Diabetes is a chronic disease which affects an estimated 220 million people around the world. It results from the body’s inability to use or produce insulin, the hormone necessary for sugar to transfer from the blood into the cells. It provides the cells with energy that allows them to function. People that have Type I diabetes test their blood on a regular basis, and take insulin shots when their blood sugar is too high because their pancreas can’t produce insulin. People with Type II diabetes usually control their diabetes through pills and diet, since their body makes insulin, but the cells just don’t respond to it as well as they need to. They try to keep their blood sugar at a steady, normal rate (between 80-120 mg/100 mL) because spikes and drops in blood sugar can be damaging and even fatal.
To help diabetics plan their diets, scientists and dieticians came up with the Glycemic Index (or GI). Foods that have low rankings generally cause little change in blood sugar levels. Eating a low GI diet helps the body become more sensitive to insulin. It also reduces cholesterol levels and risk of heart and brain problems, and allows the body to be able to endure more exercise. So what’s the best way to incorporate a low GI diet into your busy schedule? The Glycemic Index website suggests swapping out high GI foods with low GI foods. It suggests eating less carbs. You can do that by eating wholegrain breads, Basmati rice, pasta, quinoa, and more fruits and vegetables.
The holidays are here and everyone likes to share their favorite foods and treats, but what can you make that your guests will love, and that also ranks low in the Glycemic Index? These recipes, from “The GI Diet Guru” website let you enjoy your dessert without counting carbs.
NO BAKE PINEAPPLE AND BERRY CHEESECAKE
(makes 10 servings)
This healthy no bake cheese cake provides Glycemic Index watchers with a way to enjoy a dessert treat. Pineapple juice is used as a sweetener so there is no added sugar and there is a generous amount of protein too, keeping the GI very low.
3 cups light cream cheese
2 cups fat-free cream cheese
4 cups roughly crushed vanilla ice cream cones or wafers
5 sheets of leaf gelatin or enough powdered gelatin to set 2/3 pint liquid (check packet instructions)
2 tablespoons powdered milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 8-oz cans of pineapple in natural juices
1½ cups fresh strawberries, halved
½ cup fresh blueberries
Put the gelatin to soak in a little water. Add ½ cup non fat cream cheese to the crushed vanilla cones/wafers and mix together with the tips of your fingers. Pack the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan and put in the refrigerator.
Put the remaining cream cheese and vanilla extract in to a bowl, sprinkle in the powdered milk and stir together. Remove the pineapple from the cans, saving the juice, and chop it into fine chunks.
Draining away the water first, put the gelatin in a pan on a low heat, slowly mix in the juice from the canned pineapples. Little by little add the pineapple juice and gelatin to the cream cheese, stirring as you go.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per slice):
Calories: 217, Protein: 14g, Fat: 10g, Saturated: 6g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Carbohydrate: 22g, Sugars: 15g, Fiber: 2g, Sodium: 496mg
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH RASPBERRIES
(makes 4 servings)
Chocolate is usually not considered a diet food but cocoa itself has beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. It is usually the other ingredients added to chocolate that make it a dieter’s foe. This chocolate mousse uses 70% cocoa chocolate this contains much less fat and sugar then a conventional chocolate bar.
80g 70%-cocoa chocolate
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
Break chocolate into a glass bowl and gently heat the jug in saucepan of water. When the chocolate is fully melted take the jug out of the saucepan and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add the sugar to the whites and whisk them until they become firm and form soft peaks as the whisk is removed.
Add the chocolate to the yogurt and mix them together well.
Fold the egg white into the chocolate yogurt and then spoon the mixture into ramekins or whatever bowls or glasses you have to hand. Refrigerate the mixture for 2 hours to allow it to set.
Just before serving arrange the raspberries on top and use a potato peeler to create chocolate shavings for decoration.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving):
Calories: 145, Protein: 5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated: 5g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Carbohydrate: 13g, Sugars: 10g, Fiber: 2g, Sodium: 52mg