Karen Chapman Novakovski - Associate Professor of Nutrition

About Diabetes
Food & Diabetes
Medications & Diabetes
Current Issue
En Español
Recommended Websites
Your Guide to Diet and Diabetes
Recipes for Diabetes
Fiesta of Flavors: Traditional Hispanic Recipes for People with Diabetes

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October/November 2010

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In This Issue

Diabetes - The Medical Perspective

For people with diabetes, the flu can be more than aches and pains.  It can mean longer illness, hospitalization, even death!  Diabetes can make the immune system more vulnerable to severe cases of flu.  In fact, people with diabetes are almost three times more likely to die with influenza, “the flu”, or pneumonia.

So take control!

When you live with diabetes you are careful about the food and meals you eat, you try to exercise each day, and you see your doctor regularly.  Now add an annual flu vaccine to your routine.  Call your doctor’s office to make sure a flu shot is okay for you. Check the schedule for flu shots in your local paper or clinic. 

You might also ask your doctor about a pneumonia vaccine.  This vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease,   which is the most common form of pneumonia.  This vaccine is safe to take at the same time as the flu shot, and for most people one dose one time provides years of protection.

Can a Flu Shot Give Me the Flu?
No.  Flu vaccines do not contain a live virus, so they cannot infect you.  Some people coincidentally have a cold a week or two following immunization.  This is not a result of their flu vaccine.    

The flu is not a cold.

Do I Need a Flu Shot Every Year?
Yes.  Flu viruses vary from year to year, so it is important to get a shot every year to be sure.

Do I Need To Get a Pneumonia Vaccine Every Year?
No.  Usually one vaccine will last years and years

Diabetes and Food

Need more recipes? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published a listing of many recipe books and websites with recipes. Here are a few that you may enjoy:

Fruits & Veggies – More Matters
US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site: http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dnparecipe/recipesearch.aspx
Description: Recipes with fruits and vegetables as the main ingredient for every course including beverages and desserts. Nutrition facts per serving are included.

Nutrition.gov Cooking Methods and Recipes USDA, National Agricultural Library, Food and Nutrition Information Center
Web site: http://www.nutrition.gov/recipes
Description: Links to cooking and recipe resources from various federal government agencies. Also links to the USDA’s Vegetarian Recipes and Meal Planning page.

USA.gov American Recipes USA.gov for Citizens
Web site: http://www.firstgov.gov/Citizen/Topics/Health/Recipes.shtml
Description: Lists links to different types of recipe pages with topics to include kids’ recipes, cooking for a crowd, and special recipe collections and publications. This site also lists recipes “From Famous Americans” for some historical American cooking ideas.

Although these recipes are not specifically for those with diabetes, they can all be worked into your meal plan by considering calories, carbohydrates and serving sizes.

Medication Update

If you have been taking Avandia and have not talked to your doctor recently, you should make an appointment.  After further evaluation of drug trial data it was found that Avandia may increase the risk of heart attacks.  Talk to your doctor about your risk for having a heart attack, and whether other medications to lower your blood glucose may be better for you.

Recipes To Try

Tangy Tuna Salad
2 servings
Preparation time 10 minutes

  • 1 can (5 ounces) water packed tuna, drained
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ tablespoon light salad dressing
  • ½ cup chopped green pepper
  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. Serve on lettuce leave or as filling for sandwich.

Nutrition facts per serving:

Calories 120
Protein 17 grams
Carbohydrate 4 grams
Fiber 1 gram
Fat 3 grams
Calories from fat 26%
Cholesterol 1 mg
Sodium 325 mg

Banana Walnut Muffins
12 servings

Preparation & cooking time 30 minutes

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ 
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 3/4 cup milk, non-fat
  • 1/4 cup Splenda® 
  • 4 tablespoon margarine, softened
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • non-stick cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 400º.   Fit muffin pan with 12 paper liners. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix flour, walnuts, wheat germ, brown sugar, Splenda®, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Mix until just blended.
  3. Fill muffin liners with mix.
  4. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Nutrition facts per serving

Calories 200
Protein 6 grams
Carbohydrate 24 grams
Fiber 2 gram
Fat 9 grams
Calories from fat 42%
Cholesterol 18 mg
Sodium 257 mg

Menu Suggestions



1 cooked eggs or egg substitutes

1 eggs

Banana walnut muffin†


Margarine, whipped

1 tablespoon

Orange juice

1  cup

Skim milk

8 ounces


536 Calories, 63 Carbohydrates, 4 Carbohydrate Choices



Low fat yogurt

6 ounces


90 Calories, 15 Carbohydrates, 1Carbohydrate Choice



Tangy tuna salad†

1 serving

Whole wheat bread

2 slices

Baked potato chips

1 ounce (9 chips)

Baby carrots


Mandarin oranges ½ cup

Iced tea

8 ounces


 573 Calories, 91 Carbohydrates, 6 Carbohydrate Choices



Easy pepper steak†

3 ounces


1 cup

Tossed salad

1 cup

Fat free dressing

1 tablespoon

Skim milk

8 ounces

Applesauce cake†

1 serving


584 Calories, 99 Carbohydrates, 6.5 Carbohydrate Choices



Total: 1783 Calories, 253 Carbohydrates, 17.5 Carbohydrate Choices


recipes from Diabetes Lifelines or Recipes for Diabetes at http://urbanext.illinois.edu/diabetesrecipes/intro.cfm

About Diabetes | Food & Diabetes | Medications & Diabetes | Current Issue | Archive | En Español

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