Phil Vickery recipes a treat for type 2 diabetes

November 17, 2017 by
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Phil Vickery is a great chef and an all round nice guy so it was a pleasure to talk to him for the Daily Telegraph about his new recipe book which offers inspiring new recipes for anyone with type 2 diabetes. It’s an incredibly timely offering. Almost four million adults in England now have diabetes, of whom almost a million are undiagnosed, according to Diabetes UK. The vast majority of cases are Type 2 diabetes, which is fuelled by unhealthy lifestyles, with two in three adults overweight or obese.

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And earlier this month, the Department of Health unveiled new plans for GPs offer every single person aged 40 and over an NHS diabetes check. As a result, millions could be ordered to go on strict diets. New recommendations from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) say “intensive lifestyle change programmes” will be routinely offered to those whose weight or habits is jeopardising their health. These would include slimming classes, fitness sessions and lifestyle coaching, with places prioritised for 1.7 million people whose blood sugar levels puts them in greatest danger.

But as Phil Vickery pointed out in our interview, eating healthily when you have been diagnosed with type 2 can be a minefield with many torn between eating low carb or low cal diets. His book Phil Vickery’s Ultimate Diabetes Cookbook had to be carefully written with guidance from Diabetes UK to make sure every delicious recipe – which include Lacy Pancakes with Zesty Lemon Yogurt, meltingly tender Slow Roast Lamb with Apricots and spicy Chicken Fajitas with Salsa – was nutritional and medically safe. “It has been the hardest challenge of my life,” says Vickery. “It hasn’t just been about removing added sugar, it’s been about controlling all types of carbohydrate.”

Salt had to come off the menu too – “We compensated by adding lots of fresh herbs and spices. But as a chef, giving up salt is much harder than giving up sugar.”

Sweet alternatives

He also experimented with sugar alternatives, settling on the sweetener xylitol – which is low in calories, and has a very low glycemic index and so doesn’t spike blood sugar – as his favourite. “I was told that I wouldn’t be able to make meringue without sugar – and I took that as a personal challenge,” he explains. “Using xylitol was so successful I was able to create a recipe for a floating island meringue in a chocolate sauce. And it’s very good. Light as a feather.”


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