What Makes a Recipe Diabetic Friendly?

Are you wondering what makes a recipe diabetic friendly? Kirthi Hagalwadi, our  masters in public health intern and ‘Ulu Ambassador Cynthia Archibald explains in our Diabetic Friendly Recipes book how to design diabetic friendly recipe by following a few simple guidelines.

Uala Tacos

1. Focus on the overall composition of the diet. A whole food, plant-based diet is associated with reduced rates of diabetes and other chronic illnesses.

Lentil Stew by Jesse Lipman

2. Minimize added sugars and refined grains (e.g., white bread, rice, and pasta with less than 2g of fiber per serving).

Ulu Peanut Butter Milkshake

3. Limit sugary drinks, sweetened condiments, and candy.

Kalo Nishime

4. Maximize dietary fiber (i.e., soluble fiber or insoluble fiber) as it helps with digestion and prevents constipation. Slowly incorporate foods with fiber into your diet as increasing your intake too quickly can result in gas, bloating, and cramps.

Good sources include:

  • Hawai‘i-grown staples: ‘ulu, kalo, ‘uala, pala‘ai
  • Whole grains and beans
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables
Poi Vinaigrette by Alan Wong


5. Focus on whole foods instead of highly processed foods:

  • To the extent possible, foods should resemble their original form
  • Avoid pre-packaged foods, and in particular, those with long lists of ingredients, which often contain sugar and added salt
  • The Hawaii Ulu Cooperative's recipe-ready packs are minimally processed for the purpose of preservation. This method does not substantially change the nutritional content of the staples and allows for a time-saving mode of preparation that obtain nutrients!



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Recipe Book Cover Art


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