Food Tips – Diabetic Kitchen https://diabetickitchen.com Mon, 08 Jul 2019 20:50:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 If You’re Looking To Prevent Weight Gain – Go Nuts! https://diabetickitchen.com/prevent-weight-gain-go-nuts/ https://diabetickitchen.com/prevent-weight-gain-go-nuts/#comments Mon, 08 Jul 2019 20:50:09 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4223

Nuts – one of the most underrated foods when it comes to improving one’s health. Especially for those trying to improve heart health and diabetes. Achieving a healthy body weight is also a struggle for many on their journey to better health. Research has found that nuts can also be helpful in maintaining a healthy ...

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Nuts – one of the most underrated foods when it comes to improving one’s health. Especially for those trying to improve heart health and diabetes. Achieving a healthy body weight is also a struggle for many on their journey to better health. Research has found that nuts can also be helpful in maintaining a healthy weight.

One study found that consuming 1 ounce of nus in exchange of other less nutritious foods reduced participants’ risk of weight gain and obesity. The foods replaced by the nuts in this study included French fries, potato chips, or desserts. Even better, not only were those results positive in the short-term, but after a 4 year follow up period, as well!

Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, packing a seriously positive punch to your health. Research has shown that by eating a diet rich in good fats, you can actually lower your risk not only for obesity, but for heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

According to several studies, it is not the amount of fat you eat that affects health, it is the type of fat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are two “good fats.” These fats aid in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels, thereby, reducing risk of heart disease.  Let’s review a few of the most popular nut varieties and highlight their health benefits.

Packed full of healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants, almonds are hard to beat from a nutritional standpoint. Almonds are also an excellent source of vitamin E. Research connects vitamin E to a reduced risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease, even some cancers.

A bonus for diabetics – research has shown that almonds may contribute to better blood sugar control. Scientists believe these results are due to the high concentration of magnesium found in almonds. Some type II diabetics also have low magnesium levels. In one study, participants with type 2 diabetes who had low magnesium levels took a magnesium supplement. A connection was found between higher magnesium levels and improved insulin resistance.

Healthy fats are all the rage these days, as studies continue to validate the importance of making them a bigger part of our diets. Just one quarter cup of walnuts provides more than the daily recommended amount of omega-3 fats!  Walnuts also contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers multiple vascular benefits. Individuals who are at increased risk of heart disease, or those who have already been diagnosed with heart disease benefit most.

These Low-Carb Buffalo Almonds will be a hit at your next football or holiday party!

Walnuts are a superfood in their own right! They contain several powerful antioxidants, most of which are not found together in other commonly consumed foods. Research has shown that walnuts may help reduce risk of some cancers. Walnuts in particular help both men and women maintain a healthier weight.

This crisp and crunchy Arugula, Radicchio, and Fennel Salad is a fantastic way to work walnuts into your next meal!

Don’t forget the pistachio! These addictive little jewels are better for you than the average snack. One study found that eating between two and three ounces of pistachios per day lowered levels of bad cholesterol and improved blood lipid levels. Research has also shown that pistachios help stabilize blood sugar after eating a high-carb meal. Pistachios are also credited with improvements in blood vessel and body motor function.

While snacking on pistachios right out of the bag is completely acceptable, this recipe for Pistachio Crusted Scallops is a great way to showcase their salty flavor!

Whether almonds, walnuts, or pistachios, nuts are an excellent addition to your diet. Not only are they delicious and versatile in many types of recipes, they are just plain good for you. Reduced risk of obesity and weight gain, better heart health, lower blood sugar, the list of benefits goes on and on. We hope this information inspires you to get out there and go nuts!

 

 

 

Source:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323577.php

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These Colorful Foods Improve Immunity https://diabetickitchen.com/colorful-foods-improve-immunity/ https://diabetickitchen.com/colorful-foods-improve-immunity/#respond Tue, 25 Jun 2019 14:49:06 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4441

Eating for immunity. While the concept may sound strange, it’s true! The foods we eat can have a huge impact on how our immune systems keep us healthy. How you ask? An astounding 80% of the body’s immune system is in the gut. In order for our digestive and immune systems to function best, a ...

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Eating for immunity. While the concept may sound strange, it’s true! The foods we eat can have a huge impact on how our immune systems keep us healthy. How you ask?

An astounding 80% of the body’s immune system is in the gut. In order for our digestive and immune systems to function best, a number of nutrients are required. Fats, carbs, protein, vitamins and minerals are all essential.

Unfortunately, many individuals are consuming fast food, processed and packaged junk foods. Let alone the soft drinks, and massive amounts of sugar and salt. The diet of the average American is the main reason why our country is so sick. The body is getting no quality fuel with which to fight off illness and disease.

So what can we do about it? A balanced diet of fresh, whole foods is the way to go! Some of the most nutritious foods are also the most colorful. The beautiful, bright colors of fresh vegetables and fruits are indicative of their immune boosting qualities.

Brightly colored citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits get a lot of credit for their Vitamin C content. You’ve probably heard that Vitamin C can help prevent or shorten a cold. Did you know that Vitamin C helps your immune system work well even when you aren’t sick? Scientists believe that Vitamin C increases the number of white blood cells in the bloodstream. These white blood cells fight infection and other free radicals in the body helping to strengthen immunity.

Citrus fruits do contain sugar, natural though it may be. They are very high on the glycemic scale, so should be consumed in moderation. Try a few fresh, juicy orange wedges on top of a spinach salad with bacon and goat cheese. Yum!

