Diabetic-Friendly Dinners

Being a diabetic, whether type-1 or type-2, doesn’t always mean that you can’t have some of your favorite meals. All it means is that you must be mindful of what you’re putting into your body, as well as the amounts that you consume. If you really have a craving for something, there is usually a way to medicate yourself properly so that you can partake. However, as any diabetic knows, the goal is to live your life in such a way that you require as little insulin as possible.

With all diabetics it’s all about carbs, since diabetics don’t produce enough insulin to counteract carbohydrates (which are turned into sugar in the bloodstream). While eating no carbs is an option that some diabetics consider, it would mean forgoing a lot of delicious foods. The important thing is to know how many carbs are in each meal so that you can take the appropriate amount of insulin to counteract it.

What follows are some man-friendly dinners that any diabetic can enjoy. Some might require a little more insulin, but overall there are dinners that are lighter on the carbs, heavy on the flavor and definitely filling. Having diabetes shouldn’t feel like you are shackled when you go out for dinner or when you’re having a barbecue. With a few smart choices and a little bit of thinking, you can enjoy a delicious meal that won’t make you feel like you’re missing out.

(Note: Each dinner is listed with an alcoholic beverage, and every diabetic reacts differently to alcohol. Some diabetics get high blood sugar from the carbs in the beverages while others get extreme lows from the alcohol content, so be mindful of this. Dry white wines and red wines are usually diabetic-friendly, but try to stay away from mixed drinks or dessert wines.)

Diabetic-Friendly Dinner: Steak Frites

As much rib-eye steak as you can eat, grilled to your desired doneness

5 ounces of sweet potato fries (25 grams of carbohydrates)

1 cup of string beans (6 grams of carbohydrates)

Red wine

Total carbs: Approximately 31 grams

The great thing about this meal is that every guy loves a good steak and luckily, being a diabetic means you can eat as much steak (and any other protein) as you like without worrying about your body’s reaction. The sweet potato fries are a healthier alternative to regular French fries because the glycemic index is lower, meaning that the sweet potato fries will slowly dissolve in your bloodstream and your blood sugar won’t spike suddenly.AVOID: Don’t overindulge on the fries. Really try to limit yourself to a single portion, but be careful; they can be addictive.

Diabetic-Friendly Dinner: Roast Baby Chicken

1 whole roast baby chicken (roasted in olive oil, not butter)

1 cup of mashed potatoes (35 grams of carbohydrates)

1 cup of broccoli (10 grams of carbohydrates)

Dry white wine

Total carbs: Approximately 45 grams

Chicken and potatoes are a very basic and delicious meal that is extremely satisfying. The baby chicken is fun to eat because you can rip it apart like an animal, and it goes great with the mashed potatoes (or you can do a baked potato if it’s more convenient).

AVOID: Try not to use a sauce or a gravy that is too sweet or creamy — gravies can contain a lot of hidden carbs.

Diabetic-Friendly Dinner: Cheeseburger

2 beef or turkey patties (no bun!) wrapped in iceberg lettuce leaves with tomatoes, onions, ketchup, mayo, etc.

4 ounces of French fries (approximately 40 grams of carbohydrates)

1 cup of asparagus (approximately 4 grams of carbohydrates)

Light beer

Total carbs: Approximately 44 grams

NOTE: You can substitute a bun in lieu of the fries, which would be approximately 25 grams of carbohydrates.

Hey, In N’ Out has “protein style” burgers and you can easily do it yourself with iceberg lettuce leaves and save yourself the bun. Use two turkey patties if you want to be extra healthy and stuff them in those lettuce leaves with a ton of toppings and you won’t be missing that bun at all.

AVOID: Again, watch out for those fries. If you’re worried about your self-control, then treat yourself to the bun, but don’t even bring the fries into the mix.

Diabetic-Friendly Dinner: Baked Mustard-Crusted Salmon

Large piece of salmon

1 cup of rice (approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates)

1 cup of spinach sauteed in olive oil (approximately 2 grams of carbohydrates)

Dry white wine

Total carbs: Approximately 47 grams

Salmon and rice go together very well, and they’re healthy and easy on the tummy — an important detail, since many diabetics can have problems digesting rich foods. Mustard is a good crust because it is considered a “free food," because it has zero carbohydrates. So, be as liberal with the mustard as you like, it’ll help the spinach taste better too!

AVOID: With this one, just be mindful of which rice you are using. Check the nutritional info because certain rices (jasmine, basmati) can be higher in carbs than others (long-grain, wild).

No Just Desserts

The best advice for any diabetic is to just not eat sweets. But if you have a sweet tooth and must have something, the best thing would be to top some sugar-free Jell-O with some whipped cream, which contains practically no carbs. If you replace the Jell-O with sugar-free pudding, it’s about 6 or 7 carbohydrates.

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