Cooking for Diabetics

Whether you're wondering what to cook, when to snack or want to know what forms of sugar are better than others, this handy guide will give you the 411 so you can cook tasty, healthy meals without worrying.

Types of Diabetes

Because knowledge is key

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes, or juvenile diabetes, affects about 10 percent of diabetics. It occurs when the cells in the pancreas, which secrete insulin, are destroyed by the body’s immune system so the pancreas can no longer regulate blood sugar levels. Insulin is currently the only available treatment.

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is most common in adults and is characterized by a decrease in insulin production and/or an increase in resistance. It is often accompanied by excess weight.

Have questions? We've got answers!

Our in-house dietician has got you covered

How many carbohydrates should I eat at every meal?

In general, the ideal is 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal for women, and 60 to 75 grams for men. A treatment that involves several doses of insulin allows for a wider range because the doses can be modified depending on how many carbohydrates you’ve consumed.

What's a tip for calculating the carbohydrate content in food?

Here are two useful resources:

  • eaTracker, created by the Dietitians of Canada. Enter your ingredients and amounts, and the website and free app calculate the carbohydrates and fibre per portion—super handy!
  • The Canadian Nutrient File from Health Canada is also a search engine that connects you to the nutritional values of almost 6,000 food products.You can download the Nutrients Canada app for $3.49.

Can I drink alcohol?

With moderation, absolutely, unless your doctor says otherwise. However, remember that alcohol can have a hypoglycemic effect as it can inhibit the liver’s ability to release glucose in the blood. People taking insulin or their secretagogues (a medicine that stimulates insulin secretion) are at a greater risk of hypoglycemia.

What's the best type of sugar to use when cooking and baking?

Trick question! While some sugars (like agave or maple syrup) cause blood sugar to rise slightly less quickly than others, modifying recipes is not recommended two reasons: First, these sugars won’t “train” a diabetic’s palate to desire less sugar. Second, in the end, all sugars contain about the same amount of carbohydrates.

What do you think of stevia and other sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose?

Stevia is a plant-based product that is 100 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, so only a pinch is needed to get that sweet flavour (to see how your body reacts, test your blood sugar often). As for other sugar substitutes (aspartame, sucralose, etc.), Health Canada recommends consuming them in moderation.

Our best diabetes-friendly recipes

Whether you're cooking for yourself or guests, making delicious, diabetes-friendly meals is easier than you think. Note that our appetizers and desserts contain a maximum of 30 g of carbs, while main meals contain 45 g at most. Now get cooking!

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

With 30 ml (2 tbsp.) of olive oil for 4

Teneur
Calories 100
Total Fat 7,3 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium (salt) 82 mg
Carbohydrate 7 g
Fibres 3 g
Protein 3 g

About nutrition facts

Lentil, Chicken, Asparagus and Roasted Onion Salad

Nutrition Facts

For 1/6 of the recipe

Teneur
Calories 325
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium (salt) 62 mg
Carbohydrate 34 g
Fibres 7 g
Protein 21 g

About nutrition facts

Greek Yogurt with Honey and Pistachios

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

Teneur
Calories 230
Total Fat 7,5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium (salt) 53 mg
Carbohydrate 26 g
Fibres 3 g
Protein 16 g

About nutrition facts

Cream of Butternut Squash Soup with Cajun Shrimp

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

With no-salt added homemade or commercial broth

Teneur
Calories 389
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium (salt) 323 mg
Carbohydrate 39 g
Fibres 5 g
Protein 26 g

About nutrition facts

Seared Tilapia and Vetetable Stir-Fry

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

With 1 1/2 lbs (675 g) tilapia fillets for the entire recipe

Teneur
Calories 325
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Sodium (salt) 385 mg
Carbohydrate 21 g
Fibres 6 g
Protein 30 g

About nutrition facts

Melon, Raspberry and Mint Salad

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

Teneur
Calories 125
Total Fat 0,7 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Sodium (salt) 35 mg
Carbohydrate 29 g
Fibres 6 g
Protein 2 g

About nutrition facts

Oven-Roasted Cauliflower

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

With 30 ml (2 tbsp.) of olive oil for 4

Teneur
Calories 100
Total Fat 7,3 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium (salt) 82 mg
Carbohydrate 7 g
Fibres 3 g
Protein 3 g

About nutrition facts

Lentil, Chicken, Asparagus and Roasted Onion Salad

Nutrition Facts

For 1/6 of the recipe

Teneur
Calories 325
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium (salt) 62 mg
Carbohydrate 34 g
Fibres 7 g
Protein 21 g

About nutrition facts

Greek Yogurt with Honey and Pistachios

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

Teneur
Calories 230
Total Fat 7,5 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium (salt) 53 mg
Carbohydrate 26 g
Fibres 3 g
Protein 16 g

About nutrition facts

Cream of Butternut Squash Soup with Cajun Shrimp

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

With no-salt added homemade or commercial broth

Calories 389
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium (salt) 323 mg
Carbohydrate 39 g
Fibres 5 g
Protein 26 g

About nutrition facts

Seared Tilapia and Vetetable Stir-Fry

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

With 1 1/2 lbs (675 g) tilapia fillets for the entire recipe

Teneur
Calories 325
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Sodium (salt) 385 mg
Carbohydrate 21 g
Fibres 6 g
Protein 30 g

About nutrition facts

Melon, Raspberry and Mint Salad

Nutrition Facts

For 1 serving

Teneur
Calories 125
Total Fat 0,7 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Sodium (salt) 35 mg
Carbohydrate 29 g
Fibres 6 g
Protein 2 g

About nutrition facts

À consulter

Our recipe selection criteria as a handy checklist