Enjoying Your Favorite Comfort Foods while Battling Diabetes

Enjoying Your Favorite Comfort Foods while Battling Diabetes

Over 100 million American adults are living with diabetes or prediabetes these days, and one of the biggest culprits is the amount of sugar we consume. Sugar is one of the most frequently added ingredients to a plethora of products, and is sometimes ‘hidden’ in foods like crackers, soups, cereals, salad dressings and sauces, and even cured meats. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that just two centuries ago, the average person consumed around two pounds of sugar in an entire year; today, that number stands at 152 pounds annually, which largely explains the surge in Type 2 diabetes diagnoses. Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, you can benefit from a low-carbohydrate diet that keeps glucose levels stable throughout the day. How can you follow Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution tips while still enjoying many of America’s most famed ‘comfort foods’?

Who Said Comfort Foods Had to be Carbohydrate-Rich?

A Harris poll involving over 2,000 US adults found that the top 10 ‘feel good foods’ in America are pizza, chocolate, ice-cream, mac & cheese, potato chips, hamburgers, steak, popcorn, pasta, and Mexican food. A similar poll by Treadmill Reviews found that fried chicken was also up on the list. The truth is that these lists reflect the extent to which the human palate has come to crave high-carbohydrate foods like pasta, pizza, and desserts. If you are aiming to achieve normal blood sugar readings, you can still comfort body, mind, and soul with foods like hamburgers and chicken, making a few small changes.

Cooking Methods Count

If you love commercial chicken brands and think the best part of the meal is the crispy skin, then you may wonder if you can recreate this texture without using flour-based batter or over a cup full of oil. The secret is actually in the cooking method. Instead of using a traditional oil-based frying system, switch to an air fryer for crisp textures without all the unnecessary fat or the batter. If you really want the extra texture, you can use commercial low-carb ‘baking mixes’. Just make sure you opt for products made without trans fats. Another way to cook low-carb fried chicken involves substitution of traditional flour-based batters with coatings made from crushed almonds and Parmesan cheese. When you do make substitutions, simply ensure you are also keeping fat levels to recommended daily amounts.

Picking Quality Ingredients

We know that people with diabetes have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This is why the low-carb lifestyle is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to achieving health. You should also boost your Omega-3 levels with healthy proteins such as wild Alaskan salmon and grass-fed beef, but generally try to embrace a low-fat lifestyle. If you feel like indulging in a burger, why not make your own with freshly ground quality beef? Replace bread with lettuce or portobello mushrooms, and serve with organic tomatoes lightly sprinkled with Himalayan salt. Instead of a traditional pizza, why not buy or make your own cauliflower pizza base? Top it with health seasonal ingredients like zucchini, tomatoes, and spinach. Use a fresh cheese like mozzarella and enjoy a crisp, fiber-rich pizza that is just as delicious (if not better) than store-bought pizza.

You don’t have to give up foods that make you feel happy, satisfied, and comforted. Authentic ‘food for the soul’, however, should ideally feed your body as well. Use low-fat cooking methods when you can to stay heart healthy and avoid unwanted calories. Finally, substitute ingredients creatively to enjoy your favorite childhood foods while keeping glucose levels stable throughout the day.

Posted in Lifestyle & Diet