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making a diabetic friendly vegetarian pizza

Four easy diabetic vegetarian recipes to try

07 Jul 2022 • 7 min read

If you’re diabetic and vegetarian, you may be after better ways to get all the nutrients you need from food without impacting your health in the process. Unfortunately, having diabetes can restrict what you’re able to eat and sometimes make it trickier to create healthy meals which still taste great.

Maintaining a balanced diet when you’re diabetic will go a long way in ensuring your blood sugars at the correct level. With a little know-how and a few new recipes under your belt, you’ll be able to enjoy healthy and utterly delicious meals every day of the week!

What foods should you avoid if you’re diabetic?

Whether you’ve had diabetes for most of your life or you’ve only recently be diagnosed, it’s important that you follow a healthy diet which isn’t high in the following:1


Foods which are high in either added or natural sugars are a big no-no for diabetics as they can play havoc with your blood sugar levels. As well as obvious things like biscuits, cakes and chocolate, many products may have sugar added to them without you realising. Watch out for yoghurt, breakfast cereals and juices in particular.

Unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats

Eating high amounts of trans fats (a form of unsaturated fats) can impact your health negatively – regardless of whether you’re diabetic or not. Nevertheless, some research has found that having high amounts of unsaturated fats in your diet may be linked to insulin resistance. What’s more, they increase your risk of having high cholesterol or developing things like heart disease.

Typically, you’ll find trans fats in food items like margarine, many cooking oils, ready meals and store-bought baked goods.

Processed foods

Eating large amounts of processed foods made from highly refined flour have been shown to increase blood sugar levels in those with diabetes. You should try to avoid eating lots of white bread and pasta or switch them up for a whole wheat or gluten-free product.

Remember that you should also always be aiming to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg a day. As some fruit can be high in natural sugars, it’s a good idea to make most of your five a day allocations vegetables if you’re diabetic.

Popular substitutes to use if you’re vegetarian and diabetic

If you’re keen to keep your diet healthy and free from the foods listed above, why not swap out:2

White pasta for whole wheat, lentil or chickpea pasta


White bread for wholegrain


Baked snacks instead of fried


Fresh fruit instead of juice


Four great diabetic vegetarian recipes to try

  • Vegetarian black bean fajitas

Black beans are a great source of protein and the ideal ingredient to mix in with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms to create a fajita filling. Choose wholemeal, spinach or beetroot wraps.

  • Roasted vegetable pizza

Try making your own whole wheat pizza bases from scratch and then topping them with vegetables like bell peppers, courgettes and onion. Make your own tomato base by blending fresh tomatoes into a sauce.

  • Lentil or quinoa burgers

Lentils and quinoa make wonderful bases for healthy veggie burgers, plus the latter is a whole grain ideal for diabetics trying to avoid overly processed foods.

Make them by pre-cooking quinoa or lentils and combining them with grated carrot, mashed cannellini beans, wholegrain breadcrumbs, spring onion, seasoning and one whisked egg. Shape into patties and lightly fry on both sides until golden brown.

  • Moroccan-style stew

This is an easy one-pot meal that’s low fat and filled with vitamin-packed vegetables. Simply combine butternut squash, sweet potato, aubergine, chickpeas and tomatoes with some water and spices in a casserole dish and simmer until tender. Serve with wholemeal pitta bread for dunking.4

Check out the free-from products in our home cooking section to discover options suitable for diabetics. Need some more advice on general nutrition and healthy eating? Head on over to The Health Hub.

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