“Diabetes is when your blood sugar or glucose levels are higher than normal. It’s carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, rice, pasta, fruits, milk, and desserts that can cause this rise," says Maggie Powers, PhD, president-elect of Health Care & Education at the American Diabetes Association.
Sam Talbot, runner-up and fan favorite from season two of Bravo's "Top Chef," is former executive chef of Imperial No. Nine in New York's Mondrian SoHo hotel and the Surf Lodge in Montauk, N.Y. Talbot, 34, also lives with type 1 diabetes. In his cookbook The Sweet Life, published last year, he shares his personal health and wellness philosophy, as well as some of his favorite diabetes-friendly recipes. Here he dishes even more about how he stays healthy.
What's your approach to cooking and food?
Your eating plan should focus on the amount and type of carbs you put on your plate throughout the day, Powers says.
But it’s also important to have foods you enjoy. You want to eat enough so you feel satisfied and avoid overeating and poor choices. Here are seven foods that Powers says can help keep your blood sugar in check and make you happy and healthy to boot.
1. Raw, Cooked, or Roasted Vegetables
These add color, flavor, and texture to a meal. Choose tasty, low-carb veggies, like mushrooms, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and low-carb squashes, like zucchini.
Try them with dips such as low-fat dressings, hummus, guacamole, and salsa, or roasted with different seasonings such as rosemary, cayenne pepper, or garlic.
Go beyond your regular salad and try kale, spinach, and chard. They’re healthy, delicious, and low-carb, Powers says.
Roast kale leaves in the oven with olive oil for quick, crunchy chips. You can also mix greens in with roasted veggies to add texture and a different flavor, or serve them with a little protein, like salmon.
3. Flavorful, Low-calorie Drinks
Plain water is always good, but water infused with fruits and vegetables is more interesting. Cut up a lemon or cucumber and put it in your water, or make ice cubes with some flavoring in them.
If you’re not a hot tea drinker, try cold tea with lemon or a cinnamon stick.
“Not only are these beverages low-carb, they can also help fill you up so you don’t crave other foods,” Powers says.
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