By Lisa Shaker-Knopp (LowFatLowCarb.com)
If you are struggling with balancing your blood sugar, or keeping your type 2 diabetes under control especially during the holiday season, there are many strategies that can help you. You do not need to be a world-class chef to prepare meals that are healthy, low sugar, and tasty. In fact, the www.lowfatlowcarb.com website was created with this in mind.
You must be mindful about how your food is prepared. You may need to switch to more healthful cooking techniques and ingredients than you used before your diagnosis, but all of these changes will add up to a healthier you.
Start with using non-frying methods of cooking. You can stir-fry, bake or poach instead of sautéing or frying. Baking and poaching do not require any oil at all. Stir-frying requires just a small amount of oil in a wok, or some broth. With the invention of non-stick pans, you really can sauté without much oil at all, as well.
Cutting the fat out of your daily diet is also key to a healthy eating plan. Replace the butter and lard with olive oil or grape seed oil. Other ways to cut the saturated fat is to replace whole milk with skim milk, as an example. You can also use lemon or limes to flavor fish and vegetables instead of the fat-based toppings like sour cream and mayonnaise.
Of course, substituting sugars is a huge part of controlling blood sugar. I like stevia based products, as this is a natural sweetener that does not affect the pancreas’s production of insulin like plain sugar. But, using sweet spices like cinnamon or extracts (alcohol free) are great options as well. If your weight is under control, using fresh fruit is a good choice for something sweet, and natural.
Using other means of flavoring foods like herbs and spices, rather than plain salt is also a great approach to managing your health. If you use salt, opt for sea salt, as most sea salt contains less sodium than table salt, and it is not processed.
Preparing healthy meats, such as skinless chicken breast and lean cuts of meat; for example replace your breakfast bacon with Canadian bacon, or turkey bacon (always read labels to look for added sugar) to reduce the fat. Make burgers with extra-lean ground chicken, or ground turkey breast. Or use half ground beef with one of those options. I also like ground buffalo or bison, which are super lean and tasty.
And, another great trick is to reduce your portion size by using a much smaller plate. It makes you think you are eating plenty with a full plate, but it reduces the king-size portions of food. When you eat high carbohydrate foods it can send your blood sugar levels and your weight sky high. When dining out, ask for a to-go container at the beginning of your meal and put half away from the start.
I have spent much time in my kitchen transforming old family recipes into tasty diabetes-friendly dishes. It takes a little creativity and effort at the beginning, but now it is easy to get those foods to the table without too much trouble. I believe that these strategies are a recipe for good health and weight management.