Managing and planning menus is an essential step for controlling diabetes. If you or a senior loved one has the disease, it’s important to learn how to make substitutions, as well as monitor glucose levels, glycemic index, and carbs.
Many people with diabetes find baking to be especially challenging. These tips can help you find ways to bake diabetes-friendly foods without sacrificing taste.
Baking with Diabetes
By substituting healthy foods for butter, you can make old favorite recipes diabetes friendly. Here are a few suggestions for you to try when you are baking:
- The creamy texture of avocado makes it a good substitute for butter. It also contains heart-healthy fats and fiber that contribute to a well-balanced diet. You can substitute equal amounts of avocado for butter.
- Unsweetened applesauce. Another option is substituting half the amount of butter and sugar with unsweetened applesauce. It helps cut not only the fat and sugar, but also the carbs.
- This plant-based sugar substitute is often recommended by nutritionists. This chart will help you determine the ratios for making substitutions.
Another option to try is to experiment with cutting some of the sugar out of a favorite recipe. According to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Diabetes Center, you can typically cut up to one-third or half of the sugar without affecting the finished baked good.
Other Diabetes-Friendly Baking Substitutions
There are other ways you can modify recipes to make it easier to stick to a diabetic diet. A few you might want to explore the next time you bake include:
- Swap out white flour. Nut flours are more stabilizing for blood sugar than baking with traditional white flour. But the taste can take some getting used to. If you can’t make the transition all at once, swap out a little more each time you bake until you are accustomed to the flavor.
- Opt for dark chocolate or coffee. Instead of using milk chocolate in your baking, use dark chocolate that has a cocoa content of 70% or higher. Another alternative to try is adding a little coffee. It can give baked goods an interesting flavor without adding sugar and carbs. If neither of these is an option, simply decreasing the amount of milk chocolate will help.
- Use vegetables instead of pasta. Baking with carb-laden white pasta may also cause spikes in blood sugar. A healthier option is to substitute noodles made of vegetables, such as zucchini, carrots, or spaghetti squash.
Websites with Popular Diabetes Recipes
- Eating with Diabetes. Created by the experts at Cooking Light, this site is rich with cooking videos, recipes, and the latest research on diabetes-friendly menu planning. You’ll find recipes for entrees, baked goods, snacks, and more.
- Healthy Diabetic Recipes. The team at Eating Well developed this site to make cooking and baking easier for people with diabetes. From breakfast and lunch ideas to quick meals on the go and healthy snacks, you’ll find a variety of recipes to try.
- The Mayo Clinic Diet. The esteemed Mayo Clinic has a Diabetes Meal Plan Recipes site that shares diabetic-smart recipes ranging from fresh fruit kabobs to artichoke dip, buckwheat pancakes, and apple cinnamon muffins.