What can I cook for my diabetic husband?

Cathytaylor asked...

We just found out my husband has type 2 diabetes and we don't have health insurance. What kind of food should he eat?

Expert Answer

Theresa Garnero is clinical nurse manager of Diabetes Services at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Cook a variety of fresh foods, mostly plants, and serve them in moderation. One easy way to think about how such a diet might look is to imagine a plate (9 inches round). On half of the plate pile veggies, on a quarter of the plate serve protein, and on the other quarter put carbohydrates or starches. For example, you could have zucchini, mushroom and bell pepper stir fried in veggie broth covering half of the plate, a baked chicken breast for protein on one quarter of the plate, and a dinner roll the size of your fist for carbs on the remaining quarter. Or, if that doesn’t strike your fancy, what veggies do you both like? Would you prefer to substitute fish or tofu as the protein? How about a cup of pasta or brown rice for the starch?

You should know there is no such thing as a diabetic diet; that’s a common myth. A healthy, well-balanced meal for a person without diabetes is also a good choice for a person with the disease. And you don’t have to go broke to eat well. To begin with, choose fresh food over processed, prepared foods, which cost more, to stay within your food budget. (Read more information about how to follow diet recommendations without breaking the bank here.)

Get more advice on how to eat well without spending a lot by having a consultation with a registered dietitian who is also a certified diabetes educator. Contact your local hospital, click here, or call 1-800-TEAMUP4 (800-832-6874) to locate a certified diabetes educator in your area. You can pay for an individual consult or ask if the hospital has a charity program. Medicare also covers this cost; check with your husband’s doctor about how to qualify for this service. It’s worth the effort: Your husband would benefit from getting an individualized meal plan. Diabetes educators also know about local support groups, which is another way to get credible nutrition information.

Finally, to watch how to make simple, delicious and easy-to-prepare meals, check out the cooking tab on dLife’s website or simply scroll for recipes on the same site.

Bon Appetit!