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Finding a way forward with Type 2 diabetes

by Daphne Lambert

More than 5 million people are now living with diabetes in the UK. Around 90% of these have type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that a further 2.4 million are at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition whereby the body's ability to regulate glucose is compromised resulting  in too much glucose circulating in the blood. Eventually, high blood sugar levels can lead to disorders of the circulatory, nervous and immune systems. If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, diet and lifestyle changes can help you mange or even reverse the disease and prevent you having to take medication.

Different foods can cause blood sugar dips or spikes, so tools such as glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) are used to determine the best foods to eat to keep blood sugar levels steady. Whether you're diabetic or not low GI & GL are best for health & wellbeing.

A GI value indicates how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. Foods containing carbohydrate are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100, with pure glucose (sugar) given a value of 100. The lower a food's glycemic index, the slower blood sugar rises after eating that food. Greater than 70 is high, 55-70 is medium less than 55 is low.

Glycemic load indicates how much of that carbohydrate is in an average  serving  size of a particular food. A GL of 20 or more is high, a GL of 11 to 19 is medium, and a GL of 10 or less is low. Here are some examples based on an 'average 'person however it is important to remember that different people’s blood sugar responses to the same foods can vary significantly.


                                        GI                             GL

Pumpernickel Bread      55                                7

White baguette               95                              21

Brown rice                     50                               16

White rice                       72                               29

Raisins                           64                               28

Cornflakes                      81                               20

Lentils                            26                                5

Quinoa                           50                              12

Chickpeas                      36                                9


The way a food is processed and cooked effects GI. Food that is broken down into fine or smaller particles will be more easily absorbed and so has a higher GI.

Most foods are eaten as part of a meal. Including fat, protein and soluble fibre, not just high carbohydrate, in your meals generally lowers a glycemic response. Fat and acid foods (like vinegar, or acidic fruit) slow the rate at which the stomach empties and slow the rate of digestion, resulting in a lower GI.

You can download GI & GL index charts. ① Whilst it is worth looking at these charts a constant focus on them can add an unwanted complexity to choosing what to eat. To make life more easeful here are some simple guidelines and recipes  to help you navigate type 2 diabetes.


*Exercise is an essential component in the management of type 2 diabetes - swimming, walking, dancing, cycling are all good. Before you start a new exercise regime check with your health professional how it might affect blood glucose.

*Take a probiotic supplement - growing research demonstrates that the gut microbiome plays a pivotal role in type 2 diabetes.

Eliminate sweets, cakes, biscuits, breads and pastries made from white flour and sugar. Eliminate ultra processed foods which are  made by a series of industrial processes and are high in fractioned foods, added sugars, refined & hydrogenated oils and additives.*

Enjoy a wide selection of foods including (but not limited to)

leafy greens (spinach, kale, nettles, chard)

cauliflower, Brussels sprouts,  broccoli, peas, leeks, garlic, carrots, parsnips, pumpkin, squash, broad beans, asparagus, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, fennel,

kohl rabi, tomatoes

pears, apples, grapefruit, orange, prunes, berriesflaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin & sunflower seeds

lentils, quinoa, kidney beans, chickpeas, butter beans, mung beans.hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts

whole grain oats and rice, pumpernickel bread, sprouted grain breads

eggs preferably from pasture raised chickens

raw goats, sheep, Jersey or Guernsey cow products

olive oil

70% dark chocolate


RECIPES  all of the following recipes are suitable for vegetarians


Fermented whole oat porridge

Place oat grouts (allow 2 tablespoons per person)  in a bowl, just cover with water, add a tablespoon of sauerkraut juice, apple cider vinegar or kefir to the water and leave at room temperature for 2 days. Larger quantities of oats can be fermented and stored in the ferment liquid for up to 2 days in the fridge.

Depending on your flavour preference, you can either cook the grouts in the ferment liquid or strain and cook in fresh water.

Gently bring the oats to a simmer and then cook slowly in a bain marie until creamy. Serve with chopped apple and  a sprinkle of cinnamon If you prefer not to cook the oats simply strain and serve with apple, yogurt or a nut milk.


Quinoa breakfast 

serves 2

100g quinoa

250 ml coconut milk

½ tsp vanilla

½ tsp cinnamon

50g  walnuts

50g soaked sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon dried sour cherries

2 tablespoons shelled hemp

Combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon & vanilla in a medium pan. Bring to the boil and then place a lid on pan and reduce to a very low heat. After 10 minutes stir and check the liquid and if most is absorbed, remove from the heat. Leave the lid on the pan and rest for 5 minutes to absorb any remaining milk. Add walnuts, sunflower seeds , sour cherries and hemp seeds and serve.


