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Diabetesfreundliche Essenslieferpläne

von NFI Redaktion

Mealtime can be a tough question when you have diabetes. In addition to budget and time, you also need to consider the grams of carbohydrates, fats, and sugars in a recipe, and how the meal will affect your blood sugar levels.

This is where a diabetes meal delivery plan can be your ally.

„The right meal delivery service can eliminate the guesswork of eating a balanced meal,“ says Melissa Nieves, LND, MPH, registered dietitian and author of the Fad Free Nutrition Blog. „Sometimes people don’t have time to plan, buy ingredients, or prepare a meal, which is why ordering from a meal service is a great option.“

Meal delivery plans offer cost savings compared to eating out and the convenience of not having to cook yourself. They also give you more control than eating at restaurants.

„Most meals eaten out contain a lot of fat, sugar, and sodium – ingredients that people with diabetes should restrict,“ says Sandra Arévalo Valencia, MPH, spokesperson for the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists. „Even delivered meals tailored to your health needs should contain fewer of these nutrients.“

Meal plans also make it harder to overeat. The portions are generally smaller than those in restaurants and require less dividing than recipes for large quantities. However, you should still check how many servings are in each portion.

With some meal delivery programs, you receive ingredients ready to assemble. Others deliver a pre-prepared meal that you can heat and serve. However, not all nutrition plans are equally diabetes-friendly.

Any meal plan you choose should be based on the government’s My Plate guide for healthy eating, says Tami Ross, spokesperson for the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists.

„About half of the plate should be covered with non-starchy vegetables, as they have little impact on blood sugar,“ she says. Examples include broccoli, carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, and asparagus. Divide the other half of your plate evenly between a protein like chicken breast, fish, or tofu, and a starch like corn, quinoa, or brown rice.

Other things to look for are programs developed by a dietitian and containing nutrition information, says Ross.

When comparing plans, you should also consider a few things:

  • Are the meals low in calories, sugar, saturated fat, carbohydrates, and sodium?
  • Are they prepared with fresh ingredients?
  • Can you customize them to fit your health needs, taste, preferences, and food intolerances/allergies?
  • Can you afford the plan?
  • How much prep work do you need to do?

The most important question is: Will you enjoy the food? „You need to choose something sustainable,“ says Arnold.

Monitoring your carbohydrate intake is an important part of diabetes management. If you are overweight, you also want to know how many calories you are consuming with each meal. And the sodium content is important for those who also have high blood pressure.

Some plans include nutrition labeling on their meals. If not, you will need to do some research on the company’s website or call them to ask for nutrition information.

„My last resort would be to look up and calculate the calories of the meals through a website or app like Nutritiondata.com,“ says Valencia. A registered dietitian can also help you determine the nutritional content of the meals.

Watch out for hidden sources of carbohydrates. „There are secrets in the sauces,“ says Dr. Scott Crow, diabetes consultant at UF Health Shands Hospital. Some sauces and gravies contain a lot of sugar or are thickened with flour or cornstarch. If you’re not sure what’s in the sauce, Crow recommends ordering it on the side and using it sparingly.

The real test of a meal delivery plan is its impact on your blood sugar. „What people need to do is check their blood sugar before eating, consume the meal, and then check it again two hours later,“ suggests Arnold. „That way, you can see how much your blood sugar level has changed. Then you’ll know if the plan is suitable for your diabetes.“

A diabetes meal plan makes it easy to have at least one healthy meal a day. However, you are still on your own for the other two meals. You may want to borrow some tips or recipes from your meal service to help plan breakfast and lunch.

Crow recommends focusing your meals on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They are good sources of fiber and other nutrients. „The more fiber you have, the longer it takes for your stomach to digest a meal. You’ll have fewer glucose spikes,“ he says.

Don’t forget an important part of a meal that is not included in your plan. „You can have your meals delivered, but what are you going to drink with it?“ Ross asks. Sodas, sweet tea, and fruit juices are full of carbohydrates and calories. And alcohol can lower your blood sugar. Water or sugar-free drinks are the best drinks for a meal.

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