Diabetes is a chronic disease, in which a person has too much sugar, also known as glucose, in their blood stream. This buildup of sugar is caused in one of two ways; either the body is not producing enough insulin, which moves the glucose from the bloodstream, to your body’s muscle, fat and liver, in order to supply fuel to your body, or the glucose is resistant to, or in other words, not responding to the insulin. Insulin is actually a hormone, which is produced in the pancreas, and people with diabetes, either produce too much insulin, or they are resistant to the insulin that is produced.
The manner, in which sugar enters into your bloodstream, is through your diet. Sugar enters into your bloodstream during digestion. Your liver also stores glucose, and releases it, when it is needed by your body. When you have diabetes, your diet is extremely important to controlling the amount of sugar that is in your bloodstream. Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains will help you to reduce the level of sugar in your bloodstream. Reducing the intake of fatty meats and sweets will be essential.
When cooking for a person that has diabetes, you will want to remember that you will still be able to create delicious and nutritious meals. These meals will not only benefit the person with diabetes, they will also benefit the entire family. Before your actual cooking begins, you will probably want to revise your shopping list. Many people consider meat to be the main focus of any meal, when in fact; a plant based diet is actually a more healthy choice, not only for the diabetic, but for any one. However, choosing meats that are leaner is definitely a step in the right direction. Purchase select cuts of meats instead of prime, and be certain to use extra lean ground beef. Limit red meat to four ounce portions, only three times a week. Try replacing ground beef with ground chicken or turkey, and eat fish and/or seafood twice a week. Chicken and pork are also good alternatives to beef. Try to limit or eliminate meats that are processed, such as hot dogs, deli meats and ham.
Be sure to include an abundant amount of fruits and vegetables, making them the center of attention, instead of the meat. Cooking with cooking spray, olive or canola oil is a much healthier way of cooking, than using butter. Steam your vegetable or put them in a grill basket, on the grill. Broiling or grilling meats and vegetables, not only makes them taste great, it also lowers the amount of fat and calories, in your prepared food. Using herbs and spices will help you to reduce the amount of salt, and removing the skin off of chicken or turkey will help you to eliminate fat. All of these tips will help to control the sugar in the bloodstream, which is important, if you have diabetes.
Learning to cook without using large amounts of fat is not as difficult as it may seem. There are an abundant amount of low-fat choices, which you can substitute without compromising flavor. Look for low-fat cheeses, skim and evaporated milk and low fat, or non-fat yogurt. All of these items may be used when making a dish that calls for sauces or gravies. Try to use fresh vegetables as opposed to canned, but when canned vegetables are the only option, be certain to rinse them, before eating them, or adding them to your recipes.
If you feel that diabetes is going to end the enjoyment of baking and eating sweets, you are mistaken. There are several sugar substitutes that are available, that replace the sugar in your favorite cookies, cakes and pies. Of course, you will not want to overindulge your intake of sweets, even though they do not contain sugar. Pies made from fresh fruit, a whole wheat crust and a sugar substitute may be an excellent substitute for cookies and cakes.
Just because you, or someone that you love has diabetes, does not mean that you will go through life, never enjoying another meal. Look at cooking for a person with diabetes as an adventure into a whole new way of eating and preparing foods. Diabetic cookbooks and websites are plentiful and you will find many delicious and nutritious meals and dishes, from which to plan your menus. You will discover new and exciting ways to prepare the same old foods, which you have been eating for years. You will find that eating a diet that is low in sugar and carbohydrates, and high in fruits, grains, legumes and vegetables will not only keep you healthy, it will also increase your energy level , and immune system.