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Diabetic Friendly Foods

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Diabetes is 'high glucose level' and can lead to an increased risk of heart ailments if left unchecked. High blood sugar can also damage the kidney, cause havoc to the nervous system, deteriorate eye sight and even affect the brain cells. It is imperative that not only diabetics, but also those with borderline glucose levels and family history of diabetes control the intake of carbohydrates, limit sugar in the diet and consume foods that will do no further harm to the system.

Among others, cinnamon, garlic, onions, fenugreek, cumin and turmeric help to absorb glucose from the blood and act as insulin sensitizers. These should be definitely included in the diet. What are the qualities that go to classify certain kinds of food as diabetic friendly and certain food unfriendly? Find out how you can include diabetic friendly snacks and diabetic friendly dessert in your routine.


Diabetic friendly foods

By and large, low glycemic foods do not spike blood glucose levels. They make you feel full earlier. These contain few Carbs. Whole grains, whole fruits and fruit juices and raw and cooked vegetables are classic examples. Net Carbs can be digested rapidly in one or two hours. This again spikes blood sugar and raises insulin levels.

High soluble fiber rich foods contain a mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber. Both give satiety without spiking blood sugar. Soluble fiber is the best as it improves sugar controls. Legumes, oat bran, whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables are examples.

Avoid saturated fat and trans fat which tend to raise the LDL or bad cholesterol. This can create heart problems. Significantly, many of the processed foods that are sugar free or low carb are also high in fat. Mono unsaturated fat is the good one and poly unsaturated fat and Omega 3 fat can lower your LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides. Avocados, olive oil, soy, salmon, canola oil and lean proteins are good examples.

While protein does not spike blood sugar, it can make you feel full. It helps to build muscle mass and perform the daily tasks easily. Here again, plant sources of protein are better than animal sources. Examples are black beans, fish, egg whites and soy. Eating right for diabetes depends on three factors namely:


What you eat: Your diet can make all the difference. Cut back on refined Carbs and sugary drinks and choose healthy fats over unhealthy ones.

When you eat: Keeping regular meal and snack time is imperative to maintaining blood sugar levels more constant.

How much you eat: Even if you eat healthy meals, do not overeat and gain weight which is a factor in diabetes.

You need not eat special foods but simply emphasize on vegetables, fruits and wholesome grains. In other words, a diabetic diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients and low in fat and moderate in calories.


Diabetic Friendly Desserts

Diabetic Friendly Rich Chocolate Mousse

Unflavored gelatin 1 envelope
Water ¼ can
Milk 1 cup
Baking cocoa ½ cup
Artificial sweetener 1/3 cup
Light cool whip 2 cups

Gelatin should be sprinkled over water in a small saucepan and let to stand for about 2 minutes. Cook on low heat and stir constantly until the gelatin is dissolved. Now cool. Stir ¼ cup of milk into the cocoa to make a paste and gradually stir in remaining milk. Stir in gelatin mixture and sweetener - refrigerate for about 4 hours.


Diabetic Pumpkin Pecan Cake

Margarine softened ¾ cup
Sweet 'n low brown ¼
Egg substitute 1 ¼ cup
Pumpkin 1 - 16 oz can
Unsweetened orange juice 1/3 juice
Flour 3 cups
Baking powder 2 teaspoon
Baking soda and salt ½ teaspoon
Pumpkin pie spice 2 teaspoon
Chopped pecans ¼ cup
Vegetable cooking spray

Beat margarine in medium speed until creamy. Now gradually add sweet 'n low beating well. Add egg substitute, beat well and combine pumpkin and orange juice stirring well. Combine flour, mixture, soda, salt and pumpkin and pie spice. Add margarine mixture and alternate with pumpkin mixture beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix well after each addition. Sprinkle pecans over the bottom of the 10 inch tube pan coating with cooking spray. Spoon it over the pecans. Bake at 325 degrees for an hour and a half and cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling completely on a wire rack.


Sugar free Cream Puffs

Water ½ cup
Butter 2 tablespoon
Flour ½ cup
Eggs 2
Vanilla fat free instant pudding 4 servings
Skimmed milk cold 1 cup
Whipped topping
Dark chocolate (with 70% cocoa) 1 square

Heat oven to medium heat. Bring water and butter to boil in a large saucepan. Add flour. Remove from heat. Stir vigorously until well blended. Return to heat and cook and stir on medium heat for about 2 minutes. The mixture will form balls. Now cool for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time and beat with wooden spoon after each until well blended. Drop 2 inches apart into 16 small mounds on baking sheets sprayed with cooking spray.

