Just because you are sticking to a diabetes diet menu does not mean you have to skimp on flavor. By eating healthy natural foods, you can help to manage your diabetes, while still enjoying an array of great tasting foods. Though there is no one proven diabetes diet that works for everyone, and it is generally recommended that diabetics follow a plan of healthy eating (that includes sensible portions, lean proteins, unsaturated fats, and whole foods).
Diabetes Diet Overview
Generally, diabetics should work on consuming approximately 2000 calories daily, which allows you to eat a good amount of healthy food, and assists you in bringing your sugar levels back to normal. There are several 2000 calories sample menus and cookbooks to consult, but it is best to talk with your doctor before you begin any diet plan.
The main focus of a diabetic diet is to eat every food in the right proportion to help you stay healthy. Avoiding junk food is key, as it often has a lot of unhealthy fats and lacks nutritional value. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be incorporated to get essential nutrients into your body. Complex carbohydrates are also necessary and should be ingested by way of whole grains. Salt and saturated and trans fats should be avoided.
How to Increase Flavor in Your Diabetic Diet
The way you cook food can often have a big effect on the cholesterol and saturated fat makeup of the final product. Here are some cooking tips that will enhance flavor, while keeping the calorie count low and maximizing the nutritional value of the food:
- Baking: Use a little extra liquid to bake vegetables, fruit, poultry, and lean meats in the oven.
- Braising: Brown your fish or meat on the stovetop, and then simmer in a small amount of liquid.
- Grilling: Cook your meat on a rack to drain the fat away from the meat.
- Steaming: Place fish or vegetables in a perforated basket over simmering water is a great cooking method to reduce fat. Add seasonings to the water for extra flavor.
Some ways to reduce salt and fat, while keeping the flavor in your diet include:
- Make ample use of herbs, lemon juice, wine, and ground pepper to enhance flavors.
- Make your own chicken stock rather than use prepared cubes or stock (that is generally rather high in sodium).
- Use extra virgin olive oil and vinegar to dress salads instead of packaged salad dressings.
- If using canned vegetables, wash them before use, as this can drastically reduce their salt content.
- Trim fat from meat before cooking, and remove skin from poultry.
- Drain oils from canned fish and rinse the fish in water prior to use.
Though you may initially feel restricted in what you can eat, you will soon find that there are many healthy options that taste great (that are fine to eat). By being creating with seasonings and cooking methods, you can enhance the flavor of your food and still meet diabetic diet guidelines.