12 Delicious Diabetes-Friendly Dinner Ideas


1. Mediterranean Low-Carb Broccoli Salad

This salad recipe is loaded with nonstarchy vegetables, including broccoli, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and onions. These foods are high in fiber, which will help you feel full longer, says Brittany Poulson, RD, CDCES, and author of Healthy Family Cookbook, who is based in Grantsville, Utah. “Healthy fats are included from olives and olive oil, making this a heart-smart choice, as well,” she says. Olives and olive oil are a rich source of monounsaturated fat, which helps lower your risk of heart disease, notes the American Heart Association (AHA). As diabetes doubles your risk of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s important to prioritize monounsaturated fats in your diabetes diet.

Plus, this salad’s creamy dressing uses protein-packed Greek yogurt (25.2 grams per cup) instead of high-fat mayonnaise (10.3 grams of fat; 1.6 grams from saturated fat per tablespoon).

One serving of this recipe (⅛ of the total) from the blog Food Faith Fitness provides 182 calories, 14.7 grams (g) of carbs, 5.9 g of protein, 12.4 g of fat, and 3.6 g of fiber.


2. Chicken Veggie Stir-Fry

Stir-fries make it easy to score a healthy diabetes dinner. And this recipe features plenty of diabetes-friendly veggies, including carrots, broccoli, zucchini, and green onions. It also features chicken as a lean protein choice, Poulson says. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests choosing chicken without the skin to cut back on saturated fat and cholesterol.

And instead of salt, this chicken and veggie dish from Liz’s Healthy Table borrows tons of flavor from garlic, jalapeño, fresh ginger, lime, and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Too much sodium, which is in salt, can raise blood pressure levels, increasing heart disease risk, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes.

One serving of this meal (¼ of the total recipe) packs 220 calories, 11 g of carbs, 26 g of protein, 3 g of sugar, 3 g of fiber, 9 g of fat (1.5 g saturated fat), and 380 milligrams (mg) of sodium.

If you want to add more carbs, be sure to serve this recipe over brown rice instead of white rice so you can get whole grains. Whole grains will help keep blood sugar spikes at bay, Poulson explains. A ½-cup of brown rice will add 150 calories and 33 g of carbs to the recipe, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).