diabetes-friendly smoothies

Having diabetes doesn’t mean you need to deny yourself all the foods you love, but you do want to make healthier food choices. One good choice is to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, which are heavy in nutrition but light in calories.

Some fruits and vegetables are better for managing your diabetes than others. Look for produce that’s low on the glycemic index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar. Low-glycemic fruits and vegetables include:

smoothie ingredientssmoothie ingredients

It’s also important to get plenty of calcium- and vitamin D-rich dairy foods to fortify your bones. Good sources are low-fat milk and Greek yogurt.

These foods are essential to any diabetes diet, yet you don’t need to eat them with a fork or even a spoon. You can pack a lot of nutrition into one smoothie and get a delicious treat. As long as you stick with healthy ingredients and don’t add extra sweeteners, you can enjoy these treats on a regular basis.

Just remember when you do blend fruit into your smoothies to count them as part of your daily fruit allowance so you don’t overdo it on carbohydrates. Even natural sugar can drive up your blood sugar if you eat too much of it.

Here are 10 diabetes-friendly smoothie ideas to get you started.

1. Superfood Smoothie

superfood smoothie
Image Attribution

Image Attribution

Source: Photo courtesy of Colourful Palate
URL: http://www.colourfulpalate.com

This smoothie has it all — antioxidant-rich berries, healthy fat from the avocado, greens, and protein. Just be careful when buying berry yogurt that you choose a brand that’s low in sugar, such as Siggi, or sugar-free.

View the recipe.

2. Lower-Carb Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

This smoothie’s author has diabetes and discovered this recipe after some careful experimentation. Not only does it taste great, but also it won’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar. The soymilk and Greek yogurt make it smooth and creamy without adding much extra sugar.

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3. Berry Blast Smoothie

berry blast smoothie
Image Attribution

Image Attribution

Source: Photo courtesy of Helyn’s Healthy Kitchen
URL: http://www.helynskitchen.com

The berry base of this smoothie makes it sweet, yet it is still low on the glycemic index. If your berries are tart, the coconut milk and mango will add some natural sweetness. You’ll also get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids from the flax. This recipe makes two smoothies.

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4. Peach Smoothie

This peach smoothie makes for the perfect afternoon refresher. It’s simple to make with only five ingredients. Plus it’s loaded with calcium and is light enough that it won’t weigh you down. Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and keep the peel on the peach for more fiber. More fiber is helpful in this smoothie since this recipe calls for 4 ounces of sweetened yogurt, which has the potential to raise your blood sugar.

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5. Joann’s Green Smoothie

This smoothie sneaks in a green vegetable, spinach, but camouflages it with fresh berries and chocolate powder. Chia seeds add a rich texture, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

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6. The Greenie Green Smoothie

greenie green smoothie
Image Attribution

Image Attribution

Source: Photo courtesy of Tori Avey
URL: http://toriavey.com

If you’re having trouble meeting your daily green requirements but aren’t a big fan of salads, why not drink your veggies? This take on the increasingly popular green smoothie uses nutrient-dense kale or spinach balanced with tart apple and pear. Lime juice and mint complement the blend, adding a burst of flavor and freshness. Skip the agave nectar, which may have negative effects on your metabolism.

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7. Snickers Smoothie

Are you craving the chocolate-peanut taste of your favorite candy bar, but don’t want to send your blood sugar soaring? Get the same flavors without the spike by whipping up this candy-inspired smoothie. For less artificial sweetener, swap the 1 tablespoon of sugar-free caramel syrup for 1 teaspoon of caramel extract. This smoothie is high in protein and calcium.

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8. Chia Seed Coconut and Spinach Smoothie

This rich and creamy smoothie contains only 5 grams of carbohydrates. To keep the carbs down, use unsweetened light coconut milk. For added sweetness, the author recommends adding a few dashes of powdered Stevia.

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9. Diabetic Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie

oatmeal breakfast smoothie
Image Attribution

Image Attribution

Source: Photo courtesy of Diet Taste
URL: http://www.diettaste.com

What better way to start your day than with some hearty, fiber-dense whole grains, plus potassium and vitamin C? This breakfast smoothie packs a lot of nutrition into one glass. Here are a few tips to make this smoothie work better for your blood sugar:

  • Choose smaller bananas and don’t forget to add those carbs to your daily count so you don’t go over your allotment.
  • Turn this recipe into four servings rather than two.
  • Use unsweetened almond or soymilk instead of skim milk to further reduce the carbs.

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10. Berry Delicious Nutty Milkshake

Nuts are an important component of any healthy eating plan, and this recipe combines some of the most nutritious varieties, almonds and walnuts. Plus, you get greens from the kale, calcium from the milk, and antioxidants from the strawberries. All this for only 45 grams of carbohydrate!

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