Best and worst food choices for diabetics [RECIPES]

With 2.7 million South Africans suffering from diabetes, education around it should be a high priority. The list below of which foods to be wary of and which ones to incorporate in a daily diet is a step in the right decision for anyone who suffers or knows anyone who is diabetic.

Best choices:

  • Whole wheat flour
  • Corn or corn made products
  • Whole grains
  • Broiled or grilled meat
  • Fresh vegetables, preferably eaten raw, steamed or grilled.
  • Low sodium or unsalted dishes.

Worst choices:

  • Processed grains eg: white rice.
  • Some fruits, banana’s, melons and peaches all contain a lot of sugar.
  • Pastries and bakery goods. Cinnamon rolls and doughnuts  they are all made from  processed white flour and are high in fat.
  • Butter and sauces
  • Fried or higher fat cuts of meat
  • Fizzy cold drinks

Diabetic friendly dishes don’t have to be boring. Here are some delicious recipes to try out.

Asian Pork Quesadillas

Image: diabetic living online

Image: diabetic living online

  • 227g of  tenderloin pork , cut into thin bite-size strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 -3 teaspoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 3 cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • 4 7 – 8 – inches whole grain tortillas
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 recipe Peanut Sauce
  • Shredded Napa cabbage (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine pork, pepper, and ginger. Toss gently to coat pork.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add pork; stir-fry about 3 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Remove pork from skillet; keep warm.
  3. Add onion to skillet, adding the remaining 1 teaspoon oil if needed. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the 3 cups cabbage; stir-fry about 2 minutes more or just until onion is tender and cabbage starts to wilt. Stir pork into cabbage mixture in skillet.
  4. To assemble, coat one side of each tortilla lightly with nonstick spray. Place tortillas, coated sides down, on a work surface. Using a slotted spoon, spoon pork mixture to one side of each tortilla. Drizzle with Peanut Sauce. Fold tortilla over filling.
  5. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add two of the quesadillas to hot skillet; cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove quesadillas from skillet; place on a baking sheet. Keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas. If desired, serve quesadillas on additional shredded cabbage. Makes 4 servings.


Strawberry Fudge Brownies

Image: diabetic living online

Image: diabetic living online


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 packet of sugar free chocolate fudge brownie mix
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ounce white, dark or semisweet chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lightly coat a square baking pan with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, combine the brownie mix, applesauce, pecans, egg product, and oil. Beat with a wooden spoon 50 strokes or until combined.
  2. Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the chopped strawberries on top. Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small heavy saucepan melt the chocolate over low heat and drizzle over the brownies.
Caxton Central

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