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Good Food, Real Fast: The Building Blocks of Nutritious Meals

Last updated: June 2022

One of the main reasons people say it's challenging to eat healthily is that it takes too much time to make a wholesome, nutritious meal. This can be especially true when it comes to breakfast or lunch.

Whether working from home or in an office, there isn't always much time to whip up a healthy meal. Even if you do have the time, cooking may not be your favorite task. To control blood sugar, well-balanced snacks and meals are important for people with type 2 diabetes.

Nutrient building blocks

But meals don't have to be complex to be nutritious. By keeping a list of some easy recipes on hand and the go-to "building block" ingredients of these meals, you'll find you are meeting your health goals more accessible than ever!

Everyone's preferences and dietary needs differ, so here are a few ideas for building nutritious meals.

Start with protein

Whether you are living with type 2 diabetes or not, protein is a building block for a satisfying meal. Including a good source of protein to control your blood sugar levels is essential.

When there are insufficient amounts of protein in your usual eating plan, you may be more likely to eat extra carbohydrates, leading to blood glucose spikes and feeling hungrier sooner. Stocking your kitchen with these lean proteins can make mealtime simpler.

The versatility of eggs

You can prepare eggs in so many different ways - hard-boiled, scrambled, baked, etc.

Try adding hard-boiled eggs to a salad or a sandwich. To make an easy egg scramble, whisk eggs with some of your favorite non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach and mushrooms, for an easy meal.

Want to try an egg bake? Combine eggs with seasoning, broccoli, and low-fat cheese to create a casserole. The casserole can be cut into slices to reheat throughout the week. Not only are eggs high in protein, but they are also high in choline which can support brain health.

Frozen or fresh chicken

Frozen chicken patties (without breading) are a lean protein to keep in the freezer. According to the package instructions, you can usually cook frozen chicken patties in the microwave or stovetop.

Try slicing chicken patties and tossing them on a salad, eating them like a burger on a whole wheat bun, or even devouring them on their own with carrots, celery, and guacamole.

Nuts and nut butters

It's difficult to find many foods that are as shelf-stable and pantry-friendly as nuts and nut butter! The best thing about nuts is that they provide protein and are packed with heart-healthy fats that aid in satiety. A few ways to try them are in a trail mix, on a salad, and topped on celery.

Finish with vegetables

Making sure you have vegetables on hand can also make it easier to pack a great lunch. Baby carrots, mini cucumbers, and celery stalks are great for dipping and packing in a lunch.

Not only are things like carrots and cucumbers crisp and can be eaten raw, but they also contain fiber and are considered non-starchy vegetables, which will not spike blood sugar like starchy vegetables.

Simple and nutritious foods

When you have this many easy, healthy, protein-packed foods available, it will make it much easier to eat a satisfying and well-balanced meal created at home.

What will you try to make for your next lunch?

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