Don’t let unexpected sources of Vitamin C like bell peppers, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower pass you by. Their fiber content also helps to stabilize blood sugar. Raw bell pepper slices dipped in guacamole, or creamy, decadent almost mac n cheese are two delicious ways to get a boost of Vitamin C! The human body does not produce its own Vitamin C, so enjoy a little every day to help prevent illness.

Bright, fresh berries pack a serious antioxidant punch to power the immune system. Antioxidants help the body fight off and protect against free radical damage. Vitamins A, C, and E are actually classified as antioxidants. Enjoy fresh berries with Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey for a delicious treat.

Vitamin A is crucial for the health and well-being of your skin. Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin A. The skin is often forgotten as a part of the body’s immune system. It is literally your body’s first line of defense against the outside world. Other orange foods like carrots, pumpkin and cantaloupe are also high in this beneficial vitamin.

Vitamin D also contributes to a stronger immune system. Getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D is especially important for diabetics. It stimulates the pancreas and encourages insulin production, thereby helping to keep blood sugar under better control.

Vitamin D can be found in greens like spinach, and in the bright yellow of egg yolks. Believe it or not, salmon and shrimp are also quite high in vitamin D, (along with containing heart healthy Omega 3 fats.)

The bright green, creamy flesh of the avocado make it a nutritional powerhouse and perhaps the most super of the super foods. The avocado is near perfection – plenty of healthy fat, but fiber as well. Fiber is another essential nutrient in maximizing immune function.

Fiber serves many purposes for the body. It helps to regulate blood sugar and prevents the absorption of cholesterol. Fiber is also responsible for promoting gut health and regularity. All of these benefits are especially helpful for individuals with diabetes. Without fiber our digestive tract suffers, therefore, immunity is compromised. Fiber also lowers blood sugar naturally by slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

Avoiding the consumption of sugar is also crucial to improving immunity. Research has found that sugar can negatively affect the body’s immune system. It specifically hinders the ability to fight off bacterial infections. Yet one more way sugar is making us sick… literally! One important thing to note is that as a diabetic, high blood sugar is already compromising your immune system.

Keeping blood sugar under control is a huge way to improve immune strength. Think about it – if your body is less occupied by trying to keep your blood sugar at safe levels, it has more resources available to fight other things. By managing diabetes, you also reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. Managing blood sugar now is a long-term investment in health for years to come.

By including plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits in our diets, we can not only improve immunity, but lower blood sugar and improve overall health. Be it avocado or sweet potato, bell pepper or spinach, including immune boosting foods in our diets is a great way to feel better and live healthier!

 

 

Source:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/05/health/immune-system-diet-food-as-fuel-explainer/index

 

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Simple Snacks To Stabilize Blood Sugar https://diabetickitchen.com/simple-snacks-to-stabilize-blood-sugar/ https://diabetickitchen.com/simple-snacks-to-stabilize-blood-sugar/#comments Tue, 28 May 2019 19:41:44 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4423

Trying to avoid a snack attack? Diabetics deserve simple, quick snacks that won’t spike blood sugar. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Snack foods are usually highly processed. This means they often contain far too many calories, unhealthy fat, sugars, and sodium. These foods also tend to have little to no nutritional value. This combination ...

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Trying to avoid a snack attack? Diabetics deserve simple, quick snacks that won’t spike blood sugar. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

Snack foods are usually highly processed. This means they often contain far too many calories, unhealthy fat, sugars, and sodium. These foods also tend to have little to no nutritional value.

This combination is especially dangerous for diabetics as it causes food to be digested more quickly. Without good fats and fiber to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, sugar levels can skyrocket and blood pressure can increase.

Snacking is not evil, and does not have to negatively affect blood sugar. A snack’s purpose is to prevent excessive hunger and to give the body an energy boost. Believe it or not, snacks can help to regulate blood sugar. The key is to choose the right foods!

Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, packing a seriously positive punch to your health. Research has shown that by eating a diet rich in good fats, you can reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. In other words, go nuts!

Almonds, walnuts, macadamia, pecan and pistachio are all healthy little jewels of deliciousness. Cashews are quite tasty as well, however, consume them in moderation because they do have a higher carbohydrate content. Be sure to pair them with foods that contain fats and protein – like a cheese stick!

Containing both protein and good fats, cheese is another fantastic snack choice for diabetics. Cheeses come in seemingly endless textural varieties: hard, soft, semi-soft, etc. The most commonly consumed hard cheeses are cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Soft cheeses like mozzarella and brie are decadently delicious, as well. (Just be sure to choose full-fat cheeses in order to avoid added sugars.)

Cool, creamy hummus with raw veggies is a delicious and nutritious snack option, as well. While hummus does contain carbohydrates, they are complex and are absorbed more slowly into the blood stream. In this case, hummus contains protein and healthy fats as well, further impeding the absorption of its carb content.

Or dip your veggies into avocado dip for an extra heart-healthy boost! Avocados are a great source of fiber. This makes the avocado an excellent blood sugar stabilizer! Because of their glorious fat content, avocados are high in calories, so enjoy your avocado in 1-ounce servings, which is about 2 to 3 slices or about 1/4 of a small avocado.

When it comes to nutrition, not many foods can beat the egg. (No pun intended.) Packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals with an average of only 78 calories per egg. Fry an egg in butter for a hot filling snack. Or boil a dozen on Sunday and keep them in your fridge for instant grab and go snacking!

How about something a little sweet? Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than traditional yogurt. Greek yogurt differs from traditional yogurt in that it goes through a process to remove the whey. As a result of this process, Greek yogurt contains 40 percent less sugar and more than double the amount of protein found in traditional yogurt.

