My top 5 diabetic-friendly meals
Since I was diagnosed with prediabetes, my food choices have changed significantly. To keep my blood glucose levels in control, I plan my meals mindfully and keep track of which food groups I’m eating.
I now eat my dinner early (around 6 pm or so), then try to walk an hour after dinner – This has helped me keep my fasting sugar levels on track.
And after a lot of experimentation, I’ve come up with a diet that suits me and avoids spikes in my sugar level. It’s split into a daily intake of five-part carbohydrates, two-part proteins, two-part dairy, two-part fats, vegetables, and a spoon full of nuts.
I’ve also found including a lot of fibre in my diet helps my sugar remain under control (e.g. potatoes, cucumbers, and apples). And I’ve started using whole wheat flour instead of refined flour, and brown rice instead of basmati rice.
These changes can result in rather bland food, but I’ve worked out some dishes that meet my diet goals, keep me healthy and still taste delicious.
Here are some of my favourite recipes:
Recipe 1: Tawa pakora (Fritters)
- Gram flour - 80g
- Onion (chopped) - 30g
- Spinach (finely chopped) - 50g
- Green chilli - 10g
- Mint leaves - 10g
- Spices (salt, red chilli, ground coriander) - 3g each
- Mix all the ingredients. Add 5 grams of water to make it into a thick batter.
- Heat a non-stick flat pan over medium heat. Brush with 5 grams of oil.
- Pour batter with a tablespoon, making spoon-sized little pakora pancakes.
- Cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 5 minutes (10 minutes total).
- Serve with mint and coriander chutney.
This recipe is my personal favourite. It not only satisfies my snack cravings but covers my nutritional requirements too. It’s high in protein and keeps me feeling full and satisfied for hours.
It’s mainly protein (the gram flour) and vegetables, which are a great source of fibre, essential vitamins, and micro-nutrients. And you can also cook it in an air fryer.
Recipe 2: Steamed chicken tikka
- Chicken breast/thigh - 2 pieces
- Yoghurt - 20 g
- Vinegar - 5g
- Spices (salt, black pepper, red chilli, cumin powder, coriander powder) - 3g each
- Mix yoghurt, vinegar and spices.
- Rub chicken with yoghurt-spice mix and leave to marinate for 6 hours.
- Place chicken in a steamer and let it cook for 45 minutes.
- Serve with BBQ sauce or mint-coriander chutney.
This recipe helps me get my protein in a spicy, exciting way. I often eat it on its own, but sometimes pair it with a slice of brown bread.
Recipe 3: Sugar-free brownie
- Eggs - 2
- Artificial sweetener - 10g
- Butter - 10g
- Low-fat yoghurt - 50g
- Almond/coconut flour - 50g
- Baking powder - 7g
- Salt - 1 pinch
- Cocoa powder - 20g
- Mix eggs, sweetener, butter and yoghurt in a blender, and blend well.
- Sieve together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
- In a bowl, fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
- Pour mixture into a brownie tray and bake at 180ºC for 20-25 minutes.
This recipe is one of my favourites because it satisfies my sweet cravings while keeping my blood sugar level under control. When I’m missing traditional desserts, this is my go-to recipe every time.
Recipe 4: Oatmeal smoothie
- Low-fat yoghurt - 80g
- Low-fat milk - 100g
- Quick oats - 30g
- Almonds - 20g
- Strawberries - 30g
- Chia seeds - 10g
- Pumpkin seeds - 5g
- Mix oats, almonds and all seeds, then add to milk. Soak for 6–8 hours.
- Empty the oats-milk mixture into a blender, and add yoghurt and strawberries. Blend well.
- Serve chilled.
This smoothie is so filling and slowly releases energy. I usually drink this and then fast for the next 6–8 hours, without feeling the need to eat any other meal. It’s a great source of complex carbohydrates (from the oats) and healthy dairy. And the nuts and seeds and a great source of good fats.
Recipe 5: Healthy drink
- Mint leaves - 20 pieces
- Lemon juice - 4 tablespoons
- Pink salt - 5g
- Blend all ingredients along with 1 litre of water and ice cubes.
This pitcher is a perfect thirst quencher – Refreshing and delicious.
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Gandhali is a prediabetic young woman. Living in the constant shadow of diabetes, she's worked out effective lifestyle changes to help her avoid the disease.
Sana was diagnosed as a prediabetic. Determined to avoid type 2 diabetes, she made changes to her lifestyle and brought her blood sugar levels under control.