Diabetes

Can you still eat beef?

In South Africa alone there are about three and half million people suffering with diabetes, according to Dr Larry Distiller, the founder and managing director of the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology. For a diabetic meat lover, there is a common misconception that you will have to change your entire life and basically end up eating food you don’t necessarily enjoy, but this isn’t true. There are certain dietary changes that you will have to make though, but don’t fret, we’ve got you covered.

 

We know that sometimes you just want a piece of steak or a big ol’ juicy roast but managing the portion size, quality and cuts of meat you take in is crucial. Here are some helpful tips:

Portion

Control

When putting your meals together, you should aim for a portion size of ±85g of meat per serving. We know it’s a bit of a mission to weigh all your food, so just make sure that your meat portion is about the same size as a deck of cards or the size of your palm and thickness of your pinky finger. You should also aim to eat up to 6 smaller meals instead of 3 big meals a day and try to eat at the same time every day, as this can help keep your blood sugar more stable, and the readings more accurate. Meat won’t necessarily raise your blood sugar, but eating big portions can affect your weight and being overweight can make diabetes difficult to control.

It’s all

in the cut

When it comes to the cut of meat you eat, the main focus should be that it is lean. The cuts of meat that are better to eat when you are a diabetic are silverside, topside, rump, flank and fillet. When it comes to mince, make sure the packaging states that the mince is either lean or extra lean. Try to avoid eating processed meats such as bacon, sausages or ham, and replace them with meat you prepare at home or get from your local butcher.

Too much fat

is not a good thing

Be aware of how much saturated fats you consume, such as butter, whole milk products, processed meats or fatty cuts of meat, as this could lead to internal inflammation which could contribute to insulin resistance. You should also make sure that you cut all the fat off your meat before eating it.

Cooking

your beef

As a meat lover, you probably have certain ways you prefer your meat. You can prepare your meat in a number of ways such as grilling (yes you can still braai), sauteing, stir-frying, roasting and braising. But of course this all depends on the different cuts of meat. Just make sure that you don’t use a lot of oil or butter to cook your meat.

 

At the end of the day you need to be clever about what you put in your body as everything you eat can have a huge impact on your life. As these are just suggestions and we aren’t doctors, make sure to speak to your doctor or dietician first about your diet as every person’s body is different and reacts differently.