Diabetes And Good Food, What You Can Do

diabetes and good food

Me? A Diabetic? No Way!

This topic is very personal to me, and I want to explain how this journey began and why it is crucial in my life. ( I will update this post at the bottom from time to time. While I plan to reverse this, it may take a while.)

Hopefully, you do not have Diabetes, and reading this will convince you to do all you can now to prevent having it later. If you already have it, I want to help you find the best information to make good choices for your life. Diabetes and good foods can be a crazy hunt for affordable foods that do not taste like tree bark.

Finding any food with no sugar and low carbs is a challenge.

How I Knew I had Diabetes

Waking up to painful muscle cramps in the middle of the night was not something I had ever experienced. And these cramps were so intense that they woke me up immediately. I knew this was a sign of something serious because  I grew up playing sports year-round, worked very physical jobs, and had not experienced muscle cramps. 

I have always been skinny and ate as I pleased. My doctor said I was the poster child for perfect blood pressure. I could eat like crazy and not gain any weight. I weigh now what I did as a freshman in high school. (don’t hate) I never had a gut or any issues with being overweight. Which makes it seem a bit odd that I would suddenly be so worried about my health, right?


If a few cramps in my calves were all I was dealing with, I would consider myself lucky, but there was more. And they came on like a freight train, refusing to be ignored anymore. 

That is not to say that I have maintained a healthy lifestyle because for many years, I have not. Active, but not healthy.

1- Fingertips

The first thing I noticed was the tips of my fingers turning white when my hands got the least bit cold. 

2- My toes

The second thing was my toes would begin to burn for no apparent reason.

3- Feet 

Within a week of my toes burning, my feet started to swell and turn red as well. 

4- Eyes

I went from impaired vision to blurred vision and could not see even with my glasses on. The dramatic drop in vision and neuropathy in the eyes is nothing to be ignored!

Ignoring slight symptoms for a long time was easy. And I knew very little about diabetes and how it worked. Because of that, I was not worried about getting it. 

Procrastination & Indifference?

Not anymore. Those days were over for good. I knew what was happening, and it was something I had refused to think about for years. A willful ignorance, if you will. But now, I had to deal with it if I wanted to continue to have any future. Having lived a lifetime of eating anything I wanted, drinking Dr. Pepper like it was water, and somehow thinking I had escaped the consequences of it all, finally caught up with me.

Oh, how I loved Sugar- but Sugar did not Love me

As if any of that is too much for God to handle, right? He came through as always, and I am so grateful to Him.

The realization that I could not have any sugar did not set in entirely at first. When you have done anything for decades, it becomes automatic. When suddenly removed, whatever it is, it can create all kinds of unwanted feelings, both physical and mental. And at least in the beginning, I had no idea that things like bread and fruit would have to be eliminated for the most part as well.
And no potatoes, are you nuts?

Besides being a junk-food junkie, I had the lazy habit of never looking at the labels of things I bought or ate.

Even though I sometimes overheard coworkers or friends talking about the carbs they consumed, which was a foreign concept, I never gave it serious thought. Therefore, I can guarantee you that you will not be the only one around who has Diabetes. You may have already heard or read about these statistics, but I will mention them here for those who haven`t.  

Diabetes is a Massive Issue

One in ten Americans has already been diagnosed with type one or two diabetes. They were making this a real pandemic in my mind. And eighty-eight million more Americans are very likely on their way if they do not make permanent, drastic changes to their diets. It breaks your heart to know so many are suffering and dying from this disease. Yet, the only solution by the majority of those in the medical field is to take meds. In their defense, most doctors are trained to perform the same practice of writing prescriptions for Diabetes.  

And change that involves billions of dollars in profit will never be readily accepted by those who stand to lose them.

I became weak, sick, hungry, and generally felt ill, but I had to do something. At some point, you realize that no one will save you or rescue you, and you have to find a way. And food to me was like a foreign language. One that I needed to learn as fast as I could.

I began reading any information I could find on my condition and watching videos on YouTube, especially Dr. Berry. (thank God I did) He not only educated me on the facts of what it was and what I should do right away, but it was evident that this doctor marched to the beat of a different drum.

This doctor has been treating Diabetes for over twenty years daily. And he has a real passion for getting the correct information out to the public. He has witnessed the devastating effects of this disease firsthand. If you or someone you know has or may have diabetes type one or type two, you need to watch this video. This free information can make all the difference in how you view and treat this horrible medical condition.

There is more to this post, including updates at the end with foods I can eat.  My advice would be to watch the video, which isn’t too long but packed with good information.
Dr. Ken Barry:
You Tube video

So Now What?

So here is an even bigger issue for me and possibly others out there who are discovering similar problems with their once-perfect health. Carbs turned to sugar, and when I realized that it was not a good moment.

That knowledge alone came close to giving me a heart attack. And on top of that, I thought Keto was a form of Karate. There was no time to taper down or ease my way into a new way of life. I had to act immediately and change what I was eating and drinking.

