One of the problems you may experience when you have diabetes is not being able to enjoy exotic foods because you aren't sure if they will raise your blood sugar levels. Luckily, if you are a fan of African dishes, you may be able to keep eating them; the following two popular food items are not only delicious, but they might help you keep your blood sugar under control.
The African Yam
The African yam is usually not the yam that you may see in many American grocery stores. Rather than having orange meat, an African yam has meat that tends to be somewhat purple in color. The skin is many times brown or black.
African yams contain complex carbohydrates, which means that the carbs in them break down into glucose and other sugars slowly when compared to foods with simple carbohydrates like white rice. As a result of this slower breakdown, you are less likely to experience a drastic drop in your blood sugar levels that could lead to a hypoglycemic event. Yams can be a wonderful substitute for white potatoes and American sweet potatoes. Fufu (mashed yams), yam stew and fried yams are just a few of the dishes you can make.
African yams are not usually available in many of the supermarkets that you might frequent. In order to get them, you may need to head to a specialty store or buy them online.
If you are trying to avoid the simple carbohydrates in many fruits but still want to taste something that is sweet, the baobab might be a great food for you. It can be used in smoothies or cut up and eaten raw. At times, the baobab is made into a powder that can be sprinkled onto other foods.
The baobab can be helpful to you as a diabetic is that it may dampen the spike of sugar in your blood stream after you ingest it. The fruit contains polyphenols, substances that slow how quickly sugar is absorbed. Because your so-called glycemic response to the fruit is not as high as when you eat other fruits, your blood sugar levels can remain stable. Putting baobob powder on top of other foods may also have the same result, possibly allowing you to be able to eat some foods you would otherwise avoid.
The two foods described above can help you continue to enjoy African food even though you have diabetes. If you don't have an African specialty food store in your area, seek out internet retailers that will allow you to purchase your African food online.