Ask the dietician: Genevieve Jardine
From our community: “I find myself worrying about food a lot, as a diabetic… What are the essentials I should always have on hand for healthy lunches or quick food on the go?” Kriveshen Moodley.
Life is busy, with many demands that distract us from healthy eating. So how do we make good food choices? It starts with the right attitude and being prepared. As a diabetic, it’s important to remember that food is part of your treatment, so it needs to be a priority – but it doesn’t need to be hard.
Simplifying food choices
Some helpful tips for simplifying food choices:
- Plan meals for the week and do a big weekly shop.
- Take a bag full of fresh food to work on Monday morning to use as lunch for the week.
- Keep healthy snacks stashed in your car.
- Have a back-up meal replacement drink for those times you don’t have time to eat.
Diabetes-friendly breakfast ideas:
Great tip: Wake up earlier so that you have time for breakfast at home – always a good idea!
- Bake some diabetic-friendly muffins as a breakfast option.
- A poached egg in the microwave (even at work) on a slice of low GI toast with a piece of fruit is a healthy choice.
- Microwave oats (they’re low GI!) with a chopped apple or ¼ cup (30g) raw nuts and seeds to make a quick nutritious breakfast.
Diabetes-friendly lunch ideas:
- A sandwich made with low GI bread filled with lean protein (cottage cheese / low-fat meat / tinned fish). Stuff with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and other salad.
- Vegetable soup with 1 to 2 slices of low GI bread or a small wholewheat roll.
- A picnic lunch with wholewheat crackers, hummus for a dip and cucumber chunks, carrots sticks, baby tomatoes or snap peas instead of a salad.
- A salad made with lean protein (chicken or tuna) with very little dressing and no high fat toppings (croutons, bacon bits, cheese etc).
Diabetes-friendly dinner ideas:
Great tip: Cook meals for the week or cook double portions and freeze the food so that you have meals ready when you don’t have time to cook.
- Make simple meals that don’t need lots of attention: roast chicken or baked fish with roasted vegetables. A steaming net is a handy tool that fits into any pot and steams all your vegetables at one time.
- Always have a stash of frozen vegetables in the freezer for when you run out of fresh vegetables. When life gets busy, the first food groups to suffer are vegetables and fruit.
- Always have salad ingredients handy. Salad is a quick side dish that takes up room on the plate so you can’t fill it with more carbs!
- An omelette filled with vegetables like tomatoes, onion, mushrooms and peppers is a quick and healthy meal.
Get more fantastic diabetes-friendly meal ideas here.