Here at The Kitchn we get a lot of requests for recipes and ideas for those with diabetes and pre-diabetes — there seems to be a growing number of cooks out there looking for healthy, appealing meals and trustworthy advice about planning diabetes-friendly menus. This week we are asking experts to share their foolproof dinner menus for all kinds of diets and situations, and today, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Rachael Hartley has a full five days of fresh dinner menus sure to safely satisfy anyone's hunger.
A Diabetes-Friendly 5-Day Meal Plan
- Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Roulades - An Avocado a Day
- Roasted Broccoli with Garlic, Olive Oil and Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Raw Kale Salad with Pecorino (or Parmesan) and Lemon
- Creamy Stovetop Polenta
- Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie - Chocolate & Carrots
- Pinto-Bean Mole Chili - An Avocado a Day
- Chili & Lime Jicama Wedges - Authentic Suburban Gourmet
- Sliced Avocado
- Seasonal Fresh Fruit (tossed with fresh mint)
- Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon
- Grilled Parmesan-Herb Zucchini Bites - Nutrition Ella
- Fennel and Tangerine Salad - Whole Foods Market
- Almonds (dusted with cinnamon)
- Garlic Tahini Tofu - Hummusapien
- Brown Rice with Sesame Oil and Green Onions
- Stir-Fried Bok Choy
- Air Popped Popcorn (drizzled with a teaspoon of honey)
- Skillet Macaroni and Broccoli and Mushrooms and Cheese - The New York Times
- Sliced Tomato Salad - Bon Appetit
- Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie - An Avocado a Day
Why is this a good menu for eaters with diabetes or pre-diabetes?
This menu is perfect because it moves the diet towards a more plant-based, less processed pattern without feeling too restrictive. And it incorporates a few diabetes superfoods, like kale, wild salmon, beans, and cinnamon. I've even included an optional daily dessert. Although who are we kidding, dessert is never optional!
What is your best piece of advice for those planning a meal for eaters with diabetes?
My favorite bit of meal planning advice for diabetes is to ensure at least half of your meal consists of non-starchy vegetables. This group has the least effect on blood glucose levels. After filling your plate with vegetables, you'll find yourself choosing smaller portions of other foods. More advice: never plan a meal without including a high fiber carbohydrate, like beans or whole grains. Contrary to what many have heard, a low carbohydrate diet often leads to fluctuations in blood glucose.
Thank you, Rachael!
More from Rachael Hartley:
→ Check out her website: An Avocado a Day
(Images: Emma Christensen; Rachael Hartley)