How to adapt recipes to prevent or manage diabetes

May 6, 2019

manage-diabetes People in my close circle have diabetes. Even though they have been treated, some already have neuropathy, numb fingertips and toes, blood sugar that can fluctuate without warning–and more. So it’s something you really don’t want to NOT handle.  And today, it’s easier than ever to manage diabetes, thanks to new products on the market.

I’ve been on the edge of the disease, myself and after seeing what my loved ones go though, I want no part of it.

I’ve got some easy ways to manage diabetes and also I’ll offer some recipe adaptations so that you can still enjoy food and flavor. Because no one wants to feel deprived. Especially those of us who come from cultures where food is love.  Food CAN be love and I’ll show you how.

About carbs

First, carbs. Good carbs are non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, other beans, lentils. Seeds and nuts in moderation can be helpful and delicious.

Sugar is another problem. But some healthy sweet foods are ok. Fruits can be good, especially berries. Limit consumption of apples and bananas. I love me a sweet pear, though. And while melons have sugar, eating them occasionally in moderation is ok. But very occasionally.

Refined cereals, fruit juices and most energy bars are no-nos. I like the Complete protein bards by Juice Plus. Packaged smoothies are not a good idea. But you absolutely can make your own diabetes-friendly smoothies using Complete protein powder and I’ll tell you how. To learn more about this fabulous product line (which I do not rep or make any money off of, just love and have seen how well people I love have done using it to manage their diabetes):  Contact nutritionist Michelle Sugiyama at or 651-747-7779. Her website is

Condiments like catsup, teriyaki, marinara sauce and bottled dressings are sneaky sources of sugar. I love catsup so I buy sugar-free. Yep, that simple.

The biggest thing to remember is that we need carbs. But not all carbs are created equal and some carbs are not good for diabetics. White rice is not at all good for diabetics. If you must have rice, which I like, brown rice is a better option.

Processed and refined grains are not good choices. Anything with sugar or that is a packaged product is usually a bad idea. But that doesn’t mean we need to spend all our time in the kitchen. More on that later.

Then, pasta

I love a good pasta. But not all pastas love me. I no longer like regular old pastas. They taste pasty to me because I’ve grown used to whole grain pasta. But even so, there are pastas even better for us–without gluten. Did you know you can get pastas made from lentils? And they are a pretty close copy to whole grain pasta that I enjoy. But healthier. Other vegetable “pastas” are also available, and you can always “zoodle.”

The standard instructions to fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables and a quarter each with grains /starches and then protein are good guidelines.

For the second part of this post–some yummy diabetes-adapted recipes that are healthy choices for just about everyone — continue reading this at A Healing Spirit.  Just click the blue type.

9 comments on “How to adapt recipes to prevent or manage diabetes
  1. Lauren says:

    I’m always adapting recipes to be more healthy. Some work, some don’t. But I have fun trying!

  2. Rena says:

    I love pasta and I’ve been wondering about the whole wheat pasta I see in the grocery.

  3. Beth Havey says:

    Create your plate suggests
    at every meal visually divide your plate in half and then divide one half into two quarters.

    1. Half of your plate should be filled with colorful non-starchy vegetables that provide fiber and phytochemicals (color) as well as vitamins; and salad—leafy greens dressed with a light oil and vinegar dressing.

    2. One quarter of your plate should contain grains and starchy vegetables—bread, pastas, rice, potatoes, corn, peas and cooked beans.

    3. And finally one quarter should contain your protein—chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, cheese or tofu.:

  4. christina says:

    I love zoodles! So many different things you can do with them, I’ve saved a ton of recipes!

  5. Lorrie Roa says:

    Great article! I often use diets in my life but all my friends think that “diet” means less carb in my eating life but it’s not true. Healthy carb is extremely important for healthy living! Probably the biggest thing for me was knowing my carbohydrates; it made a huge difference when I started to discover the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates.

  6. What are some of the signs and symptoms of diabetes?

  7. What is the life expectancy of someone with diabetes type 2?

  8. Johnny Marks says:

    Hey Carol. Diabetes can’t be cured only with medicines, food plays an important role in managing diabetes. I am a diabetic patient so I know what it takes to manage diabetes. Your post is useful to me and all the diabetic patients. Thanks for sharing such an informative post.

  9. Carbs play an important role in our body. We should intake good carbs and in a limited amount. It is necessary to manage diabetes in the right way. There should be a proper combination of a Nutritious diet, daily workout, and an active lifestyle.

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