Diabetes Food

Reporter: Helen Wellings

The statistics are alarming. 3.6 million Australians have diabetes or pre-diabetes. 1 of us is diagnosed every 5 minutes, 290 everyday, almost 106,000 a year... and we're getting it younger. Diabetics are twice as likely to have heart disease and strokes. But 85% to 90% of sufferers have Type 2 Diabetes which can be prevented with good diet, exercise and lifestyle.

Leading chef, Michael Moore, owner of Sydney's revolving restaurant, O Bar, was diagnosed with diabetes at 35. Later, a stroke changed his outlook ... and his food dramatically...

"If you're at risk, these dishes will really work for you." Said Michael

Michael's about to share his food discoveries ... and some delicious and amazingly different recipes from his diabetes cookbook, Blood Sugar ... which has been a runaway seller - more than 50,000 copies here and worldwide.

"If we're being physically active and eating the right foods and maintaining the healthy weight and losing excess weight, we can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes." Said Dietician Michelle Norman

Michelle Norman, Dietitian, Australian Diabetes Council. Coming up, her top health foods, and those to avoid.

"It would say "your reading is high, go for a walk for 15 minutes" - that balances out the blood sugar." Said Laura McGarry

An amazing breakthrough, just hit the market, to help diabetics instantly monitor blood sugar levels ... an app for iphones and ipods.

"I'll prick my finger. This will come up with my blood sugar reading and I will know then whether it's high or low." Said Laura

It's technology that Laura McGarry, who was diagnosed with gestational diabetes when pregnant, wouldn't be without, for her and her baby's sake.

"I can send it on to my endocrinologist and if it's high I can also record down what I've eaten for every meal was so accurate, so helpful. As a nervous pregnant woman it was like having a doctor in my pocket that could give me recommendations every 5 minutes." Said Laura

Michael Moore has Type 2 diabetes, non-insulin dependent, which occurs when the pancreas isn't producing enough insulin and isn't using it properly. He took a radical move that paid off - reformed the food for home-cooked dishes AND at his O Bar restaurant.

"If I can choose the healthy option and the healthy ingredient in the dish, I will always make that choice. What I've done is start to use grains and seeds things like buck wheat or quinoa which comes in red white or black which is a high protein grain, low carbohydrate, low starch, really easy to cook in salads, you can really replace rice anywhere." Said Michael

No processed foods. Michael advocates lean meats too.

"Pork is a good lean meat and has a high protein content. So you can eat pork and you do need to eat saturated fat. Vitamins A K E and D are absorbed by saturated fat." Said Michael

Desserts can be OK. Michael cooks with this low GI sugar alternative - agave syrup from cactus.

"Low fat ricotta, high in protein, egg, dark chocolate and with a nut base and sweetened with agave nectar. So it's a low GI high fibre high protein cheesecake, so it tastes delicious." Said Michael

The recipe's in Michael's Blood Sugar book. The Australian Council of Diabetics advises cut down on these foods. {chips, softdrinks, butter, biscuits, and confectionarychocolate and lollies} Top 5 foods.

"We want to look at our 5 different food groups. So we've got our breads, grains and cereals, our breakfast cereals, rice, pasta as well, plenty of our vegetables 2 serves of fruit, we want low fat dairy. Unsalted nuts and healthy sources of fat like avocado, lean cuts of meat and also skinless chicken and don't forget fish with our beautiful omega 3s as well." Said Michelle

"It's important that every year you do go to your GP and you have an overall blood test done - while looking at those healthy lifestyle factors of the healthy foods and regular physical activity to reduce your risk." Said Michelle

CONTACTS:

Australian Diabetes Council

5 FOODS to eat everyday

Veges

- broccoli, red tomatos, sweet potato, corn

Low fat dairy

- skim milk/ yoghurt

Grainy bread

Oats

Legumes and pulses

Brown rice

5 FOODS TO LIMIT / FOR MODERATION

Butter

(saturated fat)

Mince

(cheap mince is bad for type 2s - pink and full of fat) but good mince - is bright red, full of meat

Shortbread / packaged biscuits and cake

(transfat)

Salt

(shaker)

Crisps

Lollies

Chef Michael Moore - author of Blood Sugar

www.michaelmoorechef.com

www.obardining.com.au

Blood Sugar retails for $45 and is published by New Holland

Australian Diabetes Council:

· Australians can call toll free to talk to an Australian Diabetes Council expert on:

1300 DIABETES, that's 1300 342 238

· People can visit www.australiandiabetescouncil.com for more information and resources, including a risk calculator to check their own risk of Type 2 diabetes

iBG Star Blood Sugar apps:

Consumers can order the iBGStar either from this website www.bgstar.com.au or they can purchase it from their local pharmacist. The strips are reimbursed by the Govt through the PBS