Struggling with overweight and type 2 diabetes? This groundbreaking low-carb plan, which we launched in Saturday's Mail and are continuing all this week with superb pullouts of tasty recipes, should put you back in control and could even help reverse your type 2 diabetes.
Here, the NHS GP behind the plan explains how it works, while top chef Giancarlo Caldesi and his food writer wife Katie reveal their scrumptious low-carb 'pasta' dishes …
Cereal and fruit juice at breakfast, A sweet and low-fat yoghurt for lunch and a pasta supper – these meals are now the staples of our busy lives.
Take a step back and you may see that you are eating high-carbon foods for most, if not all , your meals.
Many people would not think that these are unhealthy foods. Yet for the increasing number of us, eating like this, the day in, day out, can lead to potentially serious health problems, with repercussions in terms of weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
So why could carbs be a problem? Essentially, people who develop type 2 diabetes have difficulty processing the sugar ̵
Giancarlo Caldesi and his food writer wife Katie reveal their scrumptious low-carb 'pasta' dishes. Pictured is the chef with NHS GP Dr David Unwin
As a result, it builds up in their blood over time, damaging small blood vessels in vital organs.
Eventually, this can trigger such complications as nerve damage, blindness , kidney failure or stroke.
And sugar is all around us – it is found even in 'savory' carbohydrates, low-fat foods and 'healthy' cereals, and is hidden in processed meals and snacks.
I am a GP and I started my work on the transformative benefits of a low-carb diet after becoming deeply concerned about the growing number of people being affected by Type 2 diabetes and overweight both in my practice in Southport, Merseyside, and more generally. 19659004] It was through my work on low carb that I met the top Italian chef, Giancarlo Caldesi, who revealed in the Saturday's Weekend magazine how he 'sleepwalked' into type 2 diabetes – suffering visual loss, weight gain, arthritis and nerve damage to his feet – after decades of a high-carb di that He had attributed the symptoms of 'getting older' and his busy lifestyle.
REVERSE TYPE 2 WITHOUT PILLS
Like most people, Giancarlo knew that cakes and other obviously sugary foods were bad news if managing type 2 diabetes or struggling to do it. lose weight But, like many people, he was unaware that starchy carbohydrates found in grains such as wheat, rice or cereals, root vegetables and potatoes are also made up of strings of sugar molecules that are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream in the same way. as sugar itself
Giancarlo Caldesi and Katie photographed with GP Dr David Unwin and his wife Dr. Jen Unwin, a clinical psychologist
Then he cut these foods when he went low carb – and saw dramatic effects on his waistline and health. Not only did he lose more than three stone, but he also reversed his type 2 diabetes.
Like Giancarlo, you might be surprised at how little glucose is in your bloodstream normally – often only up to two teaspoons . But then imagine what happens if you eat something really starchy, such as a baked potato. Once it's in your digestive system, your body's enzymes get to work on it to break down the starch into surprisingly large numbers of glucose molecules. These are absorbed into your bloodstream very quickly.
But it's not just obvious carbohydrates that we need to think about. Many processed foods contain lots of sugar, in addition to the starches that break down into sugar. One study estimates that up to 74 percent of packaged foods and drinks include added sugar or sweeteners to enhance flavors.
This means that the shop-bought tomato sauce in a jar that you add to your spaghetti bowl probably contains a disturbing quantity of added sugar
Giancarlo Caldesi (pictured with Katie) revealed a selection of recipes for overhauling deteriorating health and losing weight
Even products promoted as being low fat or sold in a healthy looking packaging can be high in carbs and sugar. This includes many popular foods that we think of as healthy choices – wholemeal bread, cereals with wholegrains and low-fat dairy foods.
Good fat is a cornerstone of this low-carb plan. In the early days, I did worry about the effect on cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease in my patients, given that I was recommending that they consume a diet that is arguably higher in full-fat milk, eggs and fat. But the average cholesterol in my patients came down.
