Diabetes Friendly Recipes for Seniors

March 8, 2019

 diabetes friendly recipies

 Being a senior living with diabetes does not mean bland and boring food. There are still healthy options that can be filling and flavorful. As we move through March, also known as National Nutrition Month, we’re sharing some diabetic-friendly meals that are easy to make, tasty to eat and a great option for seniors like you or in your family. Enjoy!

Breakfast recipes

Breakfast burritos
Eggs are a great source of protein, and many older adults need to increase protein intake to defend against muscle loss. They’re also an excellent choice for diabetics because they are low in carbohydrates. This means eating eggs will not raise blood sugar, an important area to monitor if you have diabetes. 

What you’ll need:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • ½ tablespoon canned green chilis, drained
  • 1 tablespoon shredded fat-free Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 eggs or ½ cup egg substitute
  • 1 10-inch 98% fat-free flour tortilla, warmed
  • Dash of pepper
  • Dash of liquid hot pepper sauce (optional)

Full recipe with directions.

Sticky buns
Making this treat will be a joy for the taste buds of diabetics at any age. Using walnuts as a topping for a diabetic meal or snack is a great option due to its ability to promote fullness,  aid in weight loss and can reduce inflammation.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon Smart Balance butter
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1 package refrigerated biscuits

Full recipe with directions.

Lunch recipes

Tomato soup
Featuring tomatoes in an everyday diet can have many benefits for diabetics. Tomatoes are rich in flavor, low in calories and are a good source of fiber, while also providing vitamins C and K known for their antioxidant characteristics. Try mixing in pepper and other spices to create a personalized tomato soup you’ll love adding to your weekly diet.

What you’ll need:

  • ¾ cup no-salt-added canned tomato puree
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese

Full recipe with directions.

Vegetarian chili
Beans are a diabetic super food and can be used as a substitute for meat because of their high protein content. The American Diabetes Foundation advises diabetics add beans to meals several times a week since they help keep blood sugar levels manageable compared to most starchy foods. Using a crock pot to prepare a meal as an older adult is a great way to help avoid standing over a hot stove for extended periods of time.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 4 sliced carrots
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 chopped zucchini
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 16-ounce rinsed and drained kidney beans
  • 16-ounce rinsed and drained black beans
  • 15-ounce tomato sauce
  • 14.5 ounce diced tomato (in juice, no-salt-added)

Full recipe with directions.

Dinner recipes

Poached salmon and asparagus
Salmon can help lower the risk of heart disease for seniors and is fantastic for diabetics due to its naturally rich omega-3 fatty acid makeup. A study in the American Journal of Kidney Disease found that fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and bluefish can help protect those with diabetes against kidney problems.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 4-ounce skinless salmon fillets (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound asparagus spears, woody bases removed
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Fresh parsley leaves (optional)

Full recipe with directions.

Grilled citrus chicken
Chicken is a great meat option as a low-fat and high-protein food that can boost a diet for all ages. Grilled chicken is a perfect base for lunch or dinner, especially when paired with a variety of fresh or steamed vegetables, or even your favorite fruit salad.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 5 ounces each
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Full recipe with directions.


Access Community Health Network (ACCESS)
If you are a senior with diabetes, or just want advice about your diet, ACCESS can help. We offer free diabetes classes throughout the year and can answer your questions about healthy living. Make an appointment today.