10 Diabetes-Friendly Meals That Beat Belly Fat

These recipes are delicious: That’s the first thing you need to know. And we’re not talking “delicious for diabetes-friendly” food—no, these are good without any ifs or ands. The only but is that all 10 of the following recipes are especially formulated to help flatten your belly and fight diabetes. Some are loaded with fruits and veggies, others feature lean proteins or fish, some contain whole grains—and all have an added dash of monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs (moo-fahs) for short, which help target belly fat, control blood sugar levels, and reduce insulin resistance.

Whether you’re craving French toast, pasta salad, or chicken parm these 10 meals will help keep your blood sugar steady, your taste buds happy and your belly nice and slim.

1. Strawberry Almond French Toast: It’s the quintessential Sunday morning breakfast—with a twist: Swap standard white for whole grain bread (one study showed that simple step could reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 20%); and top your toast with strawberries (which research suggests helps regulate blood sugar) and MUFA-rich almonds.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 slice whole grain bread
  • 1 teaspoon trans-free margarine
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl with the milk and cinnamon. Dip both sides of the bread in the egg mixture.

2. Melt the margarine in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the bread for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden. Cut in half diagonally.

3. Place half on a plate. Top with half of the strawberries and almonds. Cover with the other toast half and the remaining strawberries and almonds.

*Chef’s Note – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 3 slices Applegate Farms Organic Turkey Bacon (105).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES  ~  303.9 CAL
FAT  ~  15.7 G
SATURATED FAT  ~  3.2 G
SODIUM  ~  267.9 MG
CARBOHYDRATES  ~  26.1 G
TOTAL SUGARS  ~  9.4 G
DIETARY FIBER  ~  5.4 G
PROTEIN  ~  15.8 G

2. Tortellini Pasta Salad: Yes, you can most definitely still have pasta—just bulk up the dish with nutrient-rich vegetables, like broccoli— it’s packed with cancer-fighting vitamin A and it’s a good source of fiber, which helps slow the rise of blood sugar after you eat. Stir in belly-flattening olives and 2 tablespoons of pesto for extra flavor and more MUFAs.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated tricolor cheese tortellini
  • 2 cups trimmed sugar snap peas
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 40 chopped black olives
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • fresh basil (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the tortellini into a large pot of boiling water. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar snap peas, carrots, and broccoli and cook for the last 3 minutes, or until tender but still crisp.

2. Drain the pasta and vegetables, and rinse with cold water. Place into a large bowl and toss with the pesto. Gently fold in the tomatoes, olives, and pepper. Garnish with basil, if using.

*Chef’s Notes – A SINGLE SERVING OF THIS RECIPE COUNTS as a Flat Belly Diet Meal without any add-ons.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 366.7 CAL
FAT ~ 13.1 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3.9 G
SODIUM ~ 776.1 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 50.2 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 8.7 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 8 G
PROTEIN ~ 14.7 G

3. Guacamole and Chips: You’ve heard people say avocado is full of “good” fat, but do you know how good it is? Research suggests MUFAs (found in avocados and other foods) not only help you lose weight and shrink belly fat, but they specifically reduce visceral belly fat—the dangerous kind found deep in your abdomen and strongly associated with prediabetes and diabetes. That’s good stuff. So enjoy your guac, but skip the store-bought chips (even if they come in a cool shape); instead, slice healthier whole wheat tortillas into wedges and bake until crisp and almost puffy.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups mashed Hass avocado
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, minced (wear gloves when handling)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon green or red hot sauce, such as tabasco (optional)
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas (8″ diameter)
  • vegetable oil spray
  • chili powder

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place the avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, pepper, salt, and hot sauce (if using) in a medium bowl. Stir until combined.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the tortillas on a work surface. Coat lightly with vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle lightly with chili powder. Flip the tortillas and repeat with the spray and chili powder.

3. Place the tortillas in a stack. With a serrated knife, cut the stack into 8 equal wedges. Spread the triangles out on a baking sheet or sheets so they are not touching. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until crisp and starting to puff. Let stand to cool. Serve right away with the guacamole or store in an airtight container.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 1/2 cup mashed black beans (110) and 1/2 fresh mango (67).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 205.4 CAL
FAT ~ 10.8 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 1.2 G
SODIUM ~ 352.1 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 23.3 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 2.1 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 5.8 G
PROTEIN ~ 4.5 G

4. Salmon Sandwiches: Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3. Omega-3s help cool chronic inflammation in the body, a major contributor to age-related conditions like insulin resistance and diabetes. Plus, studies show consuming healthy amounts of fish significantly reduces your risk of heart disease. Stick to two servings a week—and choose the kinds with lower levels of toxins, like wild salmon (available in less expensive cans versus pricier fillets), as well as mackerel and herring.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup canola oil mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 2 cups (14.75-ounce can) canned Alaskan wild salmon, drained
  • 8 thin slices 100% whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 4 thin slices red onion
  • 4 thin rings red bell pepper
  • 4 teaspoons sliced pickled ginger
  • 1 cup arugula

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine the mayonnaise and 1/4 teaspoon of the wasabi paste and stir until smooth. Add more wasabi, if desired, to suit your taste. Gently fold in the salmon.