Inventory Time

As I looked through the cabinets and refrigerator, there was almost nothing that I could eat. I had a couple of can goods and some water that I could keep. Mostly, what I had was a bunch of food I could no longer eat. Looking at every label, I was shocked to find high amounts of sugar, carbs, or both.

So, I thought no big deal. I can find myself a list of what I can eat, run to the grocery store, and Wala, problem solved.

What was I thinking? The grocery store looked just like my kitchen at home. Lots of food and nothing I could eat. Maybe I can learn to fly as well?

Searching for information about food that I could live off of had me Bouncing around from one article to the next, one opinion to the other, and one disappointment after another. It was both confusing and frustrating, to say the least.

I was trying to find out what was available and scrounge up enough knowledge about affordable foods to keep eating. Was I asking too much? And what makes it all so difficult to bear is that I am the pickiest eater you have ever met. It is so true. No one could make all this up. 

It is On! I Got This!

So here I am, a skinny man, a picky eater, and someone who knows very little about food. My feet are burning and swollen, and my vision seems to be getting worse by the hour. At this point, I am simply praying I find food before I go blind and can no longer see to get to the store or read the labels on the packaging.

I was frantically reading all the blogs and advertisements talking about losing weight or buying some product for diabetics. I could not find one that did not focus on weight. What? Is this Skinny discrimination again? Can skinny people not be diabetic?

I put up with all the weight-loss competitions at work, and did I complain? No, I took it like a grown-up. But now they ignore me, and I am going blind, and my feet are puffing up like a hot air balloon. 

So I am screaming at those articles and googling skinny diabetics and any term to find something that isn’t fat-free and is sugar-free. But, unfortunately, that combination is a rare one. Even those who put the word lean in their title only tried to get fat people to read their blog.

It was nothing to do with skinny diabetics!

Then it hit me. I must be the only one. Who would have thought?

So I managed to find a few ( and I mean very few) things that I could search for at the store. You know, like seeds and grass, yum. And filling, I might add. Why would someone go on about seeds as part of a diabetic diet like that is a meal or even a snack? Child, please!

I swear I spent hours going up and down one row after the other at the grocery store reading labels. Not easy with blurry vision. My son was very patient and understanding even though it took forever each time we went. As it turns out, there is less than 25% of food in most stores that do not have sugar. And, many of those have too many carbs, which I cannot understand for the life of me.

Is this some sick joke? Do you mean to tell me I spend 45 minutes looking for something without sugar only to find out the carbs are too high? 

You know what? Screw it! I’m buying a chocolate pie and some Twinkies, and I’m out of here. 

I joke sarcastically, so I hope you have a sense of humor and do not take all that I say seriously. Diabetes is a severe disease, but we can still have a laugh or two, even if it means laughing at ourselves. There is no choice when faced with the possibility of losing your vision and health. 

For me? The cause was eating sugar and garbage combined with drinking cokes all the time, my own doing. However, I plan to overcome this and inform others how they can too.

Southern disclaimer: Every soft drink is a “coke” in the south. Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Coke is all coke. We keep it simple. 

So, when I was able to walk again (Twinkies are BAD),  I was back to the store to buy some spinach. I do not mind spinach, it has very little taste, and I can cut up some chicken and cheese and have a healthy meal. 

But I cannot eat that for every meal, every day. 

When I can find something edible, it requires a co-signer and a massive down payment to afford it. And that’s just the snacks. It was becoming clear that Diabetes and good food may end up closer to Diabetes and enough food to stay alive. That, however, was still an uncertainty.  

Seriously, I am amazed at the meals you can order and have delivered to your home. And this service is something I am going to be testing out the moment I hit the lottery. And wouldn’t you know it, the one kind, the only kind, the absolute ONLY type of chocolate I do not like is? You guessed it, dark chocolate.

Am I  being punished?

When I think about this, it makes me so happy that this is a “Keto admissible” substitution for natural, rich, creamy, ok-maybe not. All joking aside, I will say that after months of little to no sugar, dark chocolate works just fine for me.


Food I can eat

Blackberries / Blueberries

Update-May 28,2021-no longer eating blackberries. Blueberries are better for me. I love fruit, but the fruit has too many sugars to eat all the time. Recently this is fine because finding any that doesn’t look rotten in the story these days is rare anyway.)

I love them and used to pick and eat them when I lived in North Carolina. ( It takes a few to fill a person up, but an excellent healthy keto snack nonetheless.)
This is one of the better fruits when you do eat fruit which should not be all the time due to the high sugar. (bananas are the worst)

I love cheese!


It is all I drink now, and if you have high blood sugar or high A1c levels, you should never drink another carb or look at sugar- run away; that way, you will still have your legs to run in a few years. Most of the so-called healthy fruit drinks are complete garbage as well. Water and sugar-free flavor mix work fine. I thought this would be the hardest part but I don’t even miss Dr. Pepper that much. But I do miss chocolate milkshakes.


