Excuse me….Just how many servings are in that recipe?

Written by Ward Alper

Everybody has their pet peeves. Some HATE being told by others what they should do about their diabetes. For me it is recipes that say they are “Diabetes friendly” but then make the portion size so small you don’t remember eating anything.

No question that portion control is a very important part of a Diabetes-Compatible Diet, or any eating plan for that matter. But isn’t eating enough to satisfy you just as important? If you always feel cheated, how long will you stick with your eating plan?

Is a quarter of a bagel or just half of that banana enough to satisfy you?

I am always surfing the “net” looking at posts about Diabetes-Compatible recipes. I guess you might call it my “busman’s holiday”. Nothing makes me madder than seeing a recipe that looks really good and then finding out that they have made the portion size very small JUST to keep the carbohydrate count low.

Even after you have trained yourself to read labels, it is still sometimes very difficult to figure out just how close to the suggested serving size really winds up on your plate. This is not just carbohydrates but also calories, fat, sodium, and just about every other bit of information on the label.

A perfect example for sodium content is on the little cans of sauerkraut. The label reads 110 grams of sodium. Not too bad until you see the serving size of 1 tablespoon. Boy is that ever satisfying.

A Tease Rather Than A Meal

I get really red in the face angry with recipes that claim to be good (suitable) for people with diabetes, but contain many ingredients that are actually very high in carbohydrates and may be really poor choices for a diabetic diet. The way they justify the claim of low carb is by the “suggested” portion size. It is true, if you make anything small enough, it won’t have very many carbohydrates, calories, or sodium.

The other day I saw yet another “diabetic friendly” recipe online. The recipe contained all sorts of high carbohydrate ingredients like 1 cup of flour, dried cherries, orange, and a host of others high carbohydrate heavy foods. What could possibly make that “diabetic friendly?” The answer is the portion size. This recipe served 24 people. REALLY,  24? For what kind of person, with what kind of appetite? Is anybody really satisfied with a tablespoon of anything? If my math was correct, the serving size for this dessert recipe equaled less than a tablespoon.

Just today I saw a recipe for a peanut cookie from a “diabetes” site—13 grams of carbs BUT the serving size is 1 cookie. Sorry folks, that is what is usually referred to as a tease, a sample, a taste? I gotta ask: How satisfying is that to anybody? And isn’t that just cheating the mind and the reader? If you do have that sliver, do you feel cheated by not having eaten more? Do you feel guilty? Do you just feel more discouraged about your portion size? Just how little do you have to eat to keep to a good diet plan? What about those of us who actually enjoy eating and have healthy appetites?

Can You Have Man-Sized Meals?

One of my readers commented that he is used to eating large "man-sized" lunches and dinners, and that mashed cauliflower and bread so thin you can see through it just isn't getting it done for him.

I don’t think he has to give up having a full plate. He just needs to fill that plate differently with foods he enjoys AND has lower carbohydrate values. What I try to do is give my readers recipes with a real person’s portion size. My readers are not stupid, you know what you need to do and you are capable of figuring out what will work for you. I want to show you how to fill your plate with lower carbohydrate foods and still be satisfied with what is on your plate. Not just the amount in ounces, but the amount in flavors and texture.

The goal is to make what you can and should eat what you WANT to eat. What I found in my life is that feeling satisfied helps me to keep on track and my A1C in the low 5.2-5.4 range.

I never want to feel angry or cheated when I get up from my table. Learning to take back my table has helped me to take back my life!

Enjoy, be happy, be healthy, be creative, and BE DECADENT! –w!