If you are a diabetic, it is important to watch your carbohydrate intake closely and keep blood sugar at acceptable levels. That does not mean you can no longer enjoy meals and snacks. There is a host of recipes that fit right into your dietary requirements. By writing a daily or weekly meal plan and closely reading labels, you will keep healthy and find many favorite dishes. You can also cook for the whole family.
There are two types of diabetes. In the first type, or Type 1, the pancreas no longer makes insulin. If working properly, the pancreas allows the body to convert blood sugar, or glucose, into energy. When insulin is no longer being produced, too much sugar stays in the blood. At worst, this can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, or severe damage to the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves and kidney. It can also be fatal. The second type is called juvenile diabetes, because it normally starts in childhood. Type 2 is the more-common illness, where the body either does not make enough insulin or has difficulty using the insulin produced in a healthy way. Although Type 1 people have to take insulin, most Type 2 can use diet, exercise and medicine for treatment.
Staying healthy as a diabetic not only necessitates following a specific diet, but also following certain general guidelines. This includes eating few items with sugar, having smaller meals more often, carefully watching carbohydrates, eating whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables, and having less fat in the diet. This means not eating or drinking candy, cake, fried foods, fatty meat or whole milk.
Chicken Pizza Pizazz
Here is a meal the whole family can enjoy with you. Ingredients: One pizza dough tube in grocery by refrigerated rolls; one teaspoon dried oregano; one teaspoon dried parsley; two de-boned, skinned and cooked chicken breasts cut up in 1/4-sized pieces; 1/2 cup low-sodium of your favorite non-sweetened spaghetti sauce; several mushrooms, peppers or any other second vegetable topping you like; 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese; 1/4 to 1/2 (depending on single/double) low-fat mozzarella cheese.
Roll out the pizza dough into a 10-inch circle and place on a lightly greased (no-stick spray) cookie sheet. Spread pizza with tomato sauce and evenly distribute chicken and vegetables. Cover with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted at oven temperature noted on tube. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for one minute and cut into 8 slices.
Diabetic exchanges: 1 meat lean, 1 bread/starch
Snack Time Smoothie
Snacks are an important part of a diabetic's diet in order to keep blood sugar stable. Everyone loves a fruit smoothie. Combine a cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/2-cup skim milk, a dash of vanilla, and a sweetener (optional). Blend until smooth.
Exchanges: 1 1/2 fruit, 1 skim milk
What family does not like pasta? Here are the ingredients for a cheesy luscious lasagna: 8 oz. of whole wheat lasagna noodles; 1/2 cup of unsweetened, low-salt tomato sauce, 1 lb. of 85 percent hamburger meat; 3 cups low-fat ricotta cheese; 2 eggs; 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese; 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese; salt and pepper to season.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the lasagna pasta al dente in boiling water and drain. Brown the meat in a frying pan and drain. Add salt and pepper as desired. Mix ricotta, eggs and half the Parmesan in a separate bowl. In a square and lightly greased (with spray) casserole dish, layer the noodles, tomato sauce, ground beef, ricotta mix, and mozzarella. Continue layering until all lasagna is gone. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top. Bake until hot clear through or about 30 minutes at 350. Exchanges: 1 1/2 bread/starch, 3 meat lean.
- Photo Credit www.fi.edu/learn/heart/healthy/diabetes.html
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