Diabetes: Eating Right (cont.)
Since diabetes increases your risk of developing heart
disease, eating foods lower in fat -- especially saturated fat
-- is particularly important to keep that risk as low as possible.
In addition, limiting calories from fat can help you lose any extra
weight, especially when combined with an exercise program.
The major contributors of saturated fats in our diet come from
cheese, beef, milk and baked items. Transfats also contribute to the
increase risk of heart disease. These fats are vegetables oils that
are harder; we recognize these as solid oils -- lards, margarines
etc. Many of these are used in baking and frying.
Here are some general guidelines for selecting and preparing
- Select lean meats including poultry, fish, and lean
red meats. When preparing these foods, don't fry them. Instead, you can bake,
broil, grill, roast or boil.
- Select low-fat dairy products such as low-fat cheese,
skim milk and products made from skim milk such as nonfat yogurt, nonfat
frozen yogurt, evaporated skim milk, and buttermilk. Remember to include dairy
products in your daily carbohydrate count.
- Use low-fat vegetable cooking spray when preparing
foods or consider using cholesterol lowering margarine containing stanols or
sterols. Examples include "Take Control" and "Benecol."
- Use liquid vegetable oils that contain poly- or
monounsaturated fats which can help lower your 'bad' LDL cholesterol.
- Select lower fat margarines, gravies and salad
dressings and remember to watch the carbohydrate count on condiments and
- All fruits and vegetables are good low-fat choices. Remember to include fruit and starchy vegetables in your daily carbohydrate count.
A registered dietitian can provide more information on how to
prepare and select low-fat foods.
Diabetes increases your risk for
blood pressure. High levels of sodium (salt) in your
diet can further increase that risk. Your health care provider or dietitian
may ask you to limit or avoid these high-sodium foods:
- Salt and seasoned salt (or salt seasonings)
- Boxed mixes of potatoes, rice or pasta
- Canned meats
- Canned soups and vegetables (with sodium)
- Cured or processed foods
- Ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, other spreads and
- Packaged soups, gravies or sauces
- Pickled foods
- Processed meats: lunch meat, sausage, bacon and ham
- Salty snack foods
- Monosodium glutamate or MSG (often added to Chinese
- Soy and steak sauces
Low-Sodium Cooking Tips
- Use fresh ingredients and/or foods with no salt
- For favorite recipes, you may need to use other
ingredients and eliminate or decrease the salt you would normally add.
- Try orange or pineapple juice as a base for meat
- Avoid convenience foods such as canned soups, entrees
and vegetables; pasta and rice mixes; frozen dinners; instant cereal; and
pudding, gravy and sauce mixes.
- Select frozen entrees that contain 600 milligrams or
less of sodium. However, limit yourself to one of these frozen entrees per
day. Check theNutrition Facts label on the package for sodium
- Use fresh, frozen, no-added-salt canned vegetables or
canned vegetables that have been rinsed before they are prepared.
- Low-sodium canned soups may be used.
- Avoid mixed seasonings and spice blends that include
salt, such as garlic salt.
What Seasonings Can Replace Salt?
Herbs and spices are the answer to improving the natural flavors
in food without using salt. Below are some mixtures to use for
meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, soups, and salads.
2 tablespoons dried savory, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon powdered lemon rind or dehydrated lemon juice
2 tablespoons dried dill weed or basil leaves, crumbled
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
A pinch of freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon coriander seed (crushed)
1 tablespoon rosemary
Reviewed by Certified Diabetes Educators
in the Department of Patient Education and Health Information and by physicians
in the Department of Endocrinology at The Cleveland Clinic.
Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005 5:30:49 AM
Edited by Cynthia Haines, MD, WebMD, September 2005.
Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2005