Diabetes-friendly food tips and recipes

Want to learn more about diabetes-friendly food and ingredients? Dr Sarah Brewer shares a list of must have diabetes-friendly kitchen staples.

Monday, 23rd November 2020, 10:36 am
Updated Monday, 23rd November 2020, 10:40 am

These kitchen staples will help sure people have healthy meals from breakfast to dinner, while keeping your blood sugar in check.

Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidant flavanols. Only select dark chocolate containing at least 70 per cent cocoa solids, or drink unsweetened cocoa. 100g/3.5oz dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids) per day can lower blood pressure by 5.1/1.8 mmHg. Dark chocolate has also been shown to decrease insulin resistance. Cocoa extracts can significantly lower glucose levels.

Cinnamon contains substances that promote secretion of insulin from beta-cells in the laboratory. 1g per day can improve blood glucose levels by 10% in people with type 2 diabetes.

Granola

Ginger contains gingerol, zingerone and essential oils. Gingerol reduces blood clotting, boosts circulation and lowers blood pressure. Research suggests ginger increases insulin secretion and increases insulin-sensitive glucose uptake in fat (adipose) cells. Preliminary research suggests it may also reduce diabetes-related kidney damage.

Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants: vitamin E carotenoids and polyphenols. A diet rich in olive oil has been shown to reduce blood pressure, and the risk of coronary heart disease by 25 per cent. Following an olive-oil rich Mediterranean-style diet is predicted to prevent over 90 per cent of type 2 diabetes, 80 per cent of coronary heart disease and 70 per cent of stroke when combined with regular physical activity and not smoking.

Oranges – especially the red ‘blood’ oranges have high levels of antioxidant vitamin C, anthocyanidins and flavones. Cyanidin-3-glucoside and delphinidin-3-glucoside found in red oranges were recently shown to promote insulin secretion to improve glucose tolerance.

Spices contain a variety of oils and antioxidants that are beneficial for glucose control. Fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds, mustard seed, curry leaves are all reputed to have hypoglycemic effects.

Tea – especially green and white tea – contains antioxidant catechins that increase insulin sensitivity. People with type 2 diabetes who drank 1500 ml oolong tea daily for 30 days reduce blood glucose levels by 30 per cent compared with a similar period when drinking water. A study involving 38,000 women found that those drinking 4 or more cups of tea per day were 27 per cent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those drinking none.

Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, an antioxidant red pigment which is released in higher quantities when cooked. Lycopene reduces platelet clumping to help protect against the abnormal blood clotting linked with heart attack and stroke. Drinking tomato juice can protect against oxidation of LDL-cholesterol almost as effectively as high dose vitamin E supplements in people with type 2 diabetes.

Here are some diabetes friendly recipes by CuraLin

Breakfast: Granola

Who doesn’t love good crunchy granola? Well, enjoy it even more and even healthier! This recipe is a great workout snack, as well as an excellent breakfast choice! It combines the perfect amount of carbs and protein, which can be sprinkled on top of your favourite greek yogurt or sugar-free applesauce for a good crunch! Did we mention it only takes 15 minutes to make?

Servings: 22

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted cashews – chopped

1 cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds

1 cup unsalted pecans – chopped

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats- not quick cooking

1/4 cup natural peanut butter (can substitute for your favourite healthy nut butter!)

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 pure maple syrup

Method:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Coat with non-stick cooking spray.

In a bowl, combine cashews, pumpkin seeds, pecans, sunflower seeds and oats and set aside.

In the microwave, combine and melt peanut butter, oil, and Splenda Brown Sugar together. Stir together.

Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and stir to coat.

Spread out the granola in a packed layer onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 40-45 minutes while stirring every 10 minutes to ensure an even browning throughout.

Remove from the oven and let the granola cool. Once cooled, break up granola and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (Serving size 1/4 Cup):

Calories: 200

Fat: 17.0g

Carbohydrates: 10g

Protein: 5g

Lunch: Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes

Are you looking for an easy-peasy lunch? Quick and low- calorie, these baked sweet potatoes will fill you up and fulfil all your taste buds! This is great as a side-dish with dinner or main at lunch!

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 sweet potatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small bunch broccoli, trimmed, chopped

100g grated cheddar

100g barbecued chicken, skin removed, shredded

Chopped red onion

45g (1/4 cup) almonds, chopped

120g mixed salad leaves, to serve (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan forced. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Place cut side up on the prepared tray. Spray lightly with oil and season. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until softened and lightly golden.

While sweet potatoes are cooking, combine chicken, broccoli, and onion in a large bowl and set aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C/180°C. Scoop the soft flesh from the sweet potatoes, leaving a 5mm-thick shell. Add the sweet potato flesh to the chicken mixture, along with half the cheddar. Stir together. Spoon the sweet potato and chicken filling into the sweet potato shells, piling high. Sprinkle over the almonds and remaining cheddar. Spray lightly with oil and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and the cheese is melted. Serve with mixed salad leaves of choice!

Nutrition Facts: Per Serving of sweet potato

KCal: 440

Fat: 20g

Carbohydrates: 35g

Protein: 26g

Dinner: Italian Meatball and Zoodle Tray Bake

Need a quick and healthy dinner the whole family will love? We’ve got you covered with these juicy Italian meatballs and zoodles! Zoodles (Zucchini noodles) are a healthy alternative to pasta, and once all the flavors are there, you won’t even know it’s a healthy version!

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 x 250g packet zucchini noodles (if you can’t find packaged zoodles, feel free to “zoodle” them yourself with a spiralizer)

1 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs

2 x 420g packet beef meatballs

200g grape tomatoes

2 tbs olive oil

200g cherry tomatoes

2 tbs olive oil

95g (1/2 cup) kalamata olives

50g feta, crumbled

1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves

Method:

Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

In a separate bowl, combine beef, salt and pepper to taste. Form meat into balls.

Divide the zucchini noodles between prepared trays. Sprinkle with Italian herbs. Top with the meatballs and tomatoes. Drizzle over the oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until meatballs are golden and cooked through. Season.

Scatter the tray bake with the olives, feta and basil.

Obesity and inactivity are two of the greatest risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Therefore, in most cases, people with pre-diabetes or early-stage type 2 can manage those risks simply by making lifestyle modifications that include weight loss and increased physical activity.

Dr Sarah Brewer GP, recommends CuraLin, the all-natural glucose support supplement to her patients, said: "If your diabetes medication is not working as well as you would like, and you are overweight, losing at least some excess fat will help to improve the situation. The best thing you can do is to ask your doctor for support in following a weight loss diet. There appears to be a window of up to 10 years from developing type 2 diabetes during which weight loss can reverse the condition.

Dr Brewer in addition to dedicating research towards creating an effective 100 per cent natural supplement that helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, the team behind CuraLin is also offering support to over 14,000 diabetic members of their Facebook group called 'Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together' where people can talk openly about their experiences and help one another with any queries or concerns.

What’s more, they have also curated a bank of easy, delicious and healthy recipes, developed by top chefs and nutritionists and specially tailored to a diabetic diet.

Visit https://curalife.com/blog/category/recipes/ for a wide range of recipes or see below for our favourite dishes.