The best yogurt option is plain, full-fat Greek yogurt. Be sure to always choose the full-fat version. If not, you are guaranteed to consume added sugar! For flavor and sweetness, top with fresh berries or a small swirl of raw honey.

Speaking of fresh berries, blueberries make for another diabetic-friendly snack choice. They are a great source of vitamins and soluble fiber. Studies have found that glucose levels reduce over time when blueberries are included in one’s diet.

Craving something salty? Popcorn is low-glycemic. Therefore, making it a great snack option for diabetics. Make sure you air-pop your popcorn fresh; no preservative-filled bags from the supermarket allowed! Drizzle with olive oil (or indulge with a bit of truffle oil), add some dried herbs, or simply sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Three cups of air-popped popcorn contains more than 3 grams of fiber, while being cholesterol-free, and low in calories.

In conclusion, snacking is an important part of the diabetic diet. By choosing the right snack foods, we can keep blood sugar stable (and avoid becoming ‘hangry’) at the same time! Happy snacking!

 

 

 

Source:

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/ss/slideshow-snacks-blood-sugar

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Which Fats Are Good & Which Should Be Avoided https://diabetickitchen.com/which-fats-are-good-which-to-avoid/ https://diabetickitchen.com/which-fats-are-good-which-to-avoid/#comments Sun, 03 Mar 2019 17:41:03 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4286

Listen up people – it’s okay to eat fats! Not only should eating healthy fats be accepted, it should be encouraged. But wait… aren’t fatty foods unhealthy because they cause heart disease? No! Decades ago, the sugar industry paid off Harvard scientists to lie about what roles sugar and fat play in your diet. Their goal ...

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Listen up people – it’s okay to eat fats! Not only should eating healthy fats be accepted, it should be encouraged. But wait… aren’t fatty foods unhealthy because they cause heart disease? No!

Decades ago, the sugar industry paid off Harvard scientists to lie about what roles sugar and fat play in your diet. Their goal was to reduce or eliminate the role that sugar plays in heart disease.

They had to have a bad guy, so they suggested that fat played a bigger role than it actually does. Their review appeared in the highly trusted New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, prompting the misconception that fat is bad for health, when sugar is the true villain.

This false claim has caused the American diet to take a nose dive. The low-fat, high-sugar food craze has dominated recent decades and devastated the health of our nation. There is hope, however – the realization that we need to eat fat!

Fat is absolutely essential to good health. Did you know that every single cell in the human body contains fat? Even the brain requires fat in order to function.

If we do not consume enough fat, cognitive function declines, mood plummets, and it doesn’t end there. Hormones will fall out of balance, digestive health suffers, the immune system is compromised, even our ability to handle the stressors of everyday life is reduced… all because our bodies are not getting the fat they need!

In fact, research has found that you are three times more likely to die from an insufficient intake of healthy fats (low-fat/high-carb diet) than you are from excess intake of saturated fats. Definitive proof that healthy fats heal the body, not hurt it.

Eating a diet rich in good fats lowers risk for heart disease, obesity, and Type II diabetes complications. Healthy fats and fiber are key players in the game of health; especially when it comes to diabetes. Healthy fats help us feel satisfied, while fiber keeps us full and helps metabolize glucose. A successful recipe for blood sugar management.

It is crucial to choose the right healthy fats in order to reap these benefits. According to several studies, it is not the amount of fat you eat that affects health, it is the type of fat. There are several different types of fats, each found in a variety of foods. Believe it or not, there are a ton of heart-healthy foods out there!

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are two good fats. These fats lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, therefore, reducing risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated fats can be found in a variety of nuts, as well as, avocados, and olive oil.

Avocado has been in the spotlight lately as a trendy brunch food. Talk about the epitome of delicious and nutritious! Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats and are also high in fiber. Research has proved time and again the health benefits of eating avocados. Those include reduced risk of hypertension, stroke, diabetes complications and obesity just to name a few.

Polyunsaturated fats, also known as omega-3 fatty acids, can be found in walnuts, and in fish like salmon and mackerel. These omega fats improve cholesterol levels, decrease risk of heart failure and stroke, along with lowering blood pressure. A handful of nuts make a quick, easy, delicious heart-healthy snack on the go!

Don’t shy away from butter, full-fat dairy, or bacon because they fall into the saturated fats category. While villainized in recent years due to the low-fat lies, these foods are sources of fat that should be included in our diets, too! Butter added to Bulletproof coffee in the morning, full-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries as a snack, or a bacon and blue cheese salad for dinner. Yum!

There is one type of fat to avoid – trans fats. Trans fats have no positive nutritional impact; instead they are highly dangerous to consume. They increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol. This skyrockets the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and type II diabetes.

Manufacturers add trans fats in order to prolong the shelf life of many processed and packaged foods. They are also frequently used by fast food chains for deep frying. Trans fats are seriously bad news.

The moral of the story is that healthy fats make for a healthier you! Improved blood sugar, heart and brain health, and reduced risk for heart attack, stroke, even obesity. Fats are the key to living your healthiest life!

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/what-is-good-fat

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/trans-fat

 

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Artificial Sweeteners Do Not Contribute To Weight Loss https://diabetickitchen.com/artificial-sweeteners-do-not-contribute-to-weight-loss/ https://diabetickitchen.com/artificial-sweeteners-do-not-contribute-to-weight-loss/#respond Sun, 24 Feb 2019 20:47:40 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4372

The diet industry hauls in billions of dollars in profits each year. In the quest for perfection, many of us turn to calorie-counting in order to lose weight. This has made zero-calorie sweeteners explode in popularity. Nearly half of American adults consume artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. Not because of their taste, but for ...

