It Is Amazing: Diabetes-Compatible Foods Do Taste GREAT!

Cooking with pot

This guest post was written by type 2 diabetic and chef Ward Alper. It originally appeared on his website, The Decadent Diabetic, and was republished on Information About Diabetes with permission.

I have been at this for over six years now and still surprise myself (and I am a chef) at how good my diabetes-compatible meals taste. Stick with me here.

I just pulled an Amaretto cheesecake out of the oven. I have been making this for years. I knew it was good – good enough to serve as my wedding cake. And tonight, after dinner, when we dive into a real-people-sized slice of cake, I will shake my head as I do most weekend nights and say to myself: “I can’t believe how good this is. Can this really be ok for a person with diabetes?”

You would think that after six years of baking this recipe, I would finally get it. This recipe is lower carbohydrate, diabetes-compatible, and consistently DELICIOUS. I gotta stop shaking my head.

The other thing I did this morning is to whip up the batter for some of my baked zucchini pancakes. You got it. We will be smacking our lips as we inhale these pancakes along with a gorgeous steak with a simple pan sauce. Hey, we eat like this. I have diabetes. Is this possible?

Yes, You Can Eat Muffins!

One of my readers, Bj, inquired about the possibility of a diabetes-compatible muffin recipe. So, to be completely crazy, I am playing around with a recipe for blueberry crunch muffins. Muffins, am I serious? Are they even a possibility in a diabetes-compatible meal plan?

Hey, if they taste good (we will find out later) the carbohydrate count is pretty good, only 8.5 grams per muffin. That certainly fits in with my weekend breakfast.

I have to ask myself why after six years of making recipes that don’t significantly raise A1C, and taste like real food, why am I still amazed that I can eat like this?
I think that I, along with the rest of the world, still think that to stay healthy and eat correctly for the diabetes, food has to taste like….well, not food.

Six years ago I certainly believed that. I sat at my table at lunch and stared my can of tuna and some lettuce leaves in the face, and shoved it into my mouth and got on with the day. Until my next meal, that is. Workers in restaurants tend to always eat fast and on the run.

I was now setting fast eating records and treating myself like a car that needed fueling. Rather than meals being a joy, it was more like necessary maintenance. Sure, I lost weight, reduced my A1C, but eating in a sustainable way, not so much. I think that if I had tried to continue that way, I would wind up hiding in a closet in the dark and gorging on some pre-packaged sugary, foul-tasting, junk food treat and hoping my A1C wouldn’t notice.

Food Shouldn't Just Be Fuel

Like many of us, I am pre-programmed to think that anything good was something bad for you. Anything bad was probably good for you. Here I was a full grown person reacting like a child facing a plate of spinach. Six years later, I still shake my head at just how good that spinach really can taste.

This is ridiculous. Even if you have never seen one of my recipes, there are hundreds, no, thousands, of recipes easily available to you for the click of a mouse. Fair warning: you are gonna have to do some work. Look at the carbohydrates in the recipe, look at the serving size (1/4 of a teaspoon IS NOT A SERVING), look at the components of the recipe to see if it works for you.

Everybody is different. I love fish and I love mushrooms (two of the most hated foods in the world?), but I am not a fan of lima beans.

Oh, I forgot to tell you: the muffins got rave reviews (see recipe below). Thanks again Bj!

So, when am I going to stop shaking my head at just how good my food life is? Who cares? As long as it tastes that good and works to keep my diabetes in check, I am gonna look at all this head shaking as a new type of exercise.

Give it a shot, shake your head at how really delicious it can be. Do five reps!

ENJOY!!! Be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!

Click here for Ward's Blueberry Crunch Muffins recipe!

Get more cooking tips and recipe ideas from Ward Alper, the Decadent Diabetic, on his website.

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn on Flickr