I asked some top registered dietitian nutritionists for their favorite heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly recipes. Since some of you count calories or carbs for blood sugar management, I’m made a few notes when appropriate. Enjoy this collection of healthy side dishes!
This red quinoa salad is as delicious as it is nutritious.
Lots of veggies and whole grain goodness.
This recipe combines cottage cheese, feta cheese, legumes, and veggies with whole wheat pasta for a heart-healthy dish.
If you’re a carb counter for diabetes management, trim the serving size back a bit if this recipe has more carbohydrate than your target.
Both beans and barley help with cholesterol and blood sugar management.
Fiber and phytochemicals make this tasty salad wholesome and diabetes friendly.
This modern take on the Waldorf salad packs magnesium, potassium, fiber, fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Full of veggies & fiber.
Be sure to eat the portion size appropriate for your health goals.
Here’s a healthy take on comfort food. And it’s easy to carry and reheat at any gathering.
A heart-healthy option full of color.
Mediterranean Hummus Pasta Salad, Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RD
An array of veggies and a hummus dressing! If you’re managing your weight or diabetes, you may want to trim back the serving size.
Get Your Legumes On:
Think lentils next time you need a healthy side dish recipe.
Triple Orange Lentil Salad
, (shown above) Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, Food and Nutrition Solutions by Jill
for Food & Nutrition magazine
Lentils rock when it comes to heart health and blood sugar sugar management! And there’s a whopping 12 grams of fiber in this heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly salad. If the total amount of carbohydrate is too high for you, enjoy a 1/2-cup serving.
Add chopped avocado just before serving for a boost of healthy fats and fiber.
A protein and fiber-filled, plant-based dish that pairs well with nearly everything. Make it in advance to let the flavors develop. This recipe is moderate in sodium and has a hefty 7 grams of disease-fighting fiber per serving.
A Mediterranean diet is a health booster. And these flavors make it an easy diet plan to stick with.
This recipe uses fresh herbs instead of added salt to boost flavor, while keeping sodium levels in check.
The combination is unexpected, and the pistachios add heart-healthy fats. The sodium in this recipe is a little high, but draining and rinsing the beans will wash away a good bit of the sodium.
Love for Veggies & Salads:
Cold potatoes contain resistant starch, which doesn’t contribute to blood sugar and is food for your gut bacteria. Plus, you get a larger portion because this potato salad is veggie heavy.
A fun and summer-friendly way to enjoy fresh fruits and veggies.
Hydrating cucumber and crisp apple make for a refreshing summertime side that’s packed with flavor and low in calories. The pumpkin seed oil dressing adds healthy fats and balances out the dish! Make 2-4 servings out of this recipe.
This is a savory take on the usual fruit salad. The lycopene in the watermelon is a heart-healthy carotenoid. Olive oil offers heart-healthy fats and improves lycopene absorption.
Few calories, tons of taste and oodles of health-shielding nutrition.
This salad gets a fiber boost from the fresh kale, cannellini beans, and sunflower seeds.
This easy cucumber salad uses vinegar and dill to make a refreshing side dish for your summer BBQs. The flavor is reminiscent of dill pickles but without all of the sodium and the overpowering punch. A 1/2-cup serving has only a about 12 calories and a couple grams of carbohydrate.
The addition of cauliflower lowers the carbohydrate content of the typical potato salad.
Raw sunflower seeds and slivered almonds add heart-healthy fats & a satisfying crunch.
This recipe is both carb smart and heart healthy! The olive oil adds a hearty dose of heart-healthy fats, and the tomatoes are packed with lycopene. These make a great snack or a beautiful, tasty side!
A great way to use a favorite summer vegetable.
Use a little less pesto if you’re watching fat or calories.
What are some of your favorite healthy side dishes?