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Decline Deprivation in Diabetes Self-Management

If a new focus on healthy eating for diabetes management is going to take root and grow, then feeling deprived of food that satisfies your taste buds or an adequate amount of food can’t be part of the plan. The word deprivation has been used most widely over recent years in the context of “enhanced interrogation techniques” and the debate about what constitutes torture.

Deprivation is powerful at breaking down commitments. Feeling deprived is powerful, too.

Even though you may be working to transition from too many calories and too much fat there is a distinct difference between feeling unfamiliar with a new habit and feeling deprived. Finding a reasonably acceptable balance is key.

Balancing starts with flavor. There’s much empty space available between your mother’s recipe for cheese and bacon broccoli casserole (with cracker topping) and a plain, steamed broccoli stalk, but this sort of drastic leap from one to the other is common. And, it’s commonly not successful.

For some people this feels like the right approach because they expect suffering to be key part of a better eating plan. Suffering and deprivation can motivate action, but the action is fueled by defiance and is simply not sustainable. Remember torture? Now picture a plain, steamed broccoli stalk for lunch.

So, how can you find delicious recipes that are still okay for diabetes? You look for them — they are everywhere. The U.S. market for diabetes is currently estimated at 26 million individuals, so you might expect to find recipe options targeted at a market that size, and you can.

Ultimately, you can easily adapt virtually any recipe that’s generally healthy to be “diabetes friendly.”

Just don’t settle for food that’s less than delicious and satisfying. The challenges that naturally come with any effort to change habits are challenge enough. There’s no rule that forbids enjoying yourself along the way.

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