6 Comfort Dishes That Are Safe for Diabetics
According to the World Health Organization, diabetes is one of the most common diseases worldwide. Research estimates that there are over 422 million diabetics1 around the world, and most of these patients can be found in low and middle-income countries. But despite being a highly prevalent illness, it can be easily avoided.
Genetics may play a role in the likelihood of acquiring diabetes, but it largely depends on a person’s eating habits. So, if you don’t follow a balanced diet and are unable to exercise regularly, you’ll have a greater risk of developing the disease. With this in mind, it’s clear that making lifestyle adjustments will be the best way you can keep it at bay.
Who can resist delicious comfort food?
Food plays a huge part in Filipino culture. Whenever we celebrate special occasions, we prepare extravagant dishes to get everyone in a festive spirit. When faced with difficulties, a taste of our favorite meals helps us manage stress. In a country that boasts of rich cuisine, it’s unfortunate that many Filipinos tend to overindulge.
Everyone has a specific dish they would consider as comfort food. Due to the memories attached to them, these meals provide a sense of relief when consumed. This explains why your mother’s home-cooked dishes taste better than those in popular restaurants.
However, many comfort foods can be heavy in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar, which is a big reason why 1 out of 5 Filipinos2 are diabetic or are likely to become one.
6 Comfort Food Dishes That Are Diabetes-Friendly3,4,5,6,7,8
Excessive consumption of comfort food will have adverse effects on your health. Additionally, with the world in the middle of a pandemic, elevated levels of stress may cause you to binge. The good news is, there are many tasty alternatives out there that are safe for people with diabetes.
1. Misua with Patola (Sponge Gourd)
Patola, or sponge gourd, is a vegetable that should be present in every diabetic’s diet. It contains essential nutrients, such as Vitamins C and B and potassium, which are known to relieve symptoms of arthritis, improve your cognitive functions, and maintain blood sugar levels. Having your fair share can have a big difference in your overall wellness.
There are many ways to enjoy patola, but the ingredient is best used for misua soup. In case you are starting to feel flu-like symptoms or feeling cold during a rainy day, a good hearty bowl will warm you up.
2. Lumpiang Togue (Bean Sprouts Spring Rolls)
Lumpia is a perfect midday snack. Eating a few pieces can alleviate your hunger without disrupting your appetite for other meals. But since the more famous Shanghai rolls recipe is made with notoriously unhealthy ingredients, such as pork and deep-fried wrappers, it’s not ideal for those with health conditions.
Fortunately, you can make this dish healthy by using fresher alternatives. Filling your rolls with togue (mung bean sprouts) or other vegetables is perfect since these are generally low in carbohydrates. Apart from being low in sugar, sprouts9 are also high in fiber, calcium, and other notable vitamins.
3. Champorado (Chocolate Rice Porridge)
Champorado is a popular chocolatey breakfast dish loved by Filipinos. Due to its popularity among households, many tend to associate it with childhood memories. However, its traditional ingredients are not suitable for those with diabetes.
If you can’t fight the champorado craving, no worries. You’ll be glad to know that you can make the dish healthier. You can use oatmeal or quinoa instead of glutinous rice and sprinkle artificial or natural sweeteners instead of sugar. Just make sure to eat in moderation so that your blood sugar levels don’t spike up.
4. Whole Wheat Tomato Pasta
Pasta10 is undoubtedly a crowd favorite, but it’s hard to ignore the carbohydrates and calories that come with it. The sauces they’re served with can also spike up your blood sugar levels. If you plan to cook pasta for a special occasion, it’s best to go with whole wheat noodles.
This kind is perfect for people with diabetes since it doesn’t have too many calories and is fairly rich in fiber. Pairing it with low-carb ingredients such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and spinach will give you a delicious meal.
5. Tortilla Pizza with Avocado
Pizza is on most people’s comfort food menu, but there’s no denying that it is unhealthy. The dough is usually high in carbs and topping it off with fat-filled ingredients just makes things worse. But just like any other dish, pizza can be made healthy with just a few tweaks.
Instead of baking pizzas in their usual dough, you can make it healthy by cooking it using a thin tortilla wrapper. Instead of adding cheese and other high-calorie ingredients, avocados11 is a much better fix. This fruit is very delicious, and its nutrient content is known to regulate blood sugar and prevent further complications such as heart disease.
6. Bun-Free Cheese Burgers
Another popular dish on every person’s comfort food list would be cheeseburgers. Whether it’s for lunch or a midnight snack, every bite of a perfectly grilled patty is sure to put you in a good mood. But since cheeseburgers are very high in calories, diabetics and people who have cholesterol issues should avoid them altogether.
To alleviate your cravings, you can make it diabetic-friendly by skipping the buns. Removing the two pieces of bread is enough to help you manage your blood sugar levels. Adding some diabetic-friendly vegetables12 (peppers and lettuce) will make it even more beneficial.
Health is Wealth
To this day, diabetes remains an incurable disease. Since it can significantly compromise your well-being, preventing it is a must for your health. Watching over what you eat and having adequate amounts of physical activity will ensure that you don’t manifest diabetes symptoms as you age.
It’s also important to note that diabetes is connected with other serious conditions such as heart disease. If you want to gain more insights into your health, taking the Framingham Risk self-assessment test will let you know if you’re at risk.
Disclaimer: The information provided is for information purposes only and is not meant to be substituted for the advice given by a registered medical practitioner. This information should not be used for diagnosing health problems or for self-medication. Boehringer Ingelheim shall not be responsible for any damages or losses arising out of access to or use of information provided.