Until very recently, doctors believed that type 2 diabetes was a life-long condition which got steadily worse year by year.
You end up needing more and more drugs and face the prospect of sight-loss, heart disease and even amputation.
So the discovery by my team that diabetes can be reversed by rapid weight loss has really shaken things up.
All this week in the Daily Mail, I have been serialising my groundbreaking book, Life Without Diabetes, and explaining how it only takes two months on a strict diet plan to put type 2 diabetes into remission.
Until very recently, doctors believed that type 2 diabetes was a life-long condition which got steadily worse year by year. (Stock image)
Today, I will reveal the secret to keeping free from the disease long-term while enjoying the mouthwatering recipes devised by my team to improve your health.
I have worked at the cutting edge of diabetes treatment and research for more than 40 years, and the incredible results of the numerous studies compiled by my team at Newcastle University have enabled me to perfect a very straightforward three-stage plan for reversing type 2 diabetes — and keeping it away.
As I have explained in these special four-page pullouts this week, it really is as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Stage one is the rapid weight-loss phase, where you switch your normal meals for three calorie-controlled meal replacement soups or shakes, plus one low-starch vegetable meal per day.
The aim is to lose 15kg and put your diabetes into remission.
The amazingly healthy, family friendly recipes in today’s pullout prove that keeping diabetes away doesn’t have to mean hunger or deprivation. (Stock image)
Stage two — which you start when you reach your target weight — is a carefully monitored re-introduction of real food, one meal at a time.
Stage three is your chance to introduce a new long-term plan for healthy eating to help ensure you remain free from diabetes for life.
The amazingly healthy, family friendly recipes in today’s pullout prove that keeping diabetes away doesn’t have to mean hunger or deprivation.
You can still enjoy hearty meals with family and friends. In fact, eating this way isn’t just good for you, it’s very good for the rest of your family, too.
If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it means you have probably inherited a susceptibility and you will even have a genetically lower ‘personal fat threshold’.
Unfortunately, type 2 diabetes tends to run in families, and there’s every chance your children and grandchildren could be at risk.
Today, I will reveal the secret to keeping free from the disease long-term while enjoying the mouthwatering recipes devised by my team to improve your health, writes Professor Roy Taylor
The best way to protect them is to encourage them to enjoy these meals with you, and to join you in your new healthy, active lifestyle.
DIABETES-FREE FOR LIFE
By the time you reach stage three you should feel very proud of yourself.
You will have lost a substantial amount of weight; hopefully, you will have achieved remission of your type 2 diabetes; and you will be feeling dramatically better, both mentally and physically: more energised, confident and motivated.
Having worked so hard to get your weight down, you will be feeling better than you have for years, ready to embrace life with renewed vigour and confidence.
But do not relax too much! It is important that you don’t think of this as the end of the matter.
If you want to stay away from type 2 diabetes, it is much more useful to think of this as the start of your new life and a new way of eating.
The stark truth is you just can’t return to your old ways of eating because, inevitably, that was how you gained the weight that tipped you over your fat threshold into diabetes territory.
If your diabetes is in remission, it means you’ve lost enough weight to strip the excess fat from your liver and pancreas that we now know was causing your blood sugar problems.
Tweaks make a big change
In everyday life, most people share meals with family or friends. It can be a challenge to change family habits but small adjustments can make a big difference.
When you face a communal meal that’s out of your control, make a subtle adjustment by halving your portion of potato/pasta/rice and doubling your serving of vegetables.
If you are going to stop type 2 diabetes from creeping back, you must stay below that fat threshold, meaning you can’t gain more than a few pounds in weight.
But this is why my three-stage plan is so effective, and our studies show it really does work long-term.
Stage one necessitated a switch from ‘normal’ eating to a strict calorie-counted programme of meal replacement soups and shakes.
Not only is this effective in terms of weight loss, but it marks a clear end to the old way of eating that was clearly bad for your health.
Two months away from your old eating habits is enough to make the more toxic elements a distant memory.
DELICIOUS REAL MEALS
Stage two allows a gradual re-introduction of real meals, inspired by the recipes in this series. This is your chance to rewrite the way you shop, cook and eat to maximize your health and minimise your risk of regaining the weight you’ve lost.
Stay on track
Stick reminders on the fridge and enlist friends and family to continually spur you on. You will need all your resolve to keep to your goals and stay well.
Stage three is just a natural extension of that new way of eating. There’s no going back now.
You’ve got rid of the terrible spectre of diabetes and now you just need to be aware of a few simple rules to keep things that way.
I cannot emphasise enough how worthwhile it is to work at maintaining your newly recovered health.
While you can enjoy eating with family and friends again, and even indulge in a special treat or the occasional party, if you want to keep the weight off, you simply must avoid slipping back into your old ways and habits.
