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Diabetes: Why can't I just avoid sugar? The answer… 

by Linda Gassenheimer

One of my readers just wrote to me and asked why sugar wasn’t listed in the nutritionally analysis for my recipes. The answer is the American Diabetes Association (ADA) wants you to count carbohydrates, not just sugar. Carbohydrates are absorbed into the body as sugar, so it is important to count carbohydrates not just sugar.

November is American Diabetes Month and the American Diabetes Association wants people to take diabetes more seriously. An August, 2008 survey of what people fear, 49 percent reported fear of cancer and only 3 percent cited a fear of diabetes. Ironically, one in ten adults report having been diagnosed with diabetes, while fewer than 6 percent, have been diagnosed with cancer.

It is important to be aware of and manage diabetes. Use products like glucose monitors, testing strips and other helpful tools. Serious complications of mismanaged diabetes include loss of limbs, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and blindness. What is alarming is that 1/4 of people with diabetes are not aware of these consequences.

What you eat is one of the most important aspects of managing diabetes. Knowing what to eat can be confusing.

So, what about counting carbohydrates does this mean you have to give up carbohydrates? The answer is no.

What’s a balanced diet?
Include a lean protein, monounsaturated fats (canola oil, olive oil), non-starchy vegetables and lower glycemic index carbohydrates in small amounts. The latter includes: whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and sweet potato.

So --- What’s for Dinner?

In my book Mix ‘n’ Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes (published by the American Diabetes Association), I give an entire month of recipes including breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can mix and match them as you choose.

Here’s a quick dinner that will please the entire family.


Ginger-Minted Chicken with Lemon and Carrot Barley

If you’re in the mood for something different, try this blend of Middle Eastern flavors. Boneless, skinless chicken is marinated in yogurt, spices, mint and fresh ginger and then broiled. Quick-cooking barley completes the meal. It’s flavored with lemon and tossed with shredded carrots. It adds a crunchy texture to the meal.

Helpful Hints:
Quick-cooking barley is available in the grocery section of the supermarket.
Shredded carrots are available in most produce sections.

Marinate chicken.
Preheat broiler.
Place water for barley on to boil.
Assemble peaches.
Complete barley dish.

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (about 1 Tbs or use 1 tsp ground ginger)
3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup nonfat yogurt
2 tsp ground coriander
2, 5-oz. boneless skinless chicken breast halves
For garnish:
1 medium tomato, sliced

Mix mint, ginger and garlic together in a food processor of by hand. Add yogurt and coriander.
Place chicken in a bowl and pour mixture on top. Marinate 15 minutes, turning once during this time.
Preheat broiler.
Line a baking sheet with foil and place chicken and marinade on sheet.
Broil chicken about 5 inches from heat 5 minutes per side.
Serve on bed of Lemon Barley with sliced tomatoes along the side.

Calories 290
Calories from Fat 54.7
Total Fat 6.1
Saturated Fat 1.4
Cholesterol 111
Sodium 176
Carbohydrate 12.8
Dietary Fiber 0
Protein 48

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked, quick-cooking barley
1 cup shredded carrots
1 Tbs canola oil
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
2 Tbs lemon juice
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Bring water to a boil and stir in barley. When water returns to a boil, reduce to medium-low heat, partially cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add carrots, partially cover and simmer 5 more minutes. If liquid remains, remove cover and boil until it evaporates.
Stir oil, thyme and lemon juice into barley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Calories g 252
Calories from Fat g 71
Total Fat g 7.9
Saturated Fat g 1.1
Cholesterol mg 0
Sodium mg 25
Carbohydrate g 40.6
Dietary Fiber g 8.7
Protein g 6.3

Shopping List
1 package shredded carrots
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch fresh thyme or 1 jar dried thyme
1-inch piece fresh ginger
1 medium tomato

1 8-oz carton nonfat plain yogurt

2 5-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 package quick-cooking barley (in soup section of market)
1 bottle ground coriander

Canola oil
Black peppercorns


© 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.

For questions contact Linda@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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