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City restaurants go sugar free and diabetic friendly



BENGALURU: With the increase in lifestyle-related diseases, especially diabetes, both patients and those who are watching their sugar intake are increasingly looking for healthy options. On World Diabetes Day today, we explore how many restaurants in the city have altered their menus to ensure that their health-conscious customers never leave unhappy. Some have actually been refraining from using sugar in their menu. Mayura Kuttapa, who owns Forage, says, “We endeavour to serve clean nutritious food, without adding unnecessary starch and sugar to our dishes. The desserts are crafted using low-glycemic products, such as coconut sugar, jaggery and raw cane sugar. We also use grains like quinoa and red rice as accompaniments to meats and vegetables, since processed grains also convert to sugar. Dressings and sauces are made light with no sugar or thickeners, such as cornflour or processed refined flours, ensuring that food and ingredients retain their integrity, making people taste the produce rather than masking the flavours. Dishes like hearty soupy lamb with ginger and spinach in an aromatic broth and char grilled vegetables (a rainbow of grilled vegetables with black quinoa over a bed of smoked cauliflower puree) maintain that sublime, yet nutritious philosophy that we adhere to.”

While there are restaurants that do not use sugar at all on one side, there are others that try and create specific dishes for people with low-sugar diets. “We have salads and breakfast options that are especially made to cater to health conscious people. We have the Amarath and Flax Seeds Granola Bar, for instance, which is a breakfast option that caters especially to diabetics. We use pro-biotic curd, honey, flax seeds and amaranth in this high-fibre granola bar that is made in our kitchen. In our salads section, there is a Bean Sprout salad with Brown Rice flakes and Crispy Quinoa, which again is a high-fibre option and is good for diabetes. We also take customized orders, like grilled and poached fish or gluten-free food too,” says Chef Sharad from Smoke House Deli.

Apart from restaurants, there are also dessert places that have menus for diabetics. Adhiraj Thirani, owner, Mama Mia!, says, “Tuscan Strawberry is a great example of our naturally-flavoured lower sugar varieties. Belgian Dark Chocolate is less sweet and on the bitter side of the spectrum. Our Super Sorbets only contain sugars from the fruits they are made with, which means that there is no added sugar. If one has a sweet tooth then these are the perfect desserts to satisfy ones craving without feeling guilty. Our gelato boast of a lower fat content than high-fat ice cream, some by a factor of 3-4 times lower in comparison. Additionally, we do not use high-fructose corn syrups in any of our products and the sugar that we use is pharmaceutical grade.”