The basics of a heart-healthy diet that also helps maintain diabetic health are plenty of fruit, non-starchy vegetables and limited saturated fat and sodium. The first step in avoiding food high in cholesterol, sodium and fat is to limit dining out. Many restaurants do not provide nutrition information on the menu, and are often high in sodium and saturated fat. Manage your cholesterol and blood glucose level by preparing your meals at home, and portion your meals according to The American Diabetes Association's "Create Your Plate" online section.
Breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day, and it's true; eating a light meal in the morning that provides vitamins and no more than 400 calories gives you energy necessary for functioning. Avoid eating sugary cereals, jams and preserves as they can cause your blood glucose level to rise. According to "The Quick & Easy Cookbook," you can still enjoy your favorite foods as long as you substitute unhealthy ingredients. French toast is the perfect breakfast food that can fill you up, and can be healthy by substituting the eggs with egg substitutes and using skim milk instead of whole milk.
Slice the french bread and cut a pocket into each slice, and set them aside. Mix 1/4 c. light cream cheese, 1/2 tsp. shredded orange peel, and 1 tsp. orange juice in a bowl. Use the teaspoon to stuff each pocket with the cream cheese mixture. In a separate bowl, mix 2 tbsp. skim milk with egg substitutes that equals 3 eggs. Put each bread slice in the mixture and allow it to soak on each side for 30 seconds. Spray a skillet or griddle with vegetable oil spray, and place it on the oven over medium heat. Cook each side of the bread for three to four minutes, or until the bread is a golden color.
A healthy lunch is one that include plenty of vegetables, complex carbohydrates and a small amount of dairy. According to the American Diabetes Association, complex carbohydrates found in whole-grain bread is beneficial for lunchtime as it breaks down slowly, which causes you to feel full until dinner, and will not raise your blood sugar quickly.
An open-face vegetable sandwich can be quickly made by preheating your broiler and cutting a whole-grain English muffin in half. Spread Dijon mustard over each side of the muffin, and spread chopped red and green bell peppers on each side of the muffin. Add 1/4 c.shredded carrots and 1/2 c. chopped broccoli. Spread the vegetables over the muffin and cover with 1/2 c. of shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese. Place the sandwiches on the unheated rack of your broiler pan, and allow it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. This meal only contains 352mg of sodium, 24g of carbohydrates and 246 calories.
Resist the urge to fry your chicken and bake it instead to reduce saturated fat. Baked chicken and rice with herbs is a healthy recipe that provides high amounts of protein and limits saturated fat to only 1g per serving. To make this dish, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the chicken breasts thoroughly, pat them dry with a paper towel and set them aside on a clean plate. Empty a 5-oz. package of brown rice and wild rice into a 2-quart glass baking dish, and pour in 1 1/2 c. water. Stir the mixture and add 1/4 c. dry white wine, 3/4 tsp. dried Italian seasoning and a 9-oz. package of frozen peas. Continue stirring until the ingredients are mixed well, and place the chicken on top. Cover the dish and bake for one hour, until the chicken is fully cooked.
- American Heart Association's Quick & Easy Cookbook; American Heart Association; November 2001
- The Everything Diabetes Cookbook; Pamela Rice Hahn; October 2002
- American Diabetes Association
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