Sweet foods that curb diabetic cravings

Diabetes  increases blood glucose levels and becomes dangerous only when this level is not kept within safe limits. It is a disease that can be kept under control while there are no known therapies for it’s complete elimination.

India is supposed to be the World Capital for diabetes. Should we be proud or should we be worried? All I feel is that we should be careful and take better care of ourselves.

It has been believed and proved that diabetes is hereditary. As in most such cases, genes are at fault. If parents, grandparents or other close relatives by birth have diabetes, our chances of getting it, are quite high.

Other factors which help to land us in trouble are based on our life style.

Are we obese or overweight, are we eating too much and are we being lazy about physical work and workouts? Are we imbibing too many sweets and fried foods, too many sweet beverages, and too much alcohol?

Surely all these poor habits can be controlled?

So, shall we look at our diets to see what could be done to help ourselves? I have included a few recipes here which can serve to satisfy the craving for sweet foods that most diabetics have. While the sweetness can be provided without the addition of refined sugars other nutrient requirements will be met.

Chutney for breakfast foods and for snacks:
Almond chutney:
Almonds —20g or 20 nos. ( this will replace coconut)
Roasted Bengal gram dhal —1/4 cup
Red chilly or green chilly — 1 or 2 nos. Based on your spice taste
Jeera — ½ tsp.
Coriander leaves and curry leaves —a few
Salt —1/2tsp.

Soak almonds in water, retaining the skin is nutritionally better, but it can be optional. ( If there is no time for soaking, place almonds in a glass dish, with 1/2cup water and microwave for 2 mins).
Grind all ingredients together for chutney, adding water or milk.

Sweet mint chutney: ( to improve protein content, you can add cashew or almonds or roasted Bengal gram dhal. This will add bulk and taste).
Mint leaves — ½ cup
Coriander leaves — ½ cup
Tamarind or lime for sourness —1/2 lime
Dates — 3 or 4
Green chilly —1 or 2 ( to taste)
Salt — ½ tsp, to taste, add more if necessary
Grind all together with ¼ cup water.

Sweet Lassi:
Curd —1/2cup
Almonds — 3nos.
Dates or raisins — 2tsp.
Salt —a pinch
Water —1/2 cup

Soak almonds, grind to a smooth consistency with water. Add the dates and salt beat well and lastly add curd.

These are just simple recipes but are easy and add a lot of interest to a diabetic diet.

Further, feed the craving for sweet with fresh fruits and dried fruits, but in moderation. However, it is not just by eating that you overcome any craving. Any diversion like exercise, entertainment, socialising without food and spiritual practises like yoga and meditation will also carry away the cravings.

Malathi Mohan

The author is a retired professor of WCC, Chennai; retired Dean, Academy of Fitness Management, Chennai and Past President, Indian Dietetic Association

Image: SwamiStream