Over 25 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with diabetes; that’s 8.3 percent of the population, and another 1.9 million new cases have been diagnosed since 2010 in adults 20 years old or older. If you count yourself among those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, you know how hard it is to keep it under control at times. Good nutrition with an eye on keeping your blood sugar down can help, but with today’s hectic lifestyles, that can be a challenge. Finding something healthy for lunch in general can be challenging and even more so if you have type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, people resort to high calorie items laden with heavy sugars and carbs when they’re on the go–not the best option if you’re trying to keep your blood sugar in check. However, if you plan ahead, you can prepare a week’s worth of lunches that you can take with you to work that are both inexpensive and good for you.
Nutritionist and cookbook author Robyn Webb recommends these diabetes-friendly lunch tips and recipes will help your body stay fueled without a lot of hassle and without making your blood sugar spike.
Start with your leftovers
If you’re planning on cooking chicken for dinner tonight, opt for the skinless, boneless kind. Make extra so that you can slice a few pieces into strips for lunch. Pack the chicken along with some Italian dressing and sandwich fixings in a plastic sandwich box. Once at work, spread some Italian dressing on some whole grain bread, and lay the slices on chicken on the bread. Make sure you read the label on the dressing bottles. Some low-fat brands have excessive sugars to make up for the low-fat taste. Top this with sliced tomatoes and peppers. Add an egg for some extra protein.
Some leftover whole wheat pasta and broiled fish make a nice cool salad for a summer lunch. Flake the fish. Then toss it in with the pasta. Add mandarin oranges or pineapple that are still in their juice. Toss together.
Stock the pantry and freezer
Your pantry can be a place where you can find the building block for a quick lunch. Make sure that you have canned beans with no added salt, some whole grain tortillas, brown rice–the instant kind works best on the run–and some tuna or salmon (choose the foiled-packed kind). Your freezer should have plenty of bags of frozen vegetables.
Create some quick tortillas by draining and mashing up your favorite kind of beans until they reach a coarse consistency. Add in some olive oil, dried oregano, and a little cumin to taste. Before you make your tortillas, heat them in the microwave. Top with the bean mixture, and for some extra veggies, bring along a bit of bagged salad to roll into the tortillas as well.
Make some tuna or salmon pitas by adding the fish to some plain nonfat yogurt. Dice in some celery for some extra crunchiness. Stuff the pita with the mixture. If you’re still feeling a bit peckish after lunch, eat an apple for dessert.
Where to shop in Boise
While you can shop anywhere in Boise for these healthy ingredients, think about heading out to the Boise Farmer’s Market to find fresh produce, nice tortillas, local meats and other items. It’s now open for the season.
Not only will you be supporting local business owners, the walk around the market will do your diabetes some good as well. Here’s how to find it:
- Saturday Market 9:30-1:30
- On 8th Street from Bannock to the Grove and Idaho St between Capital Blvd and 9th street.
- 2012 Season Runs April 21st-December 22nd
Taking the time to eat a proper lunch will not only give you the energy you need to keep going for the rest of the day, it’ll also help keep your type 2 diabetes in check, help you maintain a healthy weight, and ensure healthy cholesterol numbers.
Sources: American Diabetes Association, NAPSI
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