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The diet industry hauls in billions of dollars in profits each year. In the quest for perfection, many of us turn to calorie-counting in order to lose weight. This has made zero-calorie sweeteners explode in popularity.

Nearly half of American adults consume artificial sweeteners on a daily basis. Not because of their taste, but for their lack of calories. However, research is now showing that not only do artificial sweeteners prevent weight loss, they can actually encourage weight gain!

Researchers at the University of Manitoba found that artificial, zero-calorie sweeteners had no consistent link to decreased body weight. Neither were there reductions in body mass index (BMI) or waist size. Instead, artificial sweeteners were linked to increased risk of weight gain. Yikes!

What causes the weight gain? Artificial sweeteners prompt ‘reward’ signals in the brain. Just like with real sugar, the brain can become dependent and crave more. This can lead to increased consumption of higher calorie foods, causing weight gain.

Our taste buds can be deadened by artificial sweeteners. They affect our sense of what tastes ‘sweet’ and what does not. We can then be more likely to consume foods that contain sugar, making it nearly impossible to manage diabetes.

Thirdly, individuals think that with a zero-calorie sweetener, they have calories to spare. This can encourage indulgence in foods (and portion sizes.) Quite frankly, packing on pounds has never sounded easier.

If you think you’re in the clear because you drink your coffee black without sweetener… think again. Do you drink diet soda?

Many diabetics turn to ‘diet’ sodas because they do not contain ‘sugar.’ However, research found no difference in diabetes risk between those who consumed the ‘diet’ drink and those who consumed a beverage sweetened with actual sugar.

Let’s state that again. There was no reduction in diabetes risk between individuals who consume sugar-sweetened drinks and those who consume artificially sweetened drinks. Instead, researchers found that those who drink artificially-sweetened beverages have double the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is an extremely dangerous condition consisting of high blood sugar, elevated blood pressure, unstable cholesterol levels, and excess body fat around the waist. Metabolic syndrome greatly increases one’s risk of heart attack, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Just one diet beverage per day triggered high blood pressure in women, and increased their risk for heart disease (the number one cause of death for women in the U.S.) Risk of heart attack was equal among those who drank traditional sugar sweetened beverages and those who drank artificially sweetened ones.

So with all of this research, how have artificial sweeteners remained so popular?  People still think they are making a ‘healthier choice.’ The happy, cheerfully colorful commercials certainly aren’t helping.

The manufacturers couldn’t be happier. They’ve spent millions in marketing their products as healthy alternatives to sugar. Their wallets are padded, while our risk for deadly heathy issues skyrockets. So, what’s the answer?

There are safe choices; natural zero-calorie sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit. The biggest key to long-term weight loss is simple – eat real food. Clean, quality foods make the true difference. One that artificial or ‘diet’ foods never could.

 

Sources:

https://www.livescience.com/64411-sugar-substitutes-health-benefits.html

 

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Can’t Eat One More Boring Salad? Mix Things Up! https://diabetickitchen.com/boring-salad-mix-things-up/ https://diabetickitchen.com/boring-salad-mix-things-up/#respond Mon, 11 Feb 2019 19:51:11 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4071

Ah, the salad. Perhaps the single food most associated with ‘eating healthy’ or ‘being on a diet.’ (Also known by many enthusiastic carnivores as an instrument of culinary torture.) While it’s true that salads can be healthful, there is absolutely no reason they have to be boring and tasteless. Salads can be exciting and delicious! ...

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Ah, the salad. Perhaps the single food most associated with ‘eating healthy’ or ‘being on a diet.’ (Also known by many enthusiastic carnivores as an instrument of culinary torture.) While it’s true that salads can be healthful, there is absolutely no reason they have to be boring and tasteless. Salads can be exciting and delicious!

Most salads start with a sad, bland base of iceberg or romaine lettuce. These popular salad greens have a high water content, but do not pack a powerful nutritional punch. The same goes for red and green leaf lettuce varieties, and butter lettuce – they’re mild tasting and versatile, but not very nutritious. Try enhancing those lettuces with a little spinach, kale, or arugula to increase flavor along with vitamin and mineral content.

Kale is all the rage, with its high levels of vitamins A, C, and K. Be mindful though, raw kale can be difficult to digest, especially if you aren’t used to eating it often. Start by mixing a small amount of kale into other greens, just to get your digestive system going.

Arugula is often thought of as a “garnish” green, but it can be so much more than that. It’s bright, peppery flavor really goes a long way in adding zip to your salad, and it’s an excellent source of fiber, protein, and a host of vitamins and minerals.

Yes, the base of any salad is the greens. While you can vary your greens for flavor and nutritional content, let’s be honest – it’s still considered lettuce by most of us. Add some out of the box ingredients, however, and you can start to elevate your salad game!

Toppings like tortilla chips or crispy noodles may sound like a delicious way to bring crunch and flavor to your salad, but resist the temptation! Toppings like this increase not only a salad’s carbohydrate content, but add sky high salt levels and potentially add harmful trans-fats, as well. The sprinkle of processed “cheese” over the top of that salad certainly doesn’t help matters either.

Instead try ingredients like julienned carrot to give that craveable crunch, and freshly shaved parmesan cheese for a nutty saltiness. Trust me, there are plenty of ways to impart flavor while keeping nutritional content high and blood sugar stable.

