Finding out that you or a loved one has diabetes can feel overwhelming. There is a lot of information to process regarding not only medical necessities like checking blood glucose or knowing what an A1C number is, but there is also a lot to know regarding the required diet. Diabetic meals plans typically include suggestions to reduce sodium, reduce processed carbohydrates, and, of course, limit sugars. However, this can sound simpler than it really is.
While the recommended daily sodium limit for most people is 2,300 mg per day, it is 1,500 mg for people with diabetes or high blood pressure. Considering the average American eats more than 3,400 mg of sodium per day, reducing this number can be difficult.
Many people are not aware of all of the places that sodium hides in our everyday foods. Sodium is even lurking in what appear to be “healthy” choices likes soups or deli turkey meat and cheese.
You might be surprised to hear that the 6” melted turkey breast sandwich at a very popular fresh subway franchise contains 1020 mg of sodium. This is more than half of the daily limit in just one food item. Pair it with a bag of Baked Lays and the sodium increases another 180 mg. One meal can put someone far past 75% of their daily limit easily.
Another area where is often a lot of sodium is in canned vegetables. Consider the patient that is told to eat more vegetables to stabilize his blood sugar. He does so by buying things like canned green beans and spinach. Little does he know that each serving packs about 200-400 mg of sodium. Keep in mind that there are about 3.5 servings per can!
Part of the reason for increased sodium in foods is processing and packaging. These things help to make our foods last longer and supposedly taste better. Processed carbohydrates or refined carbohydrates are typically a double whammy in that they are not only not whole grains but they are also packaged with things like extra sugars.
Our easy and convenient lifestyles have led to many not even knowing how to prepare a fresh, home-cooked meal from scratch anymore. We are used to the ease of using cheap, processed foods which are masked to taste like they are homemade.
So what is a diabetic who is used to this environment supposed to do? Convenient, microwavable diabetic meals are typically very difficult to find in grocery stores. The frozen food section’s nutritional labels will show a variety of added refined sugars, sodium, processed carbohydrates, and chemical preservatives. Even if one can find a brand with lower sodium, they often taste bland and boring.
Luckily there are services that provide prepared diabetic meals that are created by talented chefs seeking to help diabetic patients. By using combinations of flavorful, fresh, and unique spices, these chefs help diabetics not miss the extra salt and sugar that our palates have become to accustomed to our Western diets.
With meals delivered right to the door and able to be heated quickly, those with diabetes don’t have to worry about planning an entire diet around their restrictions. They can instead continue to enjoy dishes such as seafood, chicken, and even beef without worry of “messing up” their blood sugar.
Managing your diabetes diet does not have to be difficult if you use the resources that are now available to help. Diabetic meal plans delivered to your home can be one less worry you will have to think about each day.