Yes, Diabetics Can Enjoy Chicago's Most Iconic Foods - Here's How


Chicago is one of America’s best-known culinary destinations.

Chicago cuisine offers flavors from all over the world – each reimagined with a unique flair you can only find in the Windy City. American classics like the Chicago hot dog stand alongside Italian beef, chicken Vesuvio and many others: Often imitated, but never duplicated!

After a diabetes diagnosis, it’s important to make changes to your diet. Diabetics should strive to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains – while avoiding excessive fat and restricting calories in general. However, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid delicious meals in Chicago.

By cutting out carbs, you can make great Chicago meals part of a balanced diet.

Consider these options:

The Chicago Hot Dog 
The classic Chicago hot dog includes mustard, relish, onions, pickle, tomato, sport peppers and salt. Most of these ingredients can easily fit into a diabetic diet. To make the meal healthier, just skip the bun and enjoy your hot dog "open face."

Chicago-Style Pizza 
A Chicago-style pizza is known for its unique dough, which is usually fragile and oily. You can still enjoy the delicious taste of this dough if you go for a healthier thin-crust option instead of deep dish! Also consider sticking to just one or two meat toppings.

Italian Beef 
An Italian beef sandwich consists of thin-sliced, seasoned roast beef stacked on an Italian roll. As with the Chicago hot dog, the real star of the show is the meat, not the bun. This is another great opportunity to skip the bun and still enjoy striking flavors.

Chicken Vesuvio 
Chicken Vesuvio features baked chicken on the bone with wedges of potato, carrots and celery. It is sautéed in a special blend including garlic, oregano, white wine, and olive oil. Good news: Most diabetics will find no changes are necessary to this mouth-watering dish.

The jibarito (hee-bah-ree-to) is a sandwich that uses fried green plantains in place of regular bread. Its other key ingredient is garlic-flavored mayonnaise. The lack of bread gives this sandwich a good start, so just be mindful of how much meat and cheese you include in yours.

SwedishAmerican Hospital
Diabetic nutrition education is a crucial part of disease management. That said, a diet for people with diabetes does not have to be bland: The diabetic diet can tempt the palate while adhering to a comprehensive diabetes nutrition plan. To learn more, contact SwedishAmerican Hospital.