Plants are a great source of vitamins, fibre and nutrients, but for people with diabetes, they hold an even greater benefit.
Many veg, particularly green, leafy veg, are low in carbohydrate, which is great if you’re looking to fill yourself up without all the added carbs or fat.
Ingredients such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, cabbage, mushrooms and zucchini are some of my favourites.
Veggies can be used to bulk up almost any dish and they don’t have a strong flavour so they soak up any curry or sauce which jam-packs them full of flavour.
Often, if you reduce your carbohydrate intake, research suggests that people with diabetes tend to automatically add more protein and fat to their diet.
Protein is a great source of nutrient for the body, but it can be high in fat and calories, particularly if it’s not lean.
Bulking up your recipes with lower-carb, plant based ingredients, is a great way to stay full, without upping your fat or calorie intake or affecting your blood glucose.
Animal protein and fats can impact your BGL – to find out more, check out my earlier post, Beyond Carbs: Impact of Fat ad Protein on BGL.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do love a good piece of lean chicken or fish, so I’m not suggesting you cut animal protein from your diet altogether, but you may like to up the ante when it comes to veggies.
You definitely don’t have to go all-out vegan or vegetarian, not that there’s anything wrong with that though. I like to mix up my week and often cook meat-free meals every few days just to keep things interesting.
By adding more veg to your meal, your supercharging your food which has many health benefits for achieving stable bloods and weight loss.
Other great plant-based ingredients include legumes like chick peas, lentils and beans, nuts and seeds, and whole-grains.
These are lower in Glycemic index which helps you feel fuller for longer as well as keeping your BGL stable, which reduces that tired feeling you get from highs and lows.
Power of plants for diabetes management
Studies show that introducing more plant-based ingredients to your diet, is great for diabetes, particular in the prevention of type 2 diabetes – WebMD .
There are heaps of great cookbooks on the market, as well as really yummy recipes online.
If you’re looking for inspiration, or you’re not too familiar with cooking vegetables, you can check out some vegan or vegetarian recipes and then just add a bit of meat if you prefer.
Here are some of my favourites for inspiration:
- The Doctor’s Kitchen
- Slow Cooker Vegetarian
- Veggie Desserts
- Deliciously Ella
- Elsa’s Wholesome Life
- The Healthy Chef
Note: I do have to modify some of these recipes if they contain a lot of flour and sugar, to keep them lower in carbs and sugar free.
Try greening up your diabetes today and happy eating!