The Enjoy Food guide will help South Asian families with diabetes shop, cook and eat well, and take the uncertainty out of cooking with diabetes. It offers nutritional advice and recipes as well as suggesting ways to make traditional dishes healthier, such as sprinkling finely chopped coriander seeds on top of lassi for extra flavour. Practical tips on shopping for food, meal planning and healthy swaps are also included.
Eating a healthy balanced diet is key to managing both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, but often traditional Asian recipes are high in fat, salt and sugar, which can mean that blood glucose levels can become unstable.
People from the South Asian community are up to 6 times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, and are at risk of the condition from an earlier age than the White European community.
Enjoy Food is funded by Diabetes UK’s National Charity Partnership with Tesco, and aims to promote the message that healthy eating should be an enjoyable part of life for families with diabetes and that by making small changes to the way they shop, plan and prepare their meals, people can eat food that is healthy as well as delicious.
Juliet O’Brien, Diverse Communities Officer at Diabetes UK, said: “Eating well with diabetes can often be tricky, which is why we’ve teamed up with Tesco to produce a healthy eating guide specifically for people with diabetes from the South Asian community.
“You can make small swaps to traditional recipes that won’t make a difference to the taste. Take rotis, for example. Why not experiment with brown or wholemeal atta, and try to keep them on the small side, as the bigger and thicker the circle, the more carbohydrate. You could also make rotis without butter or ghee – you won’t even notice the difference when it’s covered in a tasty curry. Finally, if you butter your roti then think about buttering alternate ones on the pile, as that way both rotis will be kept moist using half the amount of butter.
“At the end of the day, cooking should be enjoyable and fun, and is something the whole family can get together over. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you should miss out. By making small changes you can live a healthier lifestyle without even noticing, and this can help improve your diabetes management while still allowing you to enjoy your favourite foods.”