Making Low Carb Cooking Fun, Flavorful, and Easy
Low carb programs (including those that are for healthy diabetic food programs) are designed to help keep your blood sugar even while giving you the nutrition you need for a healthy body and the energy you need to have an awesome day.
While your nutritionist or health coach can help you quantify how many calories overall and what foods in particular your diet should include, proper preparation, seasoning and cooking will bring those foods to a whole new level of taste and enjoyment, preparing meals you and your whole family will love. Low Carb, diabetic diets and diabetes recipes are often thought of as boring and bland, but they certainly do not have to be when you follow these simple tips.
- Start with whole, fresh foods.
Buying food in its’ most natural state, for example a whole apple instead of applesauce or a whole sweet potato instead of sweet potato fries, increases the nutrition, flavor and overall quality of foods you’re eating. Whole, fresh foods are higher in vitamins, minerals and fibers and tend to be significantly lower in calories, fat, salt and sugar than their prepared alternatives.
- Think outside the box.
Fast, prepared and boxed foods are categorically loaded with additional carbohydrates, sugars and tend to lack the nutritional value found in fresh foods. Read labels carefully and choose only products that are high in fiber, low in added sugars, fats and calories. In most cases, you’ll find you can pretty much eliminate the boxed food all together, helping your waistline and the environment in the process.
- Choose fats wisely.
A healthy diabetic diet means consuming less calories from fats. Use fats sparingly and choose good fats like those found in canola, olive oil, coconut oil and grapeseed oil. You can reduce fats in cooking by substituting liquids (like broths or water) when sautéing, fruit purees when baking and nonstick cooking spray for many uses. Some oils are infused with flavors and give amazing taste to food without any effort.
- Be Carb Smart.
A basic rule of thumb when eating a healthy diet is to eliminate the whites from your carb selection. Plain white bread, white potatoes, white flours, white sugars and other refined foods should be substituted with more complex foods. Choose whole grains, whole flours and even raw brown sugars instead of simple carbs.
- Skimp on the Sugar.
Nothing spikes blood sugar like, well sugar! Most recipes will not be significantly changed in flavor when you cut the sugar by 1/3 or even ½. The only exception is when baking with recipes call for yeast. Natural sugar substitutes can also be an alternative if you choose. Simply check with the manufacturers packaging to determine if it will work for your recipe.
- Flavor, Flavor, Flavor!
Flavorful foods that delight your taste buds and satisfy your desires do not have to be difficult to prepare. Herbs, spices, mustards, vinegars, flavored broths and seasoning combinations all provide a healthy amount of flavor without a lot of work. Some seasonings are noted for having health promoting properties as well. Cinnamon, sage, oregano, tumeric and garlic, just to name a few, are touted for their ability to reduce blood sugar in diabetic patients.
- Play With Your Food.
Experimenting is the best way to discover the delights of new flavors, new recipes and opens the door to a whole new variety of foods. You don’t have to go crazy with preparation or worry, however. Look for online resources for recipes that are tried and true, spices, herbs and seasonings with trusted ratings and video how-to’s that can walk you through step-by-step with amazing results.
It can be easy and simple to make delicious, healthy foods for a low-carb or diabetic eating plan. Low-fat, low-salt and low carb diets need not be boring when you use whole fresh foods, good seasonings and good recipes. Have fun with your food and Happy Cooking! ~ Stacey