Miss Mary · Recipes

Product Review – BHG Meals by the Plate

2013 PR BHG Aug Diabetes meals

Can you switch from a typical 10 inch plate to a 9 inch plate?  If so, that’s a start to changing the way you eat.  This month’s Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication, diabetes meals by the plate starts you there.  BTW, please don’t let the word “diabetes” scare you away, this is just a healthy lifestyle change for all folks.

The theory is ½ of your plate should be vegetables, ¼ with starch or grains, and ¼ with protein.  They then go ahead and create 63 plates of the aforementioned formula.  The recipes are pretty good plus they provide you with the nutritional information that you need.

Their rule for carbs at a meal is 50 grams.  My rule and my diabetic coach in my doctor’s office prefer that I stick to 40 grams per meal.  Reading through many of the recipes, they do have many of the recipes at or around 40 grams.   Each meal is less than 500 calories.

2013 Nutritional Label 2You do know the rule about carbs, right?  When looking at the Nutrition label (example is on the right) on packaged foods you’ll see Carbohydrates 14 g,  (fiber 1, sugars 1).  To get your Net Carb, you subtract the fiber from the total carb giving you the Net Carb.  So in the example it would be 13 net carbs.  The reason this is done is that “fiber isn’t digested in the small intestine and so isn’t broken down into glucose and absorbed into the blood.”  FYI, it’s all about the blood glucose.

And what about the sugars?  Well, no one has ever said anything to me about the sugars, but if they’re too high, let’s say 11 or more, I pretty much bypass them so I don’t need a bypass.  Only makes sense.

The carb rule also goes for recipes that have the nutritional information printed.

2013 BHG PR diabetes mealsLet’s use their first meal, which by the way sounds pretty good.  It gives you the Meal Total (per plate) of Nutritional information AS WELL AS the individual nutritional information per recipe.

So here we go, it’s Spicy Ginger-Marinated Chicken, Steamed Asparagus and a Baked Sweet Potato.  Amazing?

The Meal Nutritional Totals are

  • 349 calories
  •  9  g total fat (1 g sat. fat)
  • 72 mg cholesterol
  • 601 mg sodium – (a little high, 537 came from the chicken recipe [soy sauce])
  • 35 g carb. (6 g fiber, 12 g sugars) – net carbs 29
  • 30 g protein.

Uh oh, 12 g sugar!  A little high isn’t it.  Nope not really.  The sugars came from the natural sweet potato – 5 grams of sugar, 2 grams came from the Steamed Asparagus, and 5 grams came from the low-sugar orange marmalade in the Chicken.  Essentially two-thirds of the grams came from a natural source meaning not processed foods – like a cake mix.

They also have an “on the side” section.  They recommend at least one meal per day a cup of low-fat milk or light yogurt AND a small piece of fruit.

The attractiveness of this publication is the variety of protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates (legumes, whole grain breads or cereals, and starchy vegetables).   On page 121 they make a Caribbean Tofu and Beans – the side has pineapple, brown rice and low-sodium black beans with spices and herbs, and steamed sugar snap peas.

On page 127 – Summertime Salad Plate – it looks fantastic.

I think this is an adventure for the rest of the summer.

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