Following one set of dietary guidelines can take some commitment. If you follow the numerous requirements of the kashrut (Jewish religious dietary laws), we likely don’t have to tell you this.
Throw in another set of dietary guidelines, however, and it can be very easy to break a sweat over them. Can religious and medical rules blend well? Will sacrifices need to be made on one side or the other?
At Brook Valley Podiatry, we highly recommend any steps that will manage and help slow or prevent the consequences of diabetes. We have seen the severity of effects it has had on patients’ feet and would never wish that upon anyone.
On the other hand, we have many patients for whom a kosher diet has great importance, and we do not wish them to violate it.
And, fortunately, they don’t have to! A diabetic diet and a kosher diet are far from mutually exclusive.
A Kosher Diabetic Diet is Good for… Pretty Much Everyone!
It can be easy to fall into an isolationist or excluded mindset when dietary restrictions are brought to the table.
If you are part of a Jewish family that follows the kashrut, then that in itself is likely not such a challenge. You and your kin are used to eating in this way together.
Throw in diabetic guidelines, however, and suddenly you become singled out. And when something affects just one person, it can be human to believe that that one person should eat that way, but everyone else should not.
But that does not need to be the case! In fact, it can be a great thing for everyone involved if it isn’t!
A diabetic diet is recommended to diabetic patients, sure; but that doesn’t mean it is only for them. It is not like some kind of medicine that only certain people should take. In fact, barring any sort of food allergies or outlying conditions, a diabetic diet is an outstanding eating plan for just about everyone.
So, if you or a member of your family should be eating more toward a diabetic diet, it can be a very big emotional boost to that person to have the rest of the family join in and try following those tenets too—at least some of the time. And, what’s more, it can be a significant health boost for everyone involved!
What it Means to Blend Kosher and Diabetic Diets
The worlds of kosher and diabetic diets do not have to clash at all. They can actually complement each other quite well.
A good way to go about it is to consider kosher foods the foundation with which you are working. You can then introduce diabetic guidelines into these selections to further affect your choices and the ways you prepare meals.
What does this mean, necessarily? It doesn’t mean you have to do something like commit to a vegetarian diet (unless you want to)! What it does mean is looking at your kosher food options under certain perspectives:
- Use less fat. This includes opting for lower fat and fat-free options in recipes that use sour cream, salad dressing, mayonnaise, and other such items.
- Opt for leaner and skinless meats. Grilling, broiling, or poaching poultry and fish will also help reduce fats.
- Make fruits and vegetables about half of your plate. We didn’t say you had to become vegetarian, but an increased intake of fruits and vegetables is a good choice. Whole fruit is preferred to juice, which can rapidly increase sugar intake. Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, carrots, and broccoli should also receive increased focus.
- Reduce salt intake. A decrease in sodium is good for overall hearth health, and you want to keep your circulation as optimal as possible whenever your feet are involved. Pepper, herbs, and non-sodium seasonings are great allies for increasing flavor and not salt.
- Be selective with carbs. Whole-grain foods will add helpful fiber to your diet. Brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat breads are also good choices (although of course certain times and specific restrictions may vary). Also, do not load up on carbs over a short period of time. Evenly spread out your intake over the day’s meals.
Unfortunately, while you certainly can find some good recipes online, large databases full of diabetic kosher recipes are a bit difficult to come by. If you are interested in finding new recipes, you might have good luck checking cookbooks on Amazon or your friendly local bookstore. Otherwise, it might be easier to find standard diabetic cookbooks and alter them for kosher guidelines.
Your Support for Diabetic Foot Care and Beyond
When pursuing diabetic goals, whether you are also following kosher guidelines or not, it always helps to have supportive people on your side. This includes family and friends, yes, but you should also have medical professionals that can follow along with your journey and know when to take action to treat or prevent problems.
Diabetic foot care is essential to future health and comfort, and Brook Valley Podiatry is here to provide lasting care and advice.
If you have questions about foot or ankle health, or would like to schedule an appointment with us regarding an existing problem, please don’t hesitate to reach us at (845) 352-7507. You can also fill out our online contact form and a member of our staff will reach out to you.