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A Diabetes-Friendly Meal Everyone Can Enjoy

From the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP)

Knowing what to serve and eat for dinner can sometimes be a challenge–especially for people with diabetes. While eating healthy foods is important for everyone, it's essential for people with diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that results in high glucose, or sugar levels in the blood, which can lead to serious complications. For the 23.6 million people with diabetes in this country, making healthy food choices and being physically active are crucial.

Whether you are a person with diabetes or a family member or friend, you can prepare a meal that is healthy and tastes great. Look for recipes that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Experiment with recipes that include fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dried peas or beans, and low-fat or nonfat milk and cheese. Other healthy ingredients are foods high in fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, and pasta.

What's For Dinner?

When planning a meal, start with a salad appetizer. Baby spinach leaves with seasonal fresh vegetables or fruits like sugar snap peas or sliced pears go nicely with a low-fat vinaigrette dressing.

For the main course, stick with lean meats or fish. Here is a recipe for baked salmon. It takes about half an hour to prepare. Nutrition information, including carbohydrate grams, is provided.

A great side dish to serve with salmon is brown rice. Cook the rice with garlic, ginger, or green onions to give it more flavor. For dessert, serve a selection of fresh fruits of the season or a small scoop of fat-free or low-fat frozen yogurt or sorbet instead of regular ice cream.

Baked Salmon Dijon

Entree: Baked Salmon Dijon*

Serves 6


1 cup fat-free sour cream

2 tsp dried dill

3 Tbsp finely chopped scallions

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 ½ lb salmon fillet with skin (cut in center)

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp black pepper

Fat-free cooking spray as needed

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 °F. Whisk sour cream, dill, onion, mustard, and lemon juice in small bowl to blend. Lightly oil baking sheet with cooking spray. Place salmon, skin side down, on prepared sheet. Sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper, then spread with the sauce. Bake salmon until just opaque in center, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 196, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 76 mg, Sodium 229 mg, Fiber less than 1 g, Protein 27 g, Carbohydrates 5 g

* Recipe taken from Keep the Beat: Heart Healthy Recipes from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Fall 2009 Issue: Volume 4 Number 4 Page 12