Although people with diabetes have to follow quite a few dietary restrictions to properly manage their condition, there are plenty of tasty and healthy meals out there that still allow them to eat foods they enjoy.
It can seem overwhelming to find recipes that meet all of your meal requirements and still taste delicious, but with the right choices, you’ll be amazed at how easy it can be! Here are 10 diabetic-friendly dinner recipes that won’t make you feel deprived while still allowing you to enjoy many of your favourite dishes!
How to eat when you have diabetes
If you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are either too high or too low. To prevent complications associated with diabetes, such as vision loss and nerve damage, it is important to take proper care of yourself.
Eating a well-balanced diet and staying active can help you keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. Following these tips will allow you to continue enjoying meals without becoming concerned about possible consequences.
It’s also important to eat dinner at regular times each day and to follow consistent meal times throughout the week. This can help stabilise your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings for unhealthy foods. When cooking dinner, try including some of these diabetes-friendly ingredients:
- Lean meats like a chicken breast
- Fresh vegetables like broccoli
- Whole grains like brown rice
- Olive oil
- and low-fat dairy products.
1) Mediterranean Low-Carb Broccoli Salad
This dish is a great way to make sure you’re still getting your veggies even when it’s not tomato season. Spaghetti squash can stand in for lasagna noodles, and since it tastes mild, you won’t even know it’s there. Use low-fat cheese, sausage (or no meat), and marinara sauce without any added sugar or salt. Serve with a big green salad with olive oil dressing.
2) Chicken Veggie Stir-Fry
Prepping dinner can be daunting after a long day of work, but a veggie stir-fry like this one is quick and easy to make. A few ingredients in your pantry like sweet potatoes, bok choy, broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers are all you need for an easy dinner recipe that makes for great leftovers, too. A healthy meal doesn’t have to be complicated. This diabetes-friendly chicken stir fry is just as delicious as it is simple.
3) Beef Enchiladas
One of my favorite dinners is beef enchiladas. They’re so delicious, and I can make a large batch for dinner and have leftovers for days! It’s one of those recipes that allows me to feel like I’m eating something indulgent but it’s so good for me. The filling is made with lean ground beef, tomatillos, onions, green chiles, garlic, cumin, and a few seasonings.
4) Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Skillet
This recipe has a little bit of everything, turkey, sweet potatoes, salsa, and a dose of healthy fats from both olive oil and avocado. The guacamole is optional, but it’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can help lower blood sugar.
And if you want to add some extra veggies to your plate, throw in some spinach or kale before cooking. Just be sure to keep an eye on it as you cook the vegetables will wilt as they heat up with your meal.
5) Vegetarian Lentil Tacos
Tacos are one of our favourite go-to dinner options, and there’s no shortage of delicious vegetarian taco recipes out there. These lentil tacos have all of our favourites cheese, beans, salsa, avocado and they’re also filled with fibre and protein to keep you satiated. And that sour cream? It’s optional!
6) Greek Chicken Pita Salad
This salad is a great source of lean protein, healthy fats, and fibre. It’s also quick and easy to prepare, making it a perfect go-to meal for when you need something fast. Pita bread is loaded with carbs, so you’ll have to exercise some portion control by filling it up with lots of veggies and chicken instead of loading up on more bread.
7) Vegetable Fajitas
Nothing beats vegetable fajitas with corn tortillas! This healthy dish is low in carbs, but still has enough protein to fill you up. Fajitas are delicious at restaurants, but by making them at home, you can control how much goes into them. Enjoy it for dinner tonight and don’t feel guilty about what goes on top!
8) Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi
This recipe calls for a lot of butter, so I recommend using clarified butter to cut back on saturated fat and cholesterol. Add a side of steamed vegetables and you have yourself a nice healthy meal that your family will love. There are many restaurants out there that cater to people with diabetes by offering low-carb or sugar-free options. Take advantage of these places when you can!
Remember though, if your blood sugar levels are still elevated after eating out it is important to treat with insulin rather than risk going high later in the day or evening.
9) Roasted Tomato and Parmesan Salmon
There’s a reason fish is often served as an appetiser, it’s delicious and healthy, but not filling. And that means you can enjoy it in moderation when you make salmon for dinner! This recipe serves four. If your family is larger or you want leftovers, simply double or triple ingredients.
10) Banh Mi Chicken Burger Lettuce Wraps
These low-carb lettuce wraps are a fun alternative to boring burgers. They’re super easy to throw together. You just need ground chicken, a little soy sauce, hot chilli oil, carrots, and scallions, and they’re packed with flavour.
Serve them with either coconut aminos or tamari for a Paleo option that even your non-Paleo friends will love. The carrot and cucumber slices add sweetness and crunchiness to balance out all of that savoury Asian goodness in these wraps.
Many of us think we can’t eat anything delicious if we want to live healthily, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many healthy recipes out there that won’t make you feel deprived of your favourite comfort foods. Give them a try!
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