When you have diabetes, your dinner could look very different in terms of food. Some of the most effective approaches to manage blood sugar levels include portion management and carbohydrate counting. What to eat is another vital component that plays a significant part in this situation. When dealing with diabetes, balanced meals and portion control go hand in hand. However, you do not have to forego flavour to manage your blood sugar levels.
A healthy dinner can get a little tricky when you have diabetes, but that doesn’t mean you have very few options to eat. It is all about information. There are numerous types of dinner food in the world that would not adversely affect your blood sugar levels. They might as well help keep your sugar levels in check.
This article explains healthy and tasty dinner food for diabetes.
The Impact of Dinner on Diabetics
Eating dinner offers better outcomes concerning diabetes management. Studies found that blood glucose levels rose far higher in people who missed meals than those who did not skip any meals. In addition, they had elevated fasting glucose levels and reduced morning glucose tolerance, which was related to delayed insulin response.
Melatonin, a sleep hormone and carbohydrate intake associated with late eating, have impaired blood sugar control via an insulin secretion defect. As a result, the delay in dinner causes lower insulin and higher blood sugar levels.
Nutrients in Dinner for Diabetics?
Well, nutrients play an essential role in managing your sugar level and keeping your diabetes under control. So if you have diabetes, you should include the following nutrients to have a healthy dinner.
Fibre makes you feel fuller for longer. Consequently, you won’t crave unhealthy foods. As a result, your sugar levels will rise gradually. Fruits and vegetables are the perfect fit for the fibre requirement.
Studies have shown that probiotics can lower blood glucose levels. Probiotics can also reduce insulin resistance and inflammation. Thus, they also prevent infections. Nonfat or low-fat dairy, such as milk and yoghurt, kefir and fermented vegetables are probiotic foods.
Protein supplementation helps maintain lean body mass and improves blood glucose levels. In addition, proteins, such as lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, lentils, and tofu, can help deal with diabetes.
Chromium and Magnesium
Carbohydrate metabolism involves chromium and magnesium. Mineral deficiencies may therefore exacerbate diabetes. As a result, you should consume enough foods enriched with calcium and magnesium. Whole grains, nuts, and meat are some foods that are rich in chromium.
Dinner for Diabetics: The Healthy Options
Chana Dal Pancakes
You can create chana dal pancakes with the help of soaked chana dal. It is also full of vitamin-rich vegetables. In addition, it consists of curd for taste enhancement. The spices included in this exciting recipe are grated ginger and green chillies. You will have to cook these pancakes on a low flame as chana dal is coarsely ground. Therefore, it takes some time to cook them well.
These are a healthy addition to your diet as chana dal is an excellent food for people with diabetes. It works by effectively utilising the sugar in your body. It slows down your blood sugar levels as chana dal has a low glycemic index. Fenugreek leaves also improve glucose and insulin responses of your body. So without further ado, let’s get started.
- Chana Dal or Split Bengal Gram: ½ cup soaked for 4 hours and drained
- Finely Chopped Fenugreek or Methi Leaves: ½ cup
- Grated Carrot: ½ cup
- Finely Chopped Spinach or Palak: ½ cup
- Roughly Chopped Curry Leaves or Kadi Patta: 4 to 6
- Finely Chopped Green Chillies: 1 tbsp
- Grated Ginger or Adrak: 1 tsp
- Curd or Dahi: 2 tbsp
- Salt to Taste
- Oil: 1 tsp
- Fruit Salt: ½ tsp
- Peanut Oil for Greasing and Cooking: 3 tsp
- Grind the dal to make a coarse paste.
- Then, add ¼ cup of water to it.
- Then mix the fenugreek leaves, spinach, carrot, curry leaves, ginger, green chillies, curd, oil and salt.
- Add the fruit salt before serving.
- Then divide the batter into six portions.
- Heat a non-stick tava and add ¼ tsp of oil.
- Spread one part of the paste and make a pancake.
- It should be approximately 100 mm in diameter.
- Cook it on a low flame until it turns golden brown.
- Drizzle ¼ tsp oil again.
