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What kind of fruit is ok for diabetes?

Managing diabetes doesn't mean avoiding fruit - although that seems to be a popular myth. It's about managing blood sugar levels and some fruits are very high in sugars (called natural sugars, not added). But what should you avoid and what is ok? We share some information from Barbie Cervoni (Dietitian and Diabetes Educator). She says:

If you have diabetes, chances are someone has said that you are not allowed to eat fruit. This is not true; people with diabetes can eat fruit as part of their healthy eating plan. But, because fruit is a carbohydrate, it will affect your blood sugar and you cannot eat unlimited amounts. Certain fruits may cause your blood sugars to spike at a quicker pace than others. The tricky part about eating with diabetes is that everyone responds to food differently. While one person may be able to eat apples without any issue, someone else may find that apples cause their blood sugars to spike. Testing your blood sugars before and after eating fruit can help you to determine which fruits are best for you.

Other ways to keep blood sugars controlled while enjoying fruit is to think about the context in which you eat it. You'll have a better chance at keeping your blood sugars controlled if you avoid juice altogether, limit your fruit servings to no more than two-to-three per day (one serving = 15 g of carbohydrate), pair your fruit with protein, or include it into your meal as part of your carbohydrate choice, and avoid fruits that are very ripe. The riper a fruit is the higher its glycemic index, which means it will raise your blood sugar more than a food with a low glycemic index.

In addition to juice, there are certain fruits that make my do-not-eat list. These fruits have been placed on this list either because they have a higher glycemic index or because most people overeat them, which results in higher blood sugar.

Barbie says that her 7 fruits to avoid are: grapes, cherries, pineapple, mango, banana, dried fruits and fruit juices.

Read why here. 

Amcal Diabetes Check

Did you know that you can get your blood sugar level checked at Amcal by a trained pharmacist? 

If you are unsure whether you could be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, ask your Amcal pharmacist for a Diabetes Risk Assessment. 

You may be at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if any/all of the following apply - you: 

  • Have a family history of diabetes
  • Are over 40 years old
  • Are physically inactive and/or have poor nutrition
  • Are a smoker
  • Have high blood pressure

Amcal’s Diabetes Risk Assessment can assess your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and covers:

  • On-the-spot finger prick blood test (HbA1c)* (additional + fees may apply)
    • A HbA1c test measures the amount of glucose (sugar) attached to your red blood cells. The test provides a measure of whether there has been too much sugar in your blood over the previous 3 months.

You can book your test here.

Pasta and diabetes - yes!

We're so excited to launch our 2 new delicious pasta meals to you.

We have a yummy vegetarian Pumpkin Ravioli and an equally delicious Beef Ravioli in bolognaise sauce. 

Diabetes Beef Ravioli   Diabetes Kitchen Pumpkin ravioli

And to keep you really warm in Winter, try our new, gluten free, Moroccan Chicken with 5 Veggies.

We'll be bringing you new meals seasonally, and keeping your favourites. And we'd love any suggestions from you to. 

As always, every meal is dietitian approved and low in carbs, sugars, salt and calories - and still packed with flavour! You can see all our meals here.

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Easter Guide for managing diabetes

It's nearly easter and to lots of people that brings memories of chocolate eggs and hot cross buns - and lots of both of those! Nikki Wallis talks about surviving Easter here.

Easter can be a daunting time, particularly if you have diabetes and are insulin dependent. 

No matter where you go, you just can’t escape being bombarded with sweet, chocolatey temptations – argh! 

But it doesn’t have to be scary. 

Over the years I’ve learned to come up with ways to help alleviate the temptation during Easter. 

Keep reading as I share with you some of my tips for reducing stress this time of year and ensuring you have a happy Easter. 

Select treats with a nutritional label 

This can be easier said than done, because many of the traditional Easter treats like hot cross buns, come in packets without an in-depth nutritional label.

Many of these products are produced at in-house bakery sections of major supermarkets and just come in a standard plastic bag. 

This can make it really tricky to work out exactly how many carbs you’re eating and how much insulin to give yourself. 

There are apps on the market which can assist in giving you a rough indication of carbs per serving or popular foods, but some of these are more like guesstimates than accurate values. 

Make it yourself 

Baking your own Easter treats is a great way to ensure you’re eliminating the guess work out of Easter eating.

Using ingredients you know and trust and knowing exactly how much of each ingredient has gone into the recipe, makes it a lot easier to work out total carbs per serve. 

Substitutes and alternatives 

Many of the treats popular at Easter time are very high in carbohydrate and have a high GI value. 

Standard hot cross buns can have anywhere from 30g-40g of carbohydrate per bun, which is up to two and a half portions. Not to mention the added sugar and carbs if you add a sweet topping like, dare I say … jam? 

