9 – 15 July is National Diabetes Week.
With 280 people diagnosed every day in Australia with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, diabetes really is a concern for many. They say that for every person with type 2 diabetes, there is another who is yet to be diagnosed and with Australia’s obesity epidemic, even more people are at risk.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease usually detected during childhood and requires insulin for management.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is considered a lifestyle related disease; mainly affecting overweight people in their 40’s and upwards. In many cases type 2 diabetes can be managed by a combination of a healthy diet, regular physical activity and in some cases medications.
There is no special diet required for people with type 2 diabetes, they just need to eat regular meals and have regular snacks spread evenly over the day. It is important that a person with type 2 diabetes has the right carbohydrate distribution throughout the day and follows a low saturated fat diet.So knowing how to cook the healthy way is important.
Here are my cooking tips for people with diabetes or anyone wanting to cook the healthy way:
- Choose a low saturated fat diet. Cut the fat off meat, remove skin from chicken and where possible avoid cream, butter and high fat products.
- Use low fat products. Such as 25% reduced fat cheese, diet yoghurt, skim milk and low fat margarines.
- Use cooking spray instead of frying in fat.
- Include lots of vegetables and two serves of fruit a day.
- Aim for 30g of fibre each day.
- Omit or use salt sparingly, as a low-sodium diet is ideal for people with diabetes.
- Avoid coconut milk at 60g of fat a cup, instead make my version of using evaporated light milk and imitation coconut essence at only 4g.
- Limit sugar. Having small amounts of sugar is fine, for example one of my cakes may have a third cup sugar but it serves ten. Divided up there isn’t much sugar at all.
- Opt for Basmati or Doongara rice; both have a lower GI than normal white rice.
- Preference fruit grown in a colder climate such as berries, cherries, apples, pears etc as these have a lower GI. Tropical fruits have a high GI rating and are quickly absorbed into the blood stream.
All the recipes in my 7 cook books are suitable for people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
If you are concerned and want to know more about diabetes then call Diabetes Australia on their toll free number – 1300 136 588.