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Old 08-08-2021, 13:52   #1
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Diabetic provisioning

The common staples for long term cruising (carbohydrates) are not allowed on a diabetic diet.

Beans, rice, pasta, potatoes, anything with flour like bread crackers or cookies are not allowed. Anything with sugar is not allowed.

Any processed food is usually suspect, added sugar for instance.

On land my diet is based on fresh vegetables and salad, good fats, low protein, and no sugar.

These are foods that don’t keep long and seem to be less available while cruising.

How are diabetic cruising sailors provisioning for long passages?
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Old 08-08-2021, 14:10   #2
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

First and foremost, by acknowledging that there is no such thing as A diabetic diet and finding out what actually works for you. The keto diet you describe is actually counterindicated for many diabetics, although some do quite well on it. I know I can handle beans just fine - all that fiber makes up for the downside of additional carbs and I do better with more fiber and protein than what you describe. The protein in particular is something you should explore with your medical support team, as you will likely have access to seafood while cruising, in addition to beans being available in much of the world.

If you are going to continue with a keto diet, stock up on the fats, as in addition to the passage, it may be difficult to find what you are used to using in a new port. Ex pat forums are full of people searching for coconut oil in countries that tend to use their coconuts for different purposes.

Load up on nuts.

Learn how to best store each veggie so that you can make your stores last as long as possible. Have the lettuce early on, and let the kale and cabbage age a bit. Look for alternatives, like canned veggies (in the traditional sense, for example. Pickles and sauerkraut may be in jars, rather than cans), roasted seaweed, maybe even frozen if you have the space. Look into dehydrated alternatives (not ideal for the vast majority, as it results in concentrating the sugars, but there may be something).

For myself, figuring out how to get exercise on a passage is just as important as figuring out what I eat. The constant motion burns lots of calories, but I still need to swing my arms around or otherwise get some actual exercise in order to fully control my blood sugar levels.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:26   #3
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

Not everyone is entitled access to everything. If you're blind and deaf, you won't go solo-sailing any time soon. So if your diet is so restrictive it doesn't work for cruising, better look for a different thing to do.

This said, the diabetic sailor I know just had his insuline-pen (or whatever that's called) and tracked what he ate. He was quite involved with provisioning for the passages, but in the end the real restrictions weren't that big for the crew. As we usually cook things on board, we don't stock up too much on industrial food, we're usually heavy on basics. Seems there are ways to make it work even for diabetics. If it doesn't work for you personally, see the top of the message.
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:44   #4
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

A good deal depends where you will be spending time. I've seen no shortage of fresh fruits (low sugar) and vegetables from Florida to Belize. Eat local and seasonal.

Beyond that, the vast majority of vegetables can be frozen after cooking. Most fruit can be stored long term if prepped properly and kept in favorable conditions. Example: Apples can be kept crisp and tasty for months if wrapped individually in newspaper and stored in a cool, humid place. Do a bit of reading on how to preserve your favorite fruits, it might surprise you how long they can be stored.

"good fats, low protein, and no sugar." One word, FISH. Although I seriously question the low protein requirement. Muscles need protein. As someone else said, exercise is mandatory...

Caveat, with your dietary needs plan on additional refrigeration and freezer space.
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Old 09-08-2021, 04:31   #5
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Oonagh.
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Old 15-01-2022, 03:00   #6
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

It might be best in your situation to take up canning as a hobby until you feel confident in your skills to trust your provisions. Glass jars shifting around on passage being the main concern to look out for, but at least then you would be in control of what was going into your preserved food.

There are any number of books available with a quick Google search. Ball and Mason in the U.S. have long trusted reputations, I'd start by reading up on them.
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Old 15-01-2022, 04:03   #7
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

Since you are on a carb restricted diet, I assume you are a type II diabetic.

By necessity you will have some carbs on board.

If you use exogenous insulin, you will need some fast absorbing carbs for when you go low. A small sealed Jar of honey works well, Candies are a magnet for moisture.

If you use no exogenous insulin and never go low, restricting unnecessary carbohydrates is wise but challenging.

Canned items, labels removed and cans marked with indelible marker, then varnished are useful but heavy and bulky.
Green beans, spinach, canned chicken, Asparagus, mushrooms (also available dried at Asian groceries), kale and Tomatoes.

Dried and sealed in Zip bags or vacuum bags even better, Non sweetened jerkey, coffee, stevia in dry and liquid form (No cheap stevia as they float it in Dextrose and then say "It's not sugar!" Chana Dal (available at Indian Groceries), Quinoa.

The last 2 are carbs but at the lowest glycemic end possible and need to be consumed in strict moderation.

Sauces: in small factory sealed tubes and bottles. Worcestershire, soy, fish sauce, ketchup (look for low/no sugar added) Miso paste for easy soup, bottled lemon juice, Tabasco/pepper type sauce, canned tuna (no labels marked and sealed), canned salted butter, sealed bottles of olive oil, Mustard.

Spices, cumin, basil, garlic, oregano, paprika, black pepper and salt etc. Do not cheap out on air tight containers.

cabbages, apples (limited quantities), Lemons can survive a while unrefrigerated.

Carolyn Shearlock and Nica Waters excellent podcast, The Boat Galley has excellent provisioning broadcasts as well as some diabetic information.

Just a few personal ideas. No medical advice offered.
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Old 23-01-2022, 04:53   #8
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

Wow must be challenging. How are you keeping up.
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Old 25-04-2022, 03:54   #9
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

My husband is diabetic. I'm not, but we follow the same low carb diet.
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Old 25-04-2022, 04:38   #10
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

Check on dried and freeze dried vegetables.
I'm not talking about commercial ready to eat stuff but of home made and basic stuff.

There was a thread recently on both, it requires preparation, but it sounded like the drying process is not killing much of the nutrients in the veggies and meat.

Both processes can be prepared at home with the right equipment.
In case of freeze drying more expensive in case of drying rather simple.

You can rehydrate most, or eat some stuff also in the dried form.
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Old 16-06-2022, 20:13   #11

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Re: Diabetic provisioning

My wife also has diabetes, it can be difficult to travel. Keep your medication with you.
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Old 16-06-2022, 20:57   #12
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Re: Diabetic provisioning

Originally Posted by Oonagh View Post
On land my diet is based on fresh vegetables and salad, good fats, low protein, and no sugar.
These are foods that donít keep long and seem to be less available while cruising.
Two minutes after looking at this thread, I came across this.
Potential for ongoing fresh vegetables with a few small pots secured somewhere?
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