Healthy diabetic meals don’t have to be bland! While it’s true that sugar does make food taste delicious, there are other ways. These tips can help you add lots of flavor to low carbohydrate and low sugar meals, without compromising nutrition.
Spice it up!
A simple way to add flavor to low carbohydrate and low sugar foods for diabetics is to familiarize yourself with your spice rack. Herbs and spices not only bring more flavor and complexity to foods, but can also add nutritional benefits. For example, cinnamon brings out the natural sweetness in many vegetables. Ginger is not only full of flavor, and like cinnamon, can add sweetness without sugar, but has been used to reduce nausea and improve circulation.
While a single spice added to your meal is delicious, spice mixes are even better. Sprinkle a spice mix (be sure it’s low in sugar and salt) over vegetables before roasting them, or on top of meat in place of sugary sauces.
Fresh herbs also pack quite a lot of flavor without adding carbohydrates. Chopped basil or parsley are at home in many a dish. Be sure to add fresh herbs close to the end of cooking to preserve the most flavor! You can also chop up fresh herbs and sprinkle them over a meal after plating.
Add a Bit of Acidity
A splash of lemon juice, a bit of tomato paste (unsweetened, of course), or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar might be all a dish needs for a flavor boost. Adding a bit of acidity can enhance other flavors in a dish without adding any sugar or salt. Just a little bit of balsamic or champagne vinegar is sure to brighten up a salad, and a squeeze of lemon can completely replace the need for sugar in your tea!
Grab Your Crock Pot
While it’s certainly faster to grill or roast foods, slow cooking can add a lot of flavor to a dish. Many naturally occurring flavor compounds in vegetables and spices are destroyed at higher temperatures, so slow cooking your meals can ensure that these flavors are preserved. Additionally, slow cooking allows all of the flavors to blend together, creating a more complex dish. Sprinkle on some chopped fresh parsley to a slow cooked chili for an extraordinarily delicious meal that’s low in sugar.
Try Fermented Foods
Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles is all the rage, and it’s no surprise - these condiments can add a lot of flavor to a dish, without a lot of sugar. Mustard, relish, sauerkraut and even some brands of ketchup can be great low sugar flavor enhancers for your meal. Mustard also makes a great marinade for meats, with almost no carbohydrates per tablespoon serving! Of course, you should be sure to check the labels to be sure that no extra sugar has been added.
Healthy Home-Delivered Meals
Perhaps the easiest way of all to enjoy healthy, diabetic-friendly meals without added sugar is to order home-delivered meals that are tailored to diabetics. These meals are not only full of flavor, but are balanced to meet diabetics’ nutritional needs. Home-delivered meals take the stress out of planning and cooking low carbohydrate and low sugar meals, and can save quite a bit of time in preparation and shopping, allowing you to manage your diabetes with ease.
Looking for more information on diabetes and nutrition? Read this article.
GA Foods’ meals are all DRI-compliant and low in sodium, fat, cholesterol, and sugar, making them suitable for individuals needing modified diets for diabetes and cardiac disease. For more information, click here.