Anthony Anderson didn’t let diabetes ruin his life. In fact, the once portly actor lost weight after realizing he needed to get his health in check once and for all.
Now the spokesman for Lilly USA’s F.A.C.E. (Fearless African-Americans Connected and Empowered) Diabetes initiative, Anderson is lighter and happier – and he’s made some lifestyle changes that help him stay that way. If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic – and millions of Americans are – you can make some dietary changes to become healthier as well.
Like Anderson, we took a look at some soul food favorites that can be made over to keep one feeling good without sacrificing taste. Keep in mind that both sugar and carbohydrates often have to be restricted to keep diabetics healthy.
Fave: FRIED CHICKEN
Healthy Option: OVEN-BAKED CHICKEN
Everyone loves fried chicken, but it’s full of fat and calories. Any baked version will be by definition much healthier but still tasty. This is one way to make a soul-food favorite healthier while still satisfying any finicky eaters in your household.
Fave: SCRAMBLED EGGS AND CHEESE WITH PORK BACON
Healthy Option: TURKEY BACON WITH POACHED EGGS
Yes, there are a fair share of us who love to wake up to the smell of pork bacon frying in the pan. Well, pork bacon is reportedly the less healthy option to its leaner alternative, turkey bacon. If your local butcher doesn’t carry it, turkey bacon is now a staple on supermarket shelves. And if you want to prepare those eggs with less fat, you can always poach them, which is quick, easy and a still tasty option for breakfast. And let’s get rid of that white bread for toast. White flour products are a no-no for most diabetics.
Fave: FRIED FISH
Healthy Option: GRILLED OR BAKED FISH
Who doesn’t like a good fish fry? But fried foods can often be a problem in healthy diets, as frying adds calories. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat tasty fish, which can be a great staple for those who want to eat well. Grilling, whether inside or outside, or baking are great options for those who love their fish. Seasoning is what makes the difference, and we don’t mean tons of salt. There are great marinades and grill rubs that make even the blandest fish taste delicious.
Fave: GRANDMA’S MACARONI AND CHEESE
Healthy option: DIABETIC FRIENDLY MACARONI AND CHEESE
We all love creamy, cheesy, macaroni and cheese. But this version, made with special low-carb pasta, uses lower-fat milk and cheese to make this favorite much leaner for diabetics.
Fave: RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Healthy Option: RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
There’s nothing more delicious than a red velvet cupcake, but if you’re diabetic, the sugar, fat and calories involved won’t be worth the treat. But you can modify the recipe and still make a version that will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. One big change – the substitution of high-fat cream cheese with whipped cream frosting.
To find more great recipes lower in fat, sugar and calories, check out these cookbooks. And keep in mind that healthy, nutritious eating is not just for diabetics!
“Lowfat Soul” by Jonell Nash.