Thursday, August 25, 2011

Food Storage for Diabetics

Diabetes often runs in families, which is the case in our group. One important key to maintaining proper blood sugar levels is to carefully monitor the intake of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, wheat, rice, corn, honey, sugar and many other foods that are usually at the top of food storage lists are also carbohydrate-rich. Although these foods store well for many years and provide lots of calories to help sustain life, unfortunately, those calories are primarily in the form of carbohydrates, not a diabetic’s best friend. So, what should you store if you’re planning meals for a diabetic?

To begin with, store lots of vegetables, preferably dried vegetables (but avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn). Canned veggies are OK, except many contain an abundance of salt. This is bad because many diabetics suffer from metabolic syndrome, a combination of conditions including diabetes, high blood cholesterol, and high blood pressure. For these people, it’s not enough to battle blood sugar levels, they must also eat with their cholesterol and blood pressure levels in mind. So, salt intake should be kept to a minimum. Most dehydrated foods (especially the ones you prepare yourself) contain only the sodium naturally occurring in the food, nothing else added.

It’s also important to store lots of protein-rich foods including canned fish, such as tuna and salmon, as well as canned poultry (preferably chicken) and meat. Go easy on red meats, though, as research indicates that eating one serving per day of unprocessed red meat increases the risk of diabetes by 19%. That risk is increased if the meat is processed. In fact, eating one serving per day of processed meat (such as bacon or hot dogs) increases the risk of diabetes by 51%!

We also store fruit canned in water (rather than in sugary syrup). Fruits are high in acid, so it is perfectly safe to can fruit without adding sugar. DO NOT attempt to can pickles or relishes without sugar, though. This is because pickles and relishes are made with vegetables, which are low in acid. You must carefully follow recipe directions when canning anything that contains vegetables.

In addition to vegetables, fruits and canned protein foods, we store lots of grains and legumes. Concentrate on whole grains and try to stockpile those grains that are high in protein, yet low in carbohydrates. A number of studies show that eating whole grain foods and legumes can help control blood sugar. This is because of the insoluble fiber that these foods contain. Needless to say, avoid white flour and use a whole grain flour, instead. The following chart shows the protein, carbohydrate and calorie content of one cup of flour from various sources.



One cup of
Protein (grams)
Carbohydrates
(grams)
Calories
Soy flour
40
32
480
Rye flour, dark
20.36
77
416
Triticale flour, whole grain
17
95
439
Quinoa flour
16
72
440
Spelt flour
16
88
480
Teff flour
16
88
452
Wheat flour, whole grain
15.8
86
408
Barley flour
15.5
110
511
Buckwheat flour (whole groat)
15
85
402
White flour (wheat, all-purpose)
12.9
95
455
Millet flour
12.8
87
444
Rice flour, white
9.4
127
578
Corn flour (whole grain, yellow)
8
90
422

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