Eating right doesn’t have to be boring

Lynette Lacock explains that by starting small and choosing low-GI food options can ease the transition into eating right.

Your doctor has confirmed that you have diabetes. Eating right along with all the dietary changes you need to make have been discussed. On your way home, all you think about is how you’re going to have to worry about what you eat, how you cook, what to buy and how this will impact your family meals.

Where to start

Instead of focusing on all the foods you’ll have to avoid, start thinking of all the exciting new foods you’ll be trying. Everyone gets stuck in a cooking rut and ends up making the same meals that the recipe is longer needed. Now you get a chance to try new foods that you can share with your family and friends.

First you need to understand how to make better food choices. You need to learn which foods are diabetic friendly and why. The great news is that you don’t have to memorise everything or carry around lists of healthy food. You can google glycaemic index charts or download an app, such as Glycemic Index. Diabetes Diary that can help you make better food choices on the spot. Another good website is

What is a glycaemic index?

A glycaemic index (GI) rating lets you know on a scale of 1 to 100 how quickly the food will elevate your blood glucose. As a person living with diabetes, you need to consume foods with a low-GI rating (1 – 55) that won’t cause your blood glucose to rise quickly. You’ll soon learn that there are healthier substitutes for almost everything you’re currently eating.

For example, a white cooked potato has a GI of 90 but a sweet potato has a GI of 50. By changing the type of potatoes you eat, you can already begin to lower the overall GI of your meal.

Another example of something most eat every day is bread. White bread has a GI of 100 and brown bread has a GI of 55. So, by changing they type of bread you and your family eat everyday can have huge health benefits, even if you don’t have diabetes.

Glycemic Index. Diabetes diary

There are many ways to adjust your food choices without sacrificing the taste you and your family are used to. The free app,  Glycemic Index.Diabetes diary, has the GI ratings of most foods. It allows you to look up the GI ratings of foods you’re eating, and you can search for a similar alternative with a lower rating.

You can use it while food shopping until you learn which foods have lower glycaemic indexes. Plus, this app also allows you to add your glucose, weight and blood pressure readings.

There are other similar apps on the market. Find one that you like and familiarise yourself with the low-GI foods.

See the chart belowfor a few examples of foods and their GI ratings.

Start small

Start with a few simple substitutions and your family won’t even notice. Stews and soups are the easiest way to introduce new vegetables because either you puree them and no one is any wiser, or they are mixed in with everything else and go unnoticed.

Another easy way to make your stews is to use a slow cooker. The meat is always tender, and the vegetables start to disintegrate which is great news for those with kids who don’t like vegetables.

You can find plenty of low-GI recipes to suit your family’s taste. Even though you might hear a few complaints about all the new foods, your family and friends will never be able to say your cooking is boring.


Sr Lynette Lacock


Sr Lynette Lacock received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and Biofeedback Certification in Neurofeedback in the US. She has over 30 years’ experience in healthcare which has enabled her to work in the US, UK and South Africa. Initially specialising in Cardiothoracic and Neurological ICU, she now works as an Occupational Health Sister. She is passionate about teaching people how to obtain optimum health while living with chronic conditions.

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