Shitake mushrooms with wilted greens

serves 1

50g fresh shitake mushrooms

olive oil

handful of greens, spinach, watercress, dandelion, oriental mustard.

splash of tamari

salt and pepper

Cut the mushrooms into thick slices and cook in a little olive oil over a medium heat for 4 minutes add the greens and allow them to wilt, add the tamari, season and serve. If you prefer you could serve on top of whole grain rye bread toast


Herby quinoa tabbouleh

serves 2

100g red quinoa

200ml stock

handful of flat leaf parsley

handful of coriander

handful of mint, leaves only

50g baby leaf spinach finely shredded

2 spring onions finely sliced

zest and juice of1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and black pepper

Cook the quinoa in the stock for 15 mins or until tender and all the liquid is absorbed.

Tip into a bowl and leave to cool.

Roughly chop the coriander & parsley. Finely shred the mint leaves.

Add the herbs, spinach and spring onions to the quinoa.

Whisk the lemon zest and juice with the olive oil, season well and mix through the quinoa.


serves  2/4

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red onions diced

1 red pepper, seeded and diced

1 green pepper, seeded and diced

1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced

1 red chilli, seeded and finely diced

1 tsp ground cumin

6 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

4 eggs

salt and black pepper


Heat oil in a medium frying pan. Add the onion and peppers and cook over a medium to high heat for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic, chilli and cumin and cook for a minute.

Add the tomatoes and 100ml of water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until the tomatoes are broken down and the sauce is thick - taste and season.Using the back of a large spoon, make 4 dips in the sauce, then crack an egg into each one. As the egg whites turn white cover the pan with a lid and over a low heat finish cooking the eggs to your



Baked eggs with spinach & mushrooms

serves 2

60g chestnut mushrooms

2 handfuls spinach finely shredded

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and black pepper

1 tablespoon snipped chives

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon butter

2  large eggs

2 individual ramekin style dishes, buttered

Oven 180ºC/350ºF

 Chop the mushrooms and cook in the oil until just turning golden brown.

Toss in the spinach and allow to wilt. Stir in the herbs and season with salt and pepper

Divide the mixture between the 2 dishes and crack an egg on top of each.

Pop the dishes onto a tray and bake for about 10/12 minutes - you want the egg white set and the yolk still runny. If you wish serve with wholegrain rye bread.



Lentil soup

serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp tomato purée

250g red lentils

1.5 litres vegetable stock

400g spinach picked over as necessary and roughly chopped

salt & black pepper


In a large pan gently cook the onion, carrot and garlic in the olive oil until lightly golden.

Add the chilli flakes and cumin, cook for a few seconds, tip in lentils, tomato puree  and stock.

Cover and simmer  20 minutes, stirring now and then.

 Add the spinach, allow to wilt season and serve

 If you would like to serve with bread, choose sprouted seed bread or cauliflower bread.


Cauliflower bread

300g finely chopped cauliflower (resembling rice)

100g  ground almonds

2 tablespoons psyllium husk

50g chia seeds

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon of sea salt

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons olive oil


1 oiled loaf tin and lined with parchment paper approx12 x 22 cm

oven 160°C

Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well combined and smooth. Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf tin, spreading it out evenly and pressing down firmly to level the surface.

Bake for 50 minutes, or until firm to the touch and  golden. Cool in the tin before turning out. Store wrapped in parchment paper.


Vegetable wraps

makes 6 wraps

juice and zest 1 lemon

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1/2 small red chilli chopped

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon maple syrup

3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

½ a small  head of white cabbage

6  chard leaves

1 carrot cut into matchsticks

2 sticks celery cut into matchsticks

2 handfuls  sprouted green lentils

1 handful of herbs (mint, flat-leaf parsley, chervil, basil, coriander leaves)

Blend the lemon juice and zest, ginger, chilli, tamari, maple syrup and peanut butter together Finely shred the cabbage . Set aside 1/3rd of the peanut  sauce and toss the cabbage in the remainder.

Cut out the centre rib of each chard leaf  so it can roll up easily.

Place the leaves on the table underside facing up.

Arrange the cabbage mixture along the bottom third of each leaf leaving a gap at the bottom.

Lay a few carrot and celery matchsticks on top with the  sprouts and herbs and roll up.

Serve with the remaining peanut sauce, mixed with a little water to make a dipping sauce consistency.

Asparagus frittata

serves 4

8 eggs

salt and pepper

30 ml water

50g  butter

2 shallots chopped

500g asparagus, tough ends snapped off and cut diagonally into 1 cm lengthsgrated cheese (optional)


Oven 190°C/375°F

Beat the eggs in a bowl with the water, salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a 10-inch ovenproof frying pan. Add the shallots and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Toss in the asparagus and cook for a further 3 minutes.Pour in the egg mixture and cook until it begins to set at the edges. Top with the optional cheese. Transfer to a medium hot oven and bake for 15 minutes until golden and firm.


