My gran is just about to start receiving “Meals on Wheels”, which is a great service. In principle. Vulnerable people (mainly the elderly) are provided with a cooked nutritious meal at lunchtime. For many recipients, this will be the main nutrition they get in that day, so it’s really important that the meal provides the nutrition they need. Especially for those with conditions like diabetes, you'd think?
Each day (it’s even available on Saturdays and Sunday’s) they offer a choice of a main course and a choice of dessert. The main course choices, as you might expect are a traditional meat based meal, or a vegetarian option. And the desserts? Yep, hot, cold or diabetic.
I was really shocked to see diabetic desserts – and even more surprised to see what they are. You’d maybe expect low-carb options, like a cheese board perhaps. But no, they’re traditional sweet desserts, such as cakes and pies.
Looking at the definition I found on the web of what the diabetic options should consist of, it’s clear the providers of nutrition are stuck with conventional wisdom. “Desserts for diabetics must be sweetened with artificial sweeteners or sweeteners combined with a minimal amount of sugar”.
How about making desserts sugar (and sweetener free) entirely – or even swapping the dessert out for a starter instead!? Where did the idea that all meals must be finished with a dessert come from anyway?
As meals on wheels only provides one meal a day, they have some helpful recommendations as to what diabetics should eat for the rest of their meals:
That's right – diabetics should get 6-11 servings of bread and grains a day! DIABETICS! Also, note the low-fat recommendations. Those diabetics have got to steer well clear of anything so much as resembling fat, and instead go for low-fat options, that have replaced the fat with carbohydrates. Oh, and fruit – go right ahead.
I'd love to hear our comments on the diabetic nutrition for the most vulnerable diabetics in our communities. What meals do you think they should be offered?