On Monday, we shared the framework of a diet that can help people with diabetes manage their glucose levels. Whole foods, lean proteins, limited processed foods, and healthy fats are all elements of any healthy diet, but are especially impactful when working to regulate blood sugar and avoid any spikes or crashes that can harm those with diabetes. Today we’ll share eight recipes that incorporate these beneficial components.
Ginger halibut with Brussels sprouts
Halibut is rich in selenium, a trace mineral that helps repair cells and decrease inflammation. Also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, (read more about different dietary fats, here), Halibut is a great lean protein choice. Brussels sprouts are rich in fiber, which can help regulate glucose levels. Did you know that ginger can also be an effective addition to your diabetes treatment? Eating up to 4 grams per day may help lower your blood sugar levels and regulate insulin production. Tasty and beneficial!
Rosemary chicken with spinach and beans
Chicken is another great source of lean protein, providing a steady source of energy. Beans are low on the glycemic index, so they won’t cause a spike in glucose levels. They also help lower blood sugar levels and coronary artery disease risk in patients with type 2 diabetes. Spinach is considered a superfood, and is known to benefit those with diabetes because it contains an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative, stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes.
Cedar plank salmon
Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart disease, all complications linked to diabetes according to the American Heart Association. You can pair this with your favorite salad for a meal packed with nutrients and flavor that will ward off hunger while keeping blood sugar levels steady.
Zoodles are noodles made from zucchini. They’re delicious and since they are low-carb, they help you skip the spike in blood sugar that can result from eating pasta made with refined flour. Zoodles contain a variety of vitamins, antioxidants, as well as fiber. The fiber found in zucchini may also help increase insulin sensitivity, which can help stabilize blood sugar.
Salad for breakfast may seem like starting the day out of order, but it actually may help you start the day on the right foot! This recipe contains quinoa, a whole grain that contains all nine essential amino acids, as well as having a high amount of protein and fiber. Quinoa has a low glycemic index, so it’ll also help maintain glucose levels steady. The avocado in this recipe is a source of healthy fat and are also low in carbohydrates, which means they have little effect on blood sugar levels. Can’t wrap your mind around a salad for breakfast? You can still add several of these elements to a smoothie along with fruits and yogurt for a more traditional breakfast option.
Mushroom thyme toast
This is a great option when you’d like a delicious snack full of flavor, but still need to be mindful of how it impacts your blood sugar. Super simple, this recipe uses ricotta cheese, a low fat cheese that provides your body energy from the protein, without spiking your glucose levels. Mushrooms have been found to help lower blood pressure and also reduce inflammation- and they’re delicious.
Grilled lemon herb Mediterranean salad
This salad is one example of a dish where elements can easily be interchanged to suit anybody’s palate. Choose any lean protein, add your favorite veggies for vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Make your own dressing using healthy fats (try these). Add in some avocado for a boost in omega-3 fatty acids and loads of beneficial properties, and you have a slam dunk- diabetes friendly meal.
Butternut squash and barley soup
Perfect for the cooler weather, this soup has several ingredients that can help regulate blood sugar and keep you feeling full. Barley is a whole grain that has been found to be beneficial in a diabetic diet. Researchers in Sweden shared that in addition to an improvement in metabolism, other benefits of eating barley include decreases in blood sugar and insulin levels, increases in insulin sensitivity and improved appetite control. Butternut squash is loaded with soluble fiber, and can help keep your blood sugar from rising after eating. Butternut squash also has a low glycemic index, so its carbs are digested more slowly. This also helps keep blood sugar from rising.