Food should be fun and, diabetes or not, it’s still possible to enjoy a rich and varied diet, it may just take a little more imagination. Balancing your diabetic diet can be a challenge, but if anything it’s more important than ever to be creative and varied in your approach to healthy eating. Here are 5 simple tips for spicing up your diabetic diet.
1. BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS
We all our favourite dishes to cook up and enjoy, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but eating the same foods over and over can leave us feeling like we’re stuck in a rut. Doing your research can open up a whole new world of exciting foods that fit well into your diabetic diet. Look for foods with a low GI that provide you with nutrients including magnesium, fibre, calcium and potassium. Citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, berries and leafy greens are a great place to start while switching to wholegrains like brown rice, which still contains the germ and bran, all provide key nutrients. You can read more about why Wholegrain rice is good for your diabetic diet here.
2. MIX YOUR DRINKS
There are many drink options available to diabetics other than a plain, still water. Herbal and unsweetened teas are refreshing and packed with antioxidants, while a glass of low-fat milk provides calcium and vitamin D, both of which are essential for a diabetic diet. If you’re looking for something more unusual, try making your own infused waters by adding strawberries or mint to water or sparkling water before putting it in the fridge.
3. ENJOY EATING OUT
A diabetic diet can make people reluctant to head out to enjoy food because they’re worried there won’t be anything suitable on the menu. No restaurant should deny making a couple of small adjustments to your meal so speak up if there’s something you like the look of and want altered to fit your diet. Ask for less salt to be added, or for your food to not come fried or breaded, both of which add carbohydrates and fat to your meal. Make sure to get low-calorie dressings on the side and substitute white rice for brown and chips for extra veggies like broccoli or green beans.
4. SNACK WISELY
As tempting as snacking might be, it can be tough to find tasty diabetic-friendly options. Diabetic snacks ideally contain no added sugar and have a good balance of healthy fats, high-quality carbs and protein to stave off hunger, and maintain an even blood-sugar level. Homemade popcorn, which is high in fibre and contains no additives or artificial flavours, is a great alternative to crisps, while a bowl of crunchy veggies with a low-fat yoghurt is packed with vitamins and minerals.
5. THE GREAT DIABETIC BAKE OFF
Just because you have to limit your sugar intake doesn’t mean you have to write off treats altogether. There are plenty of recipes out there for tasty puddings like sugar-free sorbets, low-fat soufflés and rich but low-calorie desserts including brownies and profiteroles with the recipes tweaked to suit the diabetes diet.