Aubergine & ricotta rolls with tomato
This aubergine & ricotta rolls with tomato dish takes 30 minutes to cook and can serve two people
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Cals per portion: 585
- 2 medium aubergines, cut into ½cm slices lengthways
For the filling
- 500g baby spinach, blanched and drained
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
For the sauce
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 450g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220c/fan 200c/gas 7. Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with oil, then lay them on a large baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until tender, turning once. Remove the tray from the oven. Turn down the oven temperature to 180c/fan 160c/gas 4.
To make the filling, mix the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, nutmeg and spring onions together in a bowl. Lay all of the aubergine slices on a clean surface.
Place about one teaspoon of filling at the bottom edge of each one. Roll up each aubergine slice, like a cigar, around the filling, then rest them seam-side down on a plate.
For the sauce, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the cherry tomatoes.
Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to break down.
Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon half of the sauce into the bottom of an ovenproof dish.
Carefully place the aubergine rolls, seam-side down, on top, and spoon over the rest of the sauce.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cheese filling begins to bubble.
Spoon the rolls onto warmed plates and serve with a mixed salad or some green veg.
This delicious ratatouille bake serves four people and takes 55 minutes to cook
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 55 mins
Cals per portion: 415
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 6 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 25g fresh basil, leaves picked
- 2 x 125g packs mozzarella, sliced
- 2 courgettes (about 200g each), sliced into 0.5 cm discs
- 2 aubergines (about 300g each), sliced into 0.5 cm discs
- 3 peppers (about 120g each), mixed colours, deseeded and sliced into rings
- 3-4 tomatoes (about 250g combined weight), sliced
Preheat the oven to 190c/fan 170c/gas 5.
Place 40ml of the olive oil in a saucepan with the garlic and thyme and cook gently for about 1 minute over a medium heat. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and add the feta. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes.
Finally, add the vinegar and basil, remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour this tomato sauce into the base of a baking dish (preferably round and about 30cm in diameter, or oval).
Place the mozzarella slices in a layer over the sauce, then arrange the vegetables on top, standing them upright and alternating them as you go.
Brush the tops of the vegetables with the remaining 10ml olive oil, using a pastry brush, sprinkle with the dried oregano, season with salt and pepper and bake for about 45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the vegetables are soft.
Alternative Sunday lunch
This alternative Sunday lunch takes 40 minutes to cook and is 180 calories
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Cals per portion: 180
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 1 carrot, cut into large chunks
- 1 beetroot, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 parsnip, cut into chunks
- 4 shallots, cut in half
- 2 celery sticks, cut into large chunks
- ½ small turnip, cut into chunks
Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. Place the chicken in the centre of a large roasting tin and arrange the vegetables around it – this will keep it moist. Add the sage leaves and a sprinkling of pepper.
Place the tin in the centre of the oven and cook for 40 minutes, giving it a stir halfway through.
Roasted chipolatas with apples and herbs
The roasted chipolatas with apples and herbs takes just 20 minutes to cook and is 305 calories
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Cals per portion: 305
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 2 eating apples, cored and sliced
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- Green beans to serve as a side dish
Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6.
Layer the sweet potato, apples, onion and sausages in a roasting dish and drizzle with oil.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and stir in the honey and thyme.
Bake for another 15 minutes, then serve piping hot with steamed green beans.
Beef and butternut squash lasagne
The beef and butternut squash lasagne uses sheets of butternut squash rather than pasta to create a low-carb version of a much-loved classic
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 40 mins
Cals per portion: 590
- 400g lean beef mince (preferably 5% fat)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 sticks celery (about 100g), trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot (about 80g), peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 butternut squash (about 1kg)
For the sauce
Preheat the oven to 190c/fan 170c/gas 5. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the mince. Stir to brown the beef all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the olive oil to the pan with the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and herbs and sauté over a medium heat for about 7 minutes, stirring from time to time.
Return the beef to the pan, stir in the tomato purée, tinned tomatoes and crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, make a béchamel sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Tip in the flour and stir continuously for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk.
Return to the heat and stir until the sauce has thickened. Stir in 100g of the grated cheese, season to taste and set aside.
Slice off the top and bottom of the butternut squash and remove the skin with a potato peeler. Stand the squash upright on a steady surface and, using a very sharp knife, carefully cut into 12 thin slices that resemble sheets of lasagne.
To assemble, lay four sheets of butternut squash on the base of a baking dish (about 25cm square) and cover with half of the meat sauce. Top with another layer of butternut squash, followed by half the béchamel, spreading it out evenly. Add the remaining meat sauce, another layer of butternut squash and finish with the remaining béchamel. Top with the remaining grated Cheddar and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
COOK’S TIP: This recipe uses sheets of butternut squash rather than pasta to create a low-carb version of a much-loved classic. Some supermarkets do sell butternut squash lasagne ‘sheets’, but it’s easy to slice your own.