A good way to start a low-carb life
Many carby foods have a high GI score, which means they quickly release sugar into the blood. Grains, cereals and starchy vegetables are digested into a surprising amount of sugar, as are some fruits, juices and dried fruits – and of course, sugar (including honey) itself.
One simple way to go low carb is to ' turn the white part of your meal green '- so instead of rice, pour your curry over a selection of green veg. The emphasis should be on foods that are rich in protein, good fat, low GI fruits and lots of leafy vegetables.
But how low carb should you go? Take your CarbScale quiz on the back of this supplement to help you learn more about your metabolism and maybe your body's sensitivity to sugar.
Tracking your carb intake is not difficult. This can be done by following our recipes or by looking at a guide such as Carbs & Cals.
However, you do not need to count carbs forever! You'll find that once you are following a low-carb way of living, it becomes natural not to go overboard. The first step is to eliminate starchy offenders by finding delicious alternatives. The recipes in this pullout will show you how.
For any readers who are worried about cholesterol and this diet, you can ask your GP for a cholesterol test. Better still, I suggest you ask for a 'fasting lipid profile' test. This is better because it measures other important fatty acids such as triglycerides and "good" HDL cholesterol levels, which are arguably better indicators of heart disease risk than simple holesterol test.
In my own patients on low-carb diet, I was delighted to find that triglyceride scores improved by about 30 percent.
This is not to deny the importance of medication in treating health conditions. And you should always consult your GP before embarking on any new diet plan, especially if you regularly take prescription medication. However, the combination of my own work, my patients' inspiring results and Giancarlo's experiences have given me great hope that by changing to a low-carb diet, we can do much to fight the diabetes and the obesity crisis.
That's why I teamed up with Giancarlo and his food writer wife Katie on The Diabetes Weight Loss Cookbook, which we share with
The dishes are based on a simple plan that reduces carb intake while focusing on protein, good fat and dairy, leafy vegetables and low-sugar fruits. There is no calorie counting, strict part control or weighing ingredients.
While not being a weight loss program as such, you should find that as your blood sugar level normalizes, excess lungs just slip away – helping you on your way to a Healthier and more satisfying lifestyle.
This horn has been a favorite of chef Giancarlo and our family for years – but instead of having it with pasta, they now eat it with cabbage pappardelle or in lasagne
This rabbit has been a favorite of Chef Giancarlo and our family for many years – but instead of having it with pasta, they now eat it with a cauliflower delle
Per serving of horn: Calories, 272; carbohydrates, 6.4 g; protein, 29g; fat, 13g; fiber, 1.5g
Per serving of cabbage pappardelle: Calories, 66; carbohydrates, 7.5g; protein, 1.8g; fat, 2.2g; fiber, 4.5g
- 1 cup carrot, finely chopped
- 2 large celery sticks, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 850g-1kg minced beef (or veal or pork)
- 200ml red wine
- 2 x 400g cans Italian plum tomatoes
For the Cabbage Pappardelle
- Half head of white or Savoy cabbage
- 10 g salted butter
- Salt and ground black pepper
Heat the oil and fry the garlic, carrot, celery, onion and bay leaves for about 15 minutes, or until softened. Add the mince and fry until browned. Add the wine when the meat looks dry and reduced for 5 minutes.
Next put the tomatoes in a bowl and break them up. Fill the cans up to a quarter with water and add this to the pan along with the tomatoes. Bring the horn to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 2 hours.
Remove the bay leaves. To make the pappardel, remove the cabbage core, then lay the cabbage flat-side down and use a sharp knife to cut the thin strips. Put these in a bowl with the butter, splash of water, salt and pepper.
Cover and microwave for 7 minutes, stirring halfway through. Or put the ribbons in a saucepan with the butter, 100ml of water, salt and pepper, and cover. Cook for 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain before serving with the horn.
CHICKEN AND RICOTTA MEATBALLS
Giancarlo's mother's inspired by the Tuscan meatballs, this is a recipe for a simple supper that our family loves. We have replaced the bread in the original ricotta recipe, which keeps them light and low carb.
