Tips for Eating Healthy with Diabetes
Whether you are on our Diabetic Program or not, if you have diabetes you may be looking for some basics tips for a healthy eating lifestyle. We have come up with some basics.
- Cut back on sugar by using less and adding stevia to your pantry. It is an all-natural sweetener and even comes in flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and root beer. We recommend SweetLeaf and Kal brands. When cooking you can cut the sugar by half and then use stevia to make up the sweet difference. You can also use honey which is very sweet. Floral, locust, and yellow box honeys have a low glycemic number and can be used by diabetics. Clover honey tends to have a medium number and would be used with caution.
- Use the leanest cuts of meat, especially those with “loin” or “round” in the name. When using turkey or chicken remove the skin before cooking. You can lower the fat by using a George Forman grill where the grease drips off. You can also grill outside weather permitting, for the same affect. If you are cooking in a regular sauté pan, you can remove excess grease by placing an ice cube in the pan, it will attract the grease and make it easier to remove or you can also use a slice of white bread which will absorb much of the excess grease.
- Use baking, poaching, broiling, grilling, steaming, roasting and boiling when cooking for less fats and more nutritional values.
- Cut back on your salt intake. Use fresh or dried herbs to season your foods. You can also use Mrs. Dash seasonings, we like the original blend. They are salt free and add a lot of flavor.
- Use extra virgin olive oil in place of butter, margarine, and other oils. It is very healthy for you and packed with flavor. You can cook with it and use it in dressings. If you need the butter flavor, cook with the evoo and then add just a little butter right at the end for flavor.
- When baking you can use pureed fruit in place of oil. Applesauce works well over all, however, bananas and baby food fruit purees work well and are sweeter. You use half the sugar and replace the other half with the puree.
- Start switching your dairy from the higher fats to the skim milk. If you do it gradually it will give you time to get used to the different tastes. Almond and soy milks are good alternatives to dairy milk and can be sweeter. Greek yogurt is naturally fat free and lactose free and is a great alternative to sour cream. Mixed with a little fruit or honey it is a great snack.
- Whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and basmati rice (which is also gluten free) are good alternatives to their white counterparts. However, they still should be limited to only a few times per week.
- Sweet potatoes are a good alternative to regular potatoes and can be savory or sweet. They are lower on the glycemic index.
- Fruits and vegetables should be fresh or frozen. The canned kinds can have added sugar and sodium. Frozen fruits can be easily turned into a yummy smoothie. Remember to try and get a “rainbow” of colors so you are getting balanced nutrition. Fruits and vegetables do contain carbohydrates so don’t overdo your carb intake.
- You can substitute egg whites and/or egg substitutes for whole eggs. In many recipes you can use one whole egg and two egg whites in place of two whole eggs.
- Broths are great to cook with. You can use low sodium both to cook your meats, vegetables, rice, etc. and add a lot of extra flavor. We recommend two Swanson’s broths: their Less Sodium, Fat-free Chicken Stock and their Certified Organic Vegetarian Vegetable broth. You can also make your own if you have the time. You can save broths for future use by placing it in ice cube trays and freeze them. Once frozen place them in plastic bags and keep until needed.
- Use the drier cheeses like mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, and feta.
The American Diabetes Association has come up with a list of ten super foods for diabetics to help in creating healthy menus:
- Beans-kidney, pinto, black, etc. are high in fiber and protein. If you use canned, make sure you rinse and drain before using.
- Dark green leafy vegetables-spinach, collards, and kale for example.
- Citrus fruits-oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit. They are high in vitamin C.
- Sweet potatoes-lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes.
- Berries-blueberries, strawberries, etc.
- Fish that are high in Omega 3s-salmon is a favorite and they recommend 6-9 ounces of fish per week.
- Whole grains-which includes pearled barley and oatmeal which are high in fiber and potassium.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Fat-free milk and yogurt.
Remember that we are here for you and try to help you with overall health and wellness. Please call our health coaches if you have further questions or visit our Facebook page.