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Living With Diabetes: Food Choices on a Tight Budget

Living With Diabetes: Food Choices on a Tight Budget. DiabeticGourmet.com

Diabetes is a disease that results in high blood glucose levels (sugar levels). These high sugar levels can lead to serious diabetes complications.

Approximately 26-million people nationwide have diabetes. For these people, making healthy food choices, being physically active, and reaching and staying at a healthy weight are all keys to managing the disease.

Making healthy food choices on a budget can be a challenge, but it's possible to eat well without spending a lot of money or time.

Consider these tips to eat better, save time, and stretch your food dollars.

  • Review grocery store ads and clip coupons.

  • Make a list of what you need and plan ahead to cook enough food to have a second meal.

  • Visit your local farmers market where prices tend to be lower because you buy direct from the farmer.

  • Buy frozen or canned vegetables with no salt added and canned fruit packed in juice - they are just as good for you as fresh produce and will not go bad.

  • Buy low-fat or fat-free milk in the largest containers you can handle before it spoils.

  • Make your own meals and snacks at home instead of buying less healthy, more expensive prepackaged and processed foods such as macaroni and cheese or spaghetti.

  • Healthy snack ideas include air-popped popcorn or 1 cup of vegetables served with some salsa or a little low-fat salad dressing.

Here's an example of a healthy recipe that the whole family can enjoy. Designed to serve nine people, nutrition information, including carbohydrate grams, is provided for the recipe.

Beef and Bean Chili

Yield: 9 servings; 8 oz per serving


  • 2 lb lean beef stew meat, trimmed of fat, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 lb (or 3 cup) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cup canned kidney beans *

    * To cut back on sodium, try using "no salt added" canned kidney beans or beans prepared at home without salt.


  1. Brown meat in large skillet with half of vegetable oil.
  2. Add water. Simmer covered for 1 hour until meat is tender.
  3. Heat remaining vegetable oil in second skillet. Add garlic and onion, and cook over low heat until onion is softened. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add garlic-onion-flour mixture to cooked meat. Then add remaining ingredients to meat mixture. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve chili with a mixed green salad with tomatoes, cucumber, and peppers topped with reduced-fat or fat-free salad dressing.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories 284
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 76 mg
Sodium 162 mg
Total Fiber 4 g
Protein 33 g
Carbohydrates 16 g
Potassium 769 mg

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