Inspired by Giancarlo's mother's Tuscan meatballs, this is a recipe for a easy supper that our family loves
SERVES 6  Per serving of tomato sauce: Calories, 196; carbohydrates, 7.1 g; protein, 1.8g; fat, 17g; fiber, 1.3g
Per serving of meatballs: Calories, 268; carbohydrates, 2.7g; protein, 30g; fat, 15g; fiber, 0.6g
For the tomato sauce
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 x 400g cans Italian plum Tomatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the meatballs
- 500g minced chicken
- 1 white onion finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 100g ricotta, drained
- Handful parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- 75g Parmesan, finely grated
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp double cream
- Basil leaves
For the tomato sauce, fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and season. Fill the cans a quarter full with water and swill to collect any juices.
Add to the pan. Bash the tomatoes to break them up. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes. The sauce should be thick, not watery.
For the meatballs, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. To taste the flavor, take a ball of the mixture, flatten it into a patty shape and fry until cooked through. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and make the rest of the meatballs, each with the size of a large walnut. Brown the meatballs for 10 minutes then tip in tomato sauce and cook for about 15 minutes.
Stir in the cream and serve as a bed of courgette ribbons (see recipe, bottom right), scattered with basil leaves
ASPARAGUS PENNE WITH MUSHROOM CARBONARA
For this creamy carbonara-style recipe, use asparagus when it is in season. The rest of the year use green beans instead. We know that we will have infuriated some Italians with our addition of cream to a national dish, but without the starchy pasta the sauce needs a little help to coat sparrows – so please forgive us and enjoy this healthy bowl of creamy loveliness.
Per serving: Calories, 645; carbohydrates, 7g; protein, 30g; fat, 52g; fiber, 4.6g
- 500g asparagus
- 100g pancetta, diced or bacon lardons
- 175g mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium egg
- 1 egg yolk  25 g Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
- 3 tbsp double cream
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper plus extra to serve
- 4 tbsp white wine
Snap the woody ends off the asparagus . Cut the remaining parts on the diagonal into 3 cm longs to resemble the penne, and put in a pan of boiled water for 3 to 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside
Fry the pancetta or bacon lardons with mushrooms, oil and seasoning for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp. Let the water evaporate and cook until browned. This will take 7 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the egg, egg yolk, Parmesan, cream and black pepper in a bowl using a fork. Pour the wine into the pan with the pancetta or bacon. Let it bubble and reduce for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and toss through. Take the pan off the heat and stir it in the egg mixture with a wooden spoon quickly. The remaining heat will cook the egg through. Serve with a little extra parmesan and black pepper
GREEN BEAN LINGUINE
This recipe brings punchy flavors of southern Italy to the plate.
If you have any leftovers, they can be served cold as a salads the next day. Slice the beans yourself or buy them ready.
This recipe brings the punchy flavors of southern Italy to the plate. If you have any leftovers, they can be served cold as salads the next day
Per serving: Calories, 426; carbohydrates, 8.6g; protein, 24g; fat, 31g; fiber, 7.1g
- 280 g green beans, runner or flat
- A knob of butter
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 10 black olives, stoned and halved
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- 4 anchovies (optional)
- 1 can tuna, 150g drained weight
- 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
Slice the beans into long lengths using a sharp knife then put them in a small saucepan with the butter, a pinch of salt and a splash of water. Cover with a lid and cook over a medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the beans are soft and no longer squeaky.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan with tomatoes, olives, garlic, chilli, anchovies and pepper and fry for a couple of minutes until sizzling hot. Then add the bean with a couple of tablespoons of any remaining water from the pan. Stir through gently to heat the ingredients and taste for seasoning.
Served with avocado and green seasoning, this vegan dish is a rainbow in a bowl. Add tofu to bump up the protein. If you are not a vegan, add a cooked chicken.
