Betty Crocker Tackles Diabetes: Carbohydrates are down for the count with new diabetic recipes the whole family can enjoy

Betty Crocker’s Diabetes Cookbook: Everyday Meals, Easy as 1-2-3 by Betty Crocker Editors, 256 pages, Wiley Publishing, Inc., $24.95

Diabetic cooking is not what it used to be. Out are the bland diet dishes of previous years and in are a variety of new choices, including tempting desserts. Along with a new upbeat approach to dietary control of blood sugar levels comes a new way of counting carbohydrates that is simpler and easier to follow than traditional diabetic exchanges.

The new system counts only carbohydrates by designating each serving of each recipe with a Carbohydrate Choices number from zero to three. One Carbohydrate Choice is equal to approximately 15 grams of dietary carbohydrates. Diabetics can thus easily devise a menu that provides the number of carbohydrates their doctor and dietician determine they require throughout the day. A typical diabetes food plan includes three to five carbohydrate choices for a meal, depending on one’s gender and food-planning goals.

Betty Crocker’s Diabetes Cookbook, a collaboration of the Betty Crocker Kitchens and the International Diabetes Center, is the first diabetic cookbook to employ the Carbohydrate Choices counting method. Included are a wide variety of dishes from Oatmeal Pancakes with Maple-Cranberry Syrup for breakfast to Fettuccine with Asparagus and Mushrooms, to a low-fat Creamy Vanilla-Caramel Cheesecake. And these recipes are not just for diabetics. Low in fat and high in fiber, using mostly monounsaturated oils, they are healthful choices for any family whose goal is to control their weight and avoid being part of the estimated 16 million Americans now thought to be in danger of developing diabetes because of their unhealthful diet and lifestyle.

The following are recipes from Betty Crocker’s Diabetes Cookbook:

0 Carbohydrate Choices



(Makes 2 servings)

Lime-Cilantro Marinade (below)

2 halibut or salmon steaks (about 3/4


Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup salsa


2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Mix all Lime-Cilantro Marinade ingredients

in shallow glass, plastic dish,

or resealable plastic food-storage bag.

Add fish; turn several times to coat

with marinade. Cover and refrigerate

15 minutes, turning once.

Heat coals or gas grill for direct

heat. Remove fish from marinade;

discard marinade. Cover and grill

fish 4″-6″ from medium heat 10-20

minutes, turning once until fish

flakes easily with fork. Sprinkle with

pepper. Serve with salsa.

Per Serving:

Calories: 150

Cholesterol: 75 mg

Sodium: 400 mg

Fiber: 1 gm

Carbohydrate: 5 gm

Protein: 27 gm

Fat: 3 gm

Diabetic exchange: 3 1/2 very lean meat + 1




1 1/2 Carbohydrates Choices

(Makes 12 servings)

35 reduced-fat vanilla wafer cookies,

crushed (1 1/2 cups)

1 egg white, beaten

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted

1 1/4 cups fat-free (skim) milk

1 package (4-serving size) lemon instant

pudding and pie filling mix

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 cup frozen (thawed) fat-free

whipped topping

Heat oven to 400[degrees]F. Lightly apply

cooking spray in 9″ tart pan with removable

bottom. Mix crushed cookies,

egg white, and butter until crumbly.

Press in bottom and up side of pan.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until light

golden brown; cool.

Beat milk, pudding mix and lemon

peel in medium bowl with electric

mixer on low speed about 2 minutes or

until smooth. Refrigerate 5 minutes.

Fold whipped topping into pudding

mixture. Spread over crust. Cover

and refrigerate at least 2 hours until

chilled. Serve with Blueberry Topping.

Store covered in refrigerator.


2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons water

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix sugar, cornstarch and water

in 1-quart saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup of

the blueberries. Heat to boiling; reduce

heat to medium-low. Cook

about 5 minutes or until slightly

thickened. Stir in lemon juice, remove

from heat. Cool 10 minutes.

Stir in remaining cup blueberries.

Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour

until chilled.

Per Serving:

Calories: 115

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 190 mg

Fiber: 1 gm

Carbohydrate: 23 gm

Protein: 2 gm

Fat: 2 gm

Diabetic exchange: 1/2 carbohydrate




2 Carbohydrates Choices

(Makes 7 servings) Choices

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)

8 ounces uncooked fettuccine

1 teaspoon olive or canola oil

1 pound thin asparagus, broken into

2″ pieces

1 pound mushrooms, sliced (6 cups)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Pour enough boiling water over dried

tomatoes to cover. Let stand 10 minutes;

drain. Chop tomatoes.

Cook and drain fettuccine as directed

on package.

While fettuccine is cooking, heat oil

in 12″ skillet over medium heat. Cook

asparagus, mushrooms, garlic, parsley

and basil in oil 5 minutes, stirring

occasionally. Stir in tomatoes. Simmer

2-3 minutes or until tomatoes

are heated.

Beat cornstarch, salt and pepper

into wine and broth in small bowl

with wire whisk; stir into vegetable

mixture. Heat to boiling over medium

heat, stirring constantly until mixture

is smooth and bubbly; boil and stir 1

minute. Serve over fettuccine.

Sprinkle with nuts and cheese.

Per Serving:

Calories: 210

Cholesterol: 30 mg

Sodium: 580 mg

Fiber: 3 gm

Carbohydrate: 30 gm

Protein: 10 gm

Fat: 7 gm

Diabetic exchange: 1 starch + 3 vegetable + 1 fat


“To understand diabetes, it’s important to understand glucose and insulin. Glucose, a form of sugar, is the main fuel the body needs and uses for energy. It is made when the food you eat is broken down during digestion. Glucose travels through the bloodstream and enters the cells in the body with the help of insulin. Insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas, is the ‘key’ that ‘opens’ cells so glucose can get inside to provide the body with energy.

“Diabetes develops when insulin is either completely absent, in short supply or poorly used by the body. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in the bloodstream rather than entering the cells to be used for energy. If diabetes is not diagnosed and treated, blood glucose levels continue to rise and, over time, can lead to serious health problems–the ‘complications’ of diabetes, such as blindness, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage and limb amputation. Taking care of your diabetes by eating the right foods, exercising regularly and taking your medication, if prescribed, helps you feel great and provides the best defense against complications.

“Keeping blood glucose levels within the target range at least 50 percent of the time, as well as achieving a Hemoglobin A1c (average blood glucose over two or three months) of less than 7 percent, greatly reduces the risk of long-term complications. Research confirms this, including data from the ten-year Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), concluded in 1993, and the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study, concluded in 1999. The DCCT showed that blood glucose control can:

* Reduce eye disease by 76 percent

* Reduce kidney disease by 56 percent

* Reduce nerve damage by 60 percent”

–from Betty Crocker’s Diabetes Cookbook

COPYRIGHT 2004 Saturday Evening Post Society

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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