They say that a way to a man’s heart is usually through food. But Filipinos, specifically, have a big heart for their love of food. No matter the occasion, whether big or small, Filipinos always try to complement celebrations with a delicious feast.

Although fun and filling, consuming large servings of classic favorites, such as Lechon, Sisig, and Halo-Halo, can trigger and pose risks to people with diabetes. As such, it’s important to consider alternatives to healthy Filipino foods for everyone to enjoy, including those trying to maintain or lower their blood sugar levels.

If you’re looking into switching things up and want to try healthy Filipino recipes to serve your family and friends without breaking the bank, read on and let this article guide you!

Eating on a Budget: 5 Healthy Filipino Foods to Lower Blood Sugar

Eating on a Budget: 5 Healthy Filipino Foods to Lower Blood Sugar

Diabetes is a lifelong condition with no cure, so it’s important to know how to control blood sugar levels to prevent or regulate this disease.

Multiple proven ways to manage it include building a consistent workout routine, reducing alcohol consumption, coping with stress, and taking medications as prescribed. Another integral part of keeping blood glucose at a normal range is building healthy eating habits.

A traditional Filipino diet is high in white rice, cooking oil, and sugar, which isn’t specifically diabetic-friendly. However, there are still many dishes in the long list of easy and budget Pinoy recipes that people can tweak to fit those trying to keep their blood sugar levels in check.

Choosing food suitable for people with diabetes and prediabetes can be simple and easy to do. Here are some nutritious and delicious meals you can try at home to share with family and friends:

Ginisang Ampalaya1

Many would associate ampalaya with the taste of bitterness and overall unpleasantry. However, when prepared correctly, it can leave you wanting for seconds! Plus, ampalaya is good for the health, specifically for managing diabetes.

Also known as bitter gourd, ampalaya contains momordicin and momorcharin, which are biologically active compounds that significantly help manage the sugar levels in the body. It’s best to consume it in its natural form. 

Meanwhile, other ingredients in the Ginisang Ampalaya recipe also regulate insulin, sugar, and cholesterol levels, such as garlic and onions. For people with diabetes trying to lose weight, the dishes’ eggs are great for reducing fluctuating insulin and sugar levels and curbing hunger.

Sarsiadong Tilapia2

Tilapia is an affordable and accessible fish in the market. It’s a low-fat and high-protein pick that is a good source of the body’s essential nutrients like vitamin E, C, and Omega-3. Tilapia also has selenium, an element that balances glucose levels in the blood.

Cooking the fish sarsiado-style makes it even tastier and healthier! One ingredient in its hearty sauce is tomato, a non-starchy vegetable perfect for a diabetic’s meal plan.

This dish also goes perfectly with rice, but it’s best to go for brown, red, or black rice. They’re rich in fiber, low in carbs, and contain antioxidants, facilitating better blood sugar control. Additionally, it keeps you full longer, helping with weight management.

Shrimp Sinigang3

One of the heart-healthy meals considered a classic Filipino favorite is Sinigang. While there are many variations, people with diabetes should consider shrimp as the dish’s main protein. Shrimp is low in fat and offers excellent protein and Omega-3 count, which are vital components those needing to lower their blood sugar should be on the lookout for.

The vegetables in this recipe, such as radish and kangkong, are loaded with antioxidants. For one, radishes help improve the natural production of adiponectin, a hormone that protects against insulin resistance. Meanwhile, leafy kangkong is proven to have compounds that bring anti-diabetes effects to the body.

Crispy Tofu Sisig4

Another dish popular with Filipinos is Sisig. This Kapampangan classic is traditionally made of grilled and minced pig face and ears and is best paired with beer. Over time though, it has had various adaptations, catering to almost everyone’s preferences.

For people with diabetes, tofu can replace pork as the main star of the dish. It’s a healthy, plant-based alternative low in calories and fat, eliminating health triggers and making its spot on the list of diabetic diets.

Share this with family and friends, and savor the spice, crispiness, and umami flavor without the guilt!

Ginisang Repolyo with Chicken3

There are a hundred ways to cook chicken. For people with diabetes, it’s a great option for protein as chicken is high in protein and low in fat. Chicken breasts, particularly, are free of carbohydrates, which help lower the body’s blood sugar level.

With loads of vegetables in the mix, you can tell nutrients overflow in the Ginisang Repolyo dish. The primary greens in the recipe, cabbage, contains zero sugar, making it a perfect ingredient for a diabetic diet. It’s also rich in vitamins like A and C and minerals like iron and zinc. 

Moreover, bell peppers slow down the body’s speed of sugar absorption into the bloodstream, while garlic aids in increasing insulin counts in the body.

Bon Appetit to a Healthy Feast

Cooking up a nutritious dish doesn’t always have to be complicated. Eating healthy on a budget can still be delicious. Homecooked meals make it possible to produce alternatives that help those who need to manage their diabetes without sacrificing taste. There are a lot of classic Filipino foods you can serve to family and friends that can be healthier with just a few tweaks.

Besides eating a proper diet, you can keep yourself and your loved ones in check when you take this Heart Disease Risk checklist. With simple “yes” or “no” questions, the Heart Disease Risk checklist offers a simple way to determine if you need to consult your doctor for possible risk of coronary heart disease.









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 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.


Last medically reviewed on October 17, 2022