Over 75 Dairy-Free Diabetes Friendly Recipes for Meals, Snacks & Treats

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Isn’t it ironic that Diabetes Awareness Month starts the day after Halloween? A holiday centered around sugar, followed promptly by a condition that necessitates a low sugar diet. It could be argued that sugar is squarely in our minds after we’ve just doled out fistfuls of candy. But what about dairy? General studies don’t show a need for the average diabetic to cut out dairy, but there are a number of reasons why many people with diabetes are dairy-free or dairy-low.

  • Lactose Intolerance: Like most of the population, a good percentage of the of people living with diabetes are lactose intolerant.
  • Milk Allergies: Some are even dairy allergic or have reactions to dairy that require them to live completely dairy-free.
  • Other Medical Conditions: Some medical issues, like kidney disease, necessitate cutting dairy.
  • Vegan Diet: Eating plant-based has been shown to be highly effective against diabetic symptoms.
  • Strict on Sugars: Lactose is a sugar in dairy, and some people do opt to eliminate many dairy products from their diabetes diet for strict blood sugar management.

We aren’t here to medically advise if a dairy-free diet is right for you. That is for you and your physician or dietitian to decide. But we are here to help if you live with diabetes and follow a dairy-free or dairy-low diet. This guide includes dozens of dairy-free diabetic-friendly recipes!

Over 75 Diabetes Friendly Dairy-Free Recipes for Meals, Snacks, and Treats

Over 75 Dairy-Free Diabetes Friendly Recipes for Meals, Snacks & Treats

The dairy-free diabetes friendly recipes below center around the principles of the Mediterranean diet, with ample produce, whole grains, lean meats, and heart-healthy natural foods, like nuts and olive oil. They are also free of added sugars and refined grains. And we’ve labeled the vegan recipes. The non-vegan recipes contain egg, meat, or seafood, but no dairy or honey. Most of these recipes are naturally gluten-free, but a few are made with whole grain wheat flours.

Remember: This is not advice. Dairy-free living isn’t right for everyone. These recipes are for those who need to or want to eliminate all or some dairy from their diet. All of the recipes listed might not be suitable for your diabetes diet. They are meant to inspire and give you options, and to suit the needs of most diabetics. Only you and your physician can decide what is best for your needs.

Breakfasts

Did You Know? Many people don’t realize that lactose is milk sugar. Substituting 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk beverage for 1 up of 1% milk reduces your sugar consumption by 13 grams. Lactose is considered lower GI than some other types of sugar, but it still raises glucose levels.

Entrees

Pastabilities: Classic semolina pasta might not be advised by your dietitian, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck just spiralizing vegetables. You can find 100% whole grain pasta (wheat or gluten-free), or go for higher protein options like lentil pasta.

Meal Helpers & Snacks

Daily Bread: It can help a touch with tenderness and flavor, but whole grain bread doesn’t need added sugar. For toast, sandwiches, and breadcrumbs, bake this 100% Whole Grain Bread Recipe without any sweetener. You might need a little less flour, but it will still rise beautifully. Or, you can try my German Style Spelt Bread, which is naturally made without sweetener.

Sweet Treats

Heads Up! Tagatose is a sweetener used in many diabetic foods, but it is often derived from dairy (lactose). If you are dairy-free, you will need to avoid it when purchasing sweetener, fresh baked goods, and packaged foods.

For a Full List of foods to watch for, see our Dairy Ingredient List

Dairy Ingredient List

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Jensen on

    With how you describe the way lactose is digested, it creates a lot of glucose. It makes sense that a vegan diet would help diabetes. My dad thinks that it is extreme, but the reality is that it works. I am omnivorous, but I eat meat in moderation and am dairy free. My new trick is to keep weight on.

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