How to make delicious, healthy meals while living with diabetes | Boomtown

In Missouri, an estimated 516,000 adults had a doctor-diagnosed diabetes in 2020, according to the Missouri Diabetes Report.

Diabetes risk increases with age, according to the report, but is not significantly dependent on sex or race.

Diabetes is the result of the body’s inability to properly regulate blood sugar levels due to a lack of insulin. Individuals can treat diabetes with regular shots of insulin, which helps keep blood sugar levels normal. The risk of hypoglycemia, kidney failure and heart disease increase with a diabetes diagnosis.

While medication can be critical in managing Type 2 diabetes, good nutrition and other lifestyle factors are key components to remaining healthy.

A consistent routine of three nutritious meals a day, exercise and appointments with a physician can help manage the disease.

Elizabeth Freeman, a clinical dietitian at MU Health Care, said food consumed affects glucose levels so choosing the right ingredients for your meals is important.

Using the plate method can help ensure that all food groups are represented proportionally for each meal. The strategy begins by dividing a reasonably sized plate into three sections – one half and two quarters.

A well-balanced meal would then fill half the plate with vegetables, a quarter of a plate with lean protein and another quarter with carbohydrates, Freeman said.

It is also important to establish a meal routine, she said. Eating at about the same time every day, your blood sugar levels will become more predictable. Freeman advises diabetics to eat three full meals a day and not to go more than five hours without eating.

Grocery shopping

When shopping the grocery store aisles, enticing snacks are everywhere. By sticking to a choreographed path, you can eliminate temptation on your grocery shopping trips, Freeman said.

“If you can shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store, that’s where most of your fresh (foods) are going to be found,” she said.

“The middle of the store is where you get a lot of your either sugar-added or processed foods that are box or canned.”

Drinks in particular have a high amount of added sugar and can keep the blood sugar level higher than normal. Freeman advises diabetics to switch to sugar-free or low-sugar options like Crystal Light or black coffee.

“Of course, we really encourage water,” Freeman said. “Even though diet soda doesn’t raise the blood sugar, it’s not a healthy choice. There’s no nutritional value to it. ”

Dining out

Being diabetic doesn’t mean forgoing delicious, satisfying dishes from the best restaurants in Columbia.

Several health-conscious restaurants such as Beet Box, Nourish Café + Market and Cafe Berlin may be good choices. Most other restaurants have healthy options for diabetics.

Portion size is an important consideration, as well as food selection, Freeman said.

“If you’re going out to eat at a restaurant, a lot of times you get way more than one serving,” she said. “If you can put half your meal in a to-go box before you even start, you can have the other half for another meal later. It both helps your blood sugar and your waistline. ”

Beet Box has an array of Mediterranean dishes, including a smoked salmon breakfast bagel sandwich. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Nourish Cafe + Market on Broadway offers meals with “zoodles” or zucchini noodles instead of pasta. A meal in a bowl might include zoodles, sautéed spinach, mushrooms and cashew ricotta tossed with a marinara sauce.

Carbohydrates will raise blood sugar the most, and they act quickly. While everyone needs carbohydrates for energy, moderating intake can help lower blood sugar levels, Freeman explained.

For older adults who aren’t as active as they once were, 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates per meal is good. Milk, fruits and whole grains are all excellent sources of carbohydrates that also have important vitamins and minerals.

Another healthier option is to choose a grilled or baked option from the menu, instead of the breaded or fried option.

Take on the meatless Monday challenge (not limited to Mondays) with the Sweet BB burger from Cafe Berlin on North Tenth Street. It is made with grilled sweet potatoes and black beans and topped with chipotle aioli.

Eating at home

Making delicious, easy, quick and nutritious meals at home doesn’t have to be a chore.

Freeman recommends oatmeal topped with fresh blueberries for breakfast, or a hard-boiled egg. In a rush, eat a bowl of Grape-Nuts or Bran Flakes. Adding fruit to the cereal boosts the flavor while also providing vitamins and minerals.

For lunch, put together a chicken veggie stir fry, adapted from a Cooking Light recipe. The recipe includes chicken, carrots and broccoli, with a kick of jalapeño pepper. For a quick weeknight supper, try one-pot garlicky shrimp and spinach from Eating Well.

Revolutionizing grocery shopping, eating out and cooking can seem daunting, Freeman said. Making small changes over time, however, can lead to big improvements in health.

“Focus on choosing the better option, making good choices, but knowing there’s going to be times that maybe you’re a little off track,” Freeman said.

“It’s never too late to get right back on track.”


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