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Are you concerned that your family is getting too many carbs at mealtimes? If you or your family member struggle with diabetes or are at risk for diabetes, why not start now with getting the whole family on a lower carb diet for better blood sugar control or diabetes prevention? Let's look at some simple (and hopefully, painless) ways to ease up on carb intake.
- Drop the bread- Do you serve bread or rolls with each meal? Try leaving bread off occasionally and then eventually discontinue it completely at mealtimes. This will eliminate a source of carbs that are usually low in nutrient value and could contribute a substantial amount of carbs to the daily diet. Here's a link for a lower carb "roll" you can try out.
- Avoid breaded or coated meats- Instead of using a carb based coating for your meats, try a simple marinade or sprinkle with seasonings instead. Other options include nut based flours such as almond flour, coconut flour or low carb baking mix.
- Wean off sweetened beverages- Encourage your family to use more water or unsweetened beverages such as sparkling water, unsweetened tea, etc. Sugary beverages provide a huge portion of carbs with very little nutritional value. Place bottled water front and center in the fridge to make it easy and convenient.
- Limit the number of carb foods served at meal time- Review your favorite meals to see if you are serving too many highly processed carbs such as pasta, bread, whipped potatoes, etc. at the same meal. If your family insists on having several high carb foods at a meal, for example, spaghetti and french bread, look for those foods in a lower carb version or a form that provides more complex carbs. (Spaghetti is available whole wheat, lower carb or use spiralized zucchini.) Here are 2 posts I wrote with ideas for low carb meals that are easy to prep: 19 low carb meals and 26 more low carb meals.
- Lower carb dessert - Are you in the habit of serving high carb desserts? If you serve cake or pie often, consider a lighter dessert such as sugar free ice cream over fruit, low sugar fudge bars, low sugar pudding parfait, etc. Here's a recipe that is lower calorie and super easy- Mini Pie Bites.
- Large carb portions or extra carb servings- There is a much greater temptation to overeat carbs if you place bowls of food at the table. Try leaving the higher carb food in the kitchen and let everyone prepare their plates there. Place meat and low carb veggies at the table to encourage filling up on these. If your meal is heavy on carbs, serve a low carb soup or salad as a first course.
- Snacks before mealtime- Does your family come to the meal ravenous and unable to get "filled up"? Make sure everyone has access to healthful snacks a few hours before meal times to help prevent possible bouts of low blood sugar. This will help them control portions at meal times and will also help prevent sugar cravings later. Check out my list of diabetes-friendly snacks for some easy snack ideas.