Affordable Diabetic Cooking
by Jonni McCoy
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The Top 5 Tips for Reading Food Labels
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My dad is a diabetic. I cannot afford to pay the outrageous prices that they have in the "sugarless" shops and some of the foods contain more salt or sugar than he is allowed. I really don't trust anything that says "sugar-free." I would love to learn how to make him cakes, foods and simple snacks for him to enjoy without the worry of too much of salt and/or sugar.
Cooking from scratch is going to be the best answer for your situation. If you can't afford the convenience of pre-made food, and you don't trust the ingredients, then you need to make your own. To get you started, I would look into some sugar-free cookbooks. Some use natural sugars which won't help you, but some use NutraSweet, Splenda, or Stevia (an herb).
I personally think NutraSweet is not good for us, so I would explore the other sweeteners. But many people have gotten used to the taste or prefer working with it. For cooking ideas that use NutraSweet, visit their website at equal.com.
Next, let's look at Splenda. It is actually called sucralose and is made from sugar, but has no calories and only a trace of carbohydrates. It is approved for diabetics, has no after taste, nor does it get bitter when you heat it, as NutraSweet does. It is used to sweeten Diet Rite soda, and some other products now. Some people claim there are health issues associated with the long-term use of Splenda. For recipe ideas using Splenda, visit their website at splenda.com.
And last, but never least, let's look at Stevia. It is a very sweet herb but has no effect on blood sugar or tooth decay. It comes in herb flakes, powdered as well as liquid form. One manufacturer has trademarked their product of Stevia as Stevita. It is 100% natural and has no side effects. Stevia can be purchased at most health food stores. There are websites that help with cooking with Stevia. One to try is cookingwithstevia.com. There are cookbooks for Stevia use as well. Here are some that offered lots of good advice:
- Stevia Sweet Recipes by Jeffrey Goettemoeller
- The Stevia Cookbook by Ray Sahelian
- Sugar-Free Cooking With Stevia by James Kirkland
- Low-Carb Cooking With Stevia by James Kirkland
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