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Eating with Diabetes


Eating with Diabetes

 

In October of 2015 I was diagnosed with having Type 2 Diabetes. No surprise there.  It runs in my family and I had been dodging the bullet for a long time. It was bound to catch up with me.  

At first I was really dismayed. As a person who loves to cook and to eat, I despaired that I would ever be able to eat anything delicious again. Oh how very wrong I was. But more on that later.

Meal planning is the most challenging task in living day to day with diabetes. There are three types of Diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes, which is found in about 10% of all cases and occurs mostly in children and young adults.  This type requires insulin along with dietary management and regular activity.
  • Type 2 diabetes, which I have. This kind of diabetes accounts for 90%  of people and is usually seen in adults, although it is not unheard of in children with the growing rates of obesity. This type is managed with a personalised meal plan, oral medication and/or insulin and physical activity.
  • Gestational diabetes, which occurs in 2% to 4% of all pregnancies.  This type is usually managed by meal planning, exercise and sometimes insulin. This type of diabetes also can increase the risk of both the mother and children later in life. 
Managing diabetes, once diagnosed, requires daily attention.  Food intake, activity, blood glucose monitoring and healthy lifestyle choices all play a part of this. (Scroll down for some delicious diabetic friendly recipes.)

Diabetes

Some guidelines for people learning to live with Diabetes include:
(these can apply to all people)

1. Limit salt alcohol and caffeine

2. Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight by enjoying regular physical activity and healthy eating (this is the hard part.)

3. Choosing lower fat dairy products, leaner meats and food prepared with little or no fat.

4. Emphasize whole grain cereals, breads, other grain products, vegetables and fruit.

5. Eat a variety of foods. Eat a rainbow.

Most people with diabetes try to cut out carbohydrates from their diet altogether. This is not a healthy thing to do.  The simple truth is we get a lot of our energy from eating carbohydrates. 50 to 60% of our daily energy needs and calories should be obtained from eating carbohydrates. 

Carbohydrate sources include grains and starches, milk & alternatives, fruits, vegetables and other choices.  These should be in our diets, but we need to be more careful about the ones we choose to consume.  Complex carbohydrates are what is best for us.

A complex carbohydrate is one which contains plenty of fiber and starch.  So you need to be eating carbohydrates that rich in these things. Fiber is especially important because it promotes bowel regularity and helps to control cholesterol.   

Diabetes



Things you need to be eating carbohydrate-wise include: 

 1. Whole grains: Whole grains are good sources of fiber, as well as potassium, magnesium, and selenium. Choose less processed whole grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, and whole-wheat pasta.

2. Fiber-rich fruits: Some of these are apples, berries, and bananas. Avoid canned fruit since it usually contains added syrup. 

 3. Fiber-rich vegetables: Eat more of all your veggies, including broccoli, leafy greens, and carrots. 

 4. Beans: Aside from fiber, these are good sources of folate, iron, and potassium. 

 Choosing the right carbs takes time and practice. With some research and by keeping an eye on nutrition labels, you can start making healthier choices to energize your body and protect it from long-term complications. 

diabetes 

A fiber intake up at least 25 to 35g per day is what is recommended for adults. High-fiber foods are preferable, especially those with a low glycemic index.  The glycemic index is a scale that ranks carbohydrate rich foods by how much they raise blog glucose levels compared to standard foods.

Many factors contribute to a food's glycemic effect. Things such as the soluble fiber, how resistant the food is to digestion, how the food has been cooked or prepared, and whether or not the food is eaten alone or as part of a mixed meal. 

By choosing foods which have a low-glycemic index more often than not, people with diabetes may experience less of a rise in blood glucose after meals or snacks.  Low glycemic foods are often higher in vitamins, minerals and fiber and help you to feel full longer.  

