Ever feel like your favorite foods are off-limits now that you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes? Good news! These 5 foods, and a few tips and tricks, combine to bring back your faves without spiking your blood sugar!
Avocado – is it the mild, nutty taste, the creamy texture, or that singular green color that makes us love it so? Avocado can be used in endless, delicious ways. Rather than putting chicken salad on a bun, put it inside one half of an avocado. Instead of mayonnaise on your turkey sandwich, try mashed avocado. Instead of cheese on your hamburger, try avocado slices.
In fact, avocado toast has been trending lately as a brunch favorite. Whole wheat toast with the heart-healthy fat and fiber of the avocado helps to slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. As guacamole, sliced and served with eggs, or eaten from a spoon, avocado is a delicious, nutritious food you can feel great about eating.
Cauliflower is a diamond in the rough when it comes to hacking your favorite indulgent foods. Forget about the pasty, bland cauliflower you may have known; open your eyes (and your mouth) to its potential.
What would you give to enjoy some fried rice, pizza, or macaroni and cheese right now? Try this recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice. For “pizza crust” use your food processor to get the cauliflower very fine, then mix with cheese, eggs and spices. Top with your favorite sauce, meats and veggies, for a pizza that is high in fiber, low in carbs, and out of this world! Not to mention the cauliflower in this recipe for Almost Mac-N-Cheese that is sure to be a family favorite!
- Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is an ideal swap in dozens of recipes! Instead of sour cream, try a dollop of plain Greek yogurt on tacos, use it to make Spinach-Artichoke Dip, or add it to mashed potatoes. In place of mayonnaise, fold it into chicken or tuna salad, or mix with a pouch of ranch dressing mix for a delicious salad topper or dip.
For something sweet, Greek yogurt can even be frozen and topped with fresh berries for dessert. In the morning, blend Greek yogurt with ice, half a banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a delicious smoothie. Greek yogurt is not only great for cutting calories and carbs, it’s probiotic bacteria do incredible things for health and blood sugar.
- Beans and Nuts
White flour is high in carbs, and basically devoid of any nutrition. When used in baked goods, and combined with sugar, it makes many of our favorite sweet treats taboo. The starch found in beans and nuts can be a great alternative to white flour in some baked goods. Chickpea, almond, and coconut flours are lower in carbs and higher in protein and fiber than traditional white flour. Just imagine – brownies, pancakes, even cheesy bread made with alternative flours are now up for grabs!
- Veggie Variations
French fries, anyone? Yes, it’s possible! Root vegetables like rutabaga, turnips, and sweet potatoes can be made into fries just like white potatoes can. Slice them up, toss with olive oil and bake in the oven to crispy perfection.
Want to get daring with some green veggies? Try lightly breading zucchini sticks or green beans (in chickpea or almond flour, perhaps), a light spray of olive oil, and bake. Sprinkle with salt while they’re still hot and try not to burn your mouth on their deliciousness!
These tips and tricks are great for enjoying your favorites on a more frequent basis. While these hacks are healthy and tasty, successfully managing diabetes is a balancing act. Focus on nutritious foods that will fuel your body, but every now and then, don’t forget to have a taste of something that fuels your soul!