Instead, you can try the fruitless versions, as these will be lower in carbs as dried fruit is naturally high in sugar.

Other options are the ‘mini’ hot cross buns which are half the size of normal versions. This way you’re only eating half the carbs. 

As for toppings, why not try home-made jam using real fruit and chia seeds for thickening?

You don’t even need to add sugar as fruit is naturally sweet and once the water has been cooked out of the fruit, the sweetness is more noticeable. 

Why not go bananas … or rather berries? Try some chocolate covered fruit instead. Berries are a great option if you have diabetes, as they’re low in carbs and are low GI.  

Read the rest here.

Pies - another delicious option for our meals!

We, and our customers just love the taste of our ready-made meals but this week we thought we'd see how they went as pie fillings (yes we bought a new piemaker!)

As our ready meals are already cooked, they have the perfect texture for a pie (which we have just found out). We used already rolled puff pastry (check the carbs) and simply added in 1/3 of a meal to each case.

And they were absolutely delicious! The texture was perfect and the taste was amazing. We tried 4 different versions:

Chicken and Leek

Butter Chicken

Tender Beef and Veg

And this is what they looked like.

ready made pie fillings

Taste = fantastic

Ease of making = just need a pie maker to make them really easy

Fun factor = lots!

Note: 1 ready meal made 3 pies (single serving size) but you could use 1 ready meal for a family size pie if you wanted - just add in extra veggies to make it a big 4 person serving.

Chicken Pie          Chicken leek pie   

And we tried them cold the next day - yum!


Can eating cold carbs improve your BGL?

Here's some interesting information from our friend Nikki (who manages her own T1 and is a dietitian):

Do you know that eating cold carbohydrates (carbs.) can improve your blood glucose management?

That’s right, eating your rice and pasta cold is the key!

Have you ever heard of a ‘resistant starch’? Neither had I until recently, but the benefits are amazing, particularly if you have diabetes. 

So, I’m spreading the word!  Keep reading. 

What is a resistant starch? 

It’s all about digestion. Where other types of starch are broken down in the small intestine, Resistant Starch passes through the small intestine intact and is digested/fermented in the large intestine.

So, it’s classified as a type of fibre which has a lower Glycaemic Index (GI) than other starches.

What are the benefits of eating resistant starch?

The bonus for people with diabetes is, resistant starch has been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity and glucose control.

It’s also great for gut health, as the resistant starch is digested through fermentation, by good bacteria in the bowel (large intestine).  

(source: Nutrition Australia The Healthy Grain and the British Nutrition Foundation ). 

Examples of resistant starch

Resistant starch is found in under-cooked pasta, under-ripe bananas, pulses, seeds and cooked and then cooled potato and rice. 

Yes that’s right, cold rice and pasta. It’s all in the way the food is cooked that makes it a resistant starch. Rice and pasta that is cooked and then allowed to cool before being eaten, has a lower GI – Cold Rice

Want to find out more? Keep reading as Kathy Usic, CEO of the Glycaemic Foundation, shares her insights on the benefit of eating cold carbs! 

Q: Is it true that the way food is cooked can alter its GI?

A: “Foods and drinks provide fuel for our body in the form of carbohydrates, fat, protein and alcohol. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel source.

“The glycaemic index (GI) is a way to classify foods and drinks according to how quickly they raise the glucose level of the blood. Factors such as the size, texture, viscosity (internal friction or ‘thickness’) and ripeness of a food affect its GI. For instance, an unripe banana may have a GI of 30, while a ripe banana has a GI of 51. Both ripe and unripe bananas have a low GI.

“Fat, protein, soluble fibre, fructose (a carbohydrate found in fruit) and lactose (the carbohydrate in milk) also generally lower a food’s glycaemic response. Fat and acid foods (like vinegar, lemon juice or acidic fruit) slow the rate at which the stomach empties and slow the rate of digestion, resulting in a lower GI. The carbohydrate food is more slowly converted to glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream.

“As well, fermenting foods or the sourdough method of baking bread also lower the GI. Other factors present in food, such as phytates found in wholegrain breads and cereals, may also delay a food’s absorption and therefore lower the GI.

“Cooking and processing can also affect the GI. Food that is broken down into fine or smaller particles will be more easily absorbed and so has a higher GI. Foods that have been cooked and allowed to cool (potatoes, for example) can have a lower GI when eaten cold than when hot.” 

Q: Is it true that starchy carbohydrates such as rice and pasta, when eaten cold, have a lower GI and can have a lesser impact on BGL than when eaten hot?

