Healthy Dinners for Diabetes

Our awesome Dietitian Aimee from our Cremorne clinic takes us through how to prepare easy healthy dinners for someone with Diabetes.

Struggling to put together a well-balanced meal at dinnertime for you or a family member who has Diabetes? This quick article will assist you in maintaining stable blood sugar levels, a healthy weight and maximum food satisfaction and enjoyment at dinner!

Dinner time can be challenging when we get home from an exhausting day. The last thing we want to think about is “What’s for Dinner”? – Sound familiar? Read on.

WHY? Well if your goal is to maintain or lose some weight to help control your diabetes then choosing a healthy, well-balanced meal is important to ensure extra kilojoules, sugar and fat are not creeping into your last main meal of the day.

Diabetes in a Nutshell – what is happening in your body!

Diabetes is when high levels of glucose circulate within the blood. When we consume carbohydrate-containing foods, our body breaks it down into glucose (sugar). The presence of glucose triggers the release of insulin, a hormone helping to reduce glucose levels in the blood. When the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or insulin doesn’t work as effectively, diabetes arises. Without adequate insulin, glucose in the blood builds up and can increase short and long-term health risks.

Type 1 – When the pancreas cannot produce insulin due to the body’s immune system damaging the cells that usually make insulin, therefore insulin must be replaced in order to manage blood sugar levels.  

Type 2 – Usually a result of either insulin resistance where the pancreas is supplying insulin, however the cells are resisting the insulin, compromising the uptake of glucose for energy and or over time the pancreas can become overworked and fails to produce adequate insulin to glucose ratio.

To achieve a healthy balanced dinner, having a few handy kitchen supplies is important so you can make a quick, nutritious and delicious meal that ticks all the boxes and keeps your blood sugar levels in check.

Low Starch Vegetables – a variety of colours helps you to achieve a balance of micronutrients & fibre!
Fill half your plate with an array of low starch vegetables. Some convenient options:

  • Birds Eye steam fresh bags or frozen stir fry mix
  • Fine cut coleslaw; spinach, rocket, kale leaves pack, stir fry rainbow veggies à
  • Spiralized zucchini or cauliflower and broccoli steam “rice” packs

High Fibre Carbohydrates – encourage a slow release of blood sugar and promote increased fullness!
Fill ¼ of your plate. Some convenient options:

  • Lentils, freekah, beans superblend (see image to right à)
  • Brown/long grain rice or quinoa microwaveable packs
  • Spiralized sweet potato noodle packs or birds eye frozen oven roast bag

Lean Protein – broken down slowly, providing long-lasting energy
Fill the other ¼ of your plate. Some convenient options:

  • BBQ chicken (skin and stuffing removed) à keep in an airtight container for a few days’ supply
  • Birds Eye steam frozen fish /Atlantic salmon or canned tuna and salmon or versatile eggs!

Healthy Fat – promotes a healthy heart and has anti-inflammatory effects
Enjoy adding a thumb size of avocado, nuts, seeds or olives to your salads & veggies.

 Now putting it all together - Inspired Buddha or Burrito Bowls

Step One: add a high fibre, slow-releasing source of carbohydrate i.e. ½ cup beans or brown rice as pictured.
Step Two: add lean protein including 150g fish or prawns, 120g poultry, two boiled eggs or 100g lean heart-smart minced beef or pork meat
Step Three: add 2-3 cups of varied low starch vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, capsicum, green beans, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, baby beetroot, bok choy, zucchini and the list goes on!
Step Four: include some heart-healthy fats including ¼ avocado, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, 10 olives or a sprinkle of nuts or seeds.
Step Five: Enjoy, take your time and appreciate the colours and flavours

Remember that the AMOUNT of carbohydrate is going to be very individual and you should check in with a friendly local dietitian to set a collaborative plan. You can book in here http://bodyfusion.com.au/contact-us/ or read more about our dietitians here: http://bodyfusion.com.au/about-our-dietitian/

Wishing you some delicious and healthy dinners!