Recipes and Advice for Patients with Diabetes

The prevalence and incidence of Type II diabetes is increasing and could be considered one of this country’s biggest health care issues.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of people diagnosed with diabetes has increased exponentially from 1980 to 2010.   Diagnoses have increased 124% for ages 45-64 (from 5.5% to 12.3%), 127% for ages 65-74 (from 9.1% to 20.7%), and 126% for ages 75 and over (8.9% to 20.1%).1 Children are diagnosed in increasing numbers which should have us all concerned enough to be taking positive steps toward prevention.  Although children and youth under age 19 are more often diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the ratio varies by ethnic group.  Non-Hispanic white youth (ages 10-19) have higher rates of Type I diabetes diagnosed.  American Indian and Asian/Pacific Islander youth are more commonly diagnosed with Type II diabetes.  Among Hispanic and Black youth, diagnosis rates between Type I and Type II diabetes are similar.2

Despite these trends, Americans tend to consume processed foods in larger quantities and become more sedentary.  Convenience foods (pre-made, pre-seasoned, ready-to-eat options) tend to be the staples of many family meals.  Instead of participating in physical activities, many children and adults choose being entertained by television, video games, and computers.

While there is help for all categories of diabetic patients, the greatest opportunity for impact is for children and adults who are at high risk for Type II diabetes or have borderline Type II diabetes (pre-diabetes).  How do we help our patients prevent the onset of diabetes? Through a combination of eating healthfully and exercising.

Exercise, on a daily basis, is essential.  Starting simple with low-impact exercise is key, especially if the patient is sedentary.  Focus on the concept of “doing more than you eat.”  Working up toward brisk walking will provide enough aerobic exercise to encourage natural insulin production.  The addition of a diet that replaces processed carbohydrates with the balance of protein (lean meats, beans), carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, whole grains), and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, and oils) will result in weight loss and prevent a chronic disease diagnosis.  As these patients embark on new lifestyle choices, focus on helping them enjoy their meals and give their bodies what they need to be healthy.

Included are sample recipes for patients at risk for Type II diabetes:

  • Carrot Whole Wheat Muffins
  • Broccoli Frittata
  • Cauliflower and Quinoa Toss
  • Mediterranean Chicken Salad
  • Citrus Marinated White Fish
  • Grilled Steak Salad



  1. Percentage of Civilian, Noninstitutionalized Population with Diagnosed Diabetes, by Age, United States, 1980-2010, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (downloaded March 16, 2012).
  2. New Cases of Diagnosed Diabetes Among People Younger than 20 Years of Age, United States, 2002-2005; 2011 Diabetes Fact Sheet, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (downloaded March 16, 2012).