Here are some tasty options that will satisfy you while helping you eat “cleaner”, and that will help you better manage your diabetes.
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.
Give hummus and pesto a chance while you’re at it! Hummus is a deliciously creamy blend of chickpeas and tahini paste, while pesto is a refreshing combo of basil, olive oil, and pine nuts.
Mix up the protein
Now, there’s certainly nothing wrong with a good steak every once in a while. Chicken, turkey, pork, and fish are the most common alternatives to beef, but protein can be found in a variety of other places, too.
Soybeans, quinoa, eggs, beans, even veggies like spinach, are all wonderful sources of protein. For those who don’t eat meat, or don’t eat meat at every meal, you can still enjoy protein-packed deliciousness.
Alternative baking flours
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 that taste amazing and won’t raise blood sugar!
Water instead of juice or soda (yes, even diet sodas!)
Water is critical to each and every body process. From the transportation of nutrients throughout the body, to regulating body temperature, digesting food, and more.
Drinking water also helps to flush excess glucose from the blood, and helps your body keep blood sugar lower and more stable. This makes drinking water absolutely essential for diabetics.
When you drink enough water, you will feel the positive effects. Your thought process will be faster, you will be more focused, and be able to concentrate more. You will feel more alert, awake, and refreshed, with more energy than before.
When it comes to soda (regular or diet) there is absolutely nothing good about it. Not one single, redeeming quality. Harsh, but true.
Also be wary of fruit juice blends, mixes, and concentrates. Most store-bought fruit juices are actually just fruit-flavored beverages. They contain a very small amount of actual fruit juice, and are mostly made up of sugar and preservatives, with most having between 20-30 grams of sugar per cup.
Add some spice to help control portions
Hot peppers, fresh or dried can add a spicy punch to many different recipes. Not only do they add flavor, they can help you stick to more appropriate portions. Think about it, if a food is hot, you tend to eat it more slowly, giving yourself time to cool down in between bites. This allows you to feel full faster.
Apart from adding flavor to your meals, hot peppers can boost metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity, helping to keep blood sugar under control.
Veggies instead of traditional carbs
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!
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!