According to the CDC, diabetes is a long-lasting disease that affects how your body turns food into sugar. There are three kinds of diabetes: Type 1; Type 2; and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is triggered by an autoimmune response that prevents the body from producing insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body does not utilize insulin properly and is unable to maintain normal blood sugar levels, whereas gestational diabetes develops in pregnant women who have never been diabetic. The food you eat may help you prevent the complications of diabetes. Later, we will talk about some healthy meals under 500 calories for people with diabetes.
There are several foods that will help you prevent the complications of diabetes. These foods and drinks are listed below.1
- Non-starchy vegetables
- dried beans, dried peas, and lentils.
- whole grains
- whole fruits.
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy.
- Foods high in protein, such as lean meat,
- oils such as olive, canola, and safflower.
- Coffee and tea with no added sugar, but nothing beats water.
However, there are also foods that you should avoid.
- Starchy vegetables such as potatoes are high in carbs and may spike your blood sugar.
- Fruits that are dried or canned because of their high sugar content.
- Avoid lard and shortening.
Here are simple, healthy meals that are under 500 calories for people with diabetes.
1. Spanish Omelet
This wonderful dish has a variety of veggies and may be served at any meal of the day.
- 5 small potatoes
- Olive oil
- ½ medium onion
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 medium green or red peppers
- 5 medium mushrooms
- 8 eggs
- Pepper, garlic, salt, and herbs
- Prepare the ingredients. Mince the onions and green or red peppers. Cut the potatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms into small sizes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick or cast-iron frying pan. Add the potatoes and onion. Sprinkle a small amount of salt and sauté for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. (Vegetable Mixture)
- In the meantime, beat the eggs. Add salt, pepper, and herbs to taste. Beat and set aside. (Egg Mixture)
- After 10 minutes, add the garlic, green or red pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms to your vegetable mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the onions are lightly browned.
- Add the vegetable mixture to the bowl with the egg mixture and stir.
- Using the same pan, heat the olive oil to medium-high heat. Pour the combined mixture into the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the eggs start to set on the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for another 8 to 10 minutes. Run a spatula around the edge and gently shake the pan to loosen the omelet.
- Flip the omelet and cook the other side for another 5 to 7 minutes. Place it on a plate and serve.
Calories per serving: 210
2. Caribbean Fiesta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 chicken tender
- Dash of seasonings like curry, allspice, and scotch bonnet pepper sauce (optional)
- 8 blue or yellow corn tortilla chips
- ¼ cup pinto and/or black beans
- 4 grape tomatoes
- ½ orange bell pepper
- ⅓ green onion
- 1 ounce shredded reduced-fat cheddar
- Prepare the ingredients. Cut the chicken into bite-sizes. Chop the tomatoes. Dice and remove the seeds of the orange pepper. Peel and chop the green onions. Shred the cheddar.
- In a nonstick pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the chicken, season with optional spices, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Then serve.
- When you’re done with the tortilla chips, spread them out on a plate. Then evenly spread the chicken and beans over them. Then spread out the tomatoes and bell peppers.
- Add the cheese and microwave for a minute or until the cheese is melted.
Calories per serving: 440
3. Turkey Stew
- 1 pound of turkey breast
- 2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- ¼ tsp. salt (optional)
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. cumin
- 1½ tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 medium onions
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 medium red/green bell pepper
- 1 medium tomato
- 5 cups of low-sodium beef or turkey broth
- 5 small potatoes
- 12 small carrots
- 1¼ cups green peas
- Prepare the ingredients. Cut the turkey and chicken into cubes. Mince the garlic and tomatoes. Slice the onions, celery stalks, and green or red peppers. Peel and cube the potatoes. Cut the carrots into large chunks.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix the whole wheat flour with salt, pepper, and cumin.
- Roll the beef or turkey cubes in the mixture.
- Shake off excess flour.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add beef or turkey cubes and sauté until nicely brown or about 7–10 minutes.
- Place beef or turkey in an ovenproof casserole dish. Add the minced garlic, onions, celery, and peppers to the skillet and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth and stir. Bring to a boil before pouring over the turkey or beef in a casserole dish. Bake for 1 hour at 375°F with the dish tightly covered.
- Remove from the oven and toss in the potatoes, carrots, and peas.
- Bake for another 20–25 minutes or until tender.
Calories per serving: 450
4. Caribbean Red Snapper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion (medium)
- ½ cup red pepper
- ½ cup carrots
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ cup dry white wine
- Red snapper fillet (¾ pound)
- 1 large tomato
- 2 tablespoons pitted ripe olives
- 2 tablespoons crumbled low-fat feta or ricotta cheese
- Prepare the ingredients. Chop the onions, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and ripe olives. Cut the carrots into strips and mince the garlic.
- In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion, red pepper, carrots, and garlic. Sauté the mixture for 10 minutes.
- Add the wine and bring it to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan.
- Arrange the fillets in a single layer in the center of the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, covered. Add tomatoes and olives. Top it with cheese.
- Cover and cook for 3 minutes, or until the fish is firm but moist. Transfer the fish to a serving platter.
- Garnish with vegetables and pan juices, if desired.
Calories per serving: 210
- 2 pounds lean beef, cubed
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 ∕8 tsp. pepper
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 can (15 ounces) stewed tomatoes
- 2 ounces tomato paste
- 1 can (1 pound 13 ounces) hominy
- Prepare the ingredients. Cut the lean beef into cubes. Chop the onions, garlic, and cilantro.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil.
- Add the beef and sauté. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro, and enough water to cover the meat. Stir to mix the ingredients evenly.
- Cover the pot and cook over low heat until the meat is tender. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes.
- Add the hominy and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If too thick, add water for the desired consistency.
Calories per serving: 260
Do you want to know more about nutrition plan and diet tips for people with diabetes? Read more: 5 Keto Diet Tips for Beginners with Type 2 Diabetes
- TASTY RECIPES For People with Diabetes and Their Families Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Noncommunicable Diseases, Injury and Environmental Health. (n.d.). https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pdfs/managing/Tasty_Recipes_for_People_with_Diabetes-508.pdf