Protein: Make Your Choices Low In Saturated Fat
Unless you are a vegetarian or vegan, youre likely to get plenty of high-quality protein from lean meats, poultry, seafood, dairy, and eggs.
Both vegetarians and non-vegetarians should also look to plant sources for some or all of your protein needs. Plant foods like soy-based tofu and tempeh are excellent sources of non-animal proteins and fit quite well into a diabetic meal plan because they are also low in carbs.
The same can be said for nuts, and legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and edamame as well as some whole-grain foods such as quinoa, kamut, teff, even wild rice and couscous.
Tips For When Temptation Strikes
In diabetes diet terms, temptation translates to foods you shouldnt eat because they are loaded with sugar and empty carbs that will send your blood sugar skyrocketing. That piece of cake, cinnamon bun, brownie, or bag of chips usually contain more than just carbs, they usually contribute unhealthy fats, too.
The less often you eat these sugary, fatty desserts and snacks, the less you will come to want them. Some people do better allowing yourself an occasional craving. Striking the right balance will depend upon your goals, and urgency.
Heres the thing: this word of caution is not just for people with diabetes who need to watch their sugar and fat intake, in truth, it is a red flag for anyone who wants stay healthy and avoid chronic diseases. Thats why the whole family benefits from eating healthy foods and saving small indulgences for special occasions.
Keeping Your Heart Healthy With Diabetes
Quick. Whats the first thing you think about when you hear type 1 or type 2 diabetes? Most often, its blood sugar. Yes, that’s importantbut don’t forget, the heart deserves lots of TLC too. Maintaining heart health and preventing heart disease is critical for everyone living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Let’s start at the beginning with the basics.
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Diabetes Friendly Chicken Recipe Baked In The Oven
Try out this easy rotisserie baked chicken recipe. It cooks in the oven so you can be free to make side dishes. Use your favorite chicken parts- I have made this recipe with a variety of chicken pieces with good results. I use a rotisserie seasoning I picked up at my local grocery.
Step 1 Coat chicken in rotisserie seasoning and place on lined baking sheet.
Step 2 Bake until chicken is crispy and fully cooked.
The Plate Method For Meal Planning With Diabetes
If you’d like a form of meal planning that’s a little less structured, you may prefer to start out with the Plate Method. It’s a simple formula that doesn’t require counting carbohydrates or grams of protein, but it does require that you learn which foods belong in which category. Here’s how it works.
Using a standard dinner plate:
- Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables
- Fill one-quarter of your plate with lean protein
- Fill one-quarter of your plate with grains or starchy vegetables
Incorporate one or two servings of fats with each meal , and you may be able to incorporate one or two servings of fruit per day . depending on your personal blood sugar management.
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Healthy General Tsos Chicken
For a healthier version of a popular Chinese takeout dish, try this General Tsos chicken recipe found on the Plated Cravings blog. This homemade version removes the breading and skips the deep frying, both of which make it a healthier option for people with type 2 diabetes, Poulson says.
It starts with a lean protein source and marinades it in a very small amount of cornstarch, salt, and pepper. It then adds a simple stir-fry made of peanut oil, dried chiles, toasted sesame seeds, and chopped scallion. Peanut oil, for one, is a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, according to the ADA.
Finally, youll pour on a sauce made of ketchup, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, a touch of brown sugar, and soy sauce .
One-quarter of this recipe packs 207 calories, 10 g of carbs, 12 g of protein, 12 g of fat , and 7 g of sugar. To keep the meal low-carb, serve with a side of sauteed or steamed veggies instead of piling it on a bed of white rice, Poulson says.
Quick Lunch Options For Diabetes
Finding time to prepare and eat lunch can often be limited during the workweek. It can be helpful for people to consider other quick, healthful choices for a diabetes-friendly lunch. Examples include:
- hard-boiled eggs with fruit
Food that commercial establishments serve tends to involve large portions that are high in calories, fat, carbohydrates, sugar, and salt, but low in fiber and vegetables. This makes eating out a challenge for people who have diabetes.
They have to be extremely careful to choose a healthful lunch that will not cause a spike in their blood sugar.
Portion control is especially important when eating out, as lunch dishes may be much larger than appropriate. People with diabetes should resist the urge to super-size any meal or snack.
Another option might be eating a small amount of the meal and taking the rest home to eat sometime later.
The following ideas can help people with diabetes avoid carb-heavy, overlarge, or sugary options at lunchtime:
- Choose whole-grains where possible or skip the flour-based options.
- Order salad dressing on the side rather than already added.
- Look for broth-based soups.
- Choose grilled, roasted, or baked meats, fresh poultry, and fish.
- Ask for steamed vegetables when possible.
- Swap mashed potatoes or french fries for non-starchy vegetables, such as a side salad or cooked greens.
- Replace refined, low-fiber carbohydrates, such as white rice or pasta, with beans or sweet potatoes with skins.
