Salad Mythbusters for Diabetes
Many people recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes have heard that they should not add certain ingredients that would add flavor to their salads. They fear that adding carbs, fat, and sugar containing ingredients will reduce the healthiness of their healthy salad. But, that is not always the case.
1. Croutons should be avoided.
Many diabetics believe that they should not add croutons to their salads because of the added carbohydrates. However, croutons can be a source of energy, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates. Keep in mind that everyone needs some carbohydrates in order to gain energy each day.
There are many different ways to prepare croutons and some ways are healthier than others. Before you dress your salad with the crunchy stuff, be sure to learn how the croutons are prepared. Avoid croutons that were slathered with butter before baking. However, croutons that are prepared out of whole wheat bread could be a very healthy source of nutrients. Also, baked croutons are better than deep-fried croutons.
2. A little dressing won’t hurt.
Salad dressing can contain hundreds of calories, including hundreds of calories from fat. In many cases, salad dressing negates the healthiness of a salad in the first place. Before you pour, be sure to read the salad dressing label in order to determine exactly how many calories and grams of fat you are adding to your meal.
Using a low-fat salad dressing or oil and vinegar in moderation is a healthy alternative to eating a completely dry salad. If you wish to add moisture and flavor without the calories, add tuna or chicken. The meat will also go a long way to filling you up, as it is a valuable source of protein.
3. Cranberries are a no-fail addition.
Diabetics need to be aware of their sugar intakes. Many dried fruits and berries, including raisins and cranberries, should be consumed in moderation, even when they are included with a salad.
If you do wish to add a small splash of dried fruit, such as cranberries, be sure that they are not topped with refined sugar, which is sometimes included in order to add sweetness.
However, if you want another crunchy texture, try high fiber nuts like almonds (raw or baked). Also, you can have some sweetness with sugar replacements like Stevia, and Splenda.