Healthy meals dished up in parliament

Instead of just insults‚ Parliament has been serving up diabetic friendly meals to staff and MPs this month.

From pearled wheat and spinach salad to home made popcorn sprinkled with salt and herbs.

The menu overhaul was prompted by World Diabetes Month observed in November.

According to NGO Diabetes South Africa‚ if left untreated or not managed correctly the ‘’high levels of blood glucose associated with diabetes can slowly damage both the fine nerves and the small and large blood vessels in the body’’.

This can lead to heart disease‚ blindness and even impotence.

The new Parliamentary menu is based on guidelines from the cookbook Cooking from the Heart which as been endorsed by Health Minister Aron Motsoaledi.

The book forms part of campaign driven by the Heart and Stroke Foundation SA and pharmaceutical company Pharma Dynamics to show that eating healthy does not have to be ‘’boring‚ bland‚ tasteless or expensive’’.

Nicole Jennings‚ spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics‚ said they hoped that the rest of South Africa would be inspired by Parliament’s move.

“Nutrition plays an important part in managing diabetes and curbing other diseases of lifestyle‚’’ said Jennings.

Motsoaledi told the Sunday Times in 2011 how he had trimmed down and challenged his colleagues to cut down on pastries and luxuries.

“I was once obese‚ I must confess…especially when you are doing this executive (government) work. You are always in a car‚ always invited to gala dinners. If you don’t live on a strict diet you will find yourself bulging‚’’ said Motsoaledi at the time.

He changed his diet‚ quit smoking and started exercising.

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