- Then make five more pancakes and serve them with green chutney.
Stir-fry Chicken with Vegetables
This delightful dish contains chicken quickly stir-fried in a wok with vegetables, green beans, and mushrooms. A light, quick and healthy stir-fry, chicken, and vegetables can make for a quick, satisfying, low-carb dish. Add some half-sliced bell peppers or some shredded cabbage to the dinner for added flavour. Using low salt as an excess of sodium can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of heart diseases. So, remember to use just a pinch of salt to keep the dish healthy.
There are many benefits of stir-frying chicken with vegetables. One advantage is it is healthy and contains a range of vitamins and minerals because of the wide variety of vegetables and fruits incorporated in the dish. Another benefit is that the flavours of this stir-fry chicken dish balance each other so that a person can enjoy it at different times of the day. It is also quick and filling, taking less than thirty minutes to cook.
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth: 1 cup
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce: 1 tbsp
- Corn Starch: 2 tsp
- Garlic (minced or grated): 1 clove
- Ground Black Pepper: ½ tsp
- Olive Oil: 1 tsp
- Chopped Veggies of Your Choice: 1 cup
- Boiled Chicken: 1 cup
- Saute the veggies for 5-7 minutes in olive oil.
- Mix the chicken broth, soy sauce, corn starch, garlic and black pepper in a bowl.
- Add the mix to the pan and add the boiled chicken once the sauce has thickened.
- Serve it hot or let it cool and meal prep for your other dishes.
Low-carb Mediterranean Broccoli Salad
According to research, broccoli salad improves insulin resistance in diabetic patients and lessens its complications. Broccoli is low in calories, has a mix of vitamins, and stocks a bunch of essential nutrients. In a half-cup serving of cooked broccoli, you’ll find just 27 calories and 3 grams of digestible carbohydrates, plus essential nutrients like vitamin C and magnesium.
The recipe calls for broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and onions as non-starchy vegetables. Because these foods are fibre-rich, they will keep you full for a long time.
Broccoli helps keep blood sugar at an optimal level, and it is proven to help cleanse the body of harmful germs and toxins. In addition, sprouts and broccoli contain a chemical called sulforaphane, an excellent choice for treating diabetes as a supplementary treatment.
- Black Pepper: ⅛ tsp
- Salt: to taste
- Honey: 1 tsp
- Plain Yoghurt: ¼ cup
- Light Mayonnaise: ¼ cup
- Cheese (grated): ⅓ cup
- Onion (finely chopped): ¼ cup
- Broccoli Florets: 3 cups
- Combine broccoli, onion and cheese in a bowl.
- In another bowl, mix all your remaining ingredients.
- Add your wet mix to your veggies and toss well to mingle the flavours.
- You can serve it fresh or let it cool before eating if you enjoy your salads cold.
Vegetarian Lentil Tacos
A taco-based diet could be just what you need to cure your winter blues. Lentil tacos are a healthy meatless dinner recipe with high antioxidants. Filling your taco shells with lentil filling might not be authentic to the origin of tacos. However, they do make the dish diabetes-friendly.
Lentil tacos are a relatively recent creation, and they’ve taken the world by storm. The healthy plant-based dish is becoming more popular by the day, and it’s easy to see why. Vegetarian lentils are lower on the glycemic index than other beans, which means they help keep blood sugar levels steady. In addition, a study observes that because lentils have a low glycemic index and fibre content, vegetarians have a lower risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
- Cooked Lentils: 3 cups
- Bell Pepper (diced): 2 cups
- Onion (finely chopped): 1.5 cups
- Mushrooms (chopped): 4 cups
- Taco Seasoning: 2 tsp
- Garlic: 2 cloves
- Olive Oil: 1-2 tsp
- Saute the bell pepper and onion in a pan for 5-7 minutes.
- Toss in the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and stir well for another 3-5 minutes.
- To make it low carb, use lettuce wraps instead of tortillas.
Sweet Potato Skillet with Ground Turkey
The humble and versatile sweet potato has lots more to offer than just its sweetness. For example, it has more vitamins and nutrients than your typical fruit, which means it’s an excellent choice for sweetening up your plate.
