A Diabetes Friendly Meal Everyone Can Enjoy

April 5th, 2011 by mike Leave a reply »

A Diabetes Friendly Meal Everyone Can Enjoy

by the National Diabetes Education Program

Knowing what to serve and eat for dinner can sometimes be a challenge – especially for people with diabetes. While eating healthy foods is important for everyone, it’s essential for people with diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that results in high glucose, or sugar levels in the blood, which can lead to serious complications. For the 25.8 million people with diabetes in this country, making healthy food choices and being physically active is crucial to managing their diabetes.

Whether you are a person with diabetes or a family member or friend, you can prepare a meal that is healthy and tastes great. Look for recipes that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Experiment with recipes that include fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry peas or beans, and low-fat or nonfat milk and cheese. Other healthy ingredients are foods high in fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, and pasta. To give an example of what to serve as a healthy meal, the National Diabetes Education Program suggests a recipe, along with other foods to complete the meal, that everyone can enjoy—whether you have diabetes or not.

What’s For Dinner?

When planning a meal, start with a salad appetizer. Baby spinach leaves with seasonal fresh vegetables or fruits like sugar snap peas or sliced pears go nicely with a low-fat vinaigrette dressing. For the main course, stick with lean meats or fish. Below you’ll find a recipe for baked salmon. Designed to serve six people, it takes about half an hour to prepare. Nutrition information, including carbohydrate grams, is provided.

Entree: Baked Salmon Dijon*


1 C fat-free sour cream

2 tsp dried dill

3 Tbsp finely chopped scallions

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ lb salmon fillet with skin (cut in center)

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp black pepper

Fat-free cooking spray as needed

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 °F. Whisk sour cream, dill, onion, mustard, and lemon juice in small bowl to blend. Lightly oil baking sheet with cooking spray. Place salmon, skin side down, on prepared sheet. Sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper, then spread with the sauce. Bake salmon until just opaque in center, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 196, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 76 mg, Sodium 229 mg, Fiber less than 1 g, Protein 27 g, Carbohydrates 5 g

* Recipe taken from Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

A great side dish to serve with salmon is brown rice. Cook the rice with garlic, ginger, or green onions to give it more flavor. For dessert, serve a selection of fresh fruits of the season or a small scoop of fat-free or low-fat frozen yogurt or sorbet instead of regular ice cream. On special occasions, try a twist on traditional fruit pie by adding oats and almonds to the crust. It makes for a crunchy treat!

Eating healthy foods doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. One of the best ways to tell if a meal is both healthy and something you’ll like is by knowing its ingredients. When you do the preparation and cooking, you know exactly what’s going into it, and more importantly, what’s not! You can find more examples of healthy recipes by searching online for NHLBI’s “Heart-Healthy Recipes,” “A Healthier You” Recipes, or Fruits & Veggies Matter’s “Recipe Finder.”

For more information about making healthy food choices for people with diabetes and free resources to help manage diabetes, contact the National Diabetes Education Program at http://www.YourDiabetesInfo.org or 1-888-693-NDEP (6337). Bon appétit!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the support of more than 200 partner organizations.


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