Veggie additions to your salad are seemingly endless: alfalfa sprouts, avocado, beets, bell pepper, black beans, broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, cucumbers, tomato, zucchini… the more crunch and color the better. Use this salad as an opportunity to branch out and try different ingredients! A new variety of cheese, some high-quality olives, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers… like in this family’s “Favorite Salad.”

On that note, salads aren’t just for vegetables – why not try topping your creation with fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries? Blow the socks off your next Potluck (or every day lunch!) with this Jicama Mango Salad With Cilantro and Lime.

Now, just because it’s a salad doesn’t mean it can’t have meat! It’s especially important for diabetics to include protein when constructing their salads. Baked chicken, grilled steak, even shrimp are all excellent protein options. Just give this Feta Salmon Salad a try!

If you aren’t a meat eater, add some tofu, garbanzo beans, nuts, or seeds to your salad. Nuts and seeds are excellent non-meat sources of protein (and a host of healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.) Healthy fats are all the rage these days, as studies continue to validate the importance of making them a bigger part of our diets. Just one quarter cup of walnuts provides more than the daily recommended amount of omega-3 fats.

For a true protein punch, try hemp seeds.  Believe it or not, the hemp seed is actually 30% protein. Better yet, that protein is of extremely high quality (better than most any other seed) and it’s what’s called “complete protein” – meaning the seeds contain all of the essential protein amino acids that your body cannot produce itself. With benefits like that, meat eaters should add nuts and seeds to their salads, too!

Now we enter into a point of contention for many folks – salad dressing. Is it Ranch, Blue Cheese, Thousand Island, or French? Or is a simple oil and vinegar more your style?

Did you know that the dressing you choose will make or break your salad? Those thick, creamy dressings are delicious, but can skyrocket the calorie content of your salad to that of a cheeseburger! Be very mindful of the sugar content in prepared and bottled dressings. As always, avoid the words “low-fat” as this equals “added-sugar.”

If you must have your store-bought dressing, be sure to enjoy it in an appropriate two tablespoon portion. Try dishing out the two tablespoons in a small bowl next to your salad plate. Dip each bite of your salad into the bowl, that way you get dressing in each bite and won’t feel deprived. Using this method, I can almost guarantee that you will eat your fill of dressing and still have some left over – much better than drowning your salad in dressing!

If you want to hop off of the store-bought dressing train, a simple homemade dressing really can be delicious. Olive oil with red wine vinegar, or with a little lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper will enhance, not hide, the freshness of your salad. Freshly chopped herbs like cilantro, parsley, basil, or mint make for a fantastic pop of flavor. Checking out this herb vinaigrette will make you consider a lifelong commitment to homemade dressings!

Speaking of lifelong commitments, we hope these tips, tricks, and recipes inspire you to mix things up, and give salads another shot. A salad shouldn’t have to settle for being a sad, unsatisfying diet food – it can be exciting and delicious!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.health.com/food/make-over-lunch

https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-best-worst-salads

 

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The Unexpected Way Sugar Can Make You Sick https://diabetickitchen.com/sugar-can-make-you-sick/ https://diabetickitchen.com/sugar-can-make-you-sick/#respond Sun, 03 Feb 2019 01:05:54 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3938

In recent years, scientific research has begun to reveal the true evils of sugar. Consuming sugar doesn’t just affect your pancreas, insulin, and blood sugar levels. It triggers elevations in blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart rate, as well. Sugar also has inflammatory properties – increasing risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, even some forms ...

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In recent years, scientific research has begun to reveal the true evils of sugar. Consuming sugar doesn’t just affect your pancreas, insulin, and blood sugar levels. It triggers elevations in blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart rate, as well. Sugar also has inflammatory properties – increasing risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, even some forms of cancer.

Sugar is scary stuff. Just looking at the list above should have us quitting it for good! Still need another reason to give up sugar? The sweet stuff may negatively affect the body’s immune system, specifically hindering the ability to fight off bacterial infections. Yet one more way sugar is making us sick… literally!

One important thing to note is that as a diabetic, high blood sugar is already compromising your immune system. Regardless of blood sugar, our immune systems also weaken as we age. Unfortunately, no one can avoid aging! However, there are ways to protect your immune system

Keeping blood sugar under control is a huge way to improve immune strength. If your body is less occupied by trying to keep your blood sugar at safe levels, it has more resources available to fight other things. Not only that, but by managing diabetes, you reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease, keeping the body healthier over time.

A restful night’s sleep does wonders for the immune system (and for your sanity!) Aim for 7-9 hours every night. Speaking of rest, that includes resting the spirit every once in a while. By practicing relaxation techniques like yoga, prayer, or mediation we can lower the toll on our minds and bodies.

Moderate exercise also helps to keep the immune system stronger. Even if it’s a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, every little bit helps. Smoking devastates the body as a whole, but especially the immune system. If you smoke – quit; if you don’t smoke – don’t start!

If someone in your group of friends or family is sick, stay away. It can be difficult, especially if you are the caregiver for that person. If you must be physically close to someone who is ill, be sure to wear a mask, do not share food or drinks, and keep your surroundings sanitized. (This is as much for their immune protection as it is for yours!)

While those immune-boosting tips may not sound like a lot of fun, here’s one that should appeal to everyone– eat. It’s true! Certain foods can build up the immune system and help to keep you well.

Did you immediately think of an orange, or orange juice? Vitamin C has long held a reputation for helping to fend off sickness. Scientists believe that Vitamin C increases the number of white blood cells in the bloodstream. These white blood cells fight infection and other free radicals in the body. Popular citrus fruits that don’t affect most diabetics include: lemons, limes and grapefruits. The human body does not produce its own Vitamin C, so enjoy a little every day to help prevent illness.

