Maintaining healthy blood sugars is a goal that can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease, kidney health issues, and vision loss, among other outcomes. And with a little commitment and know-how, managing healthy blood sugars can be achieved by implementing a few tips. According to the Center for Disease Controlsome steps people can take to manage their blood sugars include:
- Eating a healthy diet that consists of nutrient-dense food like vegetables
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Including physical activity in your daily life
- Eating meals at regular times and not skipping meals
- Choosing foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt
- Drinking water instead of soda
- Limiting alcoholic drinks.
When it comes to selecting specific foods, focusing on whole grains instead of refined options, including omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, and eating plant-based proteins like beans are all evidence-based tips that may help people achieve their blood sugar goals.
Having some blood sugar-friendly recipes on hand can help navigate a healthy blood sugar journey by knowing exactly what to cook. If you are on the hunt for some recipe inspiration, these five recipes are made with ingredients that, when combined, may help support healthy blood sugars in a delicious way.
Combining a variety of veggies, chickpeas, and whole grain quinoa makes this soup a blood sugar-supporting powerhouse. The vegetables not only provide vitamins and fiber in a low-carb vessel, but many varieties also contain prebiotics or indigestible starch that acts as fuel for live probiotics that reside in our gut. Healthy good microbiota is linked to better blood sugar controlhighlighting why eating a wide variety of veggies is so important.
Both chickpeas and quinoa contain plant-based protein and fiber — two key nutrients that support blood sugar control. Super satisfying and chock-full of nutrients, this soup is a perfect light dish that can help blood sugar control where it needs to be.
Get our recipe for Chickpea Quinoa Soup.
Think you can’t eat pasta when you are managing your blood sugars? Think again. Traditional semolina pasta has no added sugars and contains protein and fiber — two nutrients that help support healthy blood sugars. And as long as you are sticking to proper portion sizes and you aren’t topping your dish with unhealthy ingredients, enjoying pasta can be a part of a healthy blood sugar diet.
According to results of a randomized crossover study published in Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, results showed that for adults with Type 1 Diabetes, eating higher protein pasta and regular pasta resulted in significantly lower peak blood glucose than white rice. And in another study, results showed that, among postmenopausal women, moderate pasta consumption (3 times per week) was not associated with any negative effects on long-term diabetes risk.
This pasta dish includes a homemade sauce that is chock-full of vitamin C, thanks to the addition of red bell peppers. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that may play a positive role in blood sugar control. Plus, they add a unique flavor to this dish with no added sugar needed.
Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
Fish is jam-packed with good-for-you nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, and iodine. But the star of the fish-consumption show is the omega-3 fatty acids that it provides. Fatty fish, like cod, fuel the body with these fatty acids, which may offer some unique benefits for those who are focused on managing their blood sugars.
This baked cod dish includes many fiber-packed vegetables, adding a boost of fiber to this dish and possibly helping manage blood sugars even more.
Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.
Dairy foods, like cottage cheese, are convenient sources of protein that also contain essential vitamins and minerals. And data has shown that protein-rich dairy products may improve insulin secretion in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Whipped cottage cheese combined with the antioxidants found in berries and the fiber, protein, and healthy fats from pistachios make this dish a perfectly satisfying diabetes-friendly dish.
Get the recipe for Whipped Cottage Cheese with Berries and Pistachios.
If you want to skip traditional pasta but you still want to enjoy pasta dishes, then this recipe is for you. This zoodles veggie stir fry offers a low-carb and fiber-rich dish that is bursting with flavor. Top this with some lean protein for a dish that won’t spike your blood sugars and will be oh so satisfying to eat.
Get the recipe from Katie’s Kitchen.
Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian, book author, and recipe developer who has been in practice for almost 20 years. Read more