Who says diabetics can't eat well?
November 13, 2006 8:13am CST
Maintaining a healthy diet is important for everyone, but crucial for people with diabetes. Following a diet that meets the strict nutritional requirements of diabetics and does not overshoot on calories is critical. At the same time, having diabetes does not mean you lose your head on calorie counting and bid farewell to delicious food. Here are some yummy meal options that are safe, quick to prepare, and great to taste. Beverage list Choose from the following for each of your meals. Club soda Diet soda Coffee with an artifical sweetener like 'Equal' Sugar-free drink mix, like a sugar-free strawberry crush Tea with no/less sugar Kokam juice with no added sugar Sugar-free tonic water Avoid canned or even fresh juices, especially those with added sugar. Breakfast Dr Kiran Desai, a practicing pathologist and medical officer at IIM Ahmedabad, who also serves as the selector and coach for the Indian roller-skating team, says, "The best breakfast option for a diabetic is a plate full of fruit. Include fruit such as apples, peaches, bananas and even strawberries, and eat a stomach full. You can even have a soup if an urge for salts arises. Once in a while, you can have milk with cereal that has no additional sugar. Muesli is also an option." Some more options: Poached egg on toast Tomato and cucumber salad Bread topped with pineapple slices Whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal Almond milk Bananas These must be alternated though, and none consumed on a daily basis. However, fruits are safe and ideal for repetition. Meals For lunch, Dr Desai wholeheartedly recommends salad, soups or a light oil-and-fat- free veg curry with whole wheat chapattis. He says, "For lunch, a salad and soup is ideal. However, how you make it is also important. Do not add high calorie dressings or sugar-rich products. Otherwise, the purpose of eating a salad will be defeated. The chapattis should not be smothered with butter or ghee either. The whole idea is to monitor the intake of calories so the blood sugar does not shoot up." He shares two soup recipes. Chicken-Rice Soup ~Ingredients 250 grams chicken pieces, small 1/2 cup salad leaves, chopped 1/2 cup rice, uncooked 1 small onion, cut into four 1 cup carrots, diced ? cup capsicum, diced Bay leaf (Tej Patta in Hindi) A pinch of pepper ~Method Simmer the chicken in water with the salad leaves, onion, two pinches of salt and tej patta for one hour over low heat. Drain the chicken broth and retain it in a separate container. Place the pieces in a clean plate and debone the chicken. Chop it into small pieces. Combine the broth, chicken, rice, capsicum and carrots in a saucepan and continue cooking for 30-40 minutes or until the rice is tender. Makes three servings Fruit Fusion ~Ingredients 1 cup fresh grapes, chopped into halves 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced into four 1 cup fresh peaches, finely chopped 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 cups low-fat yogurt ~Method Mix grapes, strawberries, and peaches. Mix gently. Sprinkle brown sugar over fruit. Top with yogurt. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Gently stir fruit to mix it and serve in pudding/ice cream bowls. This makes three servings. By carefully selecting what you eat, including a good balance of the right kinds and amounts of fats and carbohydrates, you can help improve your health. The bottom line is you must eat carefully, eat right and eat sensibly. Do not starve or deprive yourself. At the same time, don't over-indulge either.