Eggs are my other saving food that keeps me alive. I love eggs, so it is not a sacrifice to eat them. However, changing up from fried eggs to scrambled helps the monotony of eating them every day. 


You may have to hunt to find one not packed with carbs and sugar, but they do exist. There are many foods out there that are whole organic foods that I have not tried. Again, I am very picky and cannot stomach much from the list of allowed vegetables. One of my all-time favorite foods was tomato soup. There are recipes for keto-friendly versions, but I have not yet tried them. It was such a pure, simple meal, geez!


Salmon is good, along with many others. I like tilapia, but because most of it comes from China’s fish farms. And for reasons we won`t share here, it is always recommended that we buy the wild-caught salmon.


Chicken is excellent and easy to find. Grilled or baked is what I stay with and is a perfect addition to my daily salad.

Chicken Noodle Soup as zero sugar and no carbs- love it- just do not add any crackers.

Update- May 30, 2021

I have been eating KFC chicken daily. I always eat the breast. They have zero sugar and 11 carbs. Their grilled chicken is the best choice with zero sugars and zero carbs. Tastes good as well. 

Ice Cream & Cookies

For the first year or so I had no idea there were any cookies or ice cream that was sugar free – but try these from Walmart:

Klondike Bars (sugar free)

Chocolate Chip Cookies (sugar free in the Deli section)

Blueberry Muffins (sugar free in the Deli Section)


I still get the lean ground beef because the greasy stuff does not work for me.

Update May 28, 2021

I bought one of those inside, electric/smokeless grills so I could eat hamburgers, chicken, and steak. It has worked well, but I burned out on eating hamburgers and steak after a while. 


Iceberg lettuce does just fine, and I have found that the organic ranch dressing is sugar free and a good choice.

Update May 28 , 2021 update on that statement, Organic tastes like someone put worms in a blender and added water)

Update – I only eat Spinach for salad each day , with cheese, chicken, and dressing. 

Peanut Butter

 My saving grace! (must check the labels and stay away from the name brand filled with garbage, and any that have high sugar added)

Update May, 28, 2021

I do still eat the organic peanut butter even though I am still unsure they use peanuts-strange and not near as tasty- but tolerable Oh, and it is right at $5 for a small 16oz jar. I found Smucker’s organic has zero added sugar (outside of buying powder form) yet shows 1g of sugar. Only five carbs as well. ( but then you have the cracker issue and bread is a no-no)

Crackers that I have found that are the least harmful, are Town House light and buttery original. ( 1 g sugar, 1 g sugar added, nine carbs. )

I would not recommend eating either because they still have some sugar, even if it is minuscule compared to the rest)

Best of luck, and I will post more as I learn and discover this new life of eating the way I should and eating KETO.

Please leave your comments below (or maybe some food)

Never Give Up

Update -April 13, 2021

Just a quick update on my personal experience with Diabetes. My feet and the pain associated with it have improved.

I am confident that fasting and eating foods with low carbs and sugar are the key to reversing this horrible condition that I am determined to overcome.



I have cut out all the snacks and try only to eat twice a day. I am pretty inconsistent, but I have cut out practically all food, making it more manageable.

I have been eating chicken almost every day. Kentucky fried chicken is my friend. Colonial Sanders may be long gone, but he is still helping me out. 

I could slide under the bottom crack of most doors, and a grain of rice could become a choking hazard for me. 

My neuropathy in my feet is much better so long as I do not walk anywhere. One trip to wally-world and my feet turn red and burn for a while. 

Never give up, keep learning, and I pray you too overcome and reverse your type 1 or type 2 diabetes. 

update; Jan-30-2022

It took some time but as I continued to remove sugar and lower the carbs in my diet, all of the swelling in my feet has disappeared. I can now walk and stand without my feet turning red or burning. In fact, it is rare that my feet burn at all unless I am on them for an extended period of time. While I am still experiencing some symptoms, I am so thankful that I am doing much better now than a year ago. 

Update June 10, 2023

 So it has been a long time since I added an update here and my report is a mixed bag of agony and defeat. 

I am pleased to report that last year all my symptoms were practically gone and I had become very disciplined in not consuming anything with sugar. Unfortunately, change of environment and circumstances and I lost my common sense for a while. And of course many of the symptoms have returned.

I can tell you that people around you, including family, do not fully understand when you tell them you have diabetes and cannot have sugar. I do not think it is intentional but it is not something they seem remember or take serious. So, if you are going to be around others at meal times you had better have your food pre-planned and prepared or you will experience so much temptation to cut corners. 

Back at it and again, I am currently staying with friends who have no concept of sugar-free. It is my responsibility not theirs to make sure I am disciplined and take care of my health.

It is not that eating right is too complicated though it can be confusing, its that we are such creatures of habit and convenience and are easily influenced by others. So hang in there, never give up and God bless you.