smoothies for diabetes
Nutrition

Diabetes-Friendly Smoothies

The choice of food for people with diabetes is super limited. The choices for tasty food, therefore, are even more restricted. Persons with diabetes and their caretakers have to be super creative about the food that they are making. It can get monotonous to have the same fibrous food every day no matter how healthy and nutritious it may be. One of the very good options for yummy yet healthy food would be smoothies. 

Best Smoothies for People with Diabetes

There are just two conditions that would need to be followed to make any smoothie the best smoothie for someone living with diabetes – low in carbs and no sugars. Being healthy, they can be an excellent source of fiber and other nutrients from different fruits and vegetables that are included in the glass of enriched nutrition. It is important to be mindful of the contents and ingredients within the smoothie – any kind of unhealthy content would make matters worse and result in an unnecessary and avoidable spike in the sugar levels.

What is a Smoothie?

Smoothies are an increasingly popular trend in today’s day and age. They are often marketed as a health food/beverage. Not only for everyone but also smoothie recipes for diabetes are now all the rage. Popular also called versatile beverages – these are portable, friendly for all, and easily modifiable as per taste, allergies, dietary preferences, etc. 

Essentially, smoothies are made up of fruits or vegetables and other healthy ingredients Made into a puree, smoothies need not have any added sugar if they are being made for someone with blood sugar-related issues. There is no time or place to have a smoothie, however, most commonly, they can be good during breakfasts as they can be quite filling and not acidic. Even pre- and post-workouts, a smoothie is often a good choice.

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Ingredients to Add in Smoothies for Diabetes

The major concern before consuming anything for a person with diabetes would spike in blood sugars. Therefore, any food or beverage that they consume needs to be of a low GI and GL. Any ingredient – even fruits and vegetables that are added needs to be low in carbs and GI. Select the fruits and vegetables accordingly – avoid mangoes, bananas, etc. Do not add any sweetener like white sugar, brown sugar, honey, jaggery, etc. Let the natural sweetness of the existing ingredients do the job for you. In case, you are not fond of the bitterness like in a green smoothie for diabetes, you can choose to add stevia.

1. Fiber

There are different kinds of fibers that you can choose to add to your smoothies – soluble or insoluble. Soluble fibers are hard to break down which means that it takes more time for them to release energy, thus, reducing the risk of sugar spikes. Insoluble fibers help in boosting the overall digestive health and work to reduce the absorption of other foods within the gastrointestinal tract.  A major benefit of fiber is that it helps the person feel full for a long time. They also reduce spikes in blood sugars, reduce the buildup of cholesterol and prevent weight gain

2. Protein 

Proteins have several health benefits for people with diabetes. Foods that are high in protein slow down the absorption of food which, in turn, reduces the speed at which sugars enter the bloodstream. There are different types of proteins too – animal-based or vegetable-based.  Proteins are beneficial as they do not cause spikes in the sugars helping the body remain within the normal blood sugar range.

3. Healthy Fats

Not all fats are bad. Some fats can be helpful for people with diabetes. In the smoothie recipes for diabetes, make sure to also include some healthy fats as they are slow in absorption and digestion which leaves the person full and satisfied for a long time.  Balance the quantities of fat in the smoothie as many fats can also lead to weight gain. 

4. Flavor Add-Ins

Healthy and yummy can be a new thing with tasty flavors that can be incorporated into smoothies.  Make sure that these flavors do not have any sugar or sweeteners in them. Some flavors could be – cinnamon, ginger, fruits, nuts, oats, chia seeds, basil, etc.  Flavors are not particularly unhealthy and they are a good source of enriching and enhancing the taste of the smoothie. 

5. Sweeteners 

While sweeteners should be avoided in smoothies for diabetes, at times there might just be a need for them. Stevia for diabetes (naturally obtained ones) would be the best option. Peanut butter or vanilla could also be added just a little for taste. 

6. Green Smoothies

Green smoothies made out of leafy vegetables are considered to be some of the best smoothies for diabetes type 2. These can be made to taste by adding the greens, of course, and also topping it up with an apple or some salt and lemon for a great taste. 

Benefits of Smoothies in Diabetes

Smoothies offer a lot – they can be a great substitute for a complete meal if they have the right kind of nutrients and a balance of all the essential aspects – vitamins, right carbs, protein, fiber, minerals, etc. Because of the addition of all of this, it can leave you full for a long time thus eliminating the need for frequent snacking. This nourishment can also reduce cholesterol levels, help to build muscles, promote a healthy nervous system, and also improve energy levels. 

Five Low Carb Smoothies for Diabetes

Now that the delicacy and nutritional values related to smoothies have been uncovered, it is time to start looking at the most suitable and low-carb smoothie recipes for diabetes. You would want your meals/smoothies to not cause any rises in the blood sugars, so these options are 20 grams of carbs or less. Not only this, but they are also super easy to make and take around 5 minutes or so to whip up. Running late? Need something quick and nutritious? Do you have much time to cook? Want something tasty? Choose these low-carb smoothies that give you exactly what you need. 

1. Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

With 25 grams of protein, this smoothie can be a great pre- or post-workout meal. The 18 grams of carbs will not require an insulin dose, or even if you do need to bolus, it would not be much. The recipe for this particular smoothie is quick and easy and will not lead to any unnecessary spikes.

2. Vegan Blueberry Smoothie

Fruit smoothies for diabetes are a suitable option. They provide the right amount of taste and deliciousness along with nutrition. Opt for this low-carb and high-protein vegan smoothie. Another benefit would be that it is rich in antioxidants. With only 9 grams of carbs, it is ideal for anyone with diabetes to consume.

3. Green Keto Smoothie with Avocado and Peanut Butter

All the ingredients that are suited for a person with diabetes and won’t be unhealthy are incorporated into this smoothie to make it rich and delicious. Healthy low-carb vegetables like kale, and cucumber, healthy fat from avocado, and the right amount of sweetness from peanut butter – this is what this smoothie gives you. 

4. Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

The name, in itself, is enticing! This thick, rich, and creamy smoothie will be hard to pass. You can almost call it a dessert. The chocolatey flavor and the protein-rich contents make it one of the best meals in terms of taste and nutrition.

5. Cinnamon Roll Smoothie 

Aren’t cinnamon rolls some of the favorite dessert options for most people? Imagine a cinnamon roll smoothie! With a mere 2 grams in carbs and 27 grams of protein, one could not stumble upon a better choice than this. The proper amount of tasty and healthy for anyone with diabetes – this smoothie will surely become your go-to

Bottomline

It is important to have your fair share of healthy and tasty food and beverage items when you are living with diabetes. Expand your range of choices in healthy and nutritious food with these smoothies. Being low in carbs, these smoothies will not create havoc with your overall sugar levels and will provide your body with exactly what it needs. 

FAQs

1. Are Smoothies good for Diabetes?

Yes, smoothies can be good for people with diabetes and they can be filling, have the right amount of nutrients, can be low in carbs and sugar, and can keep one feeling full for a long time. They are a quick and tasty meal that can also be had on the go.

2. Can Smoothies Lower Blood Sugar?

Smoothies may not be able to ‘lower’ blood sugars but they may not cause any spikes. Smoothies that are high in protein and fiber and low in carbs will allow for a slow release and absorption and this may not require any additional doses of insulin.

3. Is Blueberry Smoothie good for Diabetes?

Yes, blueberries are rich in antioxidants and can be good for people with diabetes to incorporate in smoothies. 

References

  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317388#make-a-meal-of-it

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