Let’s face it; cooking for diabetics is not always easy, especially following a weight or calorie guide. One has to be careful to ensure that the person’s carbs and blood sugar levels are controlled while maintaining good eating habits and producing a nutritious meal. While persons with diabetes are warned to stay away from particular food, it could be that all these recipes need small changes to make them more diabetic-friendly. Taking steps to control diabetes does not mean you have to be deprived of the things you usually enjoy. Take grilling, for example, a favorite among food preparation methods with several health benefits such as:
- You use less oil/butter when you grill your meat in comparison to say frying or baking.
- Your vegetables retain more of their natural vitamins and minerals when cooked, especially when you wrap them in foil.
- Grilling encourages outdoor activities, which means it may get you active and provide the opportunity for you to get some fresh air.
What you will find even from basic online research is that grilling is not always recommended for people with diabetes. But simple tips like removing the skin from your chicken or turkey before grilling, avoiding sugar in the sauces you eat with the meal, and grilling mostly fish could make a huge difference. We can not say this enough; it is all about proportions and moderations. In case you are wondering, Yes, we do have some more tips for you:
Prepare Your Grill:
One area often overlooked when considering healthy cooking for diabetics is to ensure that the place of preparation itself is clean. Clean as in, not contaminated from other products that could be potentially harmful. Try to avoid cross-contamination from different meat types and utensils. Ensure the grill is cleaned before cooking. Make sure fat draining from the meat is not getting onto fruits or whatever food items are being grilled alongside the meat.
Method of Grilling:
Depending on the type of grill you have or the method you choose to use, you can either grill on direct heat or indirect heat. The approach you want will depend on several factors, including the type of food you are preparing and the preparation time. Whichever method you use, ensure the meat’s saturated fat as an outlet or way to drain from the meat. A diabetic person can not have their meat laying in fat while being prepared. Also, ensure the method you choose allows the food to retain as much of its natural nutrients and flavor as possible. Again it will depend on what you are preparing and what the recipe calls for.
Still Use Portion Control:
Yes, you are not eating a lot of fat when your meat is grilled, but you still need to maintain control of your food portions. There are several ways to know how much you should be eating; for example, the American Diabetes Association’s website is a great place to start. Look at the food available, and create a plate that is nutritious, balanced, and healthy.
No breading or skin on the meat:
Remember, as stated above, remove all skin from the flesh of meat, choose the leaner parts of the meat, and do not bread your chicken before grilling. These small changes make a lot of difference in whether grilling is a good idea for you.
Sauces with your grilled food:
Do not go healthy on your main course only to break that balance with your seasonings and dressing. Pay attention to what is in your sauce, whether homemade or store-bought. Look at how much sugar and starch are included to know what to add or subtract from the meal.
In case you are having drinks:
When checking portions of the food on your plate, how much starch, carbohydrate, and sugar. Remember also to check what you are drinking with your meal. Of course, the number one recommendation would be to have some water, but try some infused water by adding cucumber, lemons, or berries if you feel for something else. Unsweetened teas, diet, and sugar-free beverages are also okay, and alcohol (one not too sweet) should be consumed in moderation. Remember, it is all about balance and avoiding anything that may make your condition worst.
If you must use oil:
Sometimes using oil is unavoidable; if you have to use oil, ensure you use oil from olives, flaxseed, fish oil, nuts, and avocado. Yes, it is fat. However, those items mentioned above produce fat that your body needs, especially the avocados.
What Can You Grill?
Now that we have looked at some helpful tips when grilling for a person with diabetes, let us look at some ingredients we can incorporate into meals when cooking for a person with diabetes.
If you are preparing pork, be sure to use the meat’s leaner parts to avoid consuming too much-saturated fat. Use the pig’s leg, pork sausage, a center loin chop, fresh ham, or Canadian bacon. You can have goose, turkey, chicken, fish, sardines, and seafood. When having hot dogs, be sure to have less than a pound or no more than 100 calories.
You can add things like avocado, broccoli, and your favorite toss salad, and cauliflower, according to your doctor’s recommendation, of course. The critical thing to note here is when having food high in fat have no more than 7 grams of that meat or up to 100 calories. Meat that is fatty but not too greasy consume only 5 grams or up to 75 calories, and lean beef consume only 5 grams or up to 55 calories.
That’s a wrap
To sum it all up, summer is coming, and everyone is looking forward to seeing the grill smoking on the back porch, including persons who have diabetes. While there are so many food items, including sugar and carbohydrates, that they need to avoid, grilling can still be done with slight changes to how the meals are prepared. Remember, it is all about proportions, balance, and how much you consume. Healthy eating habits may even reverse diabetes if done right.
Be sure to follow the guidelines of your health professional and the helpful tips we have mentioned in this article and have fun with the grill this summer.