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Diabetes can be hard to control, especially if you don’t have any time to plan lunch or dinner. In the hopes of making your life a little easier, here are 10 quick and easy lunch ideas that are sure to keep your diabetes in check while keeping your taste buds happy.
The next time you find yourself staring at the clock and rushing out the door to work, remember these great options and implement them into your daily routine! They’re quick and simple, so why not? Here’s to healthy eating on-the-go!
1) Apple Slices
Apples are a great source of fiber, which is a crucial component in helping to keep blood sugar levels in check. Because they also contain natural sugars, apples can also be used as a vehicle for carrying other diabetes-friendly ingredients such as nuts, seeds or nut butters.
Apples are super versatile, you can eat them whole or slice them up and add them to salads. They’re best eaten raw since cooking tends to destroy some of their nutritional value.
2) Eggs on Toast
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which is great news if you’re watching your weight. They also pack healthy nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
To make a quick meal on whole grain toast, simply fry up two eggs in a bit of olive oil until they’re slightly browned. Top with fresh pepper and enjoy!
3) Yogurt with Fruit
Yogurt is a natural source of calcium, protein, potassium, zinc, vitamin B12 and riboflavin. It’s an especially good choice if you have diabetes because it contains moderate amounts of carbs (5g per 1/2 cup) as well as protein (11g per 1/2 cup), which helps keep blood glucose stable.
Combine yogurt with fresh fruit or other healthy add-ins such as nuts or flaxseed to make a filling lunch in just minutes.
4) Chicken Salad
Not only is chicken salad healthy, but it’s also quick to make, easy to pack up, and a perfect option for lunch on-the-go. If you’re looking to eat clean but don’t want to commit yourself to making something during your busy morning routine, consider whipping up a batch of chicken salad before bed.
Then at lunchtime all you have to do is toss it in a container and head out! Chicken salad can be made with diced chicken breast or ground chicken. Adding celery and onion gives it great flavor.
Avocados are high in healthy fats and a great way to control your blood sugar. That’s because they don’t cause a sharp rise in insulin levels after you eat them, like foods made with refined flour or sugar do. In fact, they may even help lower your blood sugar.
Add mashed avocado to chicken salad or tuna (mix 1⁄4 of an avocado with 2 tablespoons mayonnaise), use it as a sandwich spread, or spread it on whole-grain toast instead of buttering it.
6) Soup in a Jar
It sounds like something from a 1930s cooking show, but soup in a jar is actually an ideal lunch solution. Just make some soup, pour it into an airtight container and leave it in your fridge.
When you’re ready to eat, put one of those little plastic single-serve creamers (or any kind of drinking cup) in your insulated bag with a small spoon and go!
7) Stuffed Peppers
This delicious meal consists of simply white rice, bell peppers, onions, meat and cheese. All you need to do is prepare each ingredient separately. Combine all ingredients into a large bowl once they are ready.
After you stuff your peppers with your favorite filling, place them in a baking dish with a can of tomatoes on top. Bake in oven at 350 F degrees for 20 minutes or until they are warm enough to serve. Enjoy!
8) Hummus Wraps
For a quick lunch idea, try a hummus wrap. Combine one part hummus with two parts veggies like cucumber or green pepper. Roll up in whole wheat pita bread with a cup of fresh cut fruit on the side.
Be sure to watch your portions so you don’t blow your daily carb limit. This is also great if you’re on-the-go. Be careful though, not all hummus is created equal, some brands are higher in fat than others, so watch out!
9) Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa Bowls
Mix up some roasted vegetables, like eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, garlic cloves, spinach and onions with your favorite seasoning with half a cup of cooked quinoa. Serve it over a bed of arugula or other greens. Enjoy!
10) Turkey Wrap/Salad Sandwich Combo
Unwrap a 7-inch whole-wheat tortilla, spread with your favorite hummus, roll up and enjoy. Not only is this light lunch easy to eat on-the-go, but it’s also full of fiber (7 grams) to keep you full until dinner.
If you want to make it a little more filling (and diabetic friendly), add some sliced turkey breast in place of some of that creamy hummus. Add one cup of leafy greens on top for even more nutrients!
When you have type 2 diabetes, you have to carefully monitor your diet. If you don’t pay attention to what you eat, then your blood sugar levels will rise higher than normal. Eating a healthy lunch will help regulate blood sugar levels.
When you are preparing lunches at home, be mindful of ingredients and serving sizes. Some foods contain more carbohydrates than others, so keep them to a minimum if they’re not part of your meal plan or diabetes treatment plan.
Minimize saturated fats and trans fats as well. Choose lean protein sources such as chicken breast, turkey breast or tuna packed in water over ground beef or pork. Use low-fat dairy products whenever possible (but read those labels).
Switch out mayonnaise-based salads with vinaigrette-based salads instead. By substituting fruits, vegetables and whole grains in place of some grains and starches on your plate, you can still enjoy a filling lunch without worrying about insulin spikes after eating it.
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