2. Place 4 slices of the bread on a work surface and top each with 1/2 cup of the salmon mixture, 1 onion slice separated into rings, 1 pepper ring, 1 teaspoon ginger, and 1/4 cup arugula. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 1/4 cup frozen, thawed shelled edamame (61).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 345.5 CAL
FAT ~ 15.8 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 1 G
SODIUM ~ 608.8 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 27.7 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 4.9 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 4.7 G
PROTEIN ~ 19.4 G

5. Chicken Parmesan: Mix finely chopped pine nuts into the bread crumbs before coating the cutlets for an extra boost of MUFAs. A large international study found people with type 2 diabetes who followed a Mediterranean-style diet enriched with MUFAs dropped fasting blood sugar levels by up to 30 points—that’s enough to perhaps reduce doses of diabetes medications, or even eliminate them altogether. Make the bread crumbs whole wheat and you help protect your heart, too.

INGREDIENTS

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup pine nuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
4 chicken cutlets (about 3 ounces each)
2 cups prepared marinara sauce
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 2 ounces)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Whisk the egg with the water in a shallow dish. Combine the pine nuts, bread crumbs, and seasoning in another shallow dish. Dip the chicken into the egg and then the nut mixture. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet.

3. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the chicken over and top each with 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce and some of the cheese. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until the cheese has melted and the chicken is cooked through.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 2 cups steamed spaghetti squash (84).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 327.8 CAL
FAT ~ 18.3 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3.1 G
SODIUM ~ 680.7 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 14.5 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 1.1 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 2.9 G
PROTEIN ~ 28.9 G

6. Greek Eggplant Casserole: The Greeks like beef in their casserole, so don’t skimp—the meat is good for you. Studies show diets high in protein help you better manage blood sugar. (The fiber in eggplants does, too.) Plus, protein contains an amino acid called leucine that helps preserve more muscle when you diet—the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns all day Just be sure to choose 97% lean ground beef to limit unhealthy saturated fat.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 pound 97% lean ground beef
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 eggplants, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4″-thick slices
  • 6 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the broiler. Coat a 9″ x 9″ baking dish and a large baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.

2. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the beef and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, or until the beef is browned and cooked through. Stir in the tomatoes (with juice), tomato paste, cinnamon, and allspice. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Place half of the eggplant on the prepared baking sheet and brush with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Broil 6″ from the heat for 10 minutes or until browned, turning once. Repeat.

4. Whisk together the milk and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, whisking, for 8 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.

5. Layer half of the eggplant in the baking dish, then half of the meat sauce. Repeat. Spread the cheese sauce on top. Broil for 3 minutes, or until just starting to brown.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Serve with 1/2 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt (60).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 341.9 CAL
FAT ~ 19.9 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 4.4 G
SODIUM ~ 339.6 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 20.7 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 10.5 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 5.3 G
PROTEIN ~ 19.7 G

7. Barbecue Pulled Pork: It’s hearty, full of flavor, and feels totally indulgent, but the nutrition facts prove otherwise: This barbecue pork recipe is just over 400 calories per serving (a good amount for a healthy meal) and packed with satisfying protein, and the healthy fats in the olive oil may help reduce metabolic syndrome, according to a Spanish study of over 1,200 adults. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that lead to prediabetes and diabetes, as well as heart disease and stroke. Just be sure to plan ahead for this one—the meat needs to slow-cook for almost 2 hours.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed of all visible fat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the oil in a 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork loin and brown, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes.

2. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes more, or until the onion starts to turn golden. Add the ketchup, vinegar, molasses, sugar, mustard powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and broth.

3. Stir well to combine and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Uncover the pot and simmer 10 minutes longer, or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the pork is very tender. Remove from the heat.

5. Pull the pork into shreds with two forks and serve on whole wheat hamburger buns.

*Chef’s Notes – A SINGLE SERVING OF THIS RECIPE COUNTS as a Flat Belly Diet Meal without any add-ons!

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 419.1 CAL
FAT ~ 18.7 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3 G
SODIUM ~ 807.5 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 35.4 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 14.1 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 3.8 G
PROTEIN ~ 28.9 G

8. Mexican Stuffed Peppers: Jalapeño peppers and chili powder give this veggie dish some Mexican heat; the cheese gives you calcium to build strong bones and burn more fat; the brown rice gives your body insoluble fiber to help keep blood sugar steady; and the tomatoes provide carotenoids that help protect against cancer.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 jalapeno chile pepper, stemmed, halved, and seeded (wear plastic gloves when handling)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large poblano or Cubanelle peppers
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat monterey jack cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the pine nuts in a small baking dish or skillet for about 8 minutes to lightly toast while the oven heats. Tip onto a plate.

