Fall’s Fabulous Four Dish Up Color, Flavor, and Diabetes-Fighting Nutrients

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By : dLife Editors

By Lara Rondinelli, RD, LDN, CDE, Updated by dLife Editors, 10/7/19.

Cooler temperatures and sweatshirts, along with the beautiful changing of the leaves, make autumn a favorite season for many.

But it can also be the beginning of a tricky time for people with diabetes looking for healthy fall recipes.

Halloween begins the craze of endless candy bowls in many homes and work offices. Overindulging in these foods can lead to high blood sugar levels and unwanted weight gain.

The sweet frenzy then continues with pies, cookies, candy, and more in the holiday months of November and December.

But, you can definitely enjoy the fall season by maintaining control and taking advantage of some of nature’s healthy treats.

These seasonal foods can get you in the mood for fall and provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a fairly low amount of carbohydrates.


Hokkaido pumpkins lying on a wooden table. Top view of healthy food

These glorious, orange globes are a staple of fall. Recipes using pumpkin as the main ingredient can be healthy and easy to make.

Typically we think of carving it, but pumpkin is actually a very nutritious food packed with lots of vitamin A and other important nutrients.

Scoop the seeds out (and toast them), slice in half, and bake in the oven to turn a fresh pumpkin into a wonderful pot of soup.

If baking a pumpkin sounds like too much work, canned pumpkin is easy and convenient to use and still offers good nutrition.

Most people think of using pumpkin for pies, but canned pumpkin can also taste great when used to make pumpkin bread, muffins, or even pasta and pancakes.

Spaghetti Squash

Fresh whole green and yellow striped spaghetti squash

If you’ve never eaten this fun vegetable make sure to try it this season.

Spaghetti squash is easy to prepare and can be a great alternative to regular spaghetti. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.

Place squash face down in a baking dish coated with cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes.

When done, scrape out the squash meat with a fork and drizzle with a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese. It will look like spaghetti! It will be a fun fall recipe that the whole family can enjoy.

Butternut Squash

Butternut squash on table shot in studio

This wonderful vegetable is a member of the gourd family and is packed with fiber, vitamin A, and potassium.

It is one of nature’s finest. Butternut squash can taste great when baked alone with just a bit of butter and brown sugar or, like pumpkin, can be used to make a great pot of soup.

See the tasty fall recipe, The Perfect Beginning to Fall: Golden Butternut Squash Soup.


Raw organic apples on wooden background

Whether you like Gala, Golden Delicious, or Granny Smith, the apple is a very healthy fruit and can be used in a variety of fall recipes. It can be a good snack all by itself or with a little peanut butter.

Very thin slices can also make a great addition to a green salad. Core apples and bake them in the oven with a little cinnamon and sugar substitute for a scrumptious dessert. You can make warm apple crisp lower carb by making the topping from old-fashioned oats, brown sugar substitute, and butter.

As far as that candy bowl at the office, resist the temptation by bringing planned healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, almonds, or low carb yogurt.

And, if you’re giving out candy to those trick-or-treaters, make sure to buy candy at the last possible moment so you don’t have it in the house. Better yet, give out a healthy treat or little toys instead.

Get some other great tips for celebrating Halloween here.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified nutritional professional. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your specific dietary needs.