Per serving: Calories, 454; carbohydrates, 10g; protein, 8.6g; fat, 37.5 g; fiber, 10g
- 4 medium courgettes
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large avocado, peeled, stoned and cubed
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Handful coriander leaves
For the green seasoning
- 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 1 small green or yellow pepper, chopped
- Small Scotch bonnet chilli, finely chopped
- 20g coriander, chopped
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- ½ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 220c / gas 7 and line two trays with baking parchment Cut the ribbons of courgette, toss in a bowl with the oil and season, then spread on the baking trays in the curls, so the heat can circulate. Bake until cooked through.
For the seasoning, mix the ingredients to make a rough paste
Put the courgette into bowls and stir in the avocado, tomatoes, coriander and seasonings.
TUSCAN LASAGNE  This is Giancarlo's mother's recipe. We're not sure what she'd make of our spinach 'pasta', but we love it.
This is Giancarlo's mother's recipe. We're not sure what she'd make of our spinach 'pasta', but we love it
Per serving: Calories 270; carbohydrates, 3g; protein, 25g; fat, 16g; fiber, 5.1g
For the Spinach 'Pasta'
- 400 g spinach
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 eggs
- 8 tbsp almond or cow's milk
- 1 tbsp psyllium husk powder from health food shops
- 4 cups of cornflour
- 4 tbsp double cream
- 50g butter
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ Tuxedo, freshly grated
- 1 bay leaf
- 50g Parmesan, finely grated
- 125g mozzarella, roughly tower
Prepare 700g of beef horn (see recipe above). To make spinach 'paste', preheat the oven to 220c / gas. 7. Line two trays with baking parchment and grease with olive oil. Blitz the ingredients in a food processor to form a paste and divide between the lined trays. Put a piece of oiled baking parchment over the top and press it to form a rectangle measuring 27cm x 34cm and 5mm thick.
Remove the top sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until it is firm to the touch and set through. Leave it cool.
For the bechamel, mix 3 tablespoons of milk with cornflour in a bowl. Pour into the pan with the remaining ingredients and put over medium heat until it is thick and bubbling. Season and discard the bay leaf.
Drop spoonfuls of a quarter of the bechamel and horn is the base of a lasagne dish. Do not mix them together. Now scatter over a quarter of Parmesan and mozzarella.
Cut the spinach 'paste' into shapes to fit your dish and lay a third of this over the bechamel and horn.
Repeat the sequence until you have three layers of 'pasta' and four layers of bechamel, raugu and cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Let the lasagne settle for at least 15 minutes before serving.
The spinach 'paste' can be rolled around oiled baking Paper and wrapped in a cling film – store it in the fridge for up to three days or in the freezer for three months.
BROCCOLI, CHILLI AND SAUSAGE
In the sunny south of Italy, bowls of orecchiette – little ears of pasta – served simply with broccoli, sausage and a kick of chilli. In this recipe we have omitted the pasta and bumped up your vegetable intake to help you reach your five-day-long.
Italian sausages are pure meat with no added rusk so they are naturally low in carbs – do try to find the dishes with a high-meat content.
In the sunny south of Italy, bowls of orecchiette – little ears of pasta – served simply with broccoli, sausage and a kick of chilli
Per serving: Calories, 676; carbohydrates, 22g; protein, 28 g; fat, 51g; fiber, 7.4g
- 400 g broccoli
- 4 good-quality, no-rusk pork sausages
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, finely sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 25g Parmesan, finely grated
Separate the broccoli into small florets the size of the tip of your thumb, then cut the stalk into 1cm cubes. Put the florets and stalk into a pan of boiling water and cook for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside, keeping 3 tbsp of the cooking water.
Split the sausages open with a knife and peel off the skins.
Use your hands to tear off bite-sized pieces of sausage and drop them into a large frying pan
Place the pan over a medium heat and add the oil, onion, seasoning, fennel seeds and chilli flakes to taste. Stir frequently.
When the sausages are cooked, tip the broccoli and store the water in the pan and stir well. Continue to cook until the broccoli is warmed up.
