If your doctor has advised you to ease off the salt shaker, you might be wondering why. The answer is sodium, a mineral found mainly in salt. “Too much sodium in a person’s diet can increase their blood pressure, raising their risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease,” says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, author of Diabetes Cookbook & Meal Plan for the Newly Diagnosed.
COVID-19 is causing closures, quarantine, and “social distancing” protocols across the nation. For many, this means cooking more meals at home, and possibly limited access to grocery stores. The good news is that homemade meals are often healthier than eating out—you can control exactly how much butter, salt, etc. goes into your meal. Read on for more tips making healthy meals at home.
When you can’t find exactly what you need at the store, it’s important to find flexible recipes where you can easily sub in different vegetables, proteins, and grains, depending on what you have on hand.
Things like stir-fry, soups, stews, frittatas, and meatloaf are versatile dishes that can use almost any combination of vegetables, protein, and grains.
When putting together a meal, use the Diabetes Plate Method to build balanced meals with appropriate portion sizes.
Filling half your plate with vegetables will provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals you need to stay healthy. Any vegetables will do—fresh, frozen, or canned.
A small portion of protein in one quarter of your plate is all you need to stay full and satisfied. Choose lean proteins that are low in saturated fat like chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of beef and pork.
Finish off your meal by filling one quarter of your plate with a carb-rich food like whole grains, beans, starchy vegetables like potatoes or corn, or fruit. Limiting carb foods to one quarter of your plate helps keep portions in check to prevent spikes in blood glucose.
You can use this same formula when putting together mixed dishes like soup or casserole—it should be made up of mostly vegetables, one quarter protein, and one quarter carb foods.
Browse our collection of Easy Pantry Recipes for ideas and inspiration. Get creative in the kitchen and test out subbing different vegetables, grains, proteins, and flavoring depending on what you have on hand.