People with diabetes can still enjoy their favourite African and African Caribbean foods with a few small changes, according to Diabetes UK.
Diabetes affects every community, but African and African Caribbean people living in the UK are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than White Europeans.
This is why Diabetes UK is using Black History Month to promote the African and African Caribbean version of its Enjoy Food guide, providing nutritional advice and recipes as well as suggesting ways to make traditional dishes healthier. It also has practical tips on shopping for food, meal planning and healthy swaps.
Jerk chicken, rice and peas
Douglas Twenefour, Clinical Advisor at Diabetes UK, said: “There’s no such thing as a ‘diabetic’ diet, just a healthy, balanced diet that anyone can enjoy.
“Some African and African Caribbean meals are high in fat, salt and sugar, which can make it difficult to manage blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight if you have diabetes.
But with small changes to recipes, and planning, people who are managing their diabetes can continue to enjoy their favourite foods.
“Our free 56-page guide includes practical tips on how you can make small swaps to traditional recipes which will still taste great. Jerk chicken cooked on a grill is likely to be lower in fat than fried chicken, and if you are serving it with rice and peas, use a bit less rice and add a few more peas.
“Why not experiment with food swaps in recipes – switch salted codfish to an unsalted fish such as pollock, whiting or coley. Use an artificial sweetener in salsa sauces instead of sugar and add kidney beans to Jollof rice with chicken in place of some of the chicken to boost fibre content while cutting fat at the same time. Plantain on the side? Boil, drain and spray with oil before grilling instead of frying.”
Get your free Enjoy Food guide
Diabetes UK also runs a Community Champions programme, where volunteers provide health promotion messages in their local areas. If you are interested in taking part, visit theCommunity Champions pages or call 020 7424 1108.