Diabetes


There are plenty of healthy and nutritious foods to choose from. You should build your diet around the following low GI foods: 

Bread: whole grain, multigrain, rye, sourdough Breakfast cereals: steel cut oats, bran flakes 

Fruit: apples, strawberries, apricots, peaches, plums, pears, kiwi, tomatoes, and more 

Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini, and more 

Starchy vegetables: sweet potatoes with an orange flesh, corn, yams, winter squash 

Legumes: lentils, chickpeas, baked beans, butter beans, kidney beans, and more 

Pasta and noodles: pasta, soba noodles, vermicelli noodles, rice noodles 

Rice: basmati, Doongara, long grain, brown 

Grains: quinoa, barley, pearl couscous, buckwheat, freekeh, semolina 
Dairy and dairy replacements: milk, cheese, yogurt, coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk  

Diabetic



The following foods contain few or no carbs and therefore don’t have a GI value. These foods can be included as part of the low GI diet: 

Fish and seafood: including salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, and prawns 

Other animal products: including beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and eggs 

Nuts: such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, and macadamia nuts 

Fats and oils: including olive oil, butter, and avocado 

Herbs and spices: such as garlic, basil, dill, salt, and pepper  

It goes without saying that foods which are high in salt, sugar, and fat should not be a regular part of a Diabetic's diet, or anyone's for that matter, however an occasional treat is something which can be enjoyed in moderation from time to time. 




I know that I post a lot of baked goods and other delicious recipes on the blog.  For the most part these things are given away and not eaten by myself. When I was living in the UK,  I had a husband who could eat whatever he wanted to eat without any adverse effects, and in fact had a problem keeping his weight up. He lost weight all the time with little or no effort. Annoying to me for sure. He was always more than able to enjoy all of the treats

Now I am living with my family, most of whom are either diabetic or on the verge of being so, these treats have gone right down and its a lot easier for me to manage my diet.  When I looked through my recipe archives however, I found a multitude of healthy recipes and things which were not verboten for Diabetics.  I thought I would share some of them with you today. 

Zippy Red Slaw



ZIPPY RED SLAW
I think this is pretty healthy all told.  You get vivid color and crunch from the raw red cabbage, which really doesn't taste much different from green cabbage.   Cabbage is filled with vitamins and is quite low in any carbohydrate value and natural sugars.

I added some red beans and some corn for extra fibre and just a tiny bit of starch, but not overwhelmingly so.  The beans also add protein, which is really important.  Chopped tomatoes added a bit of colour and natural sweetness and some chopped spring onion added a bit of zest.


Almond Crumbed Cod 
ALMOND CRUMBED COD

This is delicious, easy to make and low in fat. There are approximately 10g carbs per serving. I like cod because it has a lovely mild flavour and beautiful texture.
 
The almond and whole grain topping add a nice crunch and flavour as well.


Pumpkin Muffins, two ways

PUMPKIN MUFFINS, TWO WAYS 

 I decided to play with one of my favourite Pumpkin Muffin recipes the other day to see if I could replace the sugar in it with a sugar substitute suitable for baking, and replace the regular cooking oil with coconut oil, which is better for you. 

Actually I thought the sugar sub ones were a lot tastier.   The coconut oil added a lovely flavour. But both muffins are very delicious. 


Turnip & Carrot Dish

TURNIP & CARROT DISH

This delicious vegetable mix here today is a very flavourful way to get in some of your five a day fruit and veg.   

With carrots, turnips (you could use rutabaga or swede instead), celery and onions, it is a beautiful combination, both in looks and in texture and taste.


Chicken Dijon

CHICKEN DIJON

Lean Chicken Breasts are simply rolled in a mix of plain yogurt and Dijon mustard, and then in some tasty whole wheat bread crumbs.  I used a malted loaf, so there are also some little bits for extra crunch in the coating.

With some simple new potatoes (browned on one side in a nonstick skillet sprayed with low fat cooking spray) and the vegetables from the other day, it was quite simply part of a healthy plate for dinner!  Yum!


OATMEAL PANCAKES WITH MAPLE FRUIT

OATMEAL PANCAKES WITH MAPLE FRUIT

Different doesn't have to be boring as  this recipe I am showing you here today will prove!  These are fabulous, and whilst they are not doused in lashings of butter and maple syrup, they are still filled with plenty of flavour and interest.