Now bake for about ½ hour or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks and cool completely. Beat the pudding mix and milk in medium bowl and whisk for about 2 minutes. Stir in cool whip and refrigerate until ready to use.

The puffs can be cut horizontally with serrated knife. Remove any soft dough from inside the puffs. Fill bottoms of puffs with pudding mixture and replace tops. Melt chocolate as per directions in its package and drizzle over the cream puffs.


Diabetic Friendly Snacks

Veggie Tostadas

Cooking spray
Sliced mushrooms 2 cups
Zucchini small and sliced 2
Red bell pepper, large, chopped 1
Tostadas, basic 4

Place a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms, zucchini and bell pepper to pan, Sauté for about 5 minutes, till vegetable get tender. Spoon about ¾ vegetable mixture over black bean mixture on each tostada and top with lettuce, salsa and cheese.


Orange Iced Tea

Juice drink, cranberry cocktail 1 ½ cup
Brewed cinnamon apple spice tea 1 cup cooled
Brewed black tea 1 cup cooled
Orange juice ½ cup

In one large pitcher combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate until chilled and serve over ice.


Gingerbread Biscotti

Vegetable oil 1/3 cup
White sugar 1 cup
Eggs 3
All purpose flour 2 ¼ cup
Wheat flour 2 cups
Baking powder 1 tablespoon
Ground ginger 1 ½ tablespoon
Ground cloves ½ tablespoon
Ground cinnamon ¾ tablespoon
Ground cloves ½ tablespoon
Ground nutmeg ¼ teaspoon

Preheat oven to 375 degree F and grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses. In another bowl, combine flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Mix into egg mixture to form stiff dough. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a roll the length of the cookie, Place the rolls on cookie sheet, and pat down to flatten the dough to ½ inch thickness. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. When cool enough to touch, cut into ½ inch thick diagonal slices. Place sliced biscotti on cookie sheet and bake an additional 7 minutes on each side or until toasted and crispy.


Banana Oat Bars

Cooking oats 1 ½ cups
White sugar ½ cup
Baking powder 2 teaspoons
Ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
Baking soda ½ teaspoon
Raisons ½ cup
Skim milk ¼ cup
Egg whites 2
Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together dry ingredients and in a separate bowl mix together bananas, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Beat all together. Bake in a 9 x 13 inch pan which has been sprayed with non-stick spray for about 35 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. You may sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, if desired.


Diabetic Meatless Chili

Chopped onion 1 large
Garlic minced 1 clove
Low calorie margarine, melted 1 tin
Salt to taste
Dried basil 1 teaspoon
Chili powder 1 teaspoon
Oregano dried ½ teaspoon
Dried thyme ½ teaspoon
Black pepper ¼ teaspoon
Chopped tomatoes 16 oz
Kidney beans 8 oz

Sauté the onions and garlic in melted margarine in a large saucepan until tender. Add salt and the other 5 ingredients and stir in tomato and beans. Simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes and heat thoroughly.


Chocolate Mousse Pie

Prepackaged pie crust 1 inch
Sugar free, fat free chocolate pudding mix 11.4 ounce
Fat free milk 1 2/3 cups
Fat free whipped topping 18 ounce
Semi sweet chocolate chips, mini, 2 tablespoons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake pie crust according to package directions. Remove from oven and cool thoroughly. In a medium bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk. Fold half, about 4 ounces, of whipped topping into pudding mixture and fold until fully blended. Spread pudding mixture into pie crust and top with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips.


Pizza Dip Pleaser

Light cream cheese spread 1 tablespoon
Pizza sauce 1 tablespoon
Green peppers, finely chopped 1 tablespoon
Skim mozzarella shredded cheese 1 tablespoon
Whole grain baked crackers 6

Spread cream cheese spread into 3 ½ inch circle on microwave proof plate and top with pizza sauce, peppers, and shredded cheese. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds and serve as a dip for crackers.


