Recipes for people with both diabetes and HTN diagnoses

Asked September 8, 2017, 4:41 PM EDT

My mother is 79 years old and was very active until last year when she was diagnosed with Amyloid Angiopathy and Type 1 Diabetes. She had been on blood pressure medication. She feels confident with managing her Diabetes, but is having difficulty finding recipes for both carbs and low sodium (1500 mg of sodium per day). She complained that she is not finding time to exercise as she should because meal planning/prep takes her four hours per day. Is there a cook book for people who have both Diabetes (Type 1) and HTN? Thank you.

Lincoln County Oregon nutrition food preparation

1 Response

The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is recommended for hypertension and diabetes (dashdiet.org). The gold standard is the vegetarian DASH diet, or plant-based. This means consuming more plant foods, especially those high in potassium and fiber.

Soluble fiber is particularly helpful for regulating blood sugars. This is found in lentils, dried beans (black, kidney, white, garbanzo, etc), barley, oats, flax and chia seeds and the skins of fruits like apples and grapes. Recipes that use beans as the protein source will help with diabetes. Beans are also high in potassium and low in sodium so they are good for patients with hypertension. Use anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric to flavor beans, instead of salt.

Fresh, raw greens are helpful in lowering blood pressure. They help the body make nitric oxide, a natural vasodilator. I recommend a dark green salad every day.

Recipe books which support eating more plant foods will be helpful. I recommend America's Test Kitchen Vegan for Everybody, and Forks Over Knives The Cookbook. I also love my soup cookbook, The Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup edited by Debra Mayew. With soups, you can cook with both beans and plenty of vegetables, add some grains like barley or farro and have a hearty meal. If you use lentils, you can have a soup from scratch in 15 minutes. I like the orange (red) lentils since they dissolve and act like a thickener. You'll want to avoid canned beans because of the sodium, but if you rinse them, you can reduce sodium by 1/3, or seek out sodium free canned beans.

The Extension office near you can help you learn to can your own beans if that is of interest to you. This makes cooking much faster and easier since all you do is reheat.

There is also The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook and several other DASH Diet cookbooks which you can find online or order through your local book store.