Above all, in sweet potatoes, carotenoids are plentiful. It belongs to a class of powerful antioxidants that don’t just help protect us from illness, ageing, and potential chronic diseases. They also boost our moods, reduce fatigue and help us fight off acne. Adding sweet potato skillet to your daily diet benefits you by lowering blood sugar levels, low fat, and high fibre. Sweet potato skillet is also a good source of vitamins A, C and iron, making for a healthier diet for people with diabetes and those with iron deficiency.
- Sweet Potato (cubed and roasted): 1
- Cauliflower (cut into chunks and roasted): 1 ½ cups
- Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
- Onion (chopped): 1
- Red Bell Pepper (chopped): 1
- Yellow Bell Pepper (chopped): 1
- Salt: to taste
- Garlic (minced): 1 tbsp
- Chilli Powder: ½ tsp
- Ground Cumin: 1 tsp
- Turkey (diced and cooked): 2 cups
- Eggs: 4
- Black Pepper: ½ tsp
- Add onion and bell pepper to a heated skillet with olive oil.
- Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic, paprika and cumin. Cook for another minute while stirring constantly.
- Toss in the roasted veggies and turkey and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Cook your eggs on another pan and fry them till they are at a consistency you like.
- Add the eggs to top off your dish and sprinkle in some black pepper before serving.
Eating delicious salmon surrounded by sautéed garlic and lemon can help improve your health. Garlic is associated with throat health, as it can help reduce the levels of bad breath, dry coughs, and blood clots. Garlic can also prevent gum disease, fight heart disease and lower cholesterol levels.
Salmon is an excellent source of protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins. Toasting the garlic and lemon with the salmon will add another level of flavour to what is an already yummy fish diet. Incorporate raw garlic and lemon into your diet regularly for various health benefits. Lemons are more than just juicing fruit containing multiple nutrients that support the body. It includes having the potential to reduce type II diabetes symptoms.
- Unsalted Butter (melted): 4 tbsp
- Garlic (minced): 2 cloves
- Parsley or Coriander (finely chopped): to taste
- Salt and Pepper: to taste
- Lemon Juice: 3 tbsp
- Salmon Fillets: 4
- Mix your butter, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Add the salmon fillets to a baking tray, skin side down.
- Brush them with the garlic butter, leaving some butter for brushing them again after baking.
- Bake in the oven for 12-18 minutes, depending on the size of your salmon fillet.
- Remove the salmon skin and brush it again with the garlic butter.
- Serve after drizzling some fresh lemon juice and topping it all with parsley or coriander.
Jowar Pyaz ki Roti
It is a simply roti you can eat every day consisting of Jowar flour and readily available ingredients, including spring onions and green chilli paste. It is also easy to make and saves you unnecessary efforts. Jowar is a very stomach-friendly ingredient. It can help those that suffer from problems associated with constant acidity. You can also use curd to enhance its flavour. It is gluten-free and is a perfect addition for gluten intolerant people.
It is an excellent recipe if you are aiming to lose weight. Every chapatti offers 2.5 g of fibre and 2.7 g of protein. Hence, if you eat it, you’ll feel full for a longer time. At the same time, diabetics and heart patients can enjoy its goodness too. Enough of the benefits! It is time to get straight to the recipe.
- Jowar or White Millet Flour: 1 cup
- Finely Chopped Spring Onions Whites and Greens: ½ cup
- Green Chilli Paste: ¼ tsp
- Oil: 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Jowar or White Millet Flour for Rolling
- Oil for Cooking: 1 tsp
- Add all the ingredients to a deep bowl.
- Knead them into a smooth dough with the help of warm water.
- Separate it into four portions of equal size.
- Roll them into approximately 150 mm thick circles.
- Use some flour to help you with rolling.
- Heat a non-stick tava.
- Cook each roti with ¼ tsp of oil.
- When brown spots appear, remember to remove them from the tava.
- Serve it hot with curd and enjoy them.
