Make Yummy Favorites Diabetes-Friendly

Flavor, goodness, gusto—you don’t have to give them up just because you have diabetes and want to keep your heart healthy. For the proof, read on!

Health Monitor Staff

Scoop up chips and dip
to steady blood sugar

Just choose baked tortilla chips and fat-free black-bean dip! “Tortilla chips are a whole-grain food made from the whole corn kernel,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN, a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association and author of The Flexitarian Diet. And since both whole grains and beans help stabilize blood glucose while supplying cholesterol-lowering fiber, the combo is a winner!

Note: Watch portion sizes; stick to about 10 tortilla chips and 2 tablespoons of bean dip.

Enjoy “apple pie” for a
healthy fiber boost

Fruit may contain carbohydrates, but eating it fresh is a great way to get a full load of vitamins and fiber in a slow-to-absorb way. For a delicious indulgence, try a “crustless apple pie”! Just mix apple chunks with cinnamon and sugar-free sweetener, then pop the mix in the microwave for less than a minute. Scrumptious!

Whip up a stir-fry for
a protein-rich feast
To get the protein you need, create your own sweet ’n’ sour stir-fry! Heat up a nonstick wok to keep fats low. Toss in your favorite veggies, then add a protein—try tofu (high in soy protein) or skinless chicken breast (low in fat). Add a splash of low-sodium soy sauce, a squeeze of lemon or lime, a touch of sugar-free sweetener and serve atop whole-grain rice, a fiber-rich alternative to white.

Munch fish “sticks” to help
control blood pressure

When made with a fish high in omega-3s like salmon, this fishshack favorite can help lower your blood pressure and provide other cardiovascular benefits. To make, “put a salmon fillet on a piece of foil, top with dill sprigs, lemon slices, a thin coating of pesto and whole-wheat panko bread crumbs," suggests Blatner. Broil about 12 inches from the heat for eight minutes for every inch of thickness.”

Savor spaghetti to
whittle your middle

Just be sure your spaghetti (or any pasta that you choose) is made of whole grains, which have been linked to weight loss and a lower risk of heart disease. Toss with a favorite veggie combo—maybe spinach and garlic—top with oregano or basil, and sprinkle with Parmesan or Romano cheese.

October 2013