Diabetic cooking doesn’t need to involve unusual ingredients or special meals. You can prepare healthy meals suitable for a diabetic that everyone in the family can enjoy as well. A diet to help control or reverse diabetes is a diet that can help keep anyone, diabetic or not, healthy and is really the best diet for anyone, according to MayoClinic.com. Always check with your doctor or dietitian before making changes to your diet. She will know what is best for you to eat.
Pay Attention to Carbohydrates
Being diabetic does not mean you need to completely cut out carbohydrates from your cooking and diet. You should actually focus on preparing and eating foods with carbohydrates. You’ll need to balance those carbohydrates to prevent blood sugar spikes. When planning a meal, the American Diabetic Association recommends making non-starchy vegetables the most prominent part of the meal, balanced with a smaller portion of starchy, complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, brown rice or beans, and a smaller portion of lean protein. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, which can help keep your blood sugar level.
Understand Portion Sizes
When you have diabetes, preparing the right amount of food is as important as the type of food you eat. The American Diabetic Association uses the Plate Method to determine how much food to prepare for each meal. Half your plate should consist of vegetables, a quarter should consist of starches and the other quarter should be protein. Your protein serving should measure 3 ounces, which is about the size of your palm or a deck of cards. The starch portion should measure 1/2 cup.
Use Healthy Fats
Diabetes increases your risk for heart disease, so it’s important that you watch your fat intake as well as balance your carbohydrates. You should focus on beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can lower cholesterol levels. Saute vegetables with olive oil to add more good fats and add nuts and avocados to your diet. Remember that all fats, good or not, have 9 calories per gram and you should consume them in moderation.
Get On A Schedule
When you eat is as important to diabetic cooking as what and how much you eat. Eating meals and snacks at the same time each day helps regulate your blood sugar, especially if you also take certain medications. You should always take the time to prepare a breakfast to get your day off to the right start. Your specific eating schedule will vary depending on your condition and the medication you take. A common schedule involves eating three main meals daily and three smaller snacks.
Stay Clear Of These Foods
Eating foods in moderation is an important part of a diabetic diet. You should take care to avoid certain foods when cooking for a diabetic, though. Trans fats, found in foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils, can lead to heart disease. Full-fat dairy and red meat contain saturated fats, which can also lead to heart disease. When you prepare foods, avoid margarine or shortenings made with hydrogenated oils. Trade red meat in for chicken or fish. Keep an eye on the amount of cholesterol and sodium you consume daily.