Serve in warm bowls and top with the grated Parmesan.
HOW TO WORK YOUR CARB LIMIT
To learn about your carb limits, take our simple CarbScale Quiz to work out how your body makes energy from food.
Rate each of the following statements from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree.
WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU GO LOW CARB
You stand to reap a huge health rewards, but the first few days could be tough.
When your carb intake is reduced, your body begins to burn energy from its fat stores – this shift can leave you feeling under the weather temporarily, with headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness or tiredness.
This is because hormonal insulin (produced to help deal with excess sugar) also causes you to keep salt.
Once the insulin levels start to drop, you may lose excess salt and water in the urine, so you may need the lotion more often in the first few days.
Drink plenty of water and add a sprinkle of salt to your food in these early days. Magnesium supplements for the first week or ten days may help.
- I feel tired of the time
- I often wake up feeling tired
- My energy slumps in the day
- I crave sweet or savory foods
- My mood is low or depressed
- I often feel stressed or anxious
- I'm reluctant to lose weight
- I'm hard to lose weight
- I do not sleep well
- I can get irritable between meals
What your scores mean
18 or below – Liberal low carb
Your metabolism is working well and you are feeling pretty good. Low carb may well be right for you because it is a fantastic way to achieve a varied, nutritious diet and consistent energy levels. However, you can afford to be a bit more flexible – especially if you are doing high exercises. Eat up to 130g of carbs per day.
19-47 – Moderate low carb
Your metabolism can benefit from some fine tuning, helping you feel more energetic and focused. Monitor how you respond to some of our low-carb, nutritious recipes in your diet. Limit yourself to 75g to 100g of carbs per day. This is a good starting point for carb restriction, and you can still eat a varied diet.
48 or above – Strict low carb
You may have health issues to address. (Perhaps it's time for a chat with your GP, who might want to do some blood tests.) You might be suffering from a sluggish metabolism, and therefore it's hard to do everything you need in the day. You may struggle to digest carbohydrates and sugars, which can cause rapid swings in your blood sugar levels. Focus on excluding high-carb foods and enjoy some new protein and vegetable-based recipes from our delicious selection. Limit your carbohydrate intake to about 50g per day. This is a reasonable target for anyone with type 2 diabetes, low energy levels or cravings.
The seven new rules to help reverse type 2
Use these simple rules to help you stick to your low-carbon targets.
1) Reduce or eliminate your intake of sugar and high-carb foods. If you're lean and healthy, you can afford a little more leeway, such as adding extra fruits or starchy vegetables or occasional slice of sourdough bread. These include breakfast cereals, bread, pasta, white potatoes, rice, couscous, crackers, oats, oat cakes, rice cakes, cakes, biscuits, sweets, milk chocolate, fruit juices, fizzy drinks and cordials.
2) At each eating, loading up with non-starchy and salad vegetables such as chicken, lettuces, broccoli, mushrooms or peppers to help you feel full without raising your blood sugar levels. Adjust your consumption of root vegetables according to where you are on the CarbScale.
3) Eat good fat. Include oily fish, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and animal fat; They're good for your metabolism as well as for helping you feel full. Add nuts and cheese in moderation – although nutritious they are very calorific.
4) Pick fruit, which is naturally low in sugar, including berries, apples and bras. Choose these over-high-sugar tropical fruits such as bananas, mango and pineapple.
5) Eat some form of protein in each meal. It's essential for all your body's repair mechanisms and helps you feel fuller for longer.
6) Stop snacking. Fasting between meals and overnight really helps improve your body's response to insulin. Aim for three good meals a day.
7) Drink two liters of water a day in order to keep your body well hydrated.
NOTE: Always consult your GP before starting a new diet plan, especially if you are taking it. any prescribed medication.
Recipes by Katie Caldesi. The Diabetes Weight Loss Cookbook by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi is published by Kyle Books, priced £ 20. To order a copy for £ 16 (offer valid until April 27, 2019; P & P free), visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640.