Recipes and Cooking Tips for Those With Diabetes
Using Fats in Diabetes-Friendly Recipes
A lot of diabetes meal planning is about choosing and using fats wisely. That's also true for recipe adaptations. Which are the best fats to use? And how can you limit them? Try these suggestions:
- Use liquid fats in place of solid fats. Why? Solid fats often include saturated or trans fats, both of which are not good for heart health. On the other hand, many liquid fats can be healthy when used in moderate amounts. Instead of butter, lard, or hydrogenated shortening, try trans-fat free margarine, spreads, or shortening. Be sure to check the label to see whether the product will work for cooking or baking. You can also try oils such as canola, olive, peanut, or soybean oil. When possible, use about 25% less in cooking. Some oils have stronger flavors that may affect the taste. So experiment to find which oils work best with which recipes.
- Use less fat. Why? Fats contain more calories than other nutrients. If you're worried about weight control, keeping a close eye on fats can help. Take a look at how you can adapt these high-fat ingredients to lower-fat substitutes. Instead of the amount of fat called for in a recipe, try using 25% to 33% less fat. Or try substituting applesauce or mashed bananas for some or all of the fat in baked goods. Instead of letting meat cook in liquid -- such as in a soup or stew -- unattended, try skimming off fat that floats to the surface while cooking. Or, let the soup or stew cool and place it in the refrigerator. When the fat has hardened at the top, it's easy to skim it off. Instead of using chocolate or chocolate chips, try cocoa powder. Or use mini chocolate chips and use fewer.
- Swap low-fat for high-fat dairy ingredients. Many dairy products used in cooking and baking are high in fat. You can make switches that lower the fat content without compromising taste. Instead of whole milk or half and half, try using 1% or skim milk, condensed skim milk, or nonfat half and half. Instead of sour cream, try low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt or buttermilk. Or you can use low-fat cottage cheese. You may need to blend it first to make it smooth. Instead of using cream or whole milk to make sauces, try using cornstarch and skim milk.
Carbs and Diabetes-Friendly Recipes
It's hard to make much of anything without using carbohydrates. But carbs aren't all bad. The trick is to select carbohydrates that will provide you with slow-release energy and adequate fiber. A good example is whole grains that also provide more complex and satisfying flavors.
When a recipe calls for "white" flour, "white" rice, or other refined grains, try substituting whole-wheat flour, brown rice, or other whole-grain flours or grain products. You can also use ground nuts such as almond or hazelnut (filbert) meal. Or, you can mix several of these whole grain ingredients together in the same recipe.