As anyone suffering from diabetes will testify, managing the condition can be a pain. Aside from the need to familiarize yourself with insulin injections, eating is probably the number one hassle associated with diabetes.
However, when you explore the culinary options available to diabetics, it becomes clear that it’s easy to eat well and safely. In fact, many people report that their diets improve after a diagnosis. Here are some handy guidelines about how to juggle the desire for tasty food with the requirements of a diabetic diet.
Replace Modern Wheat With An Ancient Cousin
Ancient wheat varieties can also be beneficial for people with diabetes. Varieties like Khorasan wheat contain a higher level of antioxidants, along with higher concentrations of nutrients like magnesium, potassium and zinc — but they also help to reduce blood sugar levels.
In studies comparing the effects of standard modern wheat with Khorasan wheat, huge differences were discovered in how grains alter glucose levels. Ancient wheat’s also reduce inflammation and cholesterol, all of which help to protect against the effects of diabetes. So seek them out and experiment with them. If nothing else, it will be a fascinating history lesson.
Make Beans the Staple Of Your Diet
The American Diabetes Association promotes beans as an all-round superfood for diabetes sufferers, and with good reason. They provide plenty of minerals and vitamins, but also have a very low glycemic index, meaning they avoid rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
Additionally, beans tend to have high protein levels, without the saturated fat present in most meats. This is handy for diabetes sufferers, who have a higher risk of developing heart problems — but don’t forget to go easy on the salt when seasoning bean based dishes.
Stock Up On Low Starch Vegetables
Everyone needs to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables to supply fiber and nutrients to their diets, but diabetics need to be careful about which ones they eat. Avoid most canned vegetables, as these tend to come with large amounts of added salt. The same applies to vegetables prepared with butter or ghee, like most restaurant bought curries.
Instead, opt for steamed, roasted or grilled vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, spinach, beets and broccoli. If you need carb-rich veggie options, go for baked sweet potatoes (instead of French fries) and if you do need to eat canned food, go for low sodium varieties every time.
Fruits Are Fine – In Moderation
Sometimes diabetics are advised to limit their fruit intake due to the high sugar content of many fruits, but this is incorrect. Diabetics shouldn’t eat high sugar preparations of fruit, such as jam and high sugar fruit drinks, but fresh fruit is generally fine.
Most fruits have a relatively low glycemic index, they contain vital vitamins and antioxidants which protect against heart disease and they taste great too. They are certainly a better sweet option than cakes and sodas, so be sure to eliminate them first.
Experiment With Low Sugar Cakes
Living with diabetes doesn’t have to mean going without desserts, although sometimes it can seem that way when you are confronted with restaurant and bakery menus. However, if you are able to cook for yourself, there are plenty of low-sugar confectionary recipes on the web are delicious and safe to consume.
Sugars can be replaced by artificial sweeteners, while wheat flour can also be replaced by almond flour with excellent results. Using diabetic friendly ingredients, you can whip up anything from classic brownies to marbled cheesecake. Don’t settle for a black coffee after dining, create some dazzling desserts of your own.
Diabetes shouldn’t be seen as a need to clamp down on your diet, and it doesn’t spell the end of tasty, satisfying food. For those of you who need to buy or sell diabetic test strips, there are many secondary markets that offer the opportunity to save money. Why not look at your condition as a chance to cook healthier dishes, as well as an opportunity to expand your cookery skills? You’ll soon forget those cravings for plates laden with saturated fats and carbs.