Saturday, June 03, 2006

Cooking Diabetic

I recently praised my husband's willingness to eat whatever I cook. Unfortunately, this love of food hastened his journey to Type II diabetes. I'd be lying if I said I liked cooking with restrictions. In fact, it makes me downright mad when I spend extra effort concocting special meals for him--only to see him "lose" it by wolfing down three biscuits with chicken and dumplings at the Cracker Barrel--or worse, hiding a huge pile of rice under the cover of shredded lettuce at a Mexican buffet. My face might have a smile, but I'm seething on the inside. Maggie from Hillbilly Housewife has inspired my cooking in many ways. Now I'd like to borrow her attitude in a post about cooking diabetic. My husband is ultimately responsible for his own health. What he puts in his mouth is between him and God.

People often ask me how to cook for a diabetic, say, if they're bringing a meal to a family at church. You can't send the standard starchy casserole, but otherwise, it's simple:
  • Choose green vegetables of any kind, vegetable trays with ranch-type dip, salads.
  • Choose meats of any kind, avoiding breading or sweet glazes.
  • Choose a fruit tray with melon, pear slices or berries. Any cheese is great, too.
  • Choose a sugar-free jello or pudding-based sweet. Otherwise, bring your famous dessert--the rest of the family will love it and the diabetic can treat himself to a small slice.
  • Avoid anything white: bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, flour, sugar.
  • Avoid "natural" sweeteners such as fruit juice, molasses, and honey, in addition to sugar.


Anonymous said...

Have you come across any cookbooks, websites, etc. on cooking for vegetarian diabetics? My brother-in-law has that situation and I would love to give them some resources. Thanks.

Meredith said...

My friend's father, a recent diabetic, is Indian. She told me he has had a terrible time converting their traditional vegetarian diet to something more carb-friendly. The staple foods like rice, potatoes and lentils shoot his blood sugar through the roof. They have substituted sweet potatoes for white potatoes with some success (more fiber). I have also seen some low carb cookbooks that use cauliflower florets to make a rice-like dish.
Soy products, at least, are protein-based (don't break down into carbs). I've had a few good experiments with silken tofu mixed up into a pudding dessert.

I guess I would just Google the term vegetarian diabetic and see what comes up. It's a hard way to eat, that's for sure.