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Diabetes and Organic Eating: Is It the Best Choice?

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I love gardening!  It is wonderful to simply begin planning a meal and thinking about all the wonderful vegetables I can choose from directly from the garden that is so healthy for a diabetic. However, it is a lot of work, and yet, I can say it is organic too, which is a healthy choice for any diabetic.  Produce can be labeled as super foods as well.

However, if you look closely at labels in some stores, you may see the words organic on the packages.  How can you know for sure you are getting something of the best quality?  You do want to avoid pesticides and genetically modified ingredients on what you are eating, and buying organic is the way to go, even those it can be more costly, unless you have your own garden.

It is always in your best interest to wash off your produce when you purchase them in your grocery store. Residue can remain on your produce, and it is something you do not want to ingest. But having your own garden, and you don’t use anything but water and sunshine, and a whole lot of mulching, you can simply just rinse off the produce and eat right out of your hand.

In stores, you can find packages with the USDA organic seal and 95% or more of the ingredients are noted as organically produced. But can you say that it is more nutritious or lower in fat, sugar, or calories than conventional, or if preservatives are added?

For anyone who enjoys produce, this is the harvest season to stock up on the plenty of available vegetables that are available at roadside tables, farmer’s markets, food stands, and grocery stores.  Prepping veggies and freezing them for your winter needs is a wise option.  Fruits can also be frozen for smoothies and dessert-making during the winter months.  Apples, pumpkins, peaches, pears,  green beans, tomatoes, and many other types of fruits and vegetables are ready now for harvesting and can be frozen or preserved for eating for months to come.

Don’t be fooled on organic packaging in the stores.  Even among baked goods, you can find an organic cookie, but yet, it still is a cookie!  Sometimes, things that are labeled just are not as healthy as you may think. Don’t be taken by these food labels unless you have done your homework.

While preparing my dinner tonight, I visited the garden.  Making a vegetable casserole with some low-salt kielbasa and cheddar cheese on top has become a favorite in my household.  Choosing vegetables such as celery, carrots, onions, zucchini, green beans, lima beans, and others along with brown rice makes a tasty recipe.  It is a recipe that my children and husband Don loves, in spite their dislikes for lots of vegetables.  The flavor of the meat makes this dish just delightful and healthy, and yet, it is organic, straight from the garden.  Here is my recipe for you to try!

KIELBASA  1 - CUP VEGETABLE CASSEROLE:

  • 2 c. kielbasa, diced in small squares (low sodium choice)
  • 2 c. cooked rice, brown preferred (white, optional)
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. corn
  • 1 .c. peas
  • 1 c. green beans
  • 1 c. of carrots
  • 1 c. of lima beans
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small zucchini, cubed
  • 1 can of creamed chicken or mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • Dash of pepper and garlic salt (to taste)

*Optional: Add other vegetables of your choice, cubed zucchini, squash, green pepper, broccoli, and more

In a large pan, combine the meat and vegetables and mix well. cook and bring to a boil, then simmer.

Top the casserole with cheese. Cover. Serve when the cheese is all melted and juices are basically cooked into the casserole well. YUM!  (1 cup – 100 calories)

Even when eating out in a restaurant, you may see a menu that announces the most eye-catching dish labeled as “organic”.  Again, you can inquire from your server how it is prepared and if anything is added to it. You can inquire where the produce was purchased from, and how the chef has prepared it.  Knowing the truth may sway you into buying the regular vegetable dish over the organic one.  Doing your homework and thorough reading the menu will help you make the best choice when eating out.

For someone with diabetes, leaning toward having a garden will benefit them greatly with organic produce.  The experience of gardening also allows the diabetic to get their hands in the soil, learn how to grow tomatoes, beans, and fruits and find ways to reduce their stress level, and is wonderful exercise!  A garden will give you enjoyment, satisfaction, and a full belly of tasty organic produce that your body loves!

So, instead of choosing those endless bags of chips, the fast food French fries, greasy pizzas that increase your hypertension risks and takes a toll on your overall health, choose vegetables from the garden.  Adding salt to your food and eating a lot of processed or pre-packaged foods that boost your sodium intake is something that a diabetic can choose to change. Choose organic or fresh produce instead of these other choices that is not good for your health.

It is good to know that studies show that fruits and vegetables may prevent many illnesses.  It may reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. Fiber can help greatly with digestive problems and has so many overall health benefits.

To save money, grow organically and live life to the fullest!  That is my challenge to anyone who is a non-diabetic or trying to manage their diabetes with healthier eating choices!  Begin a non-sedentary lifestyle, eat what you grow, and get that freezer full for winter! Today is the day for change!

Last Updated:9/9/2013
Important:The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health.
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Date: 10.12.2018, 12:10 / Views: 73195