Reducing Sugar

There is a lot of coverage in the media about how much sugar we are now eating and how this is contributing to serious health issues such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. It is not difficult to see that products such as cakes, biscuits, soft drinks and sweets are high in sugar. However, there are also relatively high levels of sugar contained in products such as savoury ready meals, soups and healthy cereals. We have put together some recipes for home made versions of these dishes which are lower in sugar  and there will be more to come – see our recipes...

Low Sugar Breakfast Pancakes (Serves 4)

Ingredients 2 eggs 1 cup milk 1 cup buckwheat flour 1 cup ground almonds 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup strawberries, chopped up and xylitol or stevia added to taste (depending on how sweet the berries are) 1 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil   Method Add the eggs to the dry ingredients and start to mix in together – add the milk gradually and mix together so that you avoid lumps. When the mixture is all combined add a small amount of oil to a non-stick heated frying pan. Add a small ladle of pancake mixture for each pancake and cook for about 30- 45 seconds. When pancake looks like it is getting solid on the bottom flip with a spatula and cook on the other side. Serve with the strawberries on top. Portion of 2 pancakes contains 7g sugar compared to shop bought pancakes with strawberries on the side at 14g of...

Anzac Biscuits

Ingredients 125g unsalted butter ¼ cup rice malt syrup Pinch sea salt ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda 2 tbsp boiling water 1 cup rolled oats ¾ cups desiccated coconut 1 cup plain flour ½ cup roughly chopped macadamias   Method Heat the oven to 150C, 300F or gas mark 2. In a small saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter and rice malt syrup, stirring until the mixture starts to bubble. Add a pinch of salt. Combine the bicarbonate of soda with boiling water and add to butter mixture. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour melted butter mixture into dry ingredients and combine well.  Roll 1 teaspoon of mixture into a ball and place on tray, flattening into a disc. Repeat with remaining mixture, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool on trays before transferring to a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.   Portion of one biscuit contains 1.7g sugar compared to a Maryland cookie at...

Low Sugar Tomato Soup (Serves 4)

Ingredients 2 onions peeled and chopped 1 carrot peeled and diced finely 1 clove garlic peeled and crushed 1 stick celery finely chopped 2 tbsp olive oil 450g/1lb fresh ripe tomatoes, skinned and halved 1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable stock 1 pinch of stevia to taste Salt and freshly ground black pepper Handful fresh basil, coriander or tarragon shredded (optional)   Method Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions, carrot and celery and garlic. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until soft. Add the sugar, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Liquidise until smooth. If using the herbs, stir in at the end.   Portion contains 5.6g of sugar compared to 9.7g for ½ can creamed tomato...

Low Sugar Sweet and Sour Chicken or Prawns (Serves 4)

Ingredients 400g of raw chicken breast cut into strips or 400g raw prawns without shells 1 tsp olive oil 1 red onion, sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed ½ tsp fresh ginger root, grated ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely diced or pinch of chilli flakes, optional ¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder 4 tbsp tomato puree 200ml fresh chicken stock or vegetable stock 2tsp cornflour 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp xylitol or pinch of stevia (to taste) 2 tbsp light soy sauce 200g fresh pineapple cut into small pieces Freshly ground black pepper Pinch of sea salt Method Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli if using and stir for a minute. In a small bowl add the cornflour and mix in a tbsp. of cold water to make a smooth paste. Add the chicken stock slowly stirring all the time. Then add to the pan along with the vinegar, xylitol, soy sauce and tomato puree and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, add the pineapple chunks and cornflour paste and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken the sauce. Season to taste. Add the chicken or prawns and leave on a medium heat until cooked. If you don’t add the meat or fish you can store the sauce in the fridge for 2-3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Portion contains 6.9g of sugar compared to 16.8g for a portion of jar sweet and sour...

Nutritional Therapy: Support for those diagnosed or at risk of Type 2 Diabetes

As Theresa May becomes our new Prime Minister many people have said that we don’t know that much about her. But one thing which we do know is that she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2012. This type of diabetes is rarer than Type 2 especially when diagnosed later in life. However, let’s hope that she brings some attention to diabetes overall. Type 2 is a significant health issue and is on the rise, increasing by 65 per cent over the past decade. There are also thought to be 549,000 people with un-diagnosed Type 2 diabetes. It costs the NHS £10 billion a year and this is set to rise. This cost is incurred mainly in dealing with the complications of the condition such as amputations, blindness, kidney failure and stroke. However this is nothing to the human cost in suffering that these complications bring. As the number of people living with Type 2 diabetes escalates, Diabetes UK is warning that the need for the NHS to commit to providing adequate care and diabetes education across the UK is more urgent than ever. Until this happens – and the National Audit Office recently criticised the often poor standard of care – large numbers of people will end up experiencing potentially preventable diabetes-related complications. At the moment, more than 24,000 people a year with diabetes die before their time, which is because: Only 60 per cent of people with diabetes are getting the eight NICE recommended checks [2], which are key to identifying any problems early enough to prevent complications. Diabetes education courses are not being commissioned for...