Many newly diagnosed diabetics, pre-diabetics, and even long-term diabetics dread the thought of learning about diabetic cooking because they believe they will face years of boring and unsatisfying meals that will take away much of the enjoyment from their lives. And unfortunately, many people who have lived with diabetes for years actually lead boring and unsatisfying food lives, and enjoy their food far less than they did before their diagnosis. The good news is that they can eat interesting and exciting foods, spicy foods, delicious foods, and regain the joy of eating truly satisfying foods, along with the knowledge that the diabetic diet they follow is also a healthy diet, which everyone, diabetic or not, should eat.
It will take some effort and some experimentation. You need to learn some new things, do some research, and be willing to spend some time in the kitchen trying out recipes and tasting the results while figuring out what you like and what it works for you. But you have the power to eat well for years to come despite your diabetes.
Now, with over 29 million diabetics and many talented, creative and generous people out there, you will find an incredible amount of resources such as ingredients, recipes, advice and support available. These talented chefs have taken on the challenge of preparing foods that are good for diabetics and that people actually want to eat. There’s even an entire magazine dedicated to diabetic cooking, unsurprisingly called Diabetic Cooking. There are also cooking classes for diabetics, some of which are free.
Here are some basics for diabetic cooking:
- First, avoid simple sugars, fats, sodium, and carbohydrates that release their glucose quickly. They contain lots of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and more fish.
- Second, because you’re at risk for serious complications, including heart and kidney problems, eat a heart-healthy diet that’s lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and most importantly, low in sodium.
- Third, eat a reasonable number of calories and limit your portion sizes. Obesity primarily increases the risk of developing diabetes and can lead to other health problems. If you are obese, losing weight can help prevent prediabetes from developing into diabetes.
- Fourth, try to keep your blood sugar levels within a narrow and healthy range throughout the day. Therefore, you should eat foods that release glucose slowly (ie foods with a low glycemic index). They also eat smaller portions more often. Some diabetics eat four or even six smaller meals a day. Or three regular meals and frequent snacks. They also strive to maintain a consistent eating schedule and eat at the same time each day.
Start reducing or eliminating the amount of sugar and salt in a recipe. Instead, learn to use herbs, spices, and other flavorings. Choose fresh or frozen foods (no added salt) over canned foods, which tend to be high in sodium and sugar.
Today there are more sugar and salt free ingredients like spices. These tips will help you make your diabetic cooking easier, tastier and healthier while following the diabetic diet.
Thanks to Debbie Benson