14 October 2011

Ayoba soccer snacks

We're already halfway through the 2010 Soccer World Cup but the soccer fever is still running high and the vuvuzelas are still sounding.


We're already halfway through the 2010 Soccer World Cup but the soccer fever is still running high and the vuvuzelas are still sounding. Any proudly South African celebration always includes some good food, and as a person with diabetes, there's certainly no reason why you should feel left out.

You already know that you should steer away from high-fat, high-sugar and high-salt foods. Also stick to small portions and replace some of your favourite snacks with healthy and tasty alternatives, and you're on your way to a healthy, guilt-free World Cup experience.

Here are some helpful tips:

Nuts:Opt for small portions of unsalted nuts - salted nuts are high in sodium and not ideal for those with high blood pressure. You can also opt for sultanas or dried fruit instead.
Choose biltong made of lean meat, like ostrich and game, or eat beef biltong without fat and stick to small portions. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, avoid biltong altogether as it's very high in salt. Also steer away from dried wors, as it's very high in salt and saturated fats.

Chocolate: If you can't go without chocolate, go for the dark variety – chocolate that contains 70% cocoa is especially good, as it contains far less sugar and should be lower GI. Be cautious with diabetic or sugar-free chocolate, as they are mostly higher in fat and contain the same number of kilojoules, if not more, as the regular types of plain chocolate. However, steer clear of chocolate bars, as they are mostly high GI.

Chips: Chips are very high in detrimental fat and salt. Rather opt for low-fat lightly salted homemade popcorn, without the butter. However, if you have high blood pressure, rather flavour your popcorn with garlic and herb shake instead of salt. Also remember, popcorn is not kilojoule-free; count every large coffee mug full of low fat popcorn as being equivalent to one slice of bread.

Burgers: Choose a burger made of lean grilled (not crumbed) chicken or beef mince and have it on a whole-wheat roll with some fresh tomato and lettuce. When you have a burger, don't add any chips, as the fat content in such a meal would be too high. You could have your burger with a salad, or some veggies instead.
Pizza: Lose the extra cheese and rather opt for vegetarian toppings such as mushroom, pineapple and green pepper or go for chicken or tuna with vegetables like peppers and onion. Salami, bacon and pepperoni are loaded with fat and salt and anchovies are loaded with salt, although they contain beneficial fat. Don't eat more than 2-3 slices, but an absolute maximum of half a standard pizza, after having salad first (dressing on the side) as that is the equivalent of four thick slices of bread with margarine, tomato, cheese, meat and a few veggies!  

Beer: Check out the low-alcohol beers on the market and ensure that you drink enough water throughout the day as alcohol can dehydrate you. And remember that light beers are not free; having two light beers is the same as drinking one regular beer. 

Fruit and Veggies: Make some fruit skewers of fruits in season or try a baked apple with cinnamon for added taste. You can also make a platter with carrot sticks, celery sticks, baby corn, baby tomatoes and mushrooms, and dip them into a tasty tzatziki, hummus or cottage cheese. These work very well at a braai, as they help you and your guests to eat fewer salty snacks before the food is ready.  

Get your soccer party going with our easy recipes below taken from the Eating for Sustained Energy series of recipe books (by Liesbet Delport and Gabi Steenkamp) and Snacks and Treats for Sustained Energy (by Gabi Steenkamp and Jeske Wellmann).

(This newsletter was compiled with the help of the GI Smart Club. For more information on the Glycemic Index  and other health tools visit

View recipes:

- Party pizzas
- Hamburger patties with BBQ sauce
- John's Thai chicken sausage rolls

Party pizzas: nutritional information per serving

One mini pizza (one serving) is equivalent to 1 starch, 1 lean protein and ½ fat.

GI lower (56)

Kilojoules 620

Carbohydrates 15g

GL 9

Protein 8g

Fat 6g

Fibre 3g


Saturated fat 2.6g

(Birgit Ottermann, Health24, Diabetes Newsletter, June 2010)




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