No flour, no sugar diet adjustable

Updated 9/12/2011 11:54 AM

Editor's note: After 28 years of writing a health advice column, Dr. Peter Gott is retiring. His last column will be Monday, Sept. 19.

Q. I just started using your no flour, no sugar diet, and while it is a challenge, I am working through the first few weeks to get used to it. I have a few questions I hope to get answered. I am a Type 2 diabetic and have already noticed changes in my blood sugar.

First, the book says that jelly is not allowed, but makes no mention of sugar-free jelly. Is this OK?

Second, I have corn tortillas that use only ingredients that are allowed, but I have also found low-carb wraps that have half the carbs, more fiber and more protein than the corn tortillas. They also have zero sugars, and the calories and fat are similar. The ingredients do list stone-ground whole-wheat flour, soy flour and sesame flour, so does that mean they are automatically disqualified from the diet?

Third, is sushi allowed?

Finally, I have been told that many Chinese food dishes contain sauces that have flour added as a thickening agent. Do you know any specifics on this at all?

A. The great thing about my diet is that you can adjust it to suit your needs or wants. As you cut out sugar and flour, you will likely experience some cravings, but these will lessen with time. After meeting your weight-loss goal, you can slowly introduce some flour and sugar back into the diet or continue to avoid it.

Even during dieting, if you find a healthful alternative such as your low-carb wraps that you prefer over a no-flour option, use them. Just remember that moderation is the key. If you consume a wrap on Monday, have a no-flour alternative on Tuesday, etc.

Now to your specific questions. Sugar-free jelly is allowed, in moderation, of course. Some individuals have found that sugar substitutes can have unwanted side effects, such as headaches, gas and diarrhea, so they should be used sparingly.

As a general rule, flour isn't allowed, but based on my above statements, the rules can be bent. Another alternative is bread or wraps made from sprouted grains. You can also find sprouted-grain cereals, pastas and more. Some brands add flour, so it is important to read the label carefully.

As for sushi and Chinese dishes, I'm afraid I cannot provide a satisfactory response, as I do not consume either. Sushi is typically vinegared rice, raw or cooked fish or seafood, and vegetables, so I assume most is allowable. As for the Chinese food, I suggest you make it at home yourself so you can control what ingredients go into the making. If you order takeout, simply ask if flour or sugar is included in the dish.

2011 United Feature Syndicate inc.