Vegan kheer is an excellent addition to your daily diet if you have diabetes. It saves you time and effort, too, as it takes approximately 15-30 minutes. The recipe has four servings, and you can enjoy it with your family and friends. It is highly nutritious and thus maintains your health. It has 240 calories with 9 grams of fat.
- Ground Almonds: ½ cup
- Soaked and Parboiled Brown Rice: ½ cup
- Water: 1 cup
- Grated Coconut Palm Sugar: ½ cup
- Chopped Walnuts: A few
- Raisins: A few
- Cardamom Powder: ⅛ tsp
- Strands of Saffron: A few
- Wash and cook parboiled rice with the help of a pressure cooker.
- Use 1.5 cups of water and let it go for three whistles.
- Let the cooker rest for a few minutes, then remove its lid and mash.
- Grind some almonds and a cup of water to smooth milk.
- Mix it with rice and let it cook for approximately 5 minutes.
- Continue stirring it and mix the cardamom powder.
- Crush and add the saffron strands.
- Add grated palm sugar and cook it for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Keep going and avoid burning.
- Heat and fry some walnuts and raisins in almond oil for garnishing.
Low-Carb Zucchini Lasagna
Zucchini lasagna is a smart choice if you want to satisfy your carb cravings. Zucchini is a low-carb, high-fibre veggie, so zucchini lasagna is a healthier and tasty alternative to traditional lasagna recipes. While it is true that zucchini is low in carbohydrates, it also contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. One medium zucchini, for instance, provides 35 grams of vitamin C, making it an excellent source of nutrients.
Research suggests that this antioxidant may be lacking in many people with type 2 diabetes, perhaps due to excessive oxidative stress brought on by abnormal blood sugar metabolism. However, the versatility, low carb content, and zucchini flavour make it highly prized. Make this low-carb variation of class comfort food and enjoy it any time of year, or with a side salad as part of a healthy dinner instead of pasta.
- Zucchini: 2
- Onion: 1
- Garlic (minced); 2 cloves
- Chillies: 1
- Tomatoes: 3
- Mushrooms: 1 cup
- Mozzarella (shredded): ½ cup
- Chilli powder: 1 tsp
- Thyme: 1 tsp
- Basil: 1 tsp
- Salt and Pepper: to taste
- Cooking Oil, as required
- Use a julienne peeler to cut the zucchini into slices.
- Sprinkle them lightly with salt and set them aside for 10 minutes.
- Pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess water.
- Grill them in the oven for 3 minutes.
- Boil the tomatoes and peel them after they have cooled down. You can also use canned tomatoes.
- Roughly chop up the onions, garlic, chilli, peeled tomatoes and mushrooms.
- Stir fry the garlic, onion and chilli in a deep skillet.
- Add in the tomatoes and mushrooms and saute them for another 4 minutes.
- Add the spices and simmer them until the sauce is chunky and not liquidy.
- Use a shallow and wide baking container and make a layer of zucchini. Then evenly spread out the sauce on top. Then another layer of zucchini. Continue this till you have run of sauce.
- Add the mozzarella on top and bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow the lasagna to rest for 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven.
- It is best when served hot.
Quinoa salad is a nutritious dish packed with beautiful colours and flavours. It is one of the best healthy salads and can be called of the best options in dinner for diabetics . You will enjoy quinoa because it is a good carbohydrate. It is also chock-full of dietary fibre and magnesium, among other compounds. In addition, quinoa is a nutrient-rich, gluten-free grain that is a staple in the vegan diet. It’s gluten-free, has a fluffy texture and nutty flavour, and would make a great side dish to any diet or a portion of healthy dinner food in itself. Furthermore, quinoa is a seed-like grain that ranks above rice as one of the most consumed grains in the world.
Secret Ingredient: Curly Cilantro This amazing quinoa salad is a great dinner choice, health-wise, for people with diabetes. Quinoa is high in protein and has nearly all the essential amino acids, key to good health.