- fried foods
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Healthy Recipes For Type 2 Diabetes And High Blood Pressure
Having diabetes can make cooking and meal planning a task that takes a bit more attention to detail, but that does not mean it has to be difficult or even devoid of fun and flavor. When designing a meal plan to keep Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure at bay, its important to make sure that youre including a variety of lean meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables, as well as whole grains and low fat dairy products. With this in mind, its nearly impossible not to design a meal plan for yourself that youll look forward to cooking for yourself in fact, cutting sugar and unhealthy fats while keeping the five food groups intact will guarantee that youre not only getting the most nutrients possible out of these ingredients, youll be able to manage your diabetes and blood pressure with ease.
Sheet Pan Mediterranean Snapper
Flavored with citrus and zaatar, this snapper recipe is one youll want to keep in your back pocket no matter what diet youre on.
Ways To Flavor Food That Are Better Than Salt
If your doctor has advised you to ease off the salt shaker, you might be wondering why. The answer is sodium, a mineral found mainly in salt. Too much sodium in a persons diet can increase their blood pressure, raising their risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease, says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, author of Diabetes Cookbook & Meal Plan for the Newly Diagnosed.
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How To Participate In Celebrations With Diabetes
Lets face it, being surrounded by cupcakes and chips while other people get their fill at birthday parties and holiday celebrations can be very frustrating. There are several things you can do to get through these events without feeling completely deprived.
First, you can make sure you have been eating balanced meals earlier in the day, so you arrive at the event with a stabilized blood sugar, and not starving.
You dont have to stop eating sweets in order to control your blood sugar and, in fact, if you add these “extras” strategically, youll improve your chances of long-term success, Ms. Zanini says. Giving yourself permission to enjoy an occasional sweet may empower you to self-manage diabetes in a way that suits your individual needs.
Goal : Attain Normal Lab Results
Your physician will work with you to establish individual goals for blood glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure. Regular testing will help ensure that your diet plan, exercise strategies and medication, if necessary, are all working together to keep your blood sugar, lipids, blood pressure, and your body weight, in healthy ranges.
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The Right Calorie Intake
How much do calories matter? For people with diabetes, the exact number of calories to consume each day is based on the amount and timing of food that assures you can youre your blood sugar levels stable and your weight within a healthy range. That number can change, depending on your age, activity level, frame size, current versus preferred weight, and other factors.
When the goal is a healthy weight and blood sugar control, a good starting point for a woman is 1,400-1,600 calories a day, with main meals containing up to 30 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates, and snacks containing 10-20 grams of fiber-rich carbohydrates, Ms. Zanini advises. For men and more physically active women who are already at a healthy weight, you may start with a 2,000-2,200 calorie meal plan, in which you may increase proportionately your carbs.
Recent research suggests that by eating a big breakfast, and a modest lunch, so you get most of your calories in by 3 p.m., you will find it easier to lose weight and achieve better blood sugar control.
Which Foods Should Be Avoided In A Type 2 Diabetes Meal Plan
People with type 2 diabetes should avoid many of the same unhealthy foods everyone should limit. Dietary restrictions include:
- Sodas: both sugar sweetened regular soda and diet soda raise blood sugar
- Refined sugars
- Processed carbs
- Trans fats such as butter “spreads,” some mayonnaise “spreads” some salad dressings, packaged sauces, bakery goods
- High-fat animal products
- High-fat dairy products
- High fructose corn syrup
- Artificial sweeteners
- Highly processed foods novelty sweets, candies, chips, kettle corn, cookies)
The best way to avoid these foods is to shop around the edges of the grocery store and minimize the number of processed, packaged foods in the middle. Sticking with “real” food in its whole, minimally processed form is the best way to eat well for diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes who eat a healthy diet pattern like the ones discussed here reduce the risk of complications that stem from high blood sugar, like cardiovascular disease and obesity.
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Diabetes Meal Plan: What Are The Key Components
According to the ADA, a Mediterranean-style diet, a plant-based diet, and a diet known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension are all good starting points for a type 2 diabetes meal plan that can be modified to accommodate your personal eating preferences.
These diet approaches have two important factors in common: mostly whole foods, and meals built around vegetables rather than carbohydrates .
However, contrary to popular belief, a type 2 diabetes meal plan is not necessarily a low-carb diet, nor should it be a high-protein or very low-fat meal plan.
In fact, ADA recommends less emphasis on specific requirements for proteins, carbs, and fats, and more emphasis on following a whole foods approach that focuses on the quality of your diet the less processed, refined, prepared, and fast foods focused, the better.
Making a move towards eating more home-cooked meals may seem daunting, but just takes a little planning, especially with resources like the ADA’s Diabetes Food Hub.
Diabetic-friendly recipes sourced from the ADA’s Diabetes Food Hub. Infographic by Lauren Hunter.
An RD or CDE can look at your usual diet and help you identify where theres room for improvement, Ms. Arevalo suggests. These diet experts can also help you create a diabetes diet plan tailored to your personal needs and food preferences.
