20 November 2018| 12 Rabi ul Awwal 1440| Safeera Kaka
This November we at Cii decided to dedicate a theme to diabetes awareness and thread the theme all through our radio shows. Diabetes is a disease which many South African’s face. Type 2 diabetes can be managed through lifestyle changes in eating and incorporating exercise into one’s daily routine.
According to the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology in Johannesburg, the number of diabetics in South Africa is rising. 3.5 million South Africans suffer from diabetes, it is also estimated that another five million South Africans have pre-diabetes, a condition where insulin resistance causes blood glucose levels to be higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be type 2 diabetes.
The highest prevalence of diabetes is among the Indian population in South Africa (11-13%) as this group has a strong genetic predisposition for diabetes. (source health24.com)
I decided to incorporate a social media campaign during our diabetes awareness week. Using the hashtag #MyCiiDiabeticFriendlyMeal, I made a call to bloggers and influencers to share diabetic friendly meals on their Instagram pages for the duration of the week which coincided with World Diabetes Day. Over 100 posts were shared on the platform with foodies from all over SA (and some from Dubai) sharing their delicious diabetic friendly meals.
Here are a few tips for more diabetic friendly meals.
Make Veggies the star of your meals.
Vegetables don’t need to be boring, roast them or lightly saute them in olive oil. Amp up the flavour by incorporating fresh herbs and spices remember not to overcook them. Mushrooms, baby marrows, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes and eggplant can make a great addition to a meal. For a budget friendly option, purchase veggies in bulk, portion and freeze them until ready to use. Don’t throw away stems and peels, make a flavor-packed stock for soups or stews. Try to incorporate a meat free day into your menu at least once a week.
Ditch the fizzy cooldrinks and sweet juices.
Water is the best option for hydration during these long summer days. Flavour your water with the addition of lemon, cucumbers, herbs or flowers. Brew some tea, sweetened with honey or stevia and add some berries and lemons, serve with sparkling water with lots of ice. Try to stay away from ice tea and juices from the stores because they are filled with refined sugars.
Start your morning the Instagram way.
The most instagrammable breakfasts are green juices, smoothie bowls, chia puddings or overnight oats. Take your cue from the ‘gram’ and start your morning on a healthy note. Green juices are filled with antioxidants, they detox you and give your body enough energy to get a great head start. Oats is another healthy option because its filling, it also helps to stabilise blood sugar and is incredibly nutritious.
Dessert can be healthy
The best part of monitoring #MyCiiDiabeticFriendlyMeal was seeing all the healthy dessert and snack options for diabetics. Please be sure to check out the hashtag when you’re on Instagram or share your diabetic friendly meal with the same hashtag.
WRITTEN BY: SAFEERA KAKA
Safeera Kaka is a radio presenter based in Johannesburg. She hosts a popular daily show that tackles a range of topics. In her free time she also engages in philanthropy, media development, mc’ing and sharing her culinary adventure on social media. She hosts a lifestyle blog at safeera.co.za