By Morgan Rettig, MHS, RDN, LDN
Cooking for a person with diabetes is really the same as cooking for the whole family, focusing on well-balanced meals.
1 – Retire the Deep-fryer
Limit saturated fat intake. For a 2,000-calorie diet, this should be about 16 grams of saturated fat per day. Avoid frying foods and choose a method that doesn’t add fat or allows fat to drip away. Try roasting, baking, broiling, grilling or poaching meats and fish, and steaming, roasting or grilling veggies.
2 – Fill Up on Veggies
To help manage carbohydrate intake, make half of the plate nonstarchy vegetables, which are low in carbohydrates and calories and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Try using veggies in place of starches, such as substituting spaghetti squash for pasta or chopped cauliflower instead of rice.
3 – Kick the Sodium
Most sodium in our diet comes from processed and prepackaged foods, so choose fresh ingredients when possible, use frozen produce without added salt and select the reduced- and low-sodium canned goods. Rinsing canned veggies before cooking removes additional salt. When seasoning food, experiment with herbs and spices, lemon or lime juice, garlic and onion, or spice things up with hot peppers.
4 – Go with the Whole Grain
Leave the processed, white flour product on the shelf and choose whole grain products, which are nutrient dense and high in fiber. Fiber helps with digestion and satiety, and may benefit cholesterol and blood sugars.
5 – Substitute Healthier Ingredients
When cooking, try replacing these ingredients with healthier choices that don’t compromise flavor:
|sour cream||fat-free plain yogurt|
|whole or 2 percent milk||1 percent or skim milk|
|white rice||brown rice|
|butter||olive or vegetable oil|
|regular ground beef||90 percent lean ground beef, ground turkey or chicken breast|
Morgan Rettig, MHS, RDN, LDN, is a clinical nutritionist with Mission Health’s Diabetes Center.
Craving more diabetes cooking tips or help with meal planning? To schedule an appointment with one of the registered dietitians at Mission Health’s Diabetes Center, call (828) 213-4700.