Be Consistent With Your Carbs
Try to eat three meals per day at regular times and space your meals no more than six hours apart. Eating at regular times helps your body control blood sugar levels. It also helps to try to eat about the same amount of food at each meal, especially carbohydrates.
Consider learning about counting carbohydrates as the amount of carbohydrate eaten at one time is usually important in managing diabetes. Having too many carbohydrates at a meal may cause your blood sugar level to go too high, and not enough carbohydrate may cause your blood sugar to go too low, depending on the type of diabetes medication you take.
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Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes
For most people with type 2 diabetes, the general guideline for moderate alcohol consumption applies. Research shows that one drink per day for women and two a day for men reduces cardiovascular risk and doesn’t have a negative impact on diabetes. However, alcohol can lower blood sugar, and people with type 2 diabetes who are prone to hypoglycemia should be aware of delayed hypoglycemia.
Ways to prevent hypoglycemia include:
- Eat food with alcoholic drinks to help minimize the risk.
- Mixed drinks and cocktails often are made with sweeteners or juices, and contain a large amount of carbohydrates so they will increase blood sugar levels.
- Wear a diabetes alert bracelet so that people know to offer food if you demonstrate hypoglycemic symptoms.
It also is important to know that hypoglycemia symptoms often mimic those of intoxication.
What Is A Paleo Diet
Paleolithic diets include a moderate amount of protein, and have gained a lot of attention recently. The theory behind this dietary pattern is that our genetic background has not evolved to meet our modern lifestyle of calorically dense convenience foods and limited activity, and that returning to a hunter-gatherer way of eating will work better with human physiology. This has been studied in a few small trials, and it does seem beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
The Paleolithic diet is based on:
- Lean meat
- Any extra addition of salt
The Paleo Diet doesn’t specify macronutrient balance or caloric intake goals.
In reality, when people in a study followed the Paleolithic diet, it turned out the diet was lower in total energy, energy density, carbohydrates, dietary glycemic load, fiber, saturated fatty acids, and calcium but higher in unsaturated fatty acids , dietary cholesterol, and several vitamins and minerals. Research also demonstrates that people with diabetes are less hungry, have more stable blood sugar, and feel better with lower carbohydrate diets.
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Banh Mi Chicken Burger Lettuce Wraps
Enjoy the flavors of a banh mi sandwich without tons of blood-sugar-spiking carbs and unhealthy saturated fats. These burgers from Diabetic Foodie use lettuce wraps in place of bread, and lean proteins like ground chicken or turkey in place of pork.
All those pickled cucumbers, radishes, and carrots also help make this a great meal for people with type 2 diabetes: I love that this recipe piles the vegetables on top, hitting that goal of increasing nonstarchy vegetables at meal time, Poulson says. Top the burgers with thinly sliced jalapeños and a small amount of sriracha mayo . Be sure to use low-sodium soy sauce to whip up the burgers.
Each burger offers 242 calories, 11 g of fat , 11 g of carbs, 2 g of fiber, 11 g of sugar, 23 g of protein, and 561 mg of sodium.
Welcome To Our Recipes Page
Some of these recipes have been adapted from safefood with information tailored to those with Diabetes. Many others have been suggested by our members or are firm favourites within the Diabetes Ireland Team, and all recipes have been nutritionally analysed by our dietitians.
You will find that some of these recipes include sugar and that the traffic light system indicates red, as the recipe may be high in sugars but this does not mean that they cant be included as part of a balanced diet.
We are trying to increase awareness that having diabetes does not mean you must follow a diet that focusses solely on the restriction sugar, as this is not the case. Rather, a balanced healthy diet is the best approach. Small amounts of sugar are fine, particularly if they are combined with foods that are high in fibre as this lessens the impact on blood glucose levels. So, while desserts, biscuits and confectionery are not forbidden but because these are also usually high in calories, fat and sugar, people with diabetes should only have these occasionally and in small amounts.
Check out the food and diabetes section on the website for more information and background to healthy eating for diabetes. And if you would like to see your favourite recipe featured, let us know. We would love to hear from you!
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Carbohydrate Counting And Gi
While it is important to limit and be aware of carbohydrate intake, carbohydrate counting is now a less vital part of diet management.
No single amount of carbohydrates works for everyone, so the doctor will individualize a target carb range as part of an individualized meal plan.
The type of carbohydrate is more important. The Glycemic Index is a method that scientists developed to measure the speed at which a particular carbohydrate releases glucose into the bloodstream.
Foods with a high GI number , such as rice and watermelon, increase blood glucose more rapidly than foods with a lower ranking. Low-GI foods, such as apples, release glucose more slowly, making blood glucose easier to bring down.
Knowing the carbohydrate content of foods can help individuals eat appropriate amounts at each meal or snack and still enjoy a varied and satisfying diet.
People who have diabetes should closely monitor portion size and balance high-GI foods with a protein, healthy fat, or fibrous, lower-GI food choice.