The first and the most important change a person who has diabetes has to make is to their eating habits. Nutrition plays a key role in managing a lower blood sugar level especially for people who have type 2 diabetes.

While there is a lot you can read about altering your diet to keep your condition under control, there’s only little assurance offered towards not entirely giving up on your taste buds.

Altering your diet doesn’t always mean that you need to completely eliminate delicious flavours. While sugary drinks, processed foods and junk are a strict no for a person with diabetes, it doesn’t mean you can’t have anything you like to eat anymore.

 

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Ofcourse, you may have to include a few essentials like fibre-rich foods, vegetables, berries, oatmeal in your daily meals, but you can still have your favourite recipes (with a twist!).

If you’ve just found out that you have diabetes, it also doesn’t mean you cannot have anything sweet ever again! It just means that you’ll have to get slightly creative and make your favourite dishes diabetes-friendly by switching to healthier alternatives. Here are a few ways to do that:

 
Replace Sugar:

Substitute sugar in the recipe and use natural sugar alternatives or artificial sweeteners. However, it is important to try out different types and see which one gets better test results for you. Choosing the alternatives can also depend on your choice of recipe as some blend better in liquids and others are good for baking.

Apart from replacing or reducing the amounts of sugar or carbohydrates per serving, another way to make your dish diabetes-friendly is by increasing fibre-rich ingredients.

Adding fibre to your dish will help reduce the impact on your blood sugar. A few ways to do that is to add vegetables to the recipe and also switch from refined white flour with whole wheat flour or using a mix of both.

 
Experiment with Oats:

With their highly soluble fibre content, oats not only help you regulate blood sugar but also lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease to the already prone diabetic patients.

Thanks to its crunchy texture, oats can help you give your favourite recipes a healthy and crispy twist. Just sprinkle on top of cupcakes, muffins or add it to the cookie dough, when you’re craving something sweet. You can even stir it into soups and stews or mix it with your meatloaf, veggie or turkey burgers.

Oats can complement most foods due to its versatility and keep you full for longer, helping you with weight management, which is essential for people with diabetes.

 

Choose the Right Oil:

Cooking with oils with unsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil or other vegetable oils instead of butter, lard or shortening can make your dishes heart healthy.

These cooking oils contain omega-3 fatty acids or polyunsaturated fats that can have a positive effect on your health without compromising on the flavour.

Apart from choosing the right cooking oils that get you good blood sugar results, mending the ways that you cook can also prove to be efficient. Try to avoid deep-frying and switch to healthier ways to cook food such as roasting, grilling, steaming or baking.

 

Low-Fat Everything:

The one thing you need to make sure about your meals when you have diabetes is that they are low-fat. You can reduce the fat or calories from any of your favourite recipes in really simple ways such as removing skin from poultry, skimming the extra fat off of stews, soups and chilli or using beef instead of ground turkey.

You can also place the meat on a rack while roasting or baking so that the fat can drain. Keep a check on the saturated fat ingredients – reducing whole dairy products like cream, cheese, yogurt and sour cream can help reduce calories from your dishes. Replace the egg yolks in your recipe by using just egg whites and instead of using a dollop of butter or oil for cooking, use cooking sprays.

 

(Don’t) take it with a pinch of salt!

Although salt doesn’t have a direct impact on your blood sugar, it is important to keep a check on your sodium intake to manage your blood pressure.

Diabetes can lead to complications associated with your heart so making sure that your dishes are heart-healthy can go a long way in managing your condition. To cook your favourite recipes, include other herbs and spices instead of salt. Use fresh fruits and vegetables instead of frozen ones. and wash out canned products to rinse the excessive salt used as preservatives.

As much as you can, limit your intake of processed food, sugary-drinks and desserts. Foods rich in carbohydrates and calories but less in nutritional value will affect your blood sugar adversely and make it difficult for you to manage your condition.

 

So, wear the chef hat and cook your own meals to keep your blood sugar levels in check. This way, you can limit the intake of ingredients like sugar, unsaturated fats, and salt and increase your consumption of fibre-rich food to make your favourite recipes diabetes-friendly.

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