Eating a Delicious Blood Sugar-Friendly Diet with Lean Cuisine®
Eating well when managing your blood glucose (blood sugar) may take a bit more planning and knowledge, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring and bland! A little guidance can go a long way to help you find the flexibility to include foods and flavors you love.
Let’s start with the basics. Working with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) can be a great resource for you to develop a diet appropriate to help manage diabetes or to support blood sugar management. A RDN should be a part of your overall diabetes care team, and you should speak with your doctor before embarking on a new diet plan.
That said, there are some general guidelines for everyday eating that may be helpful if you are monitoring your carbohydrate (carb) intake or helping to manage diabetes through dietary choices:
- Choose Your Carbs Wisely. When you eat carbs, they break down into blood sugar, which then raise your blood sugar levels. Fiber, a type of carb, helps keep you feel full longer and slows food’s effect on blood sugar levels, so consider opting for foods containing fiber-rich carbs such as whole grains, legumes and non-starchy vegetables (bonus, foods high in fiber also tend to have higher levels of vitamins and minerals!).
- Select “Superstar Foods”. While there is no official definition of the word “superfood” by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), there are foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and/or fiber that promote good overall health. These foods should also be low in sodium and saturated fats. Think dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries, whole grains and beans.
- Get wise on good fats. Replacing saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats helps support a healthy heart. Fat also adds satisfying richness to meals. When cooking, reach for canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean and sunflower oil.
- Use the Diabetes Plate Method. If using a calculator to balance your meal feels overwhelming, consider the Diabetes Plate Method from the American Diabetes Association® (ADA). Break out each meal into portions: half your plate should be non-starchy vegetables, one-quarter a carb source (fiber-rich if possible), and the other quarter is a protein-rich food. Pair with water or your favorite unsweetened non-alcoholic beverage.
Making It Easier
Knowing what to eat is just one piece of the eating-well-with-diabetes puzzle. How you put it into practice – and stick to it – is also important. Consider these tips:
- Plan ahead by plotting out breakfast, lunch and dinner menus for the week. It helps keep you organized and on track, and informs your grocery shopping list, too.
- Pack snacks for those hunger pangs in between meals or when your blood sugar needs a boost. Keep some healthy options on hand like whole fruit and string cheese, veggies and hummus, or homemade trail mix made with unsalted nuts and berries.
- Consider convenient options like frozen prepared meals to help you when you need something quick, nutritious and delicious. Now you can find delicious new frozen meal options suitable to help manage diabetes through suitable dietary choices (more about that below!).
American Diabetes Association® Better Choices for Life
Whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes or simply want to make dietary choices based on nutritious foods, the ADA® is a valuable resource. The organization’s website has articles, recipes and more to help people navigate living with diabetes and making appropriate food choices.
When shopping for foods that can help you manage your diabetes, look for the ADA® Better Choices for Life mark. Qualifying products meet nutritional criteria suitable for someone managing their diabetes, including limits for calories, saturated and trans fats, sodium, total carbohydrates, and added sugars.
Introducing Lean Cuisine Balance Bowls with the ADA® Better Choices for Life Mark
If you’re looking for convenience and great taste when eating to help manage diabetes, consider new Lean Cuisine® Balance Bowls, the first to meet the ADA® Better Choices for Life criteria for frozen entrées. These four recipes are a perfect balance of delicious and nutritious, with each containing 400 calories or less and 0 grams of added sugar:
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry blends tender shrimp with red peppers, carrots and broccoli over whole grain brown rice, delivering 13 grams of protein and 210 calories.
- Creamy Pasta Primavera provides one cup of vegetables with broccoli, tomatoes and spinach in a lemon basil parmesan sauce over whole grain pasta, delivering 16 grams of protein.
- Roasted Eggplant with Parmesan and Pasta serves up a flavorful meatless dish made with whole grain pasta and providing 13 grams of protein and 11% Daily Value of fiber.
- Tex Mex Rice and Black Beans is a zesty dish made with brown rice, black beans, corn and peppers at 14 grams of protein per serving.
Try all four and work your favorites into your weekly rotation for effortlessly balanced meals!