Mushroom-stuffed pork fillet with roasted carrots and Hasselback celeriac
The mushroom-stuffed pork fillet with roasted carrots and Hasselback celeriac is 475 calories
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Cals per portion: 475
- 2 slices smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
- 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 1 sprig of sage, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 x 450g tenderloin pork fillet
- 5 slices Parma ham (about 60g)
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced lengthways into 1cm strips
- 1 red onion, peeled and very finely sliced
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1kg celeriac, peeled and cut into large chunks (each the size of a medium potato)
- 5g fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Preheat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6. You will also need some butcher’s string.
Take each chunk of celeriac and slice it carefully at 2mm intervals along one side, but only cutting halfway through — in the same way you would a Hasselback potato. Place all the celeriac in a saucepan, cover with water, add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside for about 5 minutes to dry out. Scatter the flour over the cooked celeriac and shake gently to coat. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a roasting dish and heat in the oven for about 3 minutes.
Very carefully remove the roasting dish from the oven and gently tip the celeriac into the dish, along with the thyme and garlic. Use a spoon to turn the celeriac in the oil so that everything is coated. Return to the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes, until golden and crisp, turning once or twice.
Meanwhile, to make the stuffing for the pork, place the bacon pieces in a saucepan over a low heat and fry gently for 5 minutes.
Place the mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until they are very finely chopped. Transfer to the saucepan with the bacon and add the herbs, garlic and soy sauce. Sauté everything, stirring regularly, for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool a little.
Place the pork on a flat surface and slice in half lengthways, making sure not to cut all the way through. Open the fillet out, place a piece of cling film over the top and flatten with a rolling pin, until the meat is about 2cm thick and a rectangular shape.
Lay the Parma ham out on a large piece of baking paper or cling film so that it is roughly the same size as the piece of pork, then place the pork on top. Spread the stuffing all over the meat and, using the baking paper or cling film to help you, roll the pork up tightly.
Tie to secure with some butcher’s string 3 or 4 times along the length of the pork, discarding the baking paper or cling film.
Place ½ tablespoon of the olive oil in an ovenproof casserole dish over a medium heat and fry the pork fillet on all sides to brown the Parma ham. Remove from the heat. Coat the carrots with the remaining oil, season with salt and pepper and place in the casserole dish with the pork. Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and take the pork and carrots out of the dish, setting them aside to keep warm.
To make some gravy, add the sliced onion to the dish, along with a few tablespoons of water, and sauté over a medium heat until softened.
Add more water if you need to. Add the balsamic vinegar and fry for a few minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then pour in the vegetable stock and Worcestershire sauce.
Simmer for about 10 minutes and season to taste. When ready to serve, slice the pork fillet into 8 pieces and serve with the carrots, roasted celeriac and red onion gravy.
We’ve reversed our type 2 diabetes and you can too
Shane Wilcock, 39, a manager at an electrical wholesaler, lives with wife Emma, 39, and daughters Eva, nine and Mya, six, in Boston, Lincs. Shane says:
Four years ago, my eating habits were out of control.
If I saw a two-for-£10 meal offer, I’d eat both. At my heaviest I weighed 17st, which at nearly 6ft meant I was very overweight.
After suffering dizzy spells and confusion, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
I knew I didn’t want to go on to diabetes medication in my mid-30s. So I decided to beat it by intermittent fasting and cutting my calories to 500 a day and taking up cycling.
The weight dropped off me within six months. I went from a size 36-38 waist to a size 28. I’m now 12st 10lb. In 2017, I had a diabetes review and was told that all my blood sugars were within the normal range.
Shane Wilcock (left after weight loss and right before), 39, from Boston, Lincolnshire, went from a size 36-38 waist to a size 28
Tim Bean, 52, is a marketing consultant living with his wife Sarah, a teaching assistant, and son Oscar, 16, in Berkshire. Tim says:
This time last year I weighed 21½ stone. I was on five blood pressure tablets, plus metformin for being pre-diabetic.
My weight crept up steadily over 25 years. As a young man I was sporty, but as my job became busier, I started skipping five-a-side and badminton and grabbing takeaways.
My GP said he was concerned I was type 2 diabetic and might not make my 70s. He suggested Professor Roy Taylor’s 12-week regime of three daily 200-calorie shakes or soups.
I began last March and lost 40lb. Since then, I’ve got down to 17st 7lb. My target is 15st 7lb. I have now come off metformin and have been able to stop taking four of my blood pressure tablets.
This time last year Tim Bean (left after weight loss and right before), 52, from Berkshire, weighed 21½ stone. He has now got down to 17st 7lb