One of the first things most people will tell you when you discover that you’re diabetic is that you can still eat all the foods you enjoy: you simply need to modify the recipes slightly. However if you hate to cook and prefer to eat takeout food or in restaurants, discovering that you have diabetes can mean having to drastically alter the way that you eat. The fatty burgers and sugar-laden ice cream sundaes that you’d typically find in your local fast food joint certainly aren’t a healthy part of a diabetic diet and even the finest average restaurant meal is packed with carbohydrates, sodium and fat. So what do you do if you don’t want to have to slice and dice veggies and slave over a hot stove, but still want to look after yourself and eat as healthy a diet as possible? Here are a few simple dinner ideas for diabetics who hate to cook:
Read the Menus
If you love eating out then the Diabetes Association of America has some great tips for the healthiest ways to do so. One of these is to eat in restaurants that are more-likely to be able to deal with your special dietary requirements. If you’re planning to eat out then phone ahead, as it may help the restaurant to deal with your needs and they will also let you know whether they allow menu substitutions. You could then order double veggies instead of French fries and gravy or steak sauce that is cooked to order without salt.
Share the Load with Friends
In the United States alone, diabetes affects 25.8 million people. That’s a whopping 8.3 percent of the U.S. population who are currently suffering from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In the UK 4.3 percent of the population (approximately 3 million people) currently suffer from diabetes and in Canada the number stands at an estimated 9 million people living with diabetes. Whilst some might find these statistics surprising, it does mean that you’re highly likely to already know one or two people who have diabetes. If you choose to join a local support group after your diagnosis then you’ll meet even more! You might even find you’re not alone in your dislike of cooking: so why not pool your resources? Team together with a small group of friends and each cook a large batch of a dish to distribute among each other. Buy a cook book or two and learn to cook a few simple recipes you can make in huge batches. By sharing them with your friends or family you’ll be able to eat something different and delicious every day, but you’ll only have to cook once or twice a week. Alternatively, you could take cooking lessons with your friends: It could help you learn to love cooking after all!
Visit Your Local Deli
You can buy a vast variety of healthy pre-cooked food from your local deli. Dishes such as pre-baked chicken, pre-bagged salads and even cold cuts of meat can all be picked up from your deli counter and enjoyed at home with no cooking involved whatsoever. You can even purchase veggies that have already been cooked: you simply need to heat them up. Be careful when adding salad dressings and sauces to season your meal though, as these are often laden with hidden salt and can quickly turn a healthy meal into a very unhealthy one.
Remember that when you eat out or purchase pre-prepared foods you often have very little control over the amount of sugar, salt or fat that goes into the meals you are eating. This means that your levels of carbohydrates, sodium and fat could be unnecessarily high, and you may miss out on some of the more essential nutrients that your body needs. Why not consider learning to cook and whipping up a home-cooked dinner every now and again? It doesn’t take long, and it isn’t as hard as you think. Even if you hate to cook, you’ll be surprised by the positive affect it will have on your body and your well-being!