Did you know that 80% of the body’s immune system is located in the gut? This means that probiotics can help you fend off all sorts of illnesses, from the common cold to the flu. You can take a daily probiotic supplement, or get them by eating fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi.

Garlic packs not only powerful flavor, but also a serious immune-boosting punch. In one study, 146 people received either a placebo or a garlic extract supplement for 12 weeks; those individuals who were given the garlic were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold. Amazing!

Used for thousands of years in traditional Asian medicine, mushrooms are another highly beneficial food for the immune system, and the body as a whole. These natural disease-fighters increase white blood cell production and performance, helping to defend against infection. Some mushrooms also contain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that fight bacteria like strep and staph.

The Selenium found in shellfish such as oysters, lobsters, crabs, and clams, helps improve the body’s production of cytokines—proteins that help flush toxins and infections from the body. The Omega-3 fats found in salmon, herring, and mackerel help to reduce inflammation in the body. This improves your ability to breathe deeply and protects your lungs from respiratory infections.

You can drink your way to improved immunity, as well. One Havard study found that participants who drank 5 cups of black tea every day for two weeks had ten times more interferon (a virus-fighting protein in the blood) than the participants who drank a placebo beverage. The amino acid, L-theanine, responsible for tea’s immune benefit can be found in black and green teas. (You can skip the caffeine if you prefer; L-theanine is also found in the decaffeinated versions of these teas.)

Quitting sugar (and the refined carbohydrate products that hide it) will improve not only immune health, but overall health. Sugar holds absolutely no nutritional benefit whatsoever, only wreaking havoc on the body and causing chronic disease. With so many delicious alternatives, we doubt you’ll even miss it! The equation is simple – subtracting sugar equals better health.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/prevention/does-sugar-really-suppress-the-immune-system?page=1

 

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Healthier Food – Larger Portions https://diabetickitchen.com/healthier-food-larger-portions/ https://diabetickitchen.com/healthier-food-larger-portions/#respond Wed, 28 Nov 2018 23:12:53 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4235

Science has confirmed that when humans are presented with more food, we consume more food. This phenomenon has been dubbed by some as the ‘portion size effect.’ Believe it or not, when portion sizes are doubled, individuals consume an average of 35% more food! Being aware of portion size has been viewed in the past ...

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Science has confirmed that when humans are presented with more food, we consume more food. This phenomenon has been dubbed by some as the ‘portion size effect.’ Believe it or not, when portion sizes are doubled, individuals consume an average of 35% more food!

Being aware of portion size has been viewed in the past as a necessity in order to avoid negative consequences. But what if increasing portion size could lead to a positive result instead?

If we tend to consume more when faced with larger portions of unhealthy foods, what about healthy ones? If we increased the portion size of a healthful food item, would we eat more of it?

One study set out to find the answer. Researchers supplied 153 college students with large or small portions of potato chips or dried apple chips. The students who received the larger portions ate significantly more – even those who received the apple chips.

These results demonstrate that increased portion size is connected to increased consumption, whether the food is consider ‘healthy’ or not. Therefore, increasing portion sizes of the right foods may help encourage us to eat more healthfully.

Parents and grandparents, double up on those green beans for the kiddos and hope for the best! Joking aside, there are plenty of foods that you can enjoy in larger portions without guilt. Not only that, but by eating those foods, you are positively contributing to your health, even lowering your blood sugar. Here are a few diabetic-friendly favorites and delicious ways to use them!

Truly one of the most super of the super-foods, avocados offer countless health benefits. Their good fats fuel both brain and body, and their high fiber content keeps blood sugar more stable over time. It doesn’t get better than this recipe for the “Best Guacamole Ever!”

Broccoli, a treasured childhood favorite. Maybe your mom had the right idea with that whole “Just eat it, it’s good for you” thing. Broccoli’s vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate help to improve memory, and its high fiber content stabilizes blood sugar and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Forget limp broccoli blanketed with “cheese”; broccoli is at its best when added to recipes like Mama Lisa’s Coleslaw. Just shred raw broccoli stalks and mix in, or buy a bag of “broccoli slaw” from your local grocery and follow the recipe from there.

Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a heart-healthy power protein. These fatty acids also keep your brain running in tip-top shape, improving cognition, memory, and focus. These same fatty acids also help prevent the development of cancer cells and have even been shown to kill them. While salmon is delicious with a simple slice of lemon, try this irresistible Sesame-Soy Salmon.

Nuts are great for your health. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, are all excellent choices. Just be sure to choose as many raw, unsalted varieties as possible. The high levels of protein, healthy fats and fiber in nuts all contribute to lower, more stable blood sugar. Be it peanut, almond, or even cashew – add some delicious nut butter to your favorite cookie recipe!

Garlic has been extensively studied for its many health-giving abilities. Research is starting to suggest that it may even show promise for lowering blood sugar. A 2005 study which administered garlic orally to diabetic rats recorded significant decreases in blood glucose. Researchers also found that garlic can lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increase insulin production. These rich, deliciously creamy Garlic ‘Mock’ Mashed Potatoes will be the hit of the family’s next holiday meal. Instead of potatoes, this recipe uses cauliflower. Bet someone 10 bucks that they can’t tell you the secret ingredient. You’ll win that bet every time because no way is anyone going to guess these taters are actually cauliflower!

Speaking of holiday meals – let’s talk pumpkin… seriously! Believe it or not, pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber. This makes it an especially ideal ingredient for diabetics, as fiber helps to maintain lower blood sugar.