Wholesome and oaty they are delicious.


Crumb Topped Cornmeal Molasses Muffins

CRUMB TOPPED CORNMEAL & MOLASSES MUFFINS

Light and filled with whole grains, these muffins make the perfect breakfast when accompanied with a small bowl of unsweetened applesauce along with a dollop of low fat plain yogurt.  High in fibre and relatively low in fat and sugars, these make a healthy alternative to most regular muffins.



WHOLEWHEAT BAKING POWDER BISCUITS

WHOLEWHEAT BAKING POWDER BISCUITS

They rise high and have soft and tender insides with a delicious nutty and wholesome flavour. You might not think you can bake a fabulous biscuit using wholewheat flour that will rise high and be tender and delicious.

This recipe proves exactly the opposite. You really can!

TURKEY SPINACH BURGERS

TURKEY SPINACH BURGERS 

These are moist and delicious and pretty healthy too.  Both spinach and turkey are superfoods! 

Served with some mixed green peas and beans and roasted sweet potatoes they made for a very delicious, color and fibre filled supper!


TURKEY TACO PIZZA

TURKEY TACO PIZZA 

Something tasty to do with your leftover turkey (or roast chicken).   Deliciously simple and pretty healthy. There is no luxurious thick crust . . .  just a plain (six inch) whole wheat tortilla . . . there's likewise no real sauce, just some tomato salsa.  (Pick a spicy one for extra flavor.)

With a bit of a nicely flavored cheese melted on top and a low fat sour cream drizzle, this went down a real treat.


FIG CLAFOUTIS

FIG CLAFOUTIS 

The figs were sweet and satisfying . . .  the batter likewise, thanks to some Splenda sweetener.  You could use regular sugar if you wanted to, 1/4 cup would do the trick.  I would use fruit sugar however.  

The only thing missing was a scoop of vanilla ice cream . . .  but you just can't have it all!  These were very tasty, filled with fibre and quite healthy.  All pluses!


PASTA WITH EGGPLANT SAUCE

PASTA WITH EGGPLANT SAUCE 

Who says a pasta sauce has to have meat in it to be delicious. This is fabulous. With a whole wheat pasta and this was rich and satisfying.


CAULIFLOWER, GREENBEAN & TOMATO SALAD

CAULIFLOWER, GREENBEAN & TOMATO SALAD 

This was a really delicious way of getting in not one or two vegetables, but three  or more.   Celery is a vegetable I am sure and tomatoes . . .  well, I know that they are classified as a fruit, but they're in there too!


MAPLE & OATMEAL MUFFINS

MAPLE & OATMEAL MUFFINS 

Easy to make and quite a satisfying healthy option.  The batter seems a bit runny when you spoon it in, but don't worry, it works out fine.  These delicious muffins are loaded with low GI oats.  Yummilicious! 
 

GREEK ROASTED PEPPERS

GREEK ROASTED PEPPERS 

Simple and delicious.  You could have a slice of crusty wholegrain bread with this to sop up all of these delicious juices, or serve as a main meal with some whole grain or basmati rice, or even cooked barley or quinoa.

  
CHICKEN PAD THAI

CHICKEN PAD THAI 

Low in carbs, high in protein and low in sugar. This is quick and easy to make . . .  and that sauce is really moreish.  It's salty (from the fish sauce and soy) and spicy and hot and sour.

I added carrots for color and a bit of crunch, along with the bean sprouts . . . you get protein from scrambled egg and chicken.  Altogether it was delicious!


ROAST CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI PESTO

ROAST CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI PESTO PASTA

Dishes like this Grilled Chicken with Broccoli Pesto Pasta are a great example of how you can still fit carbs into your diet by making wise choices.  You will want to choose a whole grain pasta for this, making sure that on the label the product information lists more whole grain than any other ingredient. 

That broccoli pesto is amazing!


TURKEY & STUFFING CASSEROLE

TURKEY & STUFFING CASSEROLE 

Turkey breast, stuffing and a delicious low fat gravy.  What more could you ask for?  Easily multiplied to serve more than two also. 

