Stock Your Kitchen For Diabetetes Health

By startwynles58 Latest Reply 2010-01-31 11:17:06 -0600
Started 2010-01-20 16:29:00 -0600

Stock Your Kitchen for Diabetes Health
Have diabetes? Here are key foods to stock for healthy cooking and snacks.
By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

Healthy cooking and snacking means having the right foods on hand. Whether you're preparing the evening's dinner, fixing a brown-bag lunch, or grabbing breakfast, you can stick with your diabetes meal plan if the right foods are in the pantry or fridge.

"I believe in leading people toward smart fats and lots of fiber to keep blood sugar balanced — and to prevent heart disease," says Elaine Magee, MPH, RD. Magee is the "Recipe Doctor" for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic and author of Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Diabetes.

Magee's pantry holds lots of beans, high-fiber pastas, and grains. In the fridge: fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products because they contain important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Need a little help with ideas for stocking your own kitchen? Here are some of our experts' suggestions:

Foods for a Diabetes-Friendly Pantry:

* Canned beans: Garbanzo, pinto, black, red kidney, navy beans.
* Whole-grain pasta.
* Grains: Brown rice, barley, oats.
* Cereals: Fiber One, Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Kix.
* Diet, light, low-carb whole-wheat: bread, pancake mix, tortillas.
* Chocolate treats: Cocoa Via Crispy Chocolate Bar; Cocoa Via Chocolate Snack Bars; Cocoa Via Chocolate Blueberry Snack Bar.
* Water-packed tuna, chicken breast, and salmon (canned or pouch).
* Canola and extra-virgin olive oil and cooking sprays.
* Low-salt canned tomatoes, tomato soup, broth-based vegetable soups, V-8 juice, tomato juice, Diet V-8 Splash.
* Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop popcorn (snack-size bags).
* Ritz Chips crackers.
* Reduced-sugar jams, jellies, pancake syrups.

Fare for a Diabetes-Friendly Fridge:

* Fresh fruits: Berries, cherries, oranges, tangerines, peaches, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, plums, watermelon, peaches, melons.
* Fresh vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, cucumber, Romaine lettuce, mushrooms, radishes, snow peas, sugar snap peas, cabbage, carrots, green beans, asparagus, garlic, tomatoes, small sweet potatoes, small russet potatoes, edamame (soy beans).
* Low-fat salad dressings.
* Low-fat dairy: 1% or 2% cheese like Baby Bell or Laughing Cow; string cheese (part-skim mozzarella); fat-free sugar-free yogurt; skim or 1% milk; I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray; Butter Buds.
* Fresh lean protein:
o Boneless skinless chicken breast
o Turkey loin
o Ground turkey white meat
o Laura's Lean 4% fat ground beef
o Pork tenderloin
o Beef: fillet, flank steak
o Eggs
o Salmon
o Tofu
o Meat-substitute/soy products.

If fresh produce isn't always practical for you, stock up on canned or frozen.

Stocking a Diabetes-Friendly Freezer:

* Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries.
* Green Giant Select:
o Broccoli florets
o Broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
o Broccoli, carrots, and water chestnuts
o Sugar snap peas
o Whole green peas
o Spinach
* Birds Eye:
o Pepper stir fry
o Sugar snap stir fry
o Seven vegetable stir fry
o Szechwan vegetables in sesame sauce
o Winter blend vegetables and cheese sauce
* Frozen lean protein: salmon, tuna, tilapia, orange roughy; Louis Rich, Butterball or Jenni-O turkey sausage; egg substitutes.
* Ground flaxseed (sprinkle over fruit, breakfast cereal, yogurt, smoothies, sandwich spreads for extra omega-3 fatty acids).

Spicing Up a Diabetes-Friendly Spice Rack:

* Spice rubs for meat and seafood.
* Garlic and onion powders, not salts.
* Mrs. Dash; Mr. Dash.

And when you're shopping for all these goodies, it's critical that you read food labels for carbohydrate, salt, and fat content, says Dianne Davis, RD, LDN, CDE, a dietitian with the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center in Nashville, Tenn. "There is a wide range of nutritional value in many products, and you have to choose carefully. That's why I give specific recommendations on products."
Have diabetes? Here are key foods to stock for healthy cooking and snacks.
The Truth About Sugar-Free

If you're buying 'sugar-free' products, be careful, Davis tells WebMD. "Label-reading is very important. Compared to the regular version, a sugar-free product might have similar calories — or it may have even more calories." And foods with labels like sugar-free, no sugar added, reduced sugar, still may contain carbohydrates. Read the nutritional fact label and look for total carbohydrates.