Freshly cooked pumpkin is always the best option. Be wary of canned pumpkin, as it can contain added sugars. Stay far away from canned pumpkin pie filling as it is packed with sugar. Oh, and absolutely no Pumpkin Spice Mocha Choca Lattes – 50 grams of sugar in a medium-size!

Never fear, you can still have fries. Could it be true? Yes, pumpkin fries are real… and really delicious! Don’t miss this quick and easy recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Fries. Still yearning for something sweet? DK Pumpkin Souffled Pancakes are the perfect way to enjoy the fall flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon – and they won’t raise your blood sugar!

How about that? Did you ever think there could be scientific evidence in favor of eating more food? Just make sure you’re dishing up a second helping of the right foods. Choose those high in fiber and healthy fats to keep your belly full and your blood sugar low. Bon Appetit!

 

 

Source:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323563.php

 

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What’s Really In Our Food? The Hidden Ingredients To Watch For https://diabetickitchen.com/hidden-ingredients-to-watch-for/ https://diabetickitchen.com/hidden-ingredients-to-watch-for/#respond Fri, 16 Nov 2018 16:43:13 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=3979

You’re off to the grocery store! You’ve made your shopping list and are confident you’ll be bringing home healthy, nutritious foods for your family. But there could be ingredients hiding inside the foods on your shopping list that are not simply harmful… they could be deadly. The first hidden ingredient on our list is of ...

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You’re off to the grocery store! You’ve made your shopping list and are confident you’ll be bringing home healthy, nutritious foods for your family. But there could be ingredients hiding inside the foods on your shopping list that are not simply harmful… they could be deadly.

The first hidden ingredient on our list is of utmost importance to diabetics. Sugar is hiding in places you may never expect. Condiments like barbecue sauce, ketchup, and spaghetti sauce all contain sugar. Even ‘healthy foods’ like fruit juices and yogurt contain amounts of sugar that can be dangerous for diabetics to consume.

The words ‘Sugar’ and ‘Added Sugar’ may appear on nutritional labels, but don’t forget to check the ingredient list, as well. Some manufacturers try to hide the sugar in their products under different names: corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, maltose, maltodextrin. All of these are forms of sugar, and all are detrimental to your health.

To keep calorie content down, many manufacturers now use artificial sweeteners in their products instead of real sugar. That does not make those foods healthier choices. Science is now showing us that artificial sweeteners could be just as harmful to the body as real sugar. Aspartame, saccharin, and acesulfame are all names for artificial sugar and can wreak havoc in the body.

The next sneaky hidden ingredient is salt. A recent study revealed the top 5 “saltiest foods” in the U.S. While these foods may not be the ones that immediately come to mind, they are responsible for almost half of the salt most people consume on a daily basis. The number one saltiest offender was bread, pizza came in second, sandwiches ranked third, cold cuts and cured meats came in fourth, and soup rounded out the list as the fifth saltiest food in the U.S.

Most people say, “What about potato chips, pretzels, etc.?” Shockingly, potato chips and other salty snacks are not listed in the top five, (but they came close with a ranking of 7.) Some of the other foods included in the saltiest foods list were bacon, condiments like salad dressing and ketchup, French fries, cereals, cheeses, frozen meals, seasoning mixes, and sauces like barbeque and Worcestershire.

New research has found that Americans consume about 3,400 mg of salt daily. That’s more than double the American Heart Association’s “ideal” intake of 1,500 mg daily. A whopping 61% of the salt consumed daily in the U.S. comes from prepared foods and restaurant meals. The best way to reduce sodium is to cook your own food at home and avoid prepackaged, processed and prepared foods.

Speaking of processed foods, our next hidden ingredients are sodium nitrates and nitrites. They are preservatives used in the processing of salty meats like sausage, bacon, and deli cuts. Research has shown that consuming too much of these foods increases one’s risk of developing heart disease and even cancer.

While you can find dry-aged bacon made without nitrates, you’re best served fulfilling your meat cravings with high-quality fresh meats and seafood. When shopping for beef, look for the words “grass-fed.” For poultry and eggs, look for “free-range.” The packaging should also designate that the meat was raised without hormones and antibiotics. When purchasing fish, it is important to look for the words “wild-caught.” This designates that the fish was caught in its own habitat, and not harvested from a farm.

Let’ talk trans fats – our next hidden ingredient. Trans fats are not simply undesirable… they are deadly. Highly associated with heart disease and insulin resistance, trans fats are bad news. When you see the words ‘partially hydrogenated oil’ on a food label, put it back on the shelf. It contains trans fats.

Deep-fried foods and processed foods like chips, crackers, and cookies are the worst offenders. If you’re using shortening or margarine, trans fats are hiding there too. Throw out that nasty fake stuff and get yourself some real butter! It tastes better, and is far better for your blood sugar (and overall health.)

Don’t let the dangers of trans fat scare you away from all fats. It’s important to consume fats, but they must be the right ones. Research has shown that eating a diet rich in good fats lowers risk for heart disease, obesity and type II diabetes complications.  According to several studies, it is not the amount of fat you eat that affects health, it is the type of fat.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are two “good fats.” These fats have been found to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels, therefore, reducing risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated fats can be found in a variety of nuts, as well as in avocado, peanut butter, and olive oil. Polyunsaturated fats, also known as omega-3 fatty acids, can be found in walnuts, and in fish like salmon and mackerel.

Have you picked up on the single thing these hidden ingredients have in common? They are most likely to be found in foods that have been processed. Hiding sugar, salt, preservatives, and deadly trans fats, these foods do your health no favors. Your body needs none of those things in order to function.

