Goal: To reduce or eliminate processed foods from your dietary protocol.
Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.
For one month, take this challenge. Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics recommends:
- Make a list of what you eat that you would consider “processed foods.”
- Determine which ones you could live without forever and remove them from your house (trash or donate, whatever works for you). And don’t buy them again.
- Determine which foods you would like to have an alternative for and find acceptable alternatives for your personal dietary approach to managing diabetes. Examples:
- Recipes “from scratch” instead of boxed mixes (cakes, puddings, etc.) and canned (soups, pie fillings, etc.).
- Cold-pressed (expeller-pressed) oils (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.) instead of high-heat processed oils (canola, corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, safflower, soy, sunflower).
- Bake your own bread, rolls, muffins, etc. Can be high-carb grain flours or low-carb nut flours.
- Rolled oats or steel-cut oats instead of instant oatmeal.
- Homemade condiments (mayonnaise, ketchup, etc.)
- Salad dressings, sauces, and gravies made from scratch instead of a packaged mix.
- Cheese sauce made from real cheese instead of instant powder packets in a box.
- Seasoning mixes made from your own herbs and spices instead of seasoning packets.
- Coffee beans you grind at home instead of instant coffee.
- Tea from tea leaves instead of instant tea.
- Whole/full-fat dairy products instead of low-fat or non-fat. No powdered milk.
- Fresh vegetables and fruits. Ideally, seasonally from local farmers’ markets.
- Real potatoes instead of instant potatoes or boxed dinners.
- Stevia (pure) instead of sugar. (Make sure the stevia you buy is not mixed with maltodextrin or any other form of sugar.)
If you are already eating totally unprocessed foods, take advantage of this time in October to explore new recipes that will enhance your chosen dietary lifestyle and approach to managing your diabetes. Plan to make whole meals of diabetic-friendly foods when entertaining during the upcoming holidays, both at home and when contributing to holiday events involving food.