Chicken is rich in nutrients and protein and low in calories, making it ideal for people with diabetes trying to maintain a moderate weight and stay full for longer.
Many people with diabetes aim to eat more healthily by eating protein-rich food. This makes chicken an ideal diet for diabetes as it is high in protein.
Chicken also has other health benefits and contains minerals and nutrients that promote muscle, bone, and immunity health.
Read on for chicken health benefits, tasty chicken recipes, and other tips for people living with diabetes.
Chicken is high in protein, which plays many critical roles in the body. Protein is vital for the structure and proper functioning of the body’s organs and tissues.
Research shows that a diet high in protein
- lose weight
- increase feelings of fullness
- maintain lean body mass
build and repairbody tissue help promotemuscle growth in combination with resistance training
- improve bone health
- immune function
- thyroid health
Currently, doctors base recommendations for protein intake on individual assessment, the age of a person, and the presence of other health issues, such as:
- the extent of glycemic control
- kidney disease
- overweight and obesity
The National Kidney Foundation recommends
Keep reading for tasty chicken recipes for people living with diabetes:
This chicken noodle recipe is low in calories, fat, and sugars. It is a quick lunch or dinner dish ideal for adults and children, and a person can modify it according to their preferences.
- 300 g dried egg noodles
- 1 low-salt chicken stock cube, dissolved in 500 milliliters (ml) of water
- 6 teaspoon (tsp) low-salt dark soy sauce
- 100 g (1/2 cup) frozen peas
- 150 g (3/4 cup) sweet corn
- 200 g (1 cup) cooked, shredded chicken
- 2 tsp cornflour
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, drain and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the chicken, sweetcorn, peas, soy sauce, and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.
- Mix the cornflour with 4 tsp cold water in a small cup, and add to the pan. Stir for 1 minute until the liquid thickens slightly.
- Add the noodles to the pan and stir to reheat.
Roast chicken is low in salt, sugars, and saturates. It makes a hearty, crowd-pleasing dinner and can pair with preferred sides such as roast vegetables, gravy, and potatoes.
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 lemon, halved
- a handful of fresh herbs, such as rosemary and thyme
- freshly ground black pepper
- 300 ml (1 1/4 cup) boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Place the chicken onto a rack over a roasting tray. Squeeze the juices of the lemon over the chicken, and place the lemon skins inside the cavity of the chicken.
- Sprinkle some of the herbs over the chicken, and fill the cavity with the remaining herbs — season with black pepper.
- Pour the water into the roasting tray, then place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes per kilogram of chicken, plus 20 minutes, topping up the water as necessary.
- Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
- Remove the skin, carve, and serve with sides.
Cooking tips include piercing the thigh and breast to check if it is raw or cooked. The juices should run clear. Pour the juices from cooking into a jug and allow to stand. The fat will float to the top, and a person can remove it before using the juices to make gravy.
This recipe is low in calories, carbohydrates, and sugars. It pairs well with salad, and a person can cook it in an oven or air fryer.
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon (tbsp) water
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 pound (lb) of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4 portions and flattened to 1/4-inch thickness
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a 13 × 9 × 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Whisk the egg, oil, and water in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, stir the remaining ingredients, except the chicken. Set the dishes in a row.
- Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, turning to coat. Then dip the chicken into the crumb mixture, coat, and shake off excess. Gently press the coating mixture so it adheres to the chicken.
- Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a baking dish, and spray with cooking spray lightly.
- Bake for 15–18 minutes until the coating is golden brown and the center is no longer pink.
For air fryer cooking
Prepare the chicken as before. Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray, and place the chicken inside. Set the temperature to 375°F and fry for 7 minutes. Turn the chicken, and spray lightly with cooking spray. Air fry for another 7–10 minutes, or until cooked through.
This soup is perfect for a hearty lunch or dinner. It is low in calories, carbohydrates, sugars, and fats.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 diced carrots
- 3 stalks of diced celery
- 1 cup diced white button mushrooms
- 32 ounces of low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- Add the oil to a large pot or Dutch oven, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear for 4 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
- Add the celery, carrots, and mushrooms to the pot and sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and add the chicken back to the pot. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove the chicken, shred, and add it back to the pot.
This recipe is low in calories, fats, and sugars and contains lots of healthy vegetables.
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- non-stick cooking spray
- 2 cups fresh or frozen snow peas
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 2 chopped mixed-color bell peppers
- 2 tsp canola or corn oil
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- Whisk together the broth, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and pepper.
- Lightly spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Cook the bell peppers, snow peas, and green onions over medium-high heat for 4–5 minutes, occasionally stirring, until tender-crisp. Move them to a plate once done.
- In the skillet, heat the oil, and swirl to coat the bottom. Cook the chicken for 4–5 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center, stirring.
- Return the vegetable mixture to the skillet, and stir in the broth mixture. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Add water to the cornstarch in a small bowl, and stir to dissolve. Stir into the chicken mixture. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
People with diabetes
A person with diabetes can follow the following methods:
- Eating higher-protein and lower-carbohydrate meals to help control hunger and appetite, and eating fewer carbohydrates such as pasta and bread to reduce the amount of insulin they need.
- Drinking fewer sweetened beverages and more water can help prevent blood sugar swings and reduce calories efficiently.
- Choosing carbohydrates that are low in sugar and high in fiber. For example, beans and sweet potatoes are good choices, while chips and sugary drinks may cause issues with blood sugar levels.
- Keeping track of the foods that may negatively affect blood sugar.
Chicken is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, which helps to keep a person feeling fuller and more satisfied without having to eat foods that can cause swings in blood sugar.
Chicken also contains healthy nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, such as selenium and vitamin B.
The ingredient is versatile and can be a part of a light or hearty meal. A person can prepare chicken in various ways, with a number of ingredient pairings, to allow for many preferences.