In fact, your body will function infinitely better without those ingredients. This in turn lowers insulin and blood sugar levels. Staying far away from these harmful hidden ingredients and instead eating clean vegetables, fruits, meats and dairy can have a truly transformative effect on blood sugar and overall health.

 

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/ingredients-to-watch-for

 

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Lower Blood Sugar With These Delicious Fall Super-Foods! https://diabetickitchen.com/lower-blood-sugar-with-these-delicious-fall-super-foods/ https://diabetickitchen.com/lower-blood-sugar-with-these-delicious-fall-super-foods/#comments Thu, 01 Nov 2018 15:52:02 +0000 https://diabetickitchen.com/?p=4127

Ah, fall. The leaves are turning color, the air is cooling, and some seriously delicious foods are now in season. Let’s review a few of these super-foods and how they can benefit blood sugar. And check out a few recipe ideas perfect for making the most of these fall flavors! While it’s true you can ...

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Ah, fall. The leaves are turning color, the air is cooling, and some seriously delicious foods are now in season. Let’s review a few of these super-foods and how they can benefit blood sugar. And check out a few recipe ideas perfect for making the most of these fall flavors!

While it’s true you can have cinnamon year-round, its scent is guaranteed to plunge you straight into a fall state of mind! It is such an amazing super-food, it’s first on our list. Diabetics in particular can benefit from cinnamon.

Research has found that cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon does this by slowing the absorption of glucose into the blood stream. This contributes not only to lower blood sugar, but also helps to keep sugar levels steady over longer periods of time.

Bonus benefit – cinnamon is also jam-packed with antioxidants (41 to be precise.) Cinnamon comes in at number seven in a list of the world’s most antioxidant-rich foods.

You can add cinnamon to any number of recipes, not just desserts! Spicy Veggie Hash and Spiced Butternut Squash Soup are two fantastic savory ways to enjoy the sweet and spicy kick of cinnamon.

Full of fiber, water and antioxidants, the cauliflower is vastly underrated from both a nutrition and flavor standpoint. Forget boring steamed cauliflower – we’re talking flavor here people! Open your eyes (and your mouth) to cauliflower’s potential.

Cauliflower is a diamond in the rough when it comes to hacking your favorite indulgent foods. What would you give to enjoy some fried rice, pizza, or macaroni and cheese right now? No lies… just cauliflower.

The next time you get a craving for Chinese take-out, put down the phone and try this recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice instead. It has bacon. Who doesn’t want to eat fried rice with bacon? And shrimp!

To make cauliflower 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! It’s so fast and easy, you’ll be chowing down long before the pizza delivery driver could even make it to your house.

Now for the big guns. Macaroni and cheese – the quintessential food of childhood, am I right? This recipe for Almost Mac-N-Cheese will be a family favorite for generations! (No kidding, it’s seriously that good.)

Believe it or not, Brussels sprouts are a super-food! They are full of fiber, making them an excellent veggie choice for diabetics. Brussels sprouts also contain alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that’s been researched extensively for its potential effects on blood sugar and insulin levels. Simply roasted with garlic or baked into a casserole with cheese and bacon, veggies don’t get much better. Even if you consider yourself scarred for life after being forced to eat them as a child, give Brussels sprouts another chance.

Many diabetics may think that due to high blood sugar, they can’t enjoy the delicious fall flavor of pumpkin. It’s true that the now-infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte is out of the question (with a whopping 50 grams of sugar in a medium-sized serving!)

Pumpkin itself is actually quite good for your health. One cup of cooked pumpkin contains double your daily minimum intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A is crucial not only for healthy eyes, but also for skin, hair, and bone growth. In close relation to vitamin A is the beta-carotene that gives the pumpkin its beautiful orange color. New research is revealing that beta-carotene may give the pumpkin possible cancer-fighting properties!

Pumpkin is also an excellent source of fiber. This makes it an especially ideal ingredient for diabetics, as fiber helps to maintain lower blood sugar. Having trouble envisioning a diabetic-friendly use for the pumpkin?

Not all pumpkins have to become pies! With just 4 net carbs, every member of the family can enjoy these Pumpkin Bars at Thanksgiving dinner. Or this recipe for flavorful Turkey Pumpkin Chili ; it’ll warm you from the inside out on those cool fall nights.  If you are in the mood for pancakes … here is a recipe for Pumpkin Souffled Pancakes. 

With this next fall favorite, it turns out diabetics don’t have to say goodbye to pasta after all! Spaghetti squash is a great low-carb alternative to traditional spaghetti. Not only does it contain plenty of fiber, but omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B and C, folic acid, potassium, and beta carotene.

While spaghetti squash is delicious simply roasted in the oven and pulled with a fork, don’t miss out on this indulgent low-carb Million Dollar Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

Now, let’s talk about an amazing replacement for potatoes. The turnip is quite the nutritious root. Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation. This may decrease the risk of inflammation-related conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

This Food Network recipe for roasted turnips would make a fantastic side dish for your next steak. Or if you want to keep things more casual, go for these hot and crispy Turnip Fries!

While fall may be fleeting, your new-found love for these super-foods is sure to warm your heart until next year. Isn’t it amazing that we can lower blood sugar and heal diabetes by eating delicious foods like these? Happy Fall y’all!

 

 

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/10-fall-superfoods-add-your-menu-right-now-ncna804666

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284815.php

https://www.bewell.com/6-delicious-reasons-to-eat-more-spaghetti-squash

 

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