Sunday, January 15, 2017
mmMaxy sez :Diabetes-Friendly Meals the Whole Family Will Love
By Beth W. Orenstein | Medically reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD
When Mom or Dad is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you might think that cooking for the family is going to become a huge hassle because you’ll need to make two versions of every meal. Not so, said Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, LDN, CDE, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The same smart ingredients used in dishes for a diabetes meal plan will benefit every family member, and no one has to be the wiser.
The two pillars of a diabetes meal plan are controlling carbs (foods that easily convert to sugar) and eating heart healthy, Dobbins said. “We all can benefit from controlling portions, and we’re all at risk for heart disease,” she pointed out. If your kids grow up eating healthy, they’ll develop good habits that can last them a lifetime.
These culinary adaptations will satisfy the needs of the family member with type 2 diabetes, and no one else will even notice that they’re eating lower-carb meals or feel they’re missing out:
Cook with oil, not butter. Solid animal fats, like butter and lard, are high in saturated fat. Use healthier vegetable fats like canola and olive oil, but use them sparingly. Fat is high in calories, so using less can help you keep your weight in check.
Bake and broil. Bake, broil, or grill lean proteins like chicken and fish rather than dredging them in flour or breadcrumbs and frying. You’ll also want to skip heavy toppings like cream sauces and gravies. Add flavor to proteins with zesty spice rubs instead; they’ll be just as tasty and a lot more diabetes-friendly and heart healthy, Dobbins said.
Eat more fish. The American Diabetes Association recommends eating seafood two to three times a week. Steamed, poached and microwaved fillets are especially diabetes-friendly because they don’t require extra fat for cooking. If your family loves pasta, try serving sautéed shrimp or scallops over a small serving of whole grain noodles with mixed vegetables.
Lose the (beef) fat. If your family enjoys an occasional steak or roast, you don’t have to strike it from your grocery list completely. But for better health for everyone, choose leaner cuts of beef such as round, sirloin, and flank steak. Avoid cuts with white white marbling, which is streaks of fat, and trim any visible fat from the cuts you do buy.
Need a burger fix? If you’re buying ground beef, look for labels that say it’s at least 90 percent lean. Better yet, substitute ground turkey to make tacos, meatballs, chili, and meatloaf into heart-smart meals.
Don’t be piggy. You can keep pork on the menu by choosing leaner Canadian bacon instead of fatty bacon and making boneless ham, pork tenderloin, boneless loin roast, or center-cut loin chops instead of fatty ribs. “A lot of pork is very lean,” Dobbins said. You’ll still want to limit saltier cuts like Canadian bacon and ham to avoid eating too much sodium.
Substitute low-fat dairy. Using low-fat dairy in place of full-fat is an easy way to instantly trim major calories and saturated fat. When a recipe calls for whole milk, simply substitute 1 or 2 percent. Instead of full fat cheese, use a low-fat fat variety. You can use luxuriously thick non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt in many recipes that call for sour cream. If you’re worried about getting push back from tough critics at the dinner table, start by substituting just half of the dairy called for in a recipe with the low-fat version. If your family doesn’t notice (or gradually adjusts), you may eventually be able to substitute all of it.
Choose whole grains. Whole grains have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar, Dobbins said, and they have a nice, nutty flavor. Substitute brown rice for white rice in recipes and as a side dish. Opt for whole grain breads and pastas over those made from refined white flour. Another health perk: Whole grains are rich in fiber, which reduces risk for heart disease and helps fill you up so you eat less.
Sneak in more vegetables. Most vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, along with health-boosting vitamins. When following recipes, double the amount of non-starchy vegetables like peppers, mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli called for in soups and casseroles. Add sliced veggies to pasta sauce, and make the sauce tomato, not cream, based. When you pick up pizza for the gang, order it with vegetables only, like broccoli and mushrooms, rather than fatty, salty meat toppings.
Up the bean count. Beans are a diabetes super food. They’re high in fiber and protein, so they fill you up and keep you fuller longer. You can add canned beans to salads, soups, and casseroles. Or, take a break from your favorite beef or turkey chili and try a vegetable bean version instead. Beans do have carbs – roughly 15 grams for 1/3 to 1/2 cup of beans, so make sure you include them if you count carbs.
Reduce sugar in recipes. Family members don’t have to give up their favorite sweets after mom or dad is diagnosed with diabetes. You can leave out a third of the sugar in most recipes without affecting taste or texture. The savings are substantial: in a recipe that originally calls for 2 cups of sugar, trimming 2/3 cup will slash more than 500 calories and well over 100 grams sugar. Pull back on the sweet stuff and exercise portion control, and everyone can enjoy a sampling and not feel deprived.
Serve smaller portions. Our portion sizes have grown dramaticallyServe smaller portions. Our portion sizes have grown dramatically over the years, so cutting back is a smart idea for everyone. Serve family favorites – just be sure everyone eats one serving, not two or three. No matter how healthy the food, if you eat too much, you’ll gain weight, Dobbins said.
A Meal Plan That Works for the Entire Family
“A diabetes diet is a healthy diet that everyone should be following,” Dobbins said. It’s not as restrictive as many people might think and, with some smart substitutions and portion control, you and your family can sit down together to great meals that are a far cry from bland, boring “health food.”
Posted by ~~ Witchy ~~ at 1/15/2017 12:00:00 AM