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Fast Dinners for Busy People With Diabetes


10. Fix a fruit salad. With a few chops of a knife, you can turn a few pieces of fruit into a beautiful fruit salad. Drizzle lemon or orange juice over the top. Then toss to coat the fruit. The vitamin C in the citrus juice helps prevent browning.

11. Drink smarter. Trade soda, sweetened drinks, and fruit juice drinks for protein-rich beverages like skim or 1% milk. Or sip no-calorie tea, coffee, or water.

12. Slow it down. Fast eaters tend to eat more. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is full and that you should stop eating. Eating slower makes you more aware of the textures and flavors and helps you feel more satisfied.

13. Say no to evening snacks. Avoid late-night snacking unless your blood sugar is too low or your doctor says you need one. Drink a cup of tea instead.

Two Dinner Menus

Here are two dinner menus with recipes to help you prepare delicious, diabetes-friendly meals.

Dinner Menu 1

  • 1 serving sloppy joes on whole-wheat bun (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli florets
  • 1 sliced pear
  • Cup of hot or iced tea, water, or skim or 1% milk

Total nutritional value (not including milk as beverage): 530 calories, 34 grams protein, 78 grams carbohydrate, 12 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 3.5 grams monounsaturated fat, 3 grams polyunsaturated fat, 72 milligrams cholesterol, 16 grams fiber, 635 milligrams sodium.

Calories from fat: 20%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.4 grams; omega-6 fatty acids: 2.5 grams.

NOTE: If your desired total for carbohydrates is less than 78 grams for dinner, take away the top bun on your sloppy joe and the carbohydrate total becomes 66 grams.

Simple Sloppy Joes (Beef Entrée)

This recipe uses many condiments and spices you may already have.

Makes 4 servings 

  • 1 pound sirloin or very lean ground beef
  • 4 green onions, white and part of green, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (or 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (low sodium if available)
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1/4 cup chunky salsa
  • 1/2 cup non-alcoholic beer (water or low-sodium beef broth can be used)
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 4 100% whole-wheat hamburger buns or rolls
  • 2 ounces or 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese 
  1. In a nonstick skillet, cook beef with onions and bell pepper over medium-high heat, breaking up beef with a spoon or spatula, until vegetables are softened and beef is nicely browned (about 5 to 7 minutes).
  2. While meat and vegetables are cooking, combine garlic, paprika, ketchup, mustard, salsa, and non-alcoholic beer, water, or broth in a medium bowl. When meat and vegetable mixture is ready, reduce heat to low and stir in the ketchup mixture. Let mixture simmer for a few minutes. Add pepper to taste.
  3. Spoon sloppy joe mixture onto the bottom buns, top with shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, and then add the top bun. 

Per serving: 350 calories, 31 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrate, 11 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 3 grams monounsaturated fat, 3 grams polyunsaturated fat, 72 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams fiber, 599 milligrams sodium. Calories from fat: 28%. Omega-3 fatty acids: 0.3 grams; omega-6 fatty acids: 2.5 grams.

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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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