- Quinoa: 1 cup
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth: 2 cups
- Cucumber (peeled and diced): 1
- Tomatoes (chopped): 1
- Onion (finely diced): 1 cup
- Parsley or Coriander (chopped): ¼ cup
- Feta Cheese or Cottage Cheese (crumbled): ½ cup
- Olive Oil: 2 tbsp
- Mustard Sauce: ½ tbsp
- Cook the quinoa using the chicken broth. Let it cool completely before proceeding.
- Add in all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
- Take a large bowl and combine all the salad ingredients, including cooked quinoa.
- Pour the salad dressing over the ingredients and mix well to coat them all.
- Serve immediately or place it in the refrigerator to serve it cold.
Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
Cooking soup on the stove is time-consuming and messy. But, slow cooker chicken noodle soup is easy, nutritious, and delicious. It’s perfect for a long night at work or relaxing at home with your loved ones. In recent years, slow cooker chicken noodle soup has become famous for healthy and financial incentives for many people.
What many people don’t know, however, is that slow cooker chicken has other benefits for people, ranging from the relief of stress to the prevention of heart disease and diabetes. It is a quick option for a diet that is healthy, delicious, and full of flavour. The chicken absorbs the juices and flavours from the other ingredients, making for a juicy, rich dish that is low in calories and fat.
- Chicken Breasts: 2
- Water: 6 cups
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth: 1 can
- Carrot (finely diced): ⅓ cups
- Onion (chopped): 1 cup
- Coriander: few sprigs
- Garlic (minced): 1 clove
- Salt and Pepper: to taste
- Noodles of Your Choice
- Add chicken, water, broth, carrot and onion to a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Cook until chicken is no longer pink in colour, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken and dice it into bite-sized pieces.
- Return the chicken to the broth and add in the remaining ingredients.
- Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat and cook till noodles are cooked.
- Serve right away. Best eaten immediately as the noodles will get soggy and soft otherwise.
Baked Shrimp Parmesan
Given the beauty of a shrimp, it may seem like a very odd choice. Still, proteins found in Shrimp such as Vitamin B12, selenium, choline, and zinc can be vital to achieving good health. The typical diet of Shrimp and scallops contains approximately 100 calories per serving. If you are doing a low-carb regimen, Shrimp can be considered a part of your main diet.
However, limiting the number of carbohydrates you consume in a diet is essential. For example, baked Shrimp with marinara sauce is a great diet. It is a culinary dish well-known as both an excellent diet and an indispensable item of Mediterranean cuisine. But few know that brushing your teeth after eating shrimp parmesan can help you alleviate toothache apart from helping in diabetes management.
- Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- Eggs: 2
- Cheese (grated): ¼ cup
- Garlic (minced): 1 clove
- Marinara Sauce
- Mozzarella (shredded): ½ cup
- Parsley or Coriander: to taste
- Mix the eggs, cheese and garlic in a bowl.
- Dip each shrimp into the bowl and place them on a heated skillet.
- Cook them for about 3 minutes, till the mixture forms a coat on the shrimp.
- Remove shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- Add marinara sauce and place the shrimp on top in an oven-safe skillet.
- Then cover it all with shredded mozzarella.
- Broil it till the cheese melts and starts to brown slightly.
- Top with chopped parsley or coriander and serve hot.
The recipes end here. However, you need to avoid the below-mentioned foods if you are a diabetic patient.
Dinner for Diabetics: Foods to Avoid
Let’s look at some foods you should specifically avoid if you are a diabetic patient. You should also know that there are a lot of other foods that you should avoid. Too many people forget to take diets and snacks into account for their effect on their blood sugar levels.
Fried foods may give you a mouthful of unwelcome food sugars and fat, triggering a sharp spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a dangerous drop. High blood sugar can mimic diabetes symptoms, including dizziness, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and rapid heartbeat.
So, avoid eating fried food because the oil used in the cooking process contains high sugar levels.
The first rule for diabetics is not to eat sweets. This tip might seem obvious, but it is essential for blood sugar control. Sugary food is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes. Sugary food can also lead to weight gain, which will make it harder to regulate blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests that people with diabetes avoid sweets to maintain good health.
