Nutrition

Why pair carbohydrates with protein or fat?

By Lindsay Boland, dietetic intern

Blood sugar spikes
Changes in blood sugar levels over time 

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of fuel. When we eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose (sugar) which gets absorbed through the small intestine into the bloodstream. Normally when sugar enters the bloodstream, insulin moves the sugar into our cells to where it is either used for immediate energy or stored for energy to be used later.

When you have diabetes, this process may take a little bit longer either because the body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes properly. This leaves sugar hanging out in the blood stream for longer than it should. Therefore, when carbohydrates are consumed in large quantities, it often causes a spike in blood sugar.  Sometimes it may be necessary to take medications or insulin to help move the sugar out of the blood and into the cells.

The good news is we can help prevent these spikes in blood sugar by pairing certain foods together. Protein, fat and fiber require a little more work to be broken down than carbohydrates. This means these foods stay in our stomachs longer and take more time to enter the bloodstream. Pairing carbohydrate foods with a source of protein or fat and some fiber helps slow the absorption of the sugars into the bloodstream. This helps us maintain more steady blood sugar levels throughout the day, which allows our body to use these sugars appropriately for energy.

Snack examples:

CARBOHYDRATE PROTEIN/FAT
1 Medium Apple 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
5 Whole Grain Crackers 1-2 Hardboiled Eggs
1 Cup Grapes 1oz Cheese
¾ Cup Berries 6-8oz Plain Greek Yogurt
2 Tbsp Dried Fruit 12-15 Almonds
Post content reviewed by Melanie Pearsall, RD, CDE

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Be Fit Basics: Roasted Winter Vegetables

This recipe from the MGH Be Fit program is an easy way to enjoy seasonal vegetables.

Ingredients:
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions:
Set the oven to 425 degrees. Divide the vegetables between two sheet pans (space out in a single layer).  Drizzle equally with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast until vegetables are tender (about 25 to 35 minutes), tossing them once with a metal spatula about halfway through the cooking process.

Note: Using two sheet pans, instead of one, will allow for even cooking. Overcrowding the pan will prevent the vegetables from caramelizing.

Yield:  8 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 180 • Protein: 3g • Sodium: 200mg • Carbohydrate: 34g • Fiber: 8g
Fat: 5g • Sat Fat: 1g

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
recipes

Meatball Mummy Crescent Bites

trick or treat ghostCelebrate Halloween with this festive appetizer recipe from the Pediatric Diabetes Clinic

Kitchen Tools:

Knife or Pizza Cutter
Parchment paper
Large cookie sheet

Ingredients:
1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
20 frozen cooked turkey meatballs, thawed
Ketchup or mustard
Marinara sauce (1 oz or 2 tablespoons = 4 gm Carb)

Directions:
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put piece of parchment paper on work surface (counter).  Unroll dough onto parchment paper, press out perforations to make one sealed large rectangle.  Cut into 4 small rectangles with knife or pizza cutter

Using knife or pizza cutter, cut each rectangle into 10 strips. You will have 40 strips of dough after all 4 small rectangles cut.

Wrap 2 strips of dough around each meatball to look like “bandages”.

Separate “bandages” near one end to show meatball “face”. Place wrapped meatballs on ungreased large cookie sheet.

Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and meatballs are hot. With ketchup or mustard, draw “eyes” on mummy bites.

Serve warm with marinara sauce if desired.

Prep time: 15 min lTotal time: 30 minutes l Makes: 20 servings l Serving Size: 1 meatball l Carbs per serving: 7 grams

Recipe amended from Pillsbury.com/recipes
Health

Back to School Tips

By Leah Berthold, RN, CDE
MassGeneral Hospital for Children Pediatric Endocrine Unit

Blank Chalk Board

Have you begun getting ready to send your child back to school?  As the beginning of the  school year comes closer, here are some important things to remember:

  • Make sure you have a current Diabetes Medical Management plan (school orders) in place before the first day of school.
  • Make an appointment with the school nurse to review the plan and bring all supplies needed to school before school starts. Meeting the nurse before school starts will help build a relationship and confidence for you, your child and the nurse.  Refer to the box below for a list of supplies to keep at school.
  • Be sure your child has a 504 plan in place. Review this plan every year.
  • Give the school a hypoglycemia or “low” box with glucagon/glucose tablets/juice or whatever you prefer to treat low blood sugar
  • Be sure all school personnel, including bus drivers and coaches, are educated about Type 1 Diabetes and know what to do for low blood sugar.

 

School Supplies Box

Nutrition, recipes

Be Fit Basics : Mango Black Bean Salad

This easy salad recipe from the MGH Be Fit Program is a great use of the leftover grain from last night’s dinner. If you don’t have a cooked grain, substitute fresh or frozen corn kernels instead.  If you can’t find fresh mango, look for frozen cubed mango in the freezer section of your grocery store.  Dislike cilantro? Substitute another green herb, like parsley.

Ingredients:
1 mango, chopped and peeled (or about 1½ to 1¾ cups)
½ cup thinly sliced green onions (scallions), the white and green parts
½ cup cooked grain (use leftover rice, quinoa, etc.) or corn kernels
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp fresh tomato salsa (or diced tomato)
1-15 ounce can low- sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss gently to mix.

Yield:  Serves 6

Nutrition Information per Serving (about 2/3 cup – nutrition information calculated with brown rice):  Calories:  160 • Protein:  5g • Sodium:  250mg
Carbohydrate: 27g • Fiber:5g • Fat: 5g • Sat Fat:1g

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.  Originally posted on mghbefit.com