How low (carb) can you go this World Diabetes Day?

By Ashraf Booley, 13 November 2015

In honour of World Diabetes Day on Saturday 14 November, we give you the skinny on a new book dedicated to diabetics, The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics. Plus a recipe for a mouthwatering gluten-free beef burger from the book.

A first for South Africa, The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics by Rooi Rose food editor and mom to a diabetic child, Vickie de Beer, and paediatric nutritionist Kath Megaw – part narrative, part cookbook – is an arsenal of low-carb recipes and medical references dedicated to diabetics, complete with strategies for dealing with the disease.

Simply put, diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin at all (type-1), or doesn’t produce enough of the hormone (type-2). Without insulin, our bodies aren’t able to transform glucose (from the food we eat) into energy. The authors state that carbs, including favourites such as pasta, bread and rice, are immediately converted into sugar in the blood, sometimes resulting in an unstable blood sugar level. They therefore advocate a diet low in carbohydrates for diabetics.

But what exactly is a low-carb diet? If the book is anything to go by, it means eating no more than 30–35 g carbs per day. The benefits of a low-carb diet in the treatment of type-1 diabetes, according to the book, include:

·      More energy

·      More stable blood glucose levels

·      Better sleep patterns

·      Waking and going to sleep with normal sugar levels

·      Fewer severe hyperglycaemic episodes

If you’re diabetic and would like to put the diet to the test, try these yummy recipe from The Low Carb Solution for Diabetics to get you started:

Joe’s best beef braai burgers

[caption id="attachment_13743" align="alignright" width="240"]How low (carb) can you go this World Diabetes Day? Joe's best beef braai burgers[/caption]

Flavourful beef patties sandwiched in low-carb buns. Serve with fresh tomatoes, red onion, baby spinach and guacamole.

Serves 5+

For the patties:

2 eggs

125 ml full cream yoghurt with a dash of full cream milk

10 ml mustard powder

10 ml chopped garlic

Grated peel of 1 lemon

2 kg topside beef mince

1 disk of feta cheese, crumbled finely

Salt and freshly ground pepper

60 ml olive oil

1 Prepare medium-hot coals in a Weber or in a normal barbeque.

2 In a small bowl, mix the egg in the yoghurt and milk with a fork until completely soft. Add the mustard powder, garlic and lemon zest.

3 In a mixing bowl, combine the mince and yoghurt mixture. Add the feta cheese, season with salt and pepper and mix through thoroughly with your hands.

4 Shape the mince into tennis ball-size balls and press flat with the palm of your hand to shape a patty.

5 Rub each patty all over with olive oil before placing it over the fire. Grill for 8 minutes on one side before carefully turning with a spatula. If they stick to the grill wait a bit longer before turning.

6 Serve the patties as is with salad or on grilled mushrooms or whole wheat rolls with sliced fresh tomatoes, red onion, baby spinach leaves and dollops of guacamole.

Serve on these amazing low carb buns:

Makes 10

150 g/375 ml almond flour

40 g/180 ml powdered/ground psyllium husks

60 g/125 ml coconut flour

75 g/125 ml flaxseeds, ground

10 ml cream of tartar

5 ml baking soda

5 ml salt

6 egg whites

2 eggs

500 ml boiling water

80 ml sesame seeds to top with

1 Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

2 Combine the almond flour, psyllium husks, coconut flour, flaxseeds, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix until well combined.

3 Whisk the egg whites and eggs until frothy and add the flours, add the boiling water and mix until well combined. Wait for it to cool down slightly before shaping the buns, but not too long.

4 With a spoon divide the dough into 10 and form the buns. Place them on the baking tray and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Also try these recipes from the book:

Cream cheese pancakes

Best low-carb focaccia bread

Mozzarella pizza

What’s your take on the diet? Let us know in the comments section below.

*Please consult your doctor before embarking on a special diet.

Ashraf Booley

Article by Ashraf Booley

Woolworths TASTE’s digital content producer loves nothing more than trying out inventive recipes and using close friends and family as his guinea pigs. When he’s not crafting content or posting images to TASTE’s Instagram account, he sits in a quiet corner sipping on pretentious tea and penning poetry.
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