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Managing diabetes with food and friends

Posted: August 19, 2010 5:46 p.m.
Updated: August 20, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Sherrie’s pesto pasta is diabetic-friendly.

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Diabetes is a growing concern in our country. Nearly 81 million Americans — or one-in-four households — have diabetes or prediabetes, with a new case diagnosed every 20 seconds. While those statistics sound ominous, the good news is that this disease can be managed through diet, exercise, medication (if needed) and a strong support system.

“The difference between surviving diabetes and thriving with it often comes down to having the proper support network,” said Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE and 2009 Diabetes Care and Education Diabetes Educator of the Year. “Those who have at least one ‘DFF’ — Diabetes Friend Forever — are more likely to succeed in creating a healthy, balanced lifestyle than those who don’t.”

Sherri Shepherd, actress, comedienne and Emmy award-winning co-host of ABC-TV’s “The View,” couldn’t agree more. Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2007, Shepherd attributes her success in managing the disease to her two DFFs.

“I know first-hand how important a DFF can be. My 4-year-old son, Jeffrey, and trainer Don are my DFFs because they give me inspiration to maintain a healthy lifestyle every day.”

Like many people with diabetes Sherri feared that her favorite food — pasta — would be off the menu forever.

After three years without her signature dish, Sherri’s Pesto Pasta, she discovered that she could enjoy it in moderation if made with Dreamfields pasta.

Since a one cup cooked serving has only five grams of digestible carbs and five grams of fiber, the blood-glucose rise from eating Dreamfields pasta is lower than that from traditional pasta.

To honor DFFs everywhere, Dreamfields Pasta and Sherri Shepherd have paired up to launch a first-of-its-kind program to pay tribute to these special people.

Show your DFF the gratitude they deserve with a bowl of Sherri’s Pesto Pasta and nominate them at www.diabetesfriendsforever.com. If your nomination is chosen, you and your DFF can win one of 19 prize packages consisting of cash and/or Dreamfields Pasta.

Sherri’s pesto pasta
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Makes 6 servings

1    box Dreamfields Spaghetti
2    cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/3    cup pine nuts
1/3    cup extra virgin olive oil
3    medium cloves garlic
    Salt and freshly ground black
    pepper, to taste

1.    Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in bowl of food processor.
2. Pulse to combine. Process until desired consistency. Drain spaghetti; transfer to large bowl. Add pesto; toss to coat.
Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 374 calories; 10 g protein; 8 g digestible carbohydrates*; 18 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 16 mg sodium; 6 g total dietary fiber.
Variation: Sherri’s Pesto-Chicken Pasta
Toss 3/4 pound cooked chicken breast, cut into strips, into the pesto-pasta mixture.
Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe):  467 calories; 27 g protein; 8 g digestible carbohydrates*; 20 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 48 mg cholesterol; 58 mg sodium; 6 g total dietary fiber.

*If traditional pasta is used in this recipe there is a total of 48 g carbohydrate. For more information go to www.dreamfieldsfoods.com.

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