2. Combine the jalapeno pepper, garlic, stewed tomatoes with juice, broth or water, and 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of the chili powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process to a medium-coarse texture. Pour into a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish and set aside.

3. Mix the rice, corn, plum tomatoes, onion, egg whites, salt, toasted nuts, and remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder in a medium bowl. Halve the poblano or Cubanelle peppers lengthwise and remove the stems and seeds. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the stuffing into each pepper half and place stuffed side up in the reserved sauce in the baking dish.

4. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the peppers are tender.

5. Remove the foil and sprinkle the peppers evenly with the cheese. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes longer, or until the cheese has melted. Serve the peppers with the sauce.

*Chef’s Notes – A SINGLE SERVING OF THIS RECIPE COUNTS as a Flat Belly Diet Meal without any add-ons!

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 395 CAL
FAT ~ 17.7 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3.8 G
SODIUM ~ 418 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 50.2 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 13.4 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 8.3 G
PROTEIN ~ 15.7 G

9. Roasted Potatoes with Blue Cheese & Walnuts: They’re the perfect side to a lean piece of broiled flank steak for two reasons. These potatoes are topped with coarsely chopped walnuts—studies show MUFAs help you lose weight, but Mediterranean-style diets that include nuts in particular help you keep the weight off. They’re also topped with blue cheese crumbles—and those are just delicious.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound thin-skinned baby potatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a 9″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Place the potatoes in the prepared dish and toss with the oil, pepper, and salt. Turn cut side down in the pan. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until very tender and lightly golden on the underside.

2. Meanwhile, put the walnuts in a small baking pan or ovenproof skillet and place in the oven to toast for 6 to 8 minutes. Tip into a bowl and let cool. Add the blue cheese and scallions and crumble with your fingers.

3. When the potatoes are done, turn them over and sprinkle evenly with the walnut mixture. Bake for 5 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted.

*Chef’s Notes – MAKE IT A FLAT BELLY DIET MEAL: Add 3 ounces lean broiled flank steak (165). Serve with 1/2 sliced apple (39).

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 242.7 CAL
FAT ~ 15.5 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 3.8 G
SODIUM ~ 278.8 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 21 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 1.8 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 3.1 G
PROTEIN ~ 7.6 G

10. Chocolate Almond Macaroons: Not only can you sink your sweet tooth into these cookies without an ounce of guilt, but you’re encouraged to dunk the decadent confections into chocolate sauce before taking a bite. That’s because dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants called flavonols that keep arteries flexible, keep blood pressure low, and—when eaten in small quantities—even improve the way your cells absorb sugar. Just stick to healthy portions—and indulge once a day at most.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Toast the almonds in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, stirring often, for about 3 minutes, or until golden. Tip into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Process until the almonds are finely ground.

4. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until the whites hold soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar until the whites hold stiff peaks. Beat in the cocoa, vanilla, almond extract, and salt. Gently fold in the almonds.

5. Drop the mixture by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1″ between each macaroon. Bake for 27 to 30 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Place baking sheets on a rack and let macaroons cool until firm.

6. Make the sauce by heating the chocolate, milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until melted and smooth. Serve warm.

*Chef’s Notes – A SINGLE SERVING OF THIS RECIPE COUNTS as a Flat Belly Diet Meal without any add-ons!

NUTRITIONAL FACTS PER SERVING

CALORIES ~ 372.4 CAL
FAT ~ 19.2 G
SATURATED FAT ~ 6.6 G
SODIUM ~ 156.6 MG
CARBOHYDRATES ~ 48.6 G
TOTAL SUGARS ~ 41.5 G
DIETARY FIBER ~ 4.8 G
PROTEIN ~ 9.3 G

Copyright ©2012 Rodale Inc. “Prevention” and “Prevention.com” are registered trademarks of Rodale Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction, transmission or display is permitted without the written permissions of Rodale Inc.

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About Lady Fab

Hello & Welcome to My Life In The FAB Lane! First and foremost my name is Tameca D. Jones; FABulously known as Lady Fab. I am from the sunny state of Florida but was born and raised in Alabama. With a new vision and outlook on life … I have discovered the true meaning of being FREE and loving & accepting the person that God has made me to be … so much so that I have decided to document my life through blog. So buckle your seatbealts & come along for ride, as I take you into a glimpse of what it is really like Being Lady Fab. Love You Much & Always remember a Lady should always be two things … Classy and FABULOUS! ~ Lady Fab

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