Preventing diabetes with food - 6 low GI recipes dietitians love

Why is so low GI important?

Current eating recommendations for people with diabetes are based on food's Glycemic Index (GI) – not all sugary foods are going to raise your blood glucose levels more quickly and not all savoury foods are going to make it go up more slowly.

It is not necessary to completely rule out specific ingredients from your diet like sugar or flour - unless you eat them in spoonfuls by themselves, they are going to be ingredients in other foods. It is more important to understand a whole food’s GI to see if it is more or less suitable for diabetes, instead of each ingredient on its own. 

We asked three dietitians what are their favourite low GI, diabetes friendly recipes:

Rebecca Gawthorne

Rebecca Gawthorne, Accredited Practicing Dietitian 

www.rebeccagawthorne.com.au

@nourish_naturally

Why did you choose these recipes? 

'Vanilla is a delicious diabetes friendly way to flavour your porridge in place of sugar and sweeteners. It turns plain rolled oats into a gourmet breakfast that is extremely nutritious & bursting with flavour.'

Vanilla bean porridge and bliss ball

Vanilla Bean Porridge Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Cook plain rolled oats with milk & swirl through the vanilla extract.

I also love topping my Vanilla Bean Porridge with  fresh mint leaves, berries, shredded coconut & passionfruit.

Vanilla Bean Bliss Ball Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup bran
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 5 tbs sunflower seeds
  • 5 tbs chia seeds
  • 5 tbs dried cranberries
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs water
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method:

Place ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until combined. Remove mixture from blender & roll into balls. Store in fridge in airtight container or can be frozen.

 

Chloe McLeod

Chloe McLeod,  Accredited Practicing Dietitian

www.chloemcleod.com

@chloe_mcleod_dietitian

Why did you choose these recipes?

'The roast vegetables is a dish that I love, that is a great option of people with diabetes, and I chose one of my favourite dishes, pork and lentil lettuce cups.'

 

Roast Vegetables with Paprika and Garlic

Roast

Roast Vegetables with Paprika and Garlic

10 minute preparation time, 20 minutes cooking time

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin or cold pressed olive oil spray
  • 1 carrot, halved length ways and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 zucchini, halved length ways and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 4 Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 cup sweet potato or pumpkin, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 generous sprinkle of paprika
  • Cracked pepper
  • 2 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbspn pumpkin seeds

Serves 2 - Each serve provides:

Energy: 1506kJ, Protein: 8.6g, Fat: 24.8g, Fibre: 10g

Method:

  • Preheat fan-forced oven to 150oC.
  • Line oven tray with foil, and spray lightly with olive oil.
  • Arrange chopped vegetables on tray.
  • Sprinkle vegetables with garlic, herbs and cracked pepper.
  • Drizzle olive oil over vegetable and herb mix.
  • Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked.
  • Meanwhile, toast pumpkin seeds in dry pan for 2-3 minutes 
  • Serve vegetables with pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top

 

 

 

Pork and Lentil Lettuce Cups

Pork and Lentil Lettuce Cups

15 minutes preparation time, 10 minutes cooking time

Ingredients:

  • 200g lean pork mince
  • 1 cup canned brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium chilli
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tbspn basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tbspn coriander leavers, torn
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 4 mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (reduced salt)
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup cup water
  • 10 x iceberg lettuce leaves
  • Olive or rice bran oil spray

 

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter

Per serve (when split for 2 serves) provides:

Energy: 1666 kJ, Protein: 32g, Fat: 16.5g, Fibre: 10.6g

Method:

  • Lightly spray a hot pan with oil.
  • Stir-fry garlic and pork mince.
  • Add all herbs, spices and vegetables except for the lentils, and stir until combined.
  • Add soy sauce and oyster sauce to a small dish and add ¼ cup water, then add to meat and vegetable mix. Stir until combined and nearly cooked.
  • Add lentils, combine with rest of the ingredients, cook for another minute.
  • Spoon mixture into lettuce cups to serve

e

Ebony Bubandbody

Ebony Crameri, Accredited Practising Dietitian

bubandbody.com

@bubandbody

Why did you choose these recipes?

'Who doesn't love eggs for breakfast!? Eggs are an excellent source of protein and good fats which help to keep you feeling full throughout the morning. 

Our on the go smoothie recipe contains resistance starch which is an important nutrient for diabetics.'

On the go smoothie

On the go smoothie

Ingredients and method: 

Blend the following ingredients together in a food processor

  • 1 x frozen banana

  • 2 tsp LSA (ground linseed, sunflower seed and almond meal)

  •  Handful of berries of your choice

  •  1/2 cup greek yoghurt

  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice

  •  1/4 cup rolled oats

  • Ice (add more ice if you like a thinner consistency)

Bananas and raw rolled oats are both a great source of resistance starch, a type of fibre that reduces the rise of glucose after eating therefore reducing the amount of insulin the body needs to produce.

TIP: Choose bananas that still have green on their skin, the greener the banana, the higher the resistance starch content. 

 

Baked Eggy Mushrooms

Ingredients 

  • 1 large flat mushroom 
  • 30g crumbled feta cheese
  • chopped tomato or cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 eggs 
  • handful baby spinach

Method

  • Pre heat fan forced oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Take stem out of mushroom and crack 1-2 eggs onto the centre of the mushroom
  • Top with chopped tomato and crumbled feta and baby spinach
  • Cook for 5-15 minutes depending on how runny you like your egg
  • Serve hot with a slice of sourdough bread. 

 

Mushrooms are a great source of Vitamin D. Evidence shows that newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics have lower levels of Vitamin D compared to those without diabetes. There is some evidence that Vitamin D may help improve insulin resistance, increase insulin sensitivity and more effectively control blood glucose levels. Although more research needs to be completed regarding the role of Vitamin D and diabetes, upping your Vitamin D intake certainly won't hurt! 

TIP: Put your mushrooms out in the sun (about 1 hour in direct winter sun) before consuming as this will boost their Vitamin D content

*If you are pregnant, make sure eggs are cooked all the way through & you eat straight from the oven whilst hot.