A hearty casserole that is healthy and deliciously low in fat and calories, served with it's own gravy.  Why wait for the holidays to enjoy turkey and stuffing!


WHOLEMEAL PUMPKIN PIE ROLLS

WHOLEMEAL PUMPKIN PIE ROLLS 

This recipe makes a dozen wholemeal scone type of buns, filled with a delicious virtually sugar free filling of  spiced pumpkin. 
 
There is only 60g (1/4 cup) of butter in the whole recipe, and 1 tsp of molasses in the filling, which you add along with splenda sugar substitute.  There is sugar in the glaze . . .  you can't get around that, but with only 1/2 cup of icing sugar, spread over 12 rolls, even that is not an incredible lot of sugar.


BERRY & APPLE CRUMBLE 

BERRY & APPLE CRUMBLE

An occasional treat. This delicious crisp is full of lovely flavours and is low in sugar and fat.  It's delicious. It has a nutty and oaty topping.  I did use a sugar substitute called Truvia.  It was quite delicious altogether.  


GLAZED TURKEY MINI LOAVES

GLAZED TURKEY MINI LOAVES 

Although they didn't photograph well, these mini meatloaves with their lush glaze were delicious! Plus they are a great way to get some vegetables into the family without their knowing it.  Courgettes (zucchini), onions and red bell peppers.  I use all three for extra flavour and moistness.

There is BBQ sauce used both in the meat mixture and as a finishing glaze.



A VEGETABLE CURRY

A VEGETABLE CURRY

Carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes, peas and tomatoes . . .  vegetable stock, lots of lovely spices and some raisins for just a touch of sweetness, this was fabulously delish.  

Filled with fiber and lots of flavor.


TURKEY HOT BROWNS

TURKEY HOT BROWNS 

Delicious open faced sandwiches which are low in fat and diabetic friendly, and yes, delicious!  Grab your knife and fork!   

These sandwiches make for a nice light and healthy supper when it gets too hot to cook, or when you are starving at the end of the day and can't be asked to cook.  Not only are they quick and easy to make, but they are diabetic friendly also!


PARMESAN CHICKEN WITH AN AVOCADO & TOMATO SALAD

PARMESAN CHICKEN WITH AN AVOCADO & TOMATO SALAD 

Chicken breasts are the perfect canvas for many flavours and these were simply seasoned, dipped in beaten egg white and then rolled in a simple mix of finely grated Parmesan cheese and chili powder for a bit of zip.  Chicken and Parmesan are a marriage made in heaven! 

The salad really makes this dish.  It's a beautiful mix of colour, flavours and textures. 


CARDAMOM & LEMON CHICKEN STIR FRY

CARDAMOM & LEMON CHICKEN STIR FRY 

Healthy and delicious!  If you get all of your ingredients prepped ahead of time, it goes together in a flash. Filled with plenty of fibre, flavour and crunch.


CAKE PAN SALAD

CAKE PAN SALAD

This delicious salad is every bit as attractive as the normal layered cake pan salads you see and is not lacking at all in flavour.  Even though it is healthy, it is filled with plenty of yummy ingredients.


A HEALTHY BIG BREAKFAST

A HEALTHY BIG BREAKFAST

You don't have to eat this delicious mix for breakfast, it also makes a delicious supper. Pesto grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, spinach scrambled egg on top of wholewheat English muffins.


GUILT FREE CHICKEN STRIPS WITH SWEET POTATO F

GUILT FREE CHICKEN STRIPS WITH SWEET POTATO FRIES 

Exactly what it says. Everything is baked instead of fried, and so you are virtually free to enjoy them without a lot of guilt!  The chicken is marinated in buttermilk for several hours which helps to keep the meat moist and tender!!


Garlic Butter Salmon & Broccoli

GARLIC BUTTER SALMON & BROCCOLI

Perfectly baked and flavoured. Moist and delicious salmon with crispy tender broccoli, all baked together on one baking sheet. I served it with roasted mashed sweet potatoes for the win.


