Diabetes is a disease that affects how your body uses or produces insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar or glucose. High blood sugar can cause complications and damage your bodily systems. According to the World Health Organization, diabetes may cause blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke, and lower limb amputation.
Pre-diabetes is a condition wherein a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal, but it is not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Pre0diabetes can progress to become Type 2 diabetes. Prediabetics are also at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
Fortunately, diabetes and prediabetes can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy body weight, keeping active, and following a healthy diet. An ideal diet for prediabetics and diabetics is one that is low in sugar and saturated fats.
Here are 5 Filipino prediabetic diet recipes that are simple and affordable, ideal for preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes
1. Sarsiadong Tilapia
Easy to find and affordable, tilapia is one of the most common kinds of fish you see in wet markets all over the Philippines. Tilapia is an Omega 3-rich fish. Omega 3 fats help reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar levels, making tilapia ideal for people who have diabetes and prediabetes. It’s also a good source of protein and B-Vitamins.
Frying might be the easiest way to cook tilapia, but turning it into a sarsiado dish makes it more nutritious. Sarsiado means “cooked with a thick sauce.”
Make sure to choose healthier cooking oil alternatives, such as canola or olive oil.
- After pan-frying tilapia, sauté 4 cloves of garlic, 1 onion (diced), and 2 to 3 tomatoes (diced) in a separate pan.
- Add ¾ cup of water and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Then add 1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Once the sauce is cooked, add the pan-fried tilapia.
- Let it sit in the sauce for a few minutes before serving.
2. Ampalaya Con Carne
Ampalaya, or bitter gourd, has proven to be beneficial to prediabetics and diabetics alike. The bitter vegetable is said to help lower sugar levels. This is thanks to a substance called momordicin, which is sometimes called plant insulin. This is responsible for the bitter taste of ampalaya. Even though there are multiple over-the-counter herbal supplements that use ampalaya, it is recommended that you eat ampalaya fresh and in its natural form. The good thing about this vegetable is that it can be easily grown in your backyard.
Ampalaya Con Carne is a simple beef stir-fry with bitter gourd that is easy to prepare, even for beginners.
- Marinate ½ lb of thinly sliced beef sirloin in 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1½ teaspoon sesame oil, 1½ teaspoon cornstarch, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 thumb of minced ginger, and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
- Sear the marinated beef in a pan for a few minutes, then set aside.
- In the same pan, saute some ginger, garlic, and onions, and then add 1 piece of cored and sliced ampalaya.
- Stir-fry for a few minutes before adding back the beef. Add salt and pepper to taste, and pour some water to thicken the sauce to your liking.
3. Ginisang Repolyo with Chicken
Chicken breasts are high in protein and free of carbohydrates. This is a healthy choice for diabetics and prediabetics, because chicken breasts help lower blood sugar level, while increasing the production insulin, which helps move glucose into the cells. Cabbage, on the other hand, is a good source of fiber and is low in carbohydrates. Fiber helps you feel full, pulls cholesterol away from the heart, regulates bowel movement, and helps maintain blood sugar.
Ginisang repolyo with chicken is one of the easiest prediabetic diet recipes to prepare.
- First, saute 1 sliced onion and 4 cloves of crushed garlic, then add some thinly sliced chicken breasts.
- Stir-fry until the chicken turns light brown.
- Add ¾ cups of chicken stock and let it boil.
- Cover the pot until the chicken stock evaporates.
- Put 1½ tablespoons of oyster sauce and ½ head of chopped cabbage, and saute for 1 minute.
- Add 1/2 cup of water, stir for 5 minutes, then add 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper and 1 thinly sliced green bell pepper.
- Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste
- And continue to cook for 2 minutes more before serving.
4. Beef Stroganoff
A few studies have shown that the consumption of red meat is correlated to a higher risk of diabetes. However, Madeline R. Vann, MPH, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, says that there is no clear guide as to how much red meat is safe to eat if you are diabetic or prediabetic.
Though it is recommended that you reduce the intake of red meat as much as possible, if you really want to include red meat in your diet, you may limit it to small portions and eat it only occasionally. As a general rule, choose the leaner cuts that have less saturated fats.
Beef stroganoff is a creamy, meaty dish that is sure to impress your visitors, and it takes just around 30 minutes to prepare.
- Start by seasoning 1½ pounds of sirloin with salt and ground black pepper.
- Coat the beef with flour and set aside for a few minutes. Then, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sear the beef in the pan until it turns light brown and set aside.
- Saute 1 chopped onion in the remaining oil and butter, and add some sliced mushrooms.
- When the mushrooms soften, add the beef and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour 10 ounces of cream of mushroom and 2 cups of beef broth, and continue stirring in medium heat until the sauce reduces to just half.
- Season with ground black pepper and add a cup of sour cream.
- Continue stirring until all ingredients and flavors have mixed well.
5. Sinigang na Hipon
Shrimps are high in Omega 3, high in protein, low in fat, and have almost zero fat, making it one of the best foods for diabetics and prediabetics. Proteins are essential nutrients that work like building blocks for our body’s tissues. Proteins are also enzyme sources that power your body’s everyday metabolic processes.
Luckily, the all-time Filipino favorite, sinigang, comes in the form of sinigang na hipon. Sinigang is a Filipino sour soup that uses shrimp and a variety of vegetables like kangkong, radish, and tomatoes.
- To start, boil some water in a pot then add 1 sliced tomato, 1 sliced onion, and 1 sliced radish.
- Cover the pot and let it boil for about 8 minutes.
- Add 1 lb of cleaned shrimp and cook for 1 minute.
- Add your preferred sinigang mix, and stir until it dissolves completely.
- Let boil for about 3 minutes, before adding 3 pieces of long green pepper (siling haba), 15 pieces of chopped snake beans (sitaw), 5 pieces of okra, and 1 sliced eggplant.
- Add the water spinach (kangkong) last, and season with fish sauce and ground black pepper to taste.
Prediabetes is a serious health condition that should be closely monitored and managed with the guidance of your doctor. It is best to manage your prediabetes before it progresses into Type 2 diabetes, which is much harder to manage as it may require a combination of multiple treatments. Fortunately, the progression from prediabetes to Type 2 diabetes can be delayed, if not prevented.
As with any other preventable medical condition, simple lifestyle changes can do wonders to your health. If you are prediabetic, incorporating more regular physical activity and managing your weight can help lower your risk for diabetes. Try to squeeze in a 20-minute exercise everyday. This will not only help you manage your weight, it can help you sleep better, improve your mood, and reduce high blood pressure and fat.
Another tip to prevent prediabetes is to adopt a healthier diet. Avoid processed foods, consume less red meat, and eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Experiment with prediabetic diet recipes that are good for you. When eating, stick to small portions and eat on schedule to avoid extreme blood sugar highs and lows. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.