietitian right away so that you have a plan. As with any diet, or lifestyle change, success is not instant and there will be bumps in the road. But your husband needs to take care of himself. The horrible thing about diabetes is how silent it is. You can mismanage the disease for years and years and never see any ill effects or feel bad until it's too late to do anything to reverse the process.

As far as cooking for him, keep on doing what you are doing. Choose foods that are good for all of you. There is no reason to make special meals or recipes for him. The main thing is to monitor portion sizes and not make carb-rich foods be the centerpiece of the meal. Offer lots of veggies to round out the meal. Cut out pop and juice.

I hope that your husband comes around once he realizes that this doesn't have to be so dramatic. It's serious, but totally manageable. Good luck!

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answers from Las Vegas on

I don't have specific recipes for you, but you can probably google his favorite foods and find diabetic friendly versions. I'm assuming he is type 2 so it won't be as hard to control blood sugars with some work. He is going to have to put in some effort but it is probably going to go slow because of the denial. If possible get him the most user friendly glucose monitor that can test on less painful spots.

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answers from New York on

You can get some diabetic cookbooks at the library to get some ideas for new meals.

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answers from Atlanta on

HI G.,

Welcome to my world! My husband was never a bad eater but an injury to his pancreas weakened it enough to throw into type 2 diabetes. We are using the "Cure diabetes in 30 days" book. It's been more than 30 days and he's not cured but it has helped a ton. We've added Ceylon cinnamon. We now cook with coconut oil. I just discovered coconut crystals for sweetening my coffee. You've already removed the yuck stuff...

Get the book. It may not be everything you need but it will get you started.

God bless!

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answers from Phoenix on

you may have to kick him in the father was a diabetic. he was diagnosed in his early 30's. by the time he was 40 he was on insulin 3 times a day. then his kidneys shut down due to diabetes. he had a translpant, but a few years later the new one died also. all because of diabetes. my father passed away in 07 just after his 55th birthday. he weighed less than 100 pounds due to all of the complications from the diabetes....please kick your husband in the butt......

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answers from Fargo on

I'm assuming that your husband was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes since you don't mention that he needs insulin.
I recommend checking out foods that are low on the glycemic index. Avoid fake sugars such as Splenda and aspartame and keep up the good work on the whole grain, organic and homemade foods! You are already fighting the battle!

The trick is eating the right carbs, instead of cutting carbs out completely. Also, pairing a carb with a protein is a great way to keep blood glucose levels steady.
Oh, and avoid diet sodas and other "sugar free" foods. We deal with Type 1 diabetes in our household, but our endocrinologist says that sugar free isn't good for ANYONES endocrine system.

Good luck! I hope your husband comes around soon and decides to take control of his body! Hugs!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

You already know this, I'm sure, but once the dust settles HE is going to have to OWN this condition/disease. Call your health care provider and see if they cover a few visits with a nutritionist. He NEEDS to "get this"!

In the meantime, cut out most/all "white stuff" aka simple carbs: sugar, white flour, potatoes and focus on lean meats and veggies and fruit.

Here's a good starting point and information from the Mayo Clininc:

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