Alongside 70 distinct recipes, the new book titled The Diabetic Cookbook offers familiar dishes to people suffering from diabetes.
Written by Michael Swamy a chef, food stylist, food writer and travel photographer the book promotes healthy eating habits, and ensures the disease doesn’t mean depriving yourself of tasty food.
Give us an insight into the book.
The need of the hour is fine food, and how do we define ‘fine food’ that is not detrimental to one’s health? The rise of lifestyle diseases is heavily upon us. The connection with nature has disappeared with modernisation. As chefs, we have a responsibility of what we serve our guests. The journey of changing one’s palate and creating healthier menus without calling them healthy is a challenge these days.
The modern cook or diner needs to know is that talking about food is not just about talking about recipes. It’s talking about the geographic nature of an ingredient. The seasonality of an ingredient and what changes happen to the body during each season. This book follows a vegan trend, but there are also recipes for a paleo diet. There was a time long ago when humans were gatherers and hunters. They ate and grew foods that were from the region, which made their bodies holistic and healthier.
What led you to create these dishes?
Each person’s body reacts to ingredients differently. The recipes in the book were about taking the familiar and tweaking them by adding a healthy quotient into them.
Could you share with us a couple of stories of people who have reversed their diabetes?
My friend’s mum, Mrs Jayshree Savkar, is a part of a group that follows a regime set by a famous diabetologist from Pune, and she was able to reverse her diabetes by following certain diets and cooking habits. I used to discuss some of the ideas she had and have implemented some of these thoughts behind the philosophy of reversing one’s diabetes into the book.
Given the pandemic, what would be your suggestions to people suffering from diabetes?
Diabetes does not only come from sugar-rich food. In fact, all foods have some level of sugar. My mother’s diabetes arose from stress about work and teaching. The pandemic has also raised stress levels, leading to stress eating and very little/no exercise.
Please comment on building sustainable food habits.
A change in the diet is definitely called for in times to come. Eating less seafood and meats is the next step in food security and sustainability. Food that has travelled over long distances has used up many carbon miles. The consumption of government and business-controlled foods like milk, meat, and sugar needs to stop. It is when we stop consuming these ingredients that one will make a culinary impact on climate change. It’s not just chefs who can bring about this change, but the large sector of home cooks who are being careful about what they eat and its impact on the global scene.