By Nicole Walker
Sometimes, low carb is just easier! It is a tool for your toolbox in the management of diabetes. Just because you want to eat low carb doesn’t mean you have to change your entire way of life and eating and BE a “LOW CARBER” as your identity either! The problem with diet culture is that it seems to encourage one way or the highway. I say forget that. Make your diet work for you and if this means you want to eat low carb most of the time then have a lovely Italian pizza or pasta on the weekend – go for it. If you want to just want to make diabetes a bit less of a hassle during the day – then have a low carb lunch. You don’t have to declare it to the world (just maybe your diabetes healthcare professional depending on what medication you are on!) your diet is your choice and personal to you. Here are some yummy ideas for low carb meals <10g of carbohydrates with a little help from my friends:
- Eggs, Eggs Baby! Omelette, Scrambled or Poached on a low carb bread.
- Smashed Avo and Feta on low carb bread. Add balsamic drizzle and some chilli flakes for an unbeatable café style breakfast at home!
- Most Greek yoghurts are <10g per 200g and add toppers such as almonds and strawberries for a yummy summer breakfast
- Smoothie – how? You say? Use low carb berries, add some greens like kale or spinach and pick a low carb base such as calcium fortified almond milk + 1 Tblespoon of chia seeds + couple of spoons of Greek yoghurt.
- Here are some other yummy breakfast ideas Turkish Eggs and this Mexican Breakfast from my New Zealand colleague, Nadia Lim – Diabetes Dietitian turned Master Chef extraordinaire!
- 2 x Rice cakes or Corn thins have 10g carbs with one of the following toppings:
- Tuna and avocado
- Cheese, Tomato and fresh Basil leaves or rocket + balsamic vinegar drizzle
- Hummus with Cucumber
- 2 x pieces of low carb bread (2-10g per slice – check the label! Make it into:
- Tuna and cheese toastie
- Chicken, avocado and spinach sandwich
- 1 Tbspn kidney beans + cheese + tomato slices for a Mexican toastie
- Rice paper rolls are lowish in carbs – fill them with a protein such as Tofu, chicken or beef strips and include lettuce and bean sprouts rather than rice paper noodles with carrot and cucumber sticks, check out this recipe from Diabetes Australia.
- Fritters such as these Pumpkin, Pea and Haloumi Fritters or try a crustless Quiche with low carb ingredients such as this Sundried tomato and Nut Quiche
- Try out any mince dish with Lettuce Wraps instead of using tortilla wraps or rice
- Salads are a great low carb lunch option:
- Greek Salad (feta, tomato, onion, cucumber, Olives) with Grilled chicken or boiled eggs
- Spinach or Rocket + walnuts + parmesan flakes or small cheddar cheese squares + pomegranate seeds
- Or add some chicken to this Pumpkin and Pistachio Salad
- French Cassoulet: A delicious French stew made with a variety of meats and beans and vegetables cooked slowly with herbs and stock. Use any recipe but keep it to 1/3 cup cooked beans for <10g carbs but otherwise add in lots of vegetables and a mix of meats such as low fat sausages and chicken or duck.
- Mexican Beans and Chorizo: Similar to the above but with a tomato base and Mexican flavours such as paprika, chilli, cumin and garlic. Once again keep it to 1/3 cup of cannellini beans / kidney beans / black beans and add a spicy chorizo, chicken or low fat mince.
- Now for a classic Aussie dish without the carbs! Check out this low carb Chicken Parmy!
- Cauliflower rice to substitute your rice side for meals such as curries, stir fry or slow cooker meals. Why not try this yummy recipe from the Healthy Food Guide team or use their rice recipe for your next dish.
- Low carb pasta – swap out spaghetti for zucchini spaghetti spirals like in this recipe from Beyond Type 1 or lasagne sheets for sliced eggplant
- Sunday roast? Steak or Fish? Use roast pumpkin and carrot instead of roast potato, and these make a delicious orange mash also for the side!
- Also try out a homemade, silky carb free Chocolate Mousse using: 100g Melted 70-90% dark chocolate + 1 soft Avocado + 1/3 c almond milk. Pop into a blender and blend until smooth. Chill for at least 15mins and top with a couple fresh raspberries before you serve and enjoy!
Enjoy these meal ideas and enjoy the benefits of having a low carb meal every now and again. Don’t forget to check out these Low Carb Snack ideas also. Stay tuned for more low carb blogs in the next few weeks! Benefits, risks, how to stay safe and how to follow a low carb diet for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.