Are Smoothies Safe for Diabetics?

Smoothies are a great, nutritious meal or snack and certainly should be included in the diet of anyone with diabetes. There are a few points to consider so let’s take a look at how to make diabetic appropriate smoothies:

  • Use a dairy free milk like soy, rice or unsweetened almond milk. Dairy free milks are packed with calcium and protein and, unlike cows milk, do not add saturated fats. Saturated fats can increase “bad” cholesterol which can increase the risk of diabetes-related heart disease. There is a definite link between high saturated fat consumption and  the development of type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetic people often avoid fruit because it is “sweet” when,  in fact, most fruits are perfectly fine to be included. It is important to keep portion size small though, and limit servings per day.
  • Fruit contains fructose.  Fructose does not increase your body’s dependence on insulin. Fruits which score higher on the G.I index, such as pineapple and melons,  should be avoided as they may affect blood sugar levels. Watermelons and oranges should be avoided in smoothies too as they are higher in glucose. 
  • How about adding vegetables to your smoothie? This will add an extra boost to the nutrient content.  Fibre helps to manage blood glucose levels. Kale, kelp, spinach and broccoli are great choices and packed with calcium, iron, vitamin C and beta carotene. 
  • Adding “good” components of cholesterol like ground flax will boost the fibre and protein content of your smoothie. Essential fatty acids prevent lipid (fat) blockages in your arteries, which will help to prevent heart disease. 

References:

“Prescription for Nutritional Healing” Phyllis A. Bach.  CNC.  2010.

Diabetes Care: Dietary Pectin & Glycemic Control in Diabetes.

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