Man preparing a smoothieShare on Pinterest
Photography by Aya Brackett

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 and load, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar.

It’s also important to get plenty of calcium- and probiotic-rich dairy foods to fortify your bones and provide good gut bacteria. Good sources are low-fat milk, kefir, 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.

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. If you include sugar substitutes in your diet, stevia-sweetened yogurt is also available. Or opt for plain unsweetened yogurt.

To make a protein-rich smoothie without protein powder, consider the following ingredient swaps:

  • Try greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt.
  • Use low-fat cow’s milk instead of almond milk.
  • Add unsweetened soy milk instead of almond milk.

This recipe has 404 calories, so you may want to think of it as a meal replacement instead of a snack.

View the recipe.

spooning strawberry slices into a smoothieShare on Pinterest
d3sign/Getty Images

This smoothie’s creator 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. You can even bump up the fiber more with a tablespoon of chia seeds.

View the recipe.

The berry base of this smoothie makes it sweet, yet it’s still low on the glycemic index. If your berries are tart, the cinnamon and mango will add some natural sweetness. You’ll also get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids from the hemp seeds.

This recipe makes two smoothies.

View the recipe.

Share on Pinterest
Nina Van Der Kleij / EyeEm/Getty Images

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.

This recipe uses no-calorie sugar substitutes, which keeps the sugar content lower. However, some people choose not to include these sweeteners in their diet. Just remember that if you use sugar-sweetened yogurt instead, the amount of sugar in your smoothie will be higher than the original recipe.

View the recipe.

This smoothie sneaks in a green vegetable, spinach, but camouflages it with chocolatey cocoa powder and rich coconut cream. The recipe calls for a no-sugar sweetener of your choice such as stevia or erythritol. Plus, frozen berries add additional texture and fiber.

You can use low-fat milk or an unsweetened non-dairy beverage instead of canned coconut cream. However, your smoothie won’t have the same creamy texture.

View the recipe.

Share on Pinterest
Joana Sonnhoff / EyeEm/Getty Images

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 spinach and avocado balanced with almond butter and protein powder. A touch of vanilla extract and stevia sweetener make this smoothie taste extra creamy and sweet.

The almond butter can easily be substituted with any other nut butter you have on hand, such as peanut butter.

View the recipe.

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.

This recipe calls for English Toffee flavored liquid stevia sweetener. Liquid stevia sweeteners are available in a range of different flavors, and can be used to flavor hot or cold beverages.

If you prefer not use use no-sugar sweeteners, swap the stevia ingredients for 1/2 teaspoon of caramel extract.

This smoothie is high in protein and calcium.

View the recipe.

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.

View the recipe.

Share on Pinterest
Vladislav Nosick / 500px/Getty Images

What better way to start your day than with some hearty, fiber-dense whole grains, along with plenty of protein? The oats also provide resistant starch, which is an excellent source of fuel for gut bacteria and can improve insulin levels.

This breakfast smoothie packs a lot of filling protein and fiber into one glass. Consider adding plain or greek yogurt instead of banana, which will provide a creamy texture as well as extra protein.

View the recipe.

Nuts are an important component of any healthy eating plan. This recipe combines whole almonds with a nut butter of your choice, such as almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter. Plus, you get greens from the kale, calcium from the milk, and antioxidants from the strawberries. All this for only 45 grams of carbohydrate!

View the recipe.