Don’t you just love summer parties! Most of us do, but so many of my clients fret about their diets. What will they eat? What will they bring?
No fear! Here’s a fabulous collection of healthy side dishes that are a perfect fit for any summer meal, potluck, or cookout.
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!
Wholesome Grain-based Sides:
This red quinoa salad is as delicious as it is nutritious.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.
Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.