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Diabetic Foods for Main Courses

Preparing a diabetic main course may seem more intimidating than preparing other diabetic foods. You know you have to watch nutritional values, but do all parts of the meal have to be prepared using sugar-free recipes?




Consider This Ahead of Time
If you're planning a main course for someone with diabetes, familiarize yourself with nutritional values. Main courses tend to consist primarily of protein and vegetables, but the various sauces and condiments that accompany your main course present the real challenge.

Hidden Sources of Sugar
A quick glance through your pantry will reveal numerous sources of sugar that you may not have previously considered. Barbecue sauce, ketchup, and sweet pickle relish are all significant sources of carbohydrates, as are tomato paste, cornstarch, and peanut butter. In preparing diabetic foods, cook meats and other main dishes without sauce, if possible. Serving sauce on the side allows someone to have a tiny taste or splurge, depending on their nutritional preferences.

Pasta Dishes
Prepared tomato-based sauces have added sugar, while cream sauces tend to be heavy in fat, so you may consider making your sauce from scratch. If you use sauce from a jar, try serving smaller portions or add chopped fresh vegetables to add flavor without extra sugar or fat. Remember that exchanges are based on quantities of cooked pasta, so measure as you serve to be accurate.

Beef and Pork
Consider grilling or broiling meat when possible. Frying or serving with heavy sauces adds fat and calories. Even if you plan to use the cooked meat in a casserole or other combination dish, you can avoid problems by cooking the meat using a low-fat method.

Adjusting Recipes
Diabetic foods can be nutritional and delicious even if you don't always follow sugar-free recipes. Many recipes work well with minor modifications, retaining their nutritional values and taste appeal. Keep an eye out for hidden fat and carbohydrate and serve moderate portions for best results.

You can make excellent sauces and tomato purees for cooking by creating your own sugar-free recipes. Use sugar substitutes that don't leave a bitter taste after heating.

Breaded and Fried Foods
Many breadings contain sugar, and frying adds fat, but my family loves chicken nuggets! Try these Healthy Nuggets and see why we've pretty much given up the fast food versions.

Healthy Nuggets
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Finely crushed corn flakes
  • Onion powder, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Skim milk
Dip several chicken pieces in milk and place in zipper-top plastic bag containing crushed corn flakes. Shake until pieces are covered with crumbs, then place chicken on a pan that's been sprayed with non-stick coating. Repeat dipping and shaking in crumbs until all pieces are coated. Place in 425° oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.
   
   
 
 
 
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Last modified 18 September 2006
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