Healthy recipes for World Diabetes Day

Good fats, nutritious vegetables and slow-release carbs

14 November marks World Diabetes Day, which means it's time to raise awareness of type 2 and the importance of screening for early diagnosis. In many cases type 2 diabetes can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle. So, to join the campaign and help raise awareness in the Middle East – a region where the condition is on the rise – we’ve put together three wholesome recipes to help keep our eye on diabetes:


A nutritious breakfast of lemon and broad bean toasts with poached eggs will help to control blood glucose levels, which tend to be higher in the morning. The eggs provide a good source of protein, the avocado is an excellent source of healthy fats (monounsaturated), while the broad beans give you your fibre fix. Most importantly though, don’t skip out on your morning meal – it’s a vital start to the day.


Beans are brilliant; they’re low in fat, inexpensive, high in fibre and don’t affect blood sugar levels too much. Try them in soups, casseroles or these spiced spinach falafel avocado wraps. And while all carbohydrates have an impact on glucose levels, wholegrains – such as wholegrain rice, noodles or wraps – are a great choice as they’re absorbed gradually. Aim for five helpings of fruit or vegetables a day (the spinach and avocado conveniently count towards this), where one portion should roughly fit into your palm.


In 2015, 415 million adults worldwide registered as living with diabetes and, according to the International Diabetes Foundation, this figure is set to rise to 642 million by 2040. There are two types of diabetes: the most common in children is type 1, where the body is unable to produce insulin, the hormone that allows glucose to enter the body’s cells. Type 2 is as a result of the body not being able to produce enough insulin or failing to use the insulin produced effectively, which leaves too much glucose in the blood to process.


Try to eat fish at least twice a week, especially oily salmon, tuna or mackerel which are particularly high in omega-3. We love this crab, chilli, lemon and asparagus wholewheat spaghetti and not just because it only takes 20 minutes to make. The combination of garlic, chilli and coriander provides loads of flavour so you won’t have to add too much salt (if any) to taste.

Handy tips

  • Reduce your salt intake – try flavouring food with herbs or spices instead.
  • Try to use unsaturated fats when cooking, like olive oil and rapeseed oil.
  • Grill, steam or bake food rather than frying it.
  • Control portion sizes; select a smaller plate to trick your brain into thinking you’re full.
  • Watch your sugar intake.
  • Eat often throughout the day to help control your appetite.

Type 2 diabetes is likely to affect those who aren’t active enough and whose BMI (body mass index) is out of the healthy range, so exercise is just as important as a nourishing diet in keeping fit. If you need anymore inspiration, click here for lots of recipes that’ll keep you healthy and happy. And of course if you’re unsure about your diet, don’t hesitate to consult your GP.