A warm salad of roast carrot & sprouted lentils

serves 4

300g carrots cut into rounds

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp cumin seeds

1" piece of ginger grated

sea salt & black pepper

juice & zest of 1 lemon

½ tsp wholegrain mustard

2 handfuls sprouted green  lentils

Oven 180C /350F

Toss the carrots with the cumin seeds and ginger in 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Tip on to a baking tray and roast for 30-35 mins until soft and very slightly charred around the edges.

Whilst the carrots roast, whisk together the remaining oil, the lemon zest, juice and mustard. Toss the sprouted lentils in the dressing, tip in the carrots and serve.

Roast broccoli with butterbean mash

serves 4

1k broccoli

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 x 400g tins butterbeans

2 tablespoons olive oil

juice of half a lemon

good twist black pepper

handful parsley chopped

oven 180C/350F

Cut the broccoli into florets and thinly slice the stalks.

In a bowl mix together 3 tablespoons olive oil, cumin, chilli & salt. Toss tin he broccoli

Tip onto a baking tray and roast for about 12 - 15 minutes

To make the mash, drain the butterbeans, pop into a pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes, drain and return to the pan with the olive oil, lemon juice and black pepper and mash to a puree.

Stir in the parsley, divide between 4 plates and pile the roasted broccoli on top.


Hummus with warm falafel & red kraut


400g tin chickpeas

1 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tbsp lemon juice

pinch of ground cumin

¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp tahini



125g chickpeas soaked in water for 24 hours

1 small onion, very finely chopped

1 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tbsp chopped coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp chilli powder

1 tbsp flour

¼ tsp salt


6 tablespoons red kraut

dressing made from 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice salt & black pepper

mixed salad leaves


oven 200C/400F

To make the hummus, drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid and add them to a food processor with the garlic, lemon juice, cumin, 1½ tbsp of the liquid, salt, oil and tahini. Purée until smooth.

If the mixture is too thick, add a little more of the reserved liquid.


To make the falafel, place the soaked chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until lightly broken. Add the remaining ingredients and continue pulsing until you have a smooth but distinctly grainy purée. Gently form the mixture into about 20 small patties, making each roughly the size of a 50p piece. Place on a well-oiled baking tray and cook in a hot oven.


To serve, toss the salad in the dressing and divide between 4 plates, spoon on the red kraut and top with the falafel and hummus


Sprouted mung bean kitchari

serves 4-6

200g brown basmati

300g mung beans - sprouted

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red onions diced

2 cloves garlic finely diced

1 carrot sliced

2 sticks celery sliced

1 level dessertspoon each turmeric, cumin and coriander

1 dessertspoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil until soft, add the carrot and celery and cook for a further 2 minutes Add all the spices, mix well then add the rice & sprouted mung beans, stir until all of the ingredients and spices are combined. Add 500ml  water. Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer very  gently for 35/45 minutes until tender, adding more water as needed.

When ready stir in the lemon juice and season well with salt & pepper and serve as is or top with either coriander, chilli sauce or yogurt (or possibly all 3!)


Tahini cauliflower

serves 4

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tblsp coriander seeds

1 dstsp cumin seeds

1 tsp cardamom seeds

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

1 large cauliflower

2 tblsp olive oil


Tahini dressing

3 tblspn tahini

juice from 1 lemon

1 tblsp olive oil

1 tblsp water½ tspn salt


oven 400 F 200 C  

Toast the peppercorns, coriander and cumin in dry pan until aromatic. Remove from the heat and grind in a pestle and mortar then add the cardamom, paprika and turmeric.

Cut the cauliflower into florets and the stem into slices and place in a bowl , add the olive oil and spice mix then using your hands rub together well.


Tip on to a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes until just tender.

Whilst the cauliflower is cooking make the tahini sauce by mixing all the ingredients together, adding more water if necessary to make a pourable sauce. Tip the roast cauliflower into a bowl and spoon over the tahini sauce. Serve with wholegrain basmati rice.

Chocolate - almond biscuit

makes 10

120g ground almonds

1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 egg

60g very soft butter

oven 180C/350F

Blend together the egg, maple syrup and butter.

Beat in the  ground almonds, baking powder & cacao powder.

Gently shape a dessertspoon of the mixture into a ball, place on a buttered baking tray and flatten.

Repeat to make 10 biscuits.

Bake in preheated oven 10 -12 minutes. Lift off tray and cool.



celery & peanut butter

pumpernickel with tapenade

carrot sticks with hummus

yogurt with apple & hemp seeds

oatcakes with cottage cheese

hemp smoothie


Hemp smoothie

serves 2

100g hulled hemp seeds

400ml water

2 teaspoons raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon hazelnut butter

1 teaspoon unrefined stevia powder  ② 

handful frozen berries - strawberries, blueberries or raspberries


Blend well together and serve



②   Make your own stevia powder -buy Stevia rebaudiana plant online from a number of nurseries or you could also organise a farm collection from Jekka's

alternatively buy an unrefined powder from most health food shops



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