When looking at cooking and eating healthily, the first thing to keep in mind is blood sugar balance. Keeping blood sugar levels stable prevents dips in energy. Not only this is better for productivity, concentration and overall mood, but it also keeps you from snacking or reaching out for stimulants, including Caffeine and Sugar, which only lead you to a later dip in energy and further snacking.
Keeping hydrated throughout the day is also very important.
When living with Diabetes blood sugar management may become a full time job, and it can quickly become quite overwhelming for many people.
Cooking from scratch may become a necessity as many processed foods are laden with sugar, some of which is hidden. Some healthy snacks may also contain an extremely high amount of sugar.
To keep blood sugar levels stable, aim at eating a diet made of at least 75% vegetables, mostly raw or cooked as little as possible to preserve key nutrients, including antioxidants.
Boost your protein intake with plant-based protein. They are usually also rich in fibre.
Use good fat only and use sporadically. Ban any vegetable oils and processed oils. Add fresh avocado and a few nuts a day to boost fat intake.
Having a printout of the Glycaemic Index of food on your fridge may also be useful, and can help you decide what food you can enjoy on a more regular basis. Being aware of the Food Insulin Index can further your knowledge of what food is good for the management of Diabetes.
My favourite cooking method is steam-frying. A fantastic way to cook healthily and quickly. Place a pan on high heat and once hot pour a few tablespoons of water, add your food and quickly place a lid on. The steam will cook your food in no time.
Vegetables should be boiled in a little water and should remain crunchy. This may be a good sign that the nutrients and antioxidants are kept intact.
When cooking meat, part-grilling part-baking may be a very tasty option. If frying use a quarter of a teaspoon of Raw Organic coconut oil – this is plenty!
Cooking fish in foil can boost the flavour and keep it from drying out.
Use spices and herbs freely. Marinade your lean meat and fish before cooking is a great way to add flavours. You will enjoy your food even more. Do not be afraid to experiment and see what works for you.
Cooking your meals should make you happy. You are about to eat what you are preparing. Having your partner or kids to cook with may help you enjoying what could be great family times.
Traditional dishes like Lasagne or Pasta can be done in very healthy variations. Courgettes can be sliced, together with aubergines, and used instead of pasta sheets.
If you do not have a Spiralizer yet, there can be no better time to get one. Using Courgettes to make noodles is such a great alternative that can be used like any egg or wheat noodles. Cooking Chickpeas in a rich tomato sauce can be more delicious than meat balls.
Avoiding some dairy products, such as fruit yogurts and some desserts may help you in balancing your blood sugar levels.
Another thing to keep in mind when living with Diabetes is to keep an eye on portion size. You should feel satisfied after food. Not full, nor feeling like you need a nap.
Being present is indispensable.
Chewing each mouthful and concentrating only on enjoying your food without distraction mostly helps.
If you have lost any connection with food, go to a farmer’s market a look at the fruits and vegetables on display, touch, smell, and pick only the ones that make you smile.
Better yet, try to grow your own. It is a lot easier than you may think.
It is all about FOOD™
This Blog offers an easy-to-read condensed descriptive of food groups, nutrients, and their role on our body; cooking processes; world news with major impact on food and consumers; comprehensive reviews of restaurants (Menus, Food-on-plate and Quality of Service); and easy-to-follow Exquisite recipes, as well as healthy snacks and juices.
Olivier is a Michelin trained chef, a registered Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist, embracing fully his passion for good food and healthy eating.