Got this from my www.webmd.com diabetes newsletter and thought it might be helpful…
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Eating Well With Diabetes
Stock Your Kitchen for Diabetes Health
Have diabetes? Here are key foods to stock for healthy cooking and snacks.
By Jeanie Lerche Davis
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 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
* 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."
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."
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