Products with low-calorie sweeteners like Splenda, Nutrasweet, and Sweet'N Low are generally good choices — but still require label-reading, Davis tells WebMD. "Those sweeteners don't contain carbs, but the product itself may contain carbs. For example, ice cream sweetened with Splenda still has carbs from the milk." So again, the bottom line: how many carb grams does the food have?

Davis says to be wary of sorbitol (and other sugar alcohols), an artificial sweetener often used in sugar-free products and one which can cause diarrhea in some people. "It can be awful," says Davis.

Magee isn't a fan of sugar-free products either. She prefers reduced-sugar products, like jams or pancake syrups. "They contain less sugar or diluted sugar, so there are about 50% fewer calories. And they taste pretty good, so you don't feel like you're compromising."

20 replies

larry A
larry A 2010-01-29 16:14:45 -0600 Report

while it is important to keep your house stocked for diabetis I also belive that you need to stock some of the normal staples for loved ones who may not be keen to the diabetic meal lifestyle. I have ice cream and other sweets in the house but do not desire them as my family does. I like to have custard instead of ice cream although I am not sure there is much difference in them as far as sugars and carbs. If any one out there knows the difference of these in comparison to each other I would greatly appreciate this info.

MAYS 2010-01-29 18:37:15 -0600 Report

Frozen custard is a cold dessert similar to ice cream, made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar. It typically contains 10% milkfat and 1.4% egg yolk.

Depending on the type of milk used and how much sugar and\or other sweetners are used will determine the amount of calories present, a bigger concern should be the amount of cholesterol content due to the cream and egg yolks. ( I hope that this is helpful ) !

dietcherry 2010-01-21 10:20:42 -0600 Report

Thank you for sharing this! I often forget to choose some of these healthy foods because of all the junk in the grocery store crowding out the good for you stuff! As far as sorbitol and maltitol: yes, they should come with a roll of toilet paper! ;) Renee

Safe 2010-01-21 14:07:28 -0600 Report

Hey Hey…that Sorbital, Malitol stuff is great if you're constipated !!!!! I too have found that the low fat ice creams have no more carbs than the so-called Sugar Free and they don't impace my bathroom visits.

dietcherry 2010-01-21 14:44:44 -0600 Report

You have a good point! LOL

dietcherry 2010-01-28 18:17:28 -0600 Report

AddassaMari, a day without ice cream is a day not worth living! I have to have it with nuts already in it or sprinkled on top-the sweet and salty is the Bomb! Renee :)

CeeLou 2010-01-28 18:59:01 -0600 Report

Yummy, ice cream with salty peanuts on top sounds perfect right about now! I've been pretty good all day so I can have a small scoop. Moderation is key!!

dietcherry 2010-01-28 20:25:00 -0600 Report

Yes, unfortunately i can't crawl into a big bowl of ice cream and wade around! LOL But a little goes a long way! Renee :)

CeeLou 2010-01-29 11:18:35 -0600 Report

hahaha, I just got a hilarious visual of you holding the side of a giant ice cream bowl, kicking your feet wearing a snorkeling mask!! Too cute:)

AddassaMari 2010-01-20 22:39:06 -0600 Report

Nice article. You should post it in the articles section. Great list for stocking any kitchen.

We don't do canned goods, we eat lots of fresh fruits & veggies, and don't keep more than 2 days of food on hand.

Sounds expensive to shop almost everyday, but it cuts down on waste and spoilage and we get to add new things almost every shopping trip.

GabbyPA 2010-01-20 18:44:53 -0600 Report

This is a great place to start...if you can grow any of this yourself, you will do even better. They hide HFC in everything now a days.....

AddassaMari 2010-01-20 22:32:29 -0600 Report

I don't eat pre-packaged/processed foods, except breads, cheeses, and some meats, but I take if that HFC=high fructose corn syrup, or does it mean something else?

Harlen 2010-01-20 17:28:14 -0600 Report

Theres a lot on this list I cant have at all
Nice dream list

jayabee52 2010-01-20 20:16:16 -0600 Report

Like Harlen there's a lot on this list I can't have either.

I have chronic kidney disease and so does my bride, so a many of the foods mentioned here is a no-no for us. However it looks good to me from a diabetic diet standpoint

ptsparkle 2010-01-20 16:39:59 -0600 Report

Hope you copied and pasted. let me know when you would like to go shopping for me!! lol; Thanks for sharing

Next Discussion: Multivitamin and Energy »