Diabetes-Friendly Fruit Smoothie Recipes

Glass of wild berry and raspberry smoothie
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Smoothies are the definition of fast food: convenient, quick, and easy to make, they can be nutrition powerhouses—or sugar bombs. Which is why if you have type 2 diabetes, it's important to keep an eye on the fruit content and any added sugar or sweeteners in your sips.

Making your own smoothies at home is your best bet: these three breakfast smoothie recipes are diabetes-friendly, as they pack in the protein thanks to silken tofu and feature a little fat from yogurt, as well, which helps to keep blood sugar balanced.

What Makes a Diabetes-Friendly Smoothie

When crafting your smoothie, limit your fruit to no more than two servings (i.e, one small banana and 3/4 cup of another fruit, so as not to overload your smoothie on fruit sugar. Berries are always an excellent choice, as they're high in fiber and lower in sugar than other options. Fiber is great for glucose control.

The two other most important components when making a healthy smoothie are fat and protein. Like fiber, fat and protein help slow down the rate of glucose entering the bloodstream, so you end up with a more even, longer-lasting source of energy.

Look to nuts, nut butters, seeds (like flaxseed, chia seeds, or hemp hearts), plus low-fat dairy such as milk or yogurt for a boost of healthy fats. Add in tofu or a protein powder without a lot of added sugars for a filling, satisfying shake that'll power you through your morning. Nut milks are a great dairy alternative if you're on a plant-based diet, but they're often not a significant source of fat or protein.

Note that while these smoothie recipes below are considered diabetes-friendly because they have no sugar added, they do still have a relatively high carbohydrate count thanks to the natural fruit sugars and dairy. As such, they should be considered a full meal and should not be consumed with other carbohydrates like bread, etc. To find your ideal carb count per meal, work with a nutritionist, dietitian, or certified diabetes educator to create a personalized meal plan.

Recipes

Here's a tip: Prep the smoothie ingredients in your blender the night before and store it in the fridge (minus the ice) to speed things up even more in the morning.

Strawberry-Banana Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 6 ounces low-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 ounces silken tofu ​
  • 1 small (4-ounce) banana
  • 3/4 cup fresh strawberries
  • 4 to 5 ice cubes

Place 1 cup skim milk, 6 ounces low-fat plain yogurt, 4 ounces silken tofu, 1 small (4-ounce) banana, 3/4 cup fresh strawberries and 4 to 5 ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition facts: 387 calories, 54 grams carbohydrate, 23% calories from fat

Blueberry-Banana Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 6 ounces low-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 ounces silken tofu
  • 1 small (4-ounce) banana
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 4 to 5 ice cubes

Place 1 cup skim milk, 6 ounces low-fat plain yogurt, 4 ounces silken tofu, 1 small (4-ounce) banana, 3/4 cup fresh blueberries and 4 to 5 ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition facts: 405 calories, 54 grams carbohydrates, 23% calories from fat

Mango Mania Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 6 ounces low-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 ounces silken tofu
  • 1 small (4-ounce) banana
  • 1/2 fresh mango
  • 4 to 5 ice cubes

Place 1 cup skim milk, 6 ounces low-fat yogurt, 4 ounces silken tofu, 1 small (4-ounce) banana, 1/2 fresh mango and 4 to 5 ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth.

Nutrition facts: 405 calories, 54 grams carbohydrates, 23% calories from fat

Note: Unsweetened frozen fruit can be used instead of fresh fruit—simply use less ice to keep the consistency just right.

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