When you have diabetes, the food you eat can be a literal life or death situation. Besides keeping your blood sugar in check, a healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight and combat your increased risk of heart disease. But what does “healthy eating” mean for those with diabetes?
The good news is, a diabetes-friendly diet doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t even have to swear off your favorite sweats! Like all healthy eating plans, you’ll get a long way by focusing on increasing fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, while cutting back on added sugars and processed foods.
There are some key choices that can help create a diabetes-friendly diet. They include:
- Eating three meals per day at regular times. This will help keep blood sugar levels stable.
- Healthy carbohydrates. All carbs are not created equal, and you don’t have to cut them completely. Instead, choose healthy carbs like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.
- Cutting back on red meat. Swap the steak and sausage for fish, turkey, and chicken to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Healthy fats. Fats found in nuts, olive oil, avocado, fish oils, and flaxseed can lower cholesterol.
- Try the Diabetes Plate Method. This easy portion plan is an easy way to eat healthy without counting carbs or calories.
Creating dishes that are tasty and diabetes-friendly doesn’t have to be a chore! Take this great recipe from the American Diabetes Association – it creates a classic but health-conscious dish using common ingredients you already have in your home. Easy-peasy!
1 clove Garlic (minced or grated)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Corn Starch
1 bag Frozen Stir-Fry Vegetables (14 oz)
2 tbsp Lower Sodium Soy Sauce
1 ½ cup Chicken (shredded)
1 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- Add olive oil to a non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the frozen vegetables and sauté for 5-7 minutes.
- While the vegetables are sautéing, whisk the broth, soy sauce, corn starch, garlic and black pepper in a bowl until combined.
- Add the chicken and sauce to the pan and sauté another five to seven minutes, until chicken is heated through and sauce is thickened.
Serve or let cool then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.