According to a study, alcohol consumption by people with Type 1 diabetes can worsen blood sugar regulation, even in people without obesity or other conditions often associated with type 1, who are in ostensibly no danger of insulin problems. Diabetic patients face complications from alcohol resulting in serious risks such as impaired vision, thinking, and judgment. The chances are incredibly high for adults in their 20’s and 30’s.
The Popular Plate Method
Diabetes is particularly challenging. It calls for a lifestyle change and to adapt to new habits. Eating the same food repeatedly isn’t going to do the trick. One way to talk about it with your loved ones is to talk about the plate. A plate is a visual representation of how to plan a healthy diet.
- You can start by filling half your plate with leafy greens, broccoli, squash, or cauliflower.
- On your plate, one-quarter should be proteins such as chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, tofu, and lean cuts of beef or pork.
- There should be a good carbohydrate source in the remaining quarter of the plate, such as whole grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, fruit, or low-fat dairy products.
- Last but not least, keep hydrated with a low-calorie beverage such as water, buttermilk or coconut water.
Other Tips and Precautionary Measures
- Exercise regularly for about 30 minutes to boost insulin production and reduce sugar levels.
- Aim to reduce extra kilos (especially at mid-riff) to resist insulin levels and manage diabetes.
- Sleep for 7-9 hours to reduce the risk of diabetes and increase insulin levels.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol as it worsens diabetes management by increasing insulin resistance.
- Avoid taking any stress as it increases blood glucose levels.
- Controlling portions or eating small diets at regular intervals can help you lose weight and manage diabetes.
- Regular water consumption may help rehydrate the body, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce diabetes risk.
- Visit your doctor for a routine checkup to keep track of diabetes.
Dinner food is not exactly the healthiest. But, if you have to make a diet, these dishes are relatively low in points to not feel too guilty. You can even have a healthy salad, a favourite diet for many diabetes patients. The perfect balance is difficult to define, but the above suggestions should undoubtedly work on fine-tuning your favourite healthy dinners. First, it is essential to find which foods are most beneficial. A caloric intake can either lower or higher weight. However, it is necessary to consult your doctor before choosing any plan or diet for dinner.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is rice good for diabetes?
A: Rice’s high glycemic index and protein content make it unsuitable for people with diabetes. You can replace white rice with brown rice or foxtail, finger millets as it lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Q: How do you lower your blood sugar?
A: Diabetics can make their health better by following a healthy diet. A healthy diet is dependent on patients to find out what works best for them. Still, a wide variety of eating patterns can help control blood sugar levels. Other than on a diet, the best way to lower your blood sugar is to increase your exercise and reduce your number of calories.
Q: Can diabetes cause food intolerances?
A: A patient might be living with diabetes for some time before their symptoms become noticeable, in which case they could be eating and reacting to food, unaware that anything is wrong. It’s not a common idea that food intolerances might play a role in diabetes. Still, several things could cause your symptoms, including food. In most cases, food sensitivities are rare in people with diabetes. Still, it’s important to note that food intolerances tend to develop in people without diabetes.
Q: Can diabetes make food taste salty?
A: Some people with diabetes may experience a change in how food tastes, causing flavour weaknesses and even making certain foods like fruits and vegetables taste too salty.
Q: Can diabetes eat fried food?
A: Eating fast food that contains a lot of sugar and saturated fats can lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar and a drop in your blood glucose levels. If you have diabetes and your blood sugar levels are uncontrolled, eating fried foods can lead to heart disease and several other problems.
Q: What causes blood sugar to rise without eating?
A: Numerous factors cause blood sugar levels to increase without eating, such as intensive exercises, fever, and stress. However, one of the most significant factors is the anticonvulsant drug, which links to an increase in blood sugar levels by 8%.
Q: What foods keep your blood sugar stable at night?
A: Having a protein-rich snack when the research verifies that a diet with few carbs and plenty of protein should gently let your blood sugar levels rest. Doing so can help your body get to sleep, give you less hunger in the morning, and allow you to fit into your skinny jeans with ease.