We have an adaptation for our course specifically for diabetics.

Type 2 diabetes in particular is linked to obesity and current NHS dietary guidance for patients is to eat a low carb diet.

Many healthcare professionals recognise that this is hard to achieve on low incomes and this is why they will often refer to us. Getting people off unhealthy ready meals and takeaways and regularly cooking food at home is a good first step, and all our recipes are Public Health dietician approved and calorie counted.

The course remains essentially the same, however, we give participants an opportunity to try many of the low GI and high fibre foods that they have been recommended to eat but in many cases have not tried or don’t have any idea how to cook. These include
– Brown Rice
– Wholemeal pasta
– Bulgur wheat

By giving them these ingredients in their bags, we support them to try it risk free.
Rather than give them more instructions on what to do/not do with their diabetes, we use the course itself as the teaching method, showing them via the recipes that they can
– have healthy alternatives to the takeaway that are just as tasty
– learn to cook tricky ingredients like brown rice
– eat food that is filling and reduces the urge to snack
– what a correct portion size looks like
– eating correctly for diabetes is achievable, affordable and realistic

What you need to do differently

– They will have different ingredients and they will also have a small diabetes pamphlet that should be read alongside the recipes. There is a preface then there is a page that goes with each recipe.  Ask them to look for and read this leaflet.

Chana: be aware that they will have brown rice instead of white with their Chana Masala. Instructions to cook this are at the bottom of the rice cooking sheet in brown text; it’s slightly different and takes longer. For brown rice, put rice in pan with 6x volume of water. When it boils, cover and cook on low for 30 mins. Drain and return to the pan; continue from stage 4

Pasta Sauce: they will have wholemeal pasta to try with their pasta

Pilaf: They have been given bulgur wheat instead of rice. They cook the recipe in the exact same way but using the bulgur.  It doesn’t need washing.  In the diabetes pamphlet there is also information on how to cook the pilaf with brown rice should they wish to do so at a later date.

Why diabetes is important

Diabetes is often considered a “gateway disease” to multiple long term conditions.  By 2040 the government estimates that a further 2.5 million people in the UK will be living with major illness and a significant number of them will have more than one (co-morbidities).  By improving diet/blood sugar management and losing weight, it is possible to reverse diabetes – anecdotally we have seen this with participants on the course – and prevent this decline in health.