3 Smart Eating and Family Favorites for Diabetics

3 Smart Eating and Family Favorites for Diabetics

It is a common misconception that a diabetic diet is bland and unsatisfying. The truth is – a diabetic diet can be delicious and filling. Choosing the right foods, watching portions and controlling carbohydrates are three key elements to maintaining a balanced diabetic diet.

Family Favorite Pasta Dishes

Even on a diabetic diet, you can still have pasta. A serving of pasta is 2-oz. dry. Choose a whole wheat option as it contains more fiber and will help you fell full. Whole grains also aid in maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

There are alternative noodle options available that are made from black beans, edamame, lentils and greens. These are also good options. To cut your carb count even more, consider buying a spiralizer and making fresh zucchini noodles.

When choosing your pasta sauce, keep in mind that the serving is ½-cup. Choose a jarred sauce that does not contain added sugar.

You can still have meatballs too; consider substituting lean pork and turkey for ground beef. Leave the breadcrumbs out and replace them with parmesan cheese but remember to omit the salt.

Favorite Side Dish

Rice side dishes are a good way to help stretch a meal on a budget, but white rice is not a diabetic’s friend. Substitute brown rice or go even lower-carb with riced cauliflower. Riced cauliflower allows you to have a little larger portion and still feel satisfied.

Mix in fresh vegetables and use a healthy oil, like olive oil, instead of butter. A good rice side dish can also have more body if low-fat cheese is added, too.

A tip for imparting more flavor into rice and riced cauliflower is to cook it in a low-sodium stock. Chicken or vegetable stock are ideal for giving rice more flavor and giving it more versatility.

Diabetic-Friendly Dessert

Dessert is one of the things that diabetics often miss the most. It doesn’t have to be. With a few simple changes, there are several dessert options that are diabetic-friendly.

Greek yogurt can be flavored with fruit puree and frozen, or made into frozen Greek yogurt pops, for a healthier take on ice cream. To make it a little creamier, add a few tablespoons of heavy cream per cup of the yogurt. The fruit puree should be a berry as they are lower in carbs than other fruits. A serving of Greek yogurt is ½-cup. Choose the brand of Greek yogurt with the fewest carbs when shopping.

Oatmeal cookies are an option as well. The goal is to use fruit to replace the sugar. Dried apricots and dried currants help add sweetness that is missing. You can use a small amount of sugar if you choose, but try to keep it at ½-cup total sugar in the recipe (even if it is a sugar substitute).

Pudding pops are a fun summertime dessert that the whole family can enjoy. Either make homemade pudding and flavor it naturally with fruit puree or choose sugar-free options. Milk has a lot of sugar per serving (11g per 8-oz. serving), so keep this in mind.

Consider replacing the milk with heavy cream since it has less sugar. Use two to three flavors of sugar-free pudding to give the pudding pops personality and variety. For Valentine’s Day, check out these top recipes.

Smart Eating Tips

It can be hard, at first, to convert your meals into diabetic-friendly options that the whole family will eat. Choose substitutions that make the meal look and taste the same but with lower carbs, sugar and fat. Watching carbs and sugar intake is very important for diabetics.

Bulk up meals with more vegetables. Mushrooms, for example, are a great meat replacement that still leave you feeling satisfied. Vegetables have small carbohydrate counts. Consider roasting vegetables to give them more depth of flavor.

Reading labels is also an important part of eating a healthy diabetic diet. It is a good idea to speak with a diabetic-dietician and determine an ideal carb count for each meal and snack that are unique to you. Having that carb count set in your mind will help you make the right choices when shopping and cooking.

Make sure you have the right healthcare coverage if your diagnosed with diabetes. My dad recently aged into Medicare. He enrolled in a Medicare diabetes coverage plan to protect his finances. If you’re a baby boomer, consider getting one too.

Closing Thoughts

Once the diabetic diet becomes normal, it won’t be so hard to maintain. While there are a few changes and substitutions to be made, you won’t be left missing anything from your previous diet. There are ways to make everything that you love in a diabetic-friendly way.

Mark Sexauer is an expert mixologist. He graduated from the American Bartending School in 2007 and began his carrier by opening up his own handcrafted cocktail lounge. Now with over 100 locations world wide, he has turned handcrafted cocktails into a true art.