Last week, I discussed diabetes management. This week I want to focus on the level of information available to make healthy choices. Once you have begun this journey, know the world is out there helping you plan your meals. It may not be easy or simple, and old habits are hard to break. But if you start today, by taking small yet significant steps, you will make a big difference in your health or the health of a loved one.
First, take advantage of the fact that all packaged foods sold in the USA has to have nutritional information on the package. Plan meals ahead of time and look for easy substitutions for beloved recipes.
It is always difficult to go out to eat, knowing that you are doing all you can to eat healthy foods, and when you sit down to eat you have no idea what foods are going to be part of your dinner. Here is a simple solution. Most restaurants have websites that preview their menus. If that is not available, call the restaurant and ask for the chef. Ask what foods are going to be used in your dinner and how the food will be prepared (believe me you will not be the first person making this call).
In addition, many restaurants offer “healthy preparation” including roasting or grilling ingredients and serving without high calorie sauces. Get all the important nutritional information - how many calories, how much sugar, how much sodium. This knowledge can help you make good choices. Ask the restaurant for smaller portions and, if they are not available, eat the appropriate amount and ask your waiter to package the remainder to take home.
In our dining rooms at Sunrise we are dedicated to providing diabetic friendly food, to ensure we are caring for residents in the best way possible. All recipes produced in our kitchens are done so without any added salt. On our table menus we identify the options that are lower in salt. We also make available all the nutritional information for all menu items served.
If you or a loved one has diabetes or heart disease, I encourage you to visit a Sunrise community and speak with our chefs. Ask them about the preparation of our foods and nutritional values. For a tasty at-home treat, try a diabetic-friendly recipe that we proudly serve in our Sunrise communities – honey balsamic salmon. Salmon is a great choice for individuals with diabetes because of the high levels of omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon. Omega 3 fatty acids help protect the heart by reducing inflammation, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels in the blood. Omega 3s also help to raise “good” cholesterol levels – a high ratio of “good” cholesterol to “bad” cholesterol is a marker for heart health.
Honey Balsamic Salmon
Salmon filets, 4 oz - 4 each (about 1 lb)
Honey – 1 tbsp
Balsamic vinegar – 1 tbsp
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Non-stick spray – as needed
Preheat the oven to 400˚f. Place the salmon filets, skin side down, on a cookie sheet that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Season the salmon with salt and pepper if desired. Whisk together the honey, vinegar, oil, and lemon juice. Brush evenly over the salmon. Roast salmon in the oven until the glaze has caramelized and salmon is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories – 226
Fat – 12 grams – 17% of daily value
Saturated fat – 1.5 grams – 9% of daily value
Sodium – 55 milligrams – 2% of daily value
Potassium – 640 milligrams – 21% of daily value
Carbohydrates – 3 grams – 1%