Diabetic friendly fruits

Some fruits are lower in sugar and higher in nutritional value and they can be included in the diet. Such fruits are peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, cherries, grapes, pears, plums, red raspberries, oranges, and bananas.


Honey Grapefruit with Banana

Red grapefruit sections 2 cups 1 jar refrigerated
Sliced banana 1 cup
Chopped mint fresh 1 tablespoon
Honey 1 tablespoon

Drain grapefruit sections, reserving ¼ cup juice and combine grapefruit sections, juice and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently toss and serve immediately, or cover and chill.


Banana Split Cake

Graham cracker sheets 6 ½ (2 1 ½ inch squares per sheet)
Sugar free instant vanilla pudding mix 1 ounce
Fat free milk 2 cups
Cream cheese 8 ounces
Pineapple crushed, packed in juice canned drained 10 ounces
Sliced bananas 4 medium
Whipped topping light containing 8 ounce
Pecans, chopped 3 tablespoons

Cover the bottom of the 9x 13 inch pan with graham cracker sheets. In a medium-sized bowl, prepare pudding with 2 cups fat-free milk according to package directions and add cream cheese to pudding and whip together. Spread pudding mixture over graham crackers. Spread the crushed pineapple over the pudding layer and top with bananas, spread whipped topping. Sprinkle pecans on top.


Diabetic Friendly Pasta

Linguini with Zucchini

Durum semolina linguini 1 lb
Garlic cloves crushed 2
Grated zucchini 1 lb
Olive oil extra virgin 4 tablespoons
Basil leaves
Parmesan cheese, optional

Cook the pasta al dente for about 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain and return to pan. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and add garlic. Cook for a minute and add the zucchini and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and the parmesan cheese to the pasta and toss well. Add basil leaves and serve hot.


Italian Pasta Butternut Squash

Butternut squash 1 small
Celery stalks, sliced and thin 2
Minced garlic 2 cloves optional
Olive oil 2 tablespoon
Chick peas 1 cup
Bean cooking liquid 1 cup or water
Pasta (of your choice) 8 oz
Bay leaf 1
Cinnamon stick 2 inch
Turmeric powder ½ teaspoon
Ground cumin seed ¼ teaspoon
Fennel seed ½ teaspoon
Coriander seed ½ teaspoon
Dried thyme leaf ½ teaspoon
Basil leaf ½ teaspoon dried
Salt to taste
Black pepper ground, to taste
Italian parsley or basil for garnish

Put 2 quarts of salted water on to a boil for the pasta. Heat the oil on medium in 6 quart pan. Cut off the ends and peel the squash with a peeler and cut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Slice the squash in 8 wedges lengthwise and then cross wise in bite sized pieces, trim the celery, slice thinly and peel and mince the garlic. Strip the leaves off the parsley and chop fine and set aside. Stir fry the squash and celery stalks and garlic for about 5 minutes and add dry herbs and spices and stir for about 2 minutes.

Add ½ cup of water, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Salt the boiling water and add the pasta and stir till it comes back to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 7 minutes, drain and lightly oil. Transfer a cup of cooked squash to a blender and add 1 cup bean cooking liquid or water and blend until smooth. Add back to the pot with the beans and salt, and add more water if the sauce seems too thick. Now heat it for about 5 minutes. Spoon the squash and beans with sauce over the pasta, sprinkle with minced parsley or basil and serve.

It is necessary to get rid of unhealthy and nutrient scarce foods and stock up your kitchen with healthy appetizing foods. Remove cookies, pastries, sugary cereals, high fat lunch, delicious meals and fried foods, chips, and full fat dairy products. When they are not readily available, you will eat less of them. Instead stock your refrigerator with


Fruits: colorful and rich in fiber and vitamins.

Vegetables: bell peppers, tomatoes, celery and carrots

Nuts and seeds: healthy fats.

Grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet and pearled barley, high fiber cereals, breads and pastas.


Tips to cut down sugar


  • Make healthy substitutions; for instance you can have a bowl of frozen fruit instead of ice cream.

  • Clear your kitchen of sweets and do not purchase them.

  • Split desserts with a friend when you enjoy a treat.

  • Slowly savor each bite of what you eat.

  • Reduce or eliminate the amount of sugar called for in recipes.


Top of the Page: Diabetic Friendly Foods
Diabetic Friendly Foods
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