Diabetic Dinner Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Holidays can be a challenging time for diabetics, as they’re often celebrated over meals full of carbs and sugar. Valentine’s Day in particular can be hard for diabetics, with an abundance of chocolate and candy everywhere you look. While an occasional sweet treat is fine for most diabetics, there are other ways to show the diabetic in your life that you care. Cook them a nice dinner instead, that way you have full control of the ingredients. Check out the diabetic dinner ideas below for inspiration, along with tips for diabetic cooking.

What Can Diabetics Eat?

Diabetics need to be careful about carb and sugar intake, as both can affect blood glucose levels. That doesn’t mean they need to give up those things altogether — diabetics just need to make better choices. Here are some things to consider when cooking for a diabetic. 

Carbs

Do: What are good carbs for diabetics to eat? Enjoy sweet potatoes, and whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, millet, or brown rice.
Don’t: White bread, potatoes, corn, processed grains such as white rice or items with white flour.

Protein

Do: Meat should be low-fat and skinless, like skinless chicken breasts. Eggs, fish and plant-based proteins such as beans, tofu, nuts, or seeds.
Don’t: Fried meat, fatty meat like ribs or bacon, cheese, poultry with skin, beans cooked in lard.

Vegetables

Do: Any kind of fresh or frozen vegetable, eaten raw or steamed. Veggies are a great source of fiber!
Don’t: Veggies cooked with added fats like butter or cheese. Also watch out for canned vegetables with high amounts of added sodium.

Fruit

Do: Any fresh or frozen fruit; they may have more carbs than veggies but you’ll also get vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
Don’t: Canned fruit in sugar syrup, jam, sweetened applesauce or fruit drinks

Five diabetic dinner ideas for Valentine’s Day

Chicken & Spinach Skillet Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan

This easy diabetic dinner recipe comes together in one-pan for easy clean up. Combine gluten-free or whole wheat pasta with chicken breast and wilted spinach, finished with zesty lemon. Tastes much more complicated than it actually is to make!

Ginger-Tahini Oven-Baked Salmon & Vegetables

This sheet-pan recipe features salmon, green beans, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes. A tahini sauce makes a delicious glaze for the fish and as a drizzle for the vegetables. If fish isn’t your thing, try substituting tofu or chicken instead and adjust the baking time. 

Roasted Root Veggies & Greens Over Spiced Lentils

Simply top lentils with a serving of roasted root veggies for a hearty meal full of fiber. The Middle Eastern flavors make this dish special. 

Turkey-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serving red peppers for Valentine’s Day couldn’t be more perfect! Cook ground turkey with onion, garlic, and seasonings, then spoon into peppers. Bake until tender, then enjoy. 

Tropical Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowls 

Pineapple, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and chili powder help give this dish a bit of zest combined with a bit of heat. Brown rice works as a good substitute for cauliflower rice, and tofu can take the place of chicken if your diabetic is a vegetarian. 

Looking for more ideas for a healthy Valentine’s Day? Check out this article with heart-healthy tips!

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Disease & Diagnosis Healthy Lifestyles
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