Korean Diabetes Dishes

Korean Dishes to Help Manage Your Diabetes


3 min

"Even my picky eater ate it for the first time and ate it well without any pressure."

Hyoji Kim (Customer Review)

We recently received an interesting testimonial. It was from a mom who was struggling with her child's diabetes. She told us that she was looking for something flavorful that didn't affect her blood sugar, and she was very happy to find 8 Mixed Grain w/ Flax Seed for dinner. As it turns out, there are many foods in Korea that can help control diabetes. Today, we're going to talk about the Korean diabetic diet, which is gaining attention as a healthy option.

Understanding Korean Food

Korean culture emphasizes food as a source of nourishment and healing. Throughout its history, food has been seen as medicine. This approach has resulted in a cuisine that is generally healthy, incorporating a wide range of vegetables, lean proteins, and fermented foods. Common cooking methods include grilling, fermenting, boiling, pickling, and blanching.

Bibimbab for Diabets

Is Korean Food Healthy?

Yes, it generally is! Korean meals are often high in vegetables and use minimal oil, making them lower in calories than many Western dishes. Fermented foods like kimchi are rich in probiotics, which support gut health and can help reduce inflammation.

Healthy Korean Food Choices

Here are five Korean dishes that are both delicious and great for keeping your diabetes under control:

Bibimbap (Mixed Rice with Vegetables)

Bibimbap is a colorful rice dish topped with vegetables, lean meat, and a fried egg. For a healthier version, use multigrain rice to boost fiber and keep your blood sugar steady. Load up on non-starchy veggies like spinach, bean sprouts, and carrots, and go easy on the gochujang (spicy sauce).

Konggusku (Cold Soy Milk Noodle Soup)

Konggusku is a light and refreshing noodle soup made with soy milk. It's low in calories and high in protein, making it perfect for blood sugar control. The soy milk gives it a creamy texture, and fresh toppings like cucumbers and tomatoes add essential nutrients.

Soondubu Jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew)

This spicy tofu stew is hearty and satisfying. Tofu is a great source of plant-based protein with minimal carbs, ideal for managing diabetes. Choose versions with lots of vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, and spinach, and use low-sodium broth to keep it healthy.

Namul (Seasoned Vegetable Dishes)

Namul refers to a variety of seasoned vegetable dishes that are staples in Korean cuisine. These include seasoned spinach, bean sprouts, and radish greens. Namul dishes are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them perfect for blood sugar control.

Kimbap (Seaweed and Rice Rolls)

Kimbap is similar to sushi and can be made with various fillings like vegetables, lean meat, and eggs. For a diabetes-friendly version, use multigrain rice and fill the rolls with non-starchy veggies like carrots, cucumbers, and spinach. Kimbap is a balanced meal that's easy to grab on the go.

Korean Dishes to Limit

While many Korean dishes are healthy, some can be high in salt or calories, which can be problematic for managing diabetes. Here are a few dishes to limit:

  • Korean Fried Chicken : Known for its thin, crunchy exterior, this dish is often coated in a salty, sugary sauce and fried, making it high in calories and unhealthy fats.
  • Jajangmyeon (Noodles in Black Bean Sauce) : This popular takeout dish is topped with a thick sauce made from black bean paste, pork, and vegetables, making it high in calories from carbs and fat.
  • Ramyun (Korean Instant Noodles) : These noodles are high in sodium and often lack nutritional value, although many people upgrade them with wholesome veggies and an egg.

Tips for Making Healthy Diabete Food Choices

Whether you're eating out or cooking at home, these tips can help you make healthier choices:

  • Portion Control : Fill half your plate with vegetables, a quarter with protein, and a small portion of rice or noodles. Eat slowly and enjoy each bite.
  • Choose Lean Proteins : Opt for tofu, seafood, or lean cuts of meat. Avoid deep-fried foods.
  • Watch the Salt : Limit high-sodium items like kimchi, pickled veggies, and sauces. Use low-sodium broth for soups and stews.
  • Balance Your Meals : Look for recipes that include protein, fat, carbs, and non-starchy vegetables. Don't overdo it on fatty meats or carb-heavy rice.

Korean food is a delicious and healthy option for managing diabetes. By choosing dishes like bibimbap, konggusku, soondubu jjigae, namul, and kimbap, you can enjoy flavorful meals that keep your blood sugar in check. Just be mindful of portion sizes and sodium content to maintain a balanced diet and stay healthy.

Enjoy your meals and take care of your health with these tasty Korean dishes!