Stock Your Kitchen for Diabetes Health (from WebMD)

By imsuzie2 Latest Reply 2011-03-13 13:50:15 -0500
Started 2010-01-23 04:07:06 -0600

Got this from my diabetes newsletter and thought it might be helpful…

Article Link:
WebMD Home next page Diabetes Health Center next page Eating Well With Diabetes

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
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."
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."

17 replies

MewElla 2011-03-13 13:50:15 -0500 Report

Overall this is a good list of the things to keep handy in the pantry, however, some of the items don't work for me with the bg#'s.

Antique-Dave 2010-01-26 10:28:55 -0600 Report

I saw a few things that are not on my list but not much, my diet is pretty flexible and I'm maintaining a BGL average between 104-124 this winter, my last A1C in September was 5.7

For some this list is bad news and for others not so much. Your mileage may vary

imsuzie2 2010-01-27 03:42:24 -0600 Report

Great job, Dave. It all boils down to finding what works for you. I will take this list when I finally get in my diabetes education refresher class to see what the RD has to say. Should be interesting. S2

imsuzie2 2010-01-23 20:21:01 -0600 Report

I thought the suggestions were ok. On the veggies, if the fiber content is over 5, it reduces the carb count. They still say to read labels. Have I been doing things wrong all these years? I do use Dreamfield's pastas tho…maybe if I were more of a cook I would know this…

Kirla 2010-01-23 20:47:04 -0600 Report

Some suggestions where ok and some weren’t.

How is your A1C and blood sugar readings. If your readings are above A1C 6.5 then maybe you need to rethink your plan.

My A1C last February was 14.1 and last week it was 5.4. I did it by testing before and after each meal. Any food that spiked my blood sugar more than 30-40 points I stopped eating.

Some diabetics can has more carbs than others. I personally can’t eat any food that has more than 5-6 net carbs per serving. They all spike my blood sugar.

If you don’t test what you eat, you should at least start doing some extra testing, to see how the foods you eat, are spiking your blood sugar. I started by testing before and 2 hours after each meal. After my blood sugars came down a lot, I decided to test 1 hour after eating. Most of the time it’s under 110.

Good luck

r1d2 2011-03-13 13:32:27 -0500 Report

That's great Kevin. What meds are you on?



Kirla 2011-03-13 13:43:24 -0500 Report

I took the following for about 7 weeks when first diagnosed. 500mg Metformin twice a day, 10mg Lisinopril, 40mg Simvastatin and 81mg Aspirin once a day. Haven’t had to take any since the end of April 2009. Hoping to be able to do this meds free for a very long time. I have read about a lot of people who have been meds free for over 10 year.

imsuzie2 2010-01-23 20:52:48 -0600 Report

My last A1c was 12/31 and it was 6.0. My doc thinks I am in great control, and the only thing that was a little off was either LDL or HDL at 107 and he would like it at 100. But still in range if I was not diabetic. Thanks for the advice, Kevin.

Kirla 2010-01-23 21:06:09 -0600 Report

Your doing great. Keep doing what your doing. Its working for you. But it might not work for everyone. Not every one is like us and most are having problems. I believe that most people can do good also, if they make just a few small changes. And follow there meter.

imsuzie2 2010-01-23 21:17:30 -0600 Report

Kev, some have secondary conditions which also effect their diabetes, so even tho they are eating and exercising better than I am, their other conditions or meds get in the way. I have a type 2 friend at work who developed Addison's and that throws her diabetes all over the place. Trying to get her in the community…before she was diagnosed with the Addison's, she was in such tight control…tested 2 to 4 times in her 10 hr shift (she used to be able to work 4 tens…) and since the onset of the Addison's she has been out for short-term disability several times, been hospitalized, needs O2 sometimes and says her bs runs about 200 on a good day. And she is so good about diet and exercise. So, sometimes the body works against us even when we do all the right things. Hugs

Cricket Crafter
Cricket Crafter 2010-01-23 23:09:59 -0600 Report

I think that is my husbands problem as well, and I am trying to tell him that with the multiple conditions (including diabetes) and the meds he's taking it is much harder to control his levels. Even taking meds at different times of the day, but I believe once we find the right foods for him and get him a little better regulated, he may feel better. The last couple of months his A1C was over 9 and his bs readings 250 and up consistently.\
I know we can work at it and make him better.

Kirla 2010-01-23 08:39:18 -0600 Report

Great post if you’re not Diabetic. I found that eating lots of fresh low carb vegetables and drinking lots of water will do me the most good. I eat meat a lot, mostly chicken breast.

I keep my carbs below 100 grams per day. It’s helped my blood sugar go from the 200-300 range to about normal levels. Most mornings it’s in the low 80’s and most 1 hour post meals it’s under 110.

Cricket Crafter
Cricket Crafter 2010-01-23 14:51:51 -0600 Report

I am glad to know that I am not the only one that felt this list was more harmful than good. I did not know quite how to say it nicely. Thanks guys for your posts

SkipT 2010-01-23 07:46:56 -0600 Report

Sorry to disagree; but for us low carbers here that list is a disaster. Too many foods with to many carbs.

Cricket Crafter
Cricket Crafter 2010-01-23 07:22:45 -0600 Report

Wow, I have to say that some of these foods, especially in the canned section and others as well do not meet the standards for the diabetic cooking I have been doing.
I have read a lot of cans, and while maybe for a little salad topper (meaning a tablespoon or so) most of these items are not that healthy

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