(BlackDoctor.org) — If breakfast is the most neglected meal of the day, lunch can often be the most hurried. Fast-food restaurants and food courts often win out over more healthy options because we lead such hectic lives. But they don’t have to be your only option — and, in fact, they shouldn’t be your first choice if you have type 2 diabetes.
In general, try to pack your own lunch whenever possible — the health benefits can be enormous. Short on prep time? Put these quick and nutritious lunch ideas on your diabetes menu to fill you up and keep your blood sugar in check.
Salad should be a part of your lunch menu if you have diabetes. You can create a different salad every day of the week by varying your toppings. Try grilled chicken, shrimp, or fish, but avoid heaping on a lot of fattening ingredients, such as bacon bits and heavy cheeses.
Salads with lots of raw vegetables are best, including carrots, cucumbers, radishes, celery, and spinach. Sprinkle nuts or seeds on top, add a few dried cranberries, and garnish with some avocado chunks to give it zip. Always choose low-fat or fat-free salad dressings or, for a change, flavored vinegars.
As with salads, there are many ways to spice up a sandwich. Start with whole-grain bread or a whole-wheat tortilla. Add lean meat, such as turkey, ham, or grilled chicken; layer on your choice of veggies; add mustard, low-fat mayo, or hummus to the mix — and you have a filling and tasty lunch. Stay away from greasy chips, French fries, and other fattening sides. Instead choose fruit, a few pretzels, or carrot and celery sticks to complement your meal.
3. Hearty Soups
Soup can be a good option for lunch, with many healthy choices to consider. Chicken noodle, chicken and rice, and tomato (made without cream) are all good soup choices. Others include butternut squash, gazpacho and other chunky vegetable varieties, miso, and pasta and bean soups. Avoid cream-based soups and chowders. Remember, soup freezes well. You can make a large batch and freeze it in individual containers; with a microwave you have a nearly instant lunch.