GARLIC BUTTER SALMON & BROCCOLI



As you can see being diagnosed as a Diabetic is not the end of the world. There is still plenty of deliciousness and variety to be had out there. This is only the tip of the iceberg.  Eating healthy can also be quite exciting if you put your mind and heart into it! 

This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at mariealicejoan at aol dot com. 

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Marie Rayner
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14 comments:

  1. Your post is so informative, Marie. I welcome all the recipes, too. I was intrigued by your brocolli pesto. It looks delicious. My downfall is fresh fruit. Seedless green and red grapes have been plentiful and delicious this winter. It's really hard to enjoy just a few but I notice when I eat too many it causes my blood sugar to go up. I really appreciate your pist. Love and hugs, Elaine

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    1. That broccoli pesto is sooooo good Elaine! I love it with pasta! Grapes are so bad for diabetics because they are loaded with sugar, but I know, they are so delicious! I love watermelon and have been enjoying a little pot of the cubes from the grocery store every couple of days. I also love apples and clementines. I really love cake, and jujubes ....but you know. Love and hugs, xoxo

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  2. A lot of these look so delicious and I have to say your maple-oatmeal muffins are a standard for me. I love them!

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    1. Thanks so much Jeanie! I a very pleased that you enjoy them! oxox

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  3. What a feast for both the eye and the taste buds! There are some wonderful dishes here that I've bookmarked to try out. I'm intrigued by the cake pan salad as I've never had a layered salad before and it looks so pretty and inviting.

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    1. Its a really lovely salad Marie! I Hope you will like it! Thanks for your lovely comment. I never know how posts like this will be received! xoxo

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  4. Thank you, Marie, this is a wonderful help. I suspect I may also be diabetic and need to get a checkup once Covid settles down. Now if only I could find a weight loss blog for older women like me! I have a lot of weight to lose and am a bit confused about where to start, with all the different diets out there. If another older woman would just set a realistic, balanced example for me to follow, I'd love that, especially if the recipes were good!

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    1. Watch this space B! As an older woman who also has a lot of weight to lose, especially covid weight, that is my plan once I get into my own space and my refrigerator, etc. are my own to fill and to cook from. That is my plan anyways. I've been working on it, formulating it, etc. but it is hard to do when you are living in someone else's house and they don't like you to take up too much space in their tiny fridge. Understandable! At 65 I know it won't be easy, but every little helps as they say. That's my plan anyways! xoxo

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  5. I have been diagnosed type two for over 20 years and thankfully have managed to keep my blood sugare is the mid 6 range all these years. Finding good recipes is not easy so am thrilled with these and will save them all. Hubby has some allergy restriction, No tomatoes or garlic, hard to get round sometimes but have been doing ok. thanks for this great post. as with others I need to get rid of my covid weight, first thing may be getting rid of my sour dough starter.......

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    1. Thanks so much Pammie! It can be hard fitting in everyone’s dietary needs, likes and wishes! I think if we are doing our best that’s what matters most! Sour dough ... I hear you! Xoxo

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  6. Looking forward to trying out some of these...yummo looking!! Thanks for the many ideas!! I use usually a mix of coconut sugar and xylitol for a lot of baking. A recent find (that seems ok with diabetics too) is date honey. I did not realize that dates are not so hard on the blood sugar. Being I have to avoid dairy, my favorite butter is Miyoko's which is mostly made of coconut oil and cashew nuts...and it tastes BETTER in my opinion that butter. We don't use a lot of it, but so nice to have on some toast and to bake with. It also freezes just fine so I can buy quite a few at once and freeze for later.

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    1. I love date syrup Elizabeth. Perhaps it’s the same thing? I have never heard of Miyoki’s but sounds yummy! Xoxo

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  7. There are actually 4 types of diabetes. I have LADA or diabetes 1.5. I love these recipes can't wait to try them!

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    1. I didn’t know that there was yet another kind! Thank you! I hope you enjoy the recipes! Xoxo

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