A: “Correct.  For example pasta has a glycaemic index value of 40-50. This can be further reduced by cooking it less (al dente). This is because al dente pasta resists the effect of digestive enzymes and has a lower GI.  

“However, cooking pasta for longer accelerates starch gelatinisation, increasing the GI. The same principle applies to rice when cooked and cooled the starch ‘retrogrades’ becoming more resistant to digestion and therefore lowering the GI.”

Read more here.

Driving and type 1 diabetes

This week we share an article from the wonderful JDRF foundation. Managing t1 diabetes and getting and renewing your license means jumping through a few more hoops than others. Here is some information that may be helpful:

Just as wearing a seatbelt and driving within the speed limit are the law, there are laws about driving with T1D. Yes, you absolutely can get a driver’s licence if you have T1D. Keep in mind though, there are rules and restrictions in place and these rules need to be adhered to. With T1D, there is a risk that concentration and action could be impaired. As any driver will know, a moment’s inattention can have devastating outcomes.

The main concern of the licensing authorities is the possibility of a person with T1D having hypoglycaemia (a hypo) while driving. T1D complications like eye problems are also a concern. All states and territories use the national guidelines of medical fitness to assess people with T1D who wish to begin or continue driving. These guidelines are intended to protect your safety and the safety of the community. They attempt to balance the safety of all and any unfairness against you.

If you have been diagnosed with T1D, you should immediately inform your local licensing authority. If you don’t do this and continue to drive and have an accident, you could be charged with driving offences. There may also be problems with insurance claims if you haven’t reported your T1D. Once you have notified your licensing authority they will forward you a report form for your doctor to complete to say you are fit to drive. A medical review must be completed at least every two years and annually if you hold a commercial driver’s licence. Planning ahead for your medical review is important, such as having an eye check beforehand, and taking along other results including records of your recent home blood glucose results.

Read the rest of the article here.

Managing type 2 diabetes

This month we share an article published in WA's Diabetes Matters magazine.

Zara says that being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago was a huge wake-up call that made her realise how quickly life can change.

I had been suffering from thrush that wouldn't go away. It became so painful that I decided to see a doctor. I found that when I ate anything high in sugar the thrush would flare up, and when I told my doctor this, he asked if anyone in my family had diabetes. I confirmed they did.

I was overdue for my regular diabetes check, which is usually clear, so I didn't think anything of it when she ran the blood tests. I was certain I wasn't going to develope diabetes, but this time my results came back positive for type 2. I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and winded me. It was a huge wake up call.

My diagnosis has made me more aware of the importance of looking after myself - eating healthily, exercising and having regular medical checks. I've lost a lot of weight which has helped to bring my glucose levels down to a healthy range and my eating habits have improved. I also feel like my moods are much more level and I'm happier than I was before my diagnosis.

My advice to people is that if you have a loved one, or know someone, who has diabetes, read up n what it is and speak with that person about how you can best support them. Knowing that they have the support of family and friends is absolutely critical to them managing the condition effectively.

Diabetes Matters is a quarterly magazine costing $6.95 and is packed with personal stories and information. You can find out more here.

We've moved to a larger facility to give you even better service.

It's been an exciting and hectic week for us at Diabetes Meals Online and we're thrilled with our new, much larger home which means our customer service is now second to none!

We can now despatch your orders faster (often same day) and we'll never be out of stock again as we have everything in one place - whew.

We've employed more people to help with getting your orders out asap and they are as passionate about quality and customer service as we are - we're a very happy committed team that's growing!

We're also busy tasting new meals, and devising new snacks and desserts. Our range will be changing seasonally and we'll be adding in new meals on a regular basis keeping your menu fresh and updated :)

We've also started updating everything with our new fresh green logo and you'll see this on your packaging and across social media sites.

Our diabetes meals are home delivered, and we'll soon be taking them to supermarkets and speciality stores so stay tuned to find your local stockist.

Our new Chocolate flavoured meal replacements are flying off the shelf and soon we'll be introducing new yummy flavours. Customers are loving the chocolate milkshake taste with the low calories, and the vitamins and minerals.

Thanks for helping us grow! We are 100% committed to making meal time easier (and delicious!).




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All things Gluten Free

Are you constantly looking for recipes that are egg free/dairy free/gluten free/ nut free.... and the list goes on? You might be filling up lunch boxes for children with allergies, or needing to make special snacks and desserts for others (or yourself) with allergies.

We've come across a terrific recipe book called Abundance by best selling author Tania Hubbarb (we know Tania and she's passionate about this). 

Packed with 50 recipes that are simple to make, you'll find a range of different options depending on the allergy you need to work around.

Tania delivers world wide.

Check it out here.


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