6 Scrumptious Diabetes Friendly Recipes to try this Winter

October 22,2020 |
Salmon and vegetables recipe

As the weather starts to get colder and fall is in full swing, the comfort foods have begun to make their comeback. Fall and winter recipes are great for keeping us happy, healthy, and full, but sometimes they aren’t exactly diabetes friendly. When the holidays start, this makes it difficult to manage your diabetes and stay healthy while still enjoying yourself. Instead of feeling restricted, here are 6 delicious, diabetes friendly recipes to try this winter.

  1. Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bake

    Everyone loves a casserole in the winter, but sometimes they can be filled with unhealthy ingredients that can lead to high blood sugar spikes. With a few healthy substitutions, you’ll have a casserole that tastes just as good, but is filled with healthy ingredients. Our favorite is this chicken spaghetti squash bake that can be made and served immediately or frozen for up to one month!

  2. Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna

    Lasagna is one of the best winter comfort foods out there. There’s something about the layers that makes your mouth water just thinking about it. Unfortunately, many lasagna noodles are filled with unhealthy starches, sugars, and processed ingredients. Luckily, you can still get a similar hearty recipe by making a few tweaks to the recipe. Consider trying this low carb zucchini lasagna at your next potluck. While there are tons of “healthy” lasagna recipes floating around the Internet, a lot of them don’t hold up. This recipe does and you might even come to prefer it. It still takes a lengthy amount of prep time, but the process is fairly straightforward. The key is making sure that you prep the zucchini properly to avoid a soggy, watery mess. Since vegetables are the key ingredient that holds this dish together, avoid making it ahead of time—it’s best served immediately after baking.

  3. Coconut Chicken Soup

    Everyone loves a good soup during the winter, but chicken noodle soup gets old and variety helps us stay within our goals. Since chicken is one of the best lean protein sources for diabetes friendly meal planning, this coconut chicken soup will satisfy your soul and provide you with a healthy balance of protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates. Coconut milk is a great source of vitamins that are essential for everyday functioning and helps boost your immune system. To avoid a soup that’s dense in calories, just switch out coconut milk for a lite version.

  4. Creamy White Chili with Cream Cheese

    Winter isn’t the same without a bowl of chili on game day. While regular chili is a great diabetes food when you swap ground beef for turkey, adding some variation can make for a fun potluck and some healthy replacements. Try cooking up this creamy white chili with cream cheese for a recipe that’s going to have people going back for seconds. 

    Curried Sweet Potatoes and Peanut Soup

    Winter is soup season for us, but the same soup recipe gets bland over time. If you’re in the mood for something ethnic, but don’t want to make another curry stir fry or order take out, this curried sweet potato and peanut soup recipe is a great alternative. Sweet potatoes complement the curry well and are still considered a diabetes friendly food. The peanuts add a healthy fat that can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and the curry adds a little ethnic spice.

  5. Turkey Meatballs

Diabetes friendly foods are focused around meats that offer lean proteins and lower levels of saturated fat or trans fats. Red meat is filled with fat and has been linked with higher levels of heart disease and cancers. If you want a savory recipe that usually calls for red meat, try swapping it out for ground turkey. These ground turkey meatballs are delicious, juicy, and filled with lean protein to help keep you full without the excess sugar of store-bought brands. The key is swapping the breadcrumbs for old-fashion oats. While it might sound a little odd, you won’t even be able to tell the difference. Feel free to experiment with the vegetables you use and when you find the best combination for your tastebuds, stick with that. They’re made even better with fresh herbs and the perfect spice combination. Make them as an appetizer or enjoy them as a meal.

If you’re living with diabetes, you don’t have to sacrifice delicious foods. There are plenty of mouthwatering recipes that are not only delicious, they’ll help you manage your diabetes. You just have to make sure that you know how things are cooked and be a little more strategic when it comes to your ingredient list.

How to Avoid Feeling Restricted at Holidays

One of the hardest things for people living with diabetes is overcoming the holidays without feeling guilty, restricted, or making unhealthy choices. To help you focus on the positive feelings during this holiday season, offer to bring a dish or two to balance the table. Avoid unhealthy appetizers before dinner and when it comes time to eat, load your plate with your diabetes friendly recipes or other healthy options around the table. Then, if you want to try other things on the table, go for it. Diabetes management isn’t about 100% restriction, it’s about making healthy lifestyle choices that are filled with balance and long-term management.

To help you, consider eating according to the Diabetes Plate Method. This method focuses on separating your plate into a perfectly portioned meal with a healthy balance of protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates without excessive tracking, counting, or calculating ingredients.

If you want to make sure that you’re sticking to your diabetic meal planning, bring along a diabetes friendly dessert that you love.

Just make sure that you bring your continuous glucose monitor and any insulin or diabetes supplies you might need. Being prepared for spikes in your blood sugar, or low blood glucose levels, is the best way to avoid any serious complications and give yourself the peace of mind to enjoy the night with friends or family.

Foods to Limit if you Have Diabetes

With that being said, there are some foods that have more of an impact on your diabetes than others. Keep these foods in mind so you can make more health-conscious decisions at the dinner table, but don’t feel bad if you have some in moderation. Limit the following foods and only enjoy them in moderation:

  • Fried foods
  • Foods high in saturated fat and trans fat
  • Foods high in salt
  • Baked sweets
  • Candy
  • Ice Cream
  • High-sugar juice
  • Regular soda
  • Sports drinks
  • Alcohol

As long as you’re keeping a balanced plate and are prepared with your diabetes supplies, you will be fine.

Combining Healthy Diabetes-Friendly Recipes with Exercise

When cold weather sets in, most of us start to slowly fall off our exercise regimen. Loose clothes and multiple layers lead to fewer thoughts about body image, which subsequently leads to an attitude of forgoing healthy options. However, exercise is important for our bodies regardless of what we’re wearing or what the temperature is outside. While opting for these delicious, diabetes-friendly recipes this winter is a great way to improve your diabetes management, pairing them with physical activity will ensure that you’re feeling your best every day.

If you regularly walk throughout your neighborhood but are a little unencouraged to deal with snow and ice, take your aerobic exercises indoors. There are hundreds of free videos online that you can use to exercise without facing the icy sidewalks or hiking through inches of snow. If you’d prefer to exercise outside, that’s fine too! Bundle up, put on some snow boots, gloves, and a hat, and head outside. The added weight of your clothes and the resistance of snow might even make your workout more intense.


Winter brings a plethora of delicious comfort foods into our lives and no one wants to spend the holidays restricting themselves. However, diabetes doesn’t take a day off and it’s important to put your health before anything. While you can enjoy some foods in moderation, make sure that you’re primarily eating diabetes friendly foods like one of the recipes above. Doing so will give your body the nourishment it needs so you don’t feel guilty when you indulge. It’s also important to make sure that you have your continuous glucose monitor with you at all times to ensure safe diabetes management. For more support with your diabetes management, sign up for Byram Healthcare’s Caring Touch At Home Program. We offer a combination of convenience, affordability, and choice to make sure that you live your best life, regardless of diabetes. For any questions, or if you need a little extra support during the holiday season, call our Diabetes Center of Excellence today.