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Diabetes: So what is eating well? And what are correct amounts?

by Linda Gassenheimer

Diabetes: According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), people with diabetes have the same nutritional needs as anyone else. Along with exercise and medications, nutrition is important for good diabetes control. By eating well-balanced meals in the correct amounts, you can learn to thrive with diabetes.

So what is eating well? And what are correct amounts? I once took two doctors to the supermarket and said, “OK, you know what we should be eating, now show me what to buy for dinner?” They were stumped. They didn’t know where to begin. One picked up a ready-to-eat carrot salad, but after she read the nutritional analysis, she said this salad is filled with sugar.

This is the dilemma many of us face. It’s not just what’s for dinner; it’s what’s for dinner that’s quick, easy and good for us, too.

These are the questions I answer in my book Mix ‘n’ Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes published by the American Diabetes Association.

We are given lists of foods to eat or to avoid. For example, here are some tips from the ADA:

Lower saturated fat intake, it raises blood cholesterol levels which is a risk factor for heart disease. People with diabetes are at a high risk for heart disease.
Foods containing saturated fat include:
High-fat dairy products such as full-fat cheese, cream, ice cream, whole milk, 2% milk and sour cream.
High-fat meats like regular ground beef, bologna, hot dogs, sausage, bacon and spareribs
Fatback and salt pork
Cream sauces
Gravy made with meat drippings
Palm oil and palm kernel oil
Coconut and coconut oil
Poultry (chicken and turkey) skin

So, when we read these lists, it’s still difficult to actually put a meal together, as my doctor friends discovered at the market. Below is a dinner to help you get started.



2 tsp olive oil
1 cup frozen, chopped onion
2 cups cubed acorn squash (1/2 in. cubes)
1 Tbs broken walnuts
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Saute onions and squash, for 8 minutes, stirring several times.
Add walnuts and saute 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and remove from the heat. Let sit, covered, for at least 10 minutes or until ready to serve.

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2

Calories 162
Calories from Fat 76
Total Fat g 8.4
Saturated Fat g 1.0
Cholesterol mg 0
Sodium mg 6
Carbohydrate g 21.4
Dietary Fiber g 2.5
Protein g 3.0

3/4 lb pork tenderloin
1 Tbs fresh rosemary (or 2 tsp dried)
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 cup apple cider, divided use

Remove fat from pork. Butterfly pork by cutting in half lengthwise and opening like a book. Do not cut all the way though. Cut in half crosswise to make 2 pieces.
Sprinkle with rosemary.
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet just big enough to snuggly fit the pork. Brown pork on both sides, about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper the cooked sides.
Add cider to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Cover pan with a lid and cook on low for 10 minutes.
Remove pork to a plate and raise heat to high. Reduce liquid by half and spoon sauce over pork.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Calories 374
Calories from Fat 109
Total Fat g 12.1
Saturated Fat g 3.3
Cholesterol mg 146
Sodium mg 106
Carbohydrate g 0.2
Dietary Fiber g 0.2
Protein g 45.3


1/4 cup low-sugar apricot spread
1 cup nonfat lite apricot yogurt
Sugar substitute to the equivalent of 2 tsp

Whisk apricot spread in a small bowl.
Add yogurt and sugar substitute and whisk until blended. Spoon into small dessert bowls.

Preparation time: 2 minutes
Servings: 2

Calories 100
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat g 0
Saturated Fat g 0
Cholesterol mg 3
Sodium mg 58
Carbohydrate g 21
Dietary Fiber g 0
Protein g 4.0

Shopping List
1 bunch fresh rosemary or 1 jar dried rosemary
1 small acorn squash

1 small carton nonfat lite apricot yogurt

3/4 lb pork tenderloin

1 small package walnuts
1 small bottle apple cider (8 ounces needed)
1 small jar low-sugar apricot spread

Olive oil
Sugar substitute

Each person responds differently to foods. If you have diabetes, it’s best to talk with a diabetic educator to help you establish dietary guidelines.
Contact Linda at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.


© The Portion Plan, How to Eat the Foods You Love and Still Lose Weight by Linda Gassenheimer, DK publisher. All Rights Reserved.



Linda's website is www.DinnerInMinutes.com.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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