How To Use The Menus
These menus were planned with a great deal of variety. We realize that it may not be practical for you to include such a wide assortment of foods at all times, due to preparation time, busy schedules, seasonal limitations on fresh vegetables, and other reasons.
Keeping in mind that a varied diet is necessary for good nutrition, you may repeat some of your favorite days and exclude several of your least favorite days. You can also use menu days out of sequence, depending on your shopping and cooking schedule. However, be sure to use a whole day of menus, as each day has been balanced for good nutrition, calories, vitamins, and other considerations.
You will probably need to invest in a small portion scale and a set of measuring cups and spoons. After a while, you will become adept at correct portion sizes. Remember, the amount of food you eat is just as important as the type of food.
The menus were designed to require less preparation on working days and for lunches. It’s probably a good idea to prepare work or school day lunches and snacks the night before so you can grab them and go. You might want to invest in some insulated carrying bags and cups so you can transport your food safely.
Saturdays and Sundays were designed with a little more food preparation. Use these days whenever your “off” days occur so you’ll have time to prepare your meal and enjoy.
1 serving Corn and Potato Chowder
Tips For When Temptation Strikes
In diabetes diet terms, temptation translates to foods you shouldnt eat because they are loaded with sugar and empty carbs that will send your blood sugar skyrocketing. That piece of cake, cinnamon bun, brownie, or bag of chips usually contain more than just carbs, they usually contribute unhealthy fats, too.
The less often you eat these sugary, fatty desserts and snacks, the less you will come to want them. Some people do better allowing yourself an occasional craving. Striking the right balance will depend upon your goals, and urgency.
Heres the thing: this word of caution is not just for people with diabetes who need to watch their sugar and fat intake, in truth, it is a red flag for anyone who wants stay healthy and avoid chronic diseases. Thats why the whole family benefits from eating healthy foods and saving small indulgences for special occasions.
Diabetes Meal Plan: What Are The Key Components
According to the ADA, a Mediterranean-style diet, a plant-based diet, and a diet known as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension are all good starting points for a type 2 diabetes meal plan that can be modified to accommodate your personal eating preferences.
These diet approaches have two important factors in common: mostly whole foods, and meals built around vegetables rather than carbohydrates .
However, contrary to popular belief, a type 2 diabetes meal plan is not necessarily a low-carb diet, nor should it be a high-protein or very low-fat meal plan.
In fact, ADA recommends less emphasis on specific requirements for proteins, carbs, and fats, and more emphasis on following a whole foods approach that focuses on the quality of your diet the less processed, refined, prepared, and fast foods focused, the better.
Making a move towards eating more home-cooked meals may seem daunting, but just takes a little planning, especially with resources like the ADA’s Diabetes Food Hub.
Diabetic-friendly recipes sourced from the ADA’s Diabetes Food Hub. Infographic by Lauren Hunter.
An RD or CDE can look at your usual diet and help you identify where theres room for improvement, Ms. Arevalo suggests. These diet experts can also help you create a diabetes diet plan tailored to your personal needs and food preferences.
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Can I Drink Alcohol If I Have Type 2 Diabetes
For most people with type 2 diabetes, the general guideline for moderate alcohol consumption applies. Research shows that one drink per day for women and two a day for men reduces cardiovascular risk and doesn’t have a negative impact on diabetes. However, alcohol can lower blood sugar, and people with type 2 diabetes who are prone to hypoglycemia should be aware of delayed hypoglycemia.
Ways to prevent hypoglycemia include:
- Eat food with alcoholic drinks to help minimize the risk.
- Mixed drinks and cocktails often are made with sweeteners or juices, and contain a large amount of carbohydrates so they will increase blood sugar levels.
- Wear a diabetes alert bracelet so that people know to offer food if you demonstrate hypoglycemic symptoms.
It also is important to know that hypoglycemia symptoms often mimic those of intoxication.
Magic Menus For People With Diabetes
Here is a calorie/carbohydrate-controlled collection of delicious, hassle-free meals to make meal planning a breeze. Based on a 1,500-calorie-a-day menu, every breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipe balances the reader’s meal plan perfectly.
Every mealspecific recipe includes the same number of carbs no matter which one readers pick–they get 45-60 grams for every breakfast, 60-75 grams for every lunch, and 70-85 grams for every dinner–which helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
Readers can mix and match recipes to their tastes. Includes more than 50 breakfasts, 50 lunches, 75 dinners, and 30 snacks. This new edition includes complete nutrition analysis and carbohydrate counts for every meal and recipe.
MAGIC MENUS FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES , is filled with more than 200 low-fat, calorie-controlled meals with recipes for your selection. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snack menus, complete with a total carbohydrate count for the meal, are included on each page. For example, one dinner menu with Bay Scallops Parmesan served with 1 small baked potato & reduced-fat sour cream, steamed zucchini, and a slice of Chocolate Angel Food Cake topped with 1-1/4 cups of fresh strawberries is served up for a total consumption of 64 Carbohydrates for the meal.
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Sample Menu For Type 2 Diabetes
*21 DayLower Blood SugarChallenge: Your challenge task is at the bottom of this page.
Here at Diabetes Meal Plans we encourage a low carb diet because research shows it outperforms any other diet for:
- Increasing HDL
- Increasing weight loss
That said, its pretty hard for anyone to make the jump from eating 300 g carbs per day to 50-80 g per day.
So the good news is, you can stage your transition if you choose.
Below weve put together a couple of sample menus for type 2 diabetes/ prediabetes:
If youve been eating lots of carbs , its a good idea to start with a moderate carb level, then work towards a low carb level for best results.
Diabetes Meal Plan For Beginners
This beginners’ meal plan starts with the basics and shows you what a week of healthy, easy eating for diabetes looks like. Whether you were just diagnosed or have had diabetes for years, you’ll find plenty of healthy-eating inspiration here.
In this healthy diabetes meal plan for beginners, we include a week of simple meals and snacks using recipes that are easy to follow, without long ingredient lists. Whether you’re newly diagnosed or looking to get back on track, this simple meal plan is a great place to start. While this isn’t necessarily a diabetes weight-loss meal plan, losing weight can significantly help lower your blood sugars if you’re overweight. If weight loss is your goal, we set the calorie level at 1,500 per day, which is a level where most people lose weight, plus included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories a day, depending on your calorie needs.
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Whether Youve Been Diagnosed With Prediabetes Or Full
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A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or even prediabetes usually means the doctor has suggested that you make some changes to your diet or the diet of someone you care for. This is a good time to become wiser about how you are eating on a regular basis.
Fortunately, following a diabetes diet doesnt mean giving up the joy of eating or avoiding your favorite foods and special family meals. You can still enjoy pizza night, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and partake in holiday meals and vacation dining. This is more about your routine daily food choices and meal planning.
Use the four sections of a plate as a guide when planning healthy meals for someone with diabetes. Photo: 123RF
Eating to control and prevent diabetes is much more about making wise food adjustments than it is about denial and deprivation. A better way to look at a diet when you have diabetes is one that helps you establish a new normal when it comes to your eating habits and food choices.
What Physical Activities Should I Do If I Have Diabetes
Most kinds of physical activity can help you take care of your diabetes. Certain activities may be unsafe for some people, such as those with low vision or nerve damage to their feet. Ask your health care team what physical activities are safe for you. Many people choose walking with friends or family members for their activity.
Doing different types of physical activity each week will give you the most health benefits. Mixing it up also helps reduce boredom and lower your chance of getting hurt. Try these options for physical activity.
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Elizabeth B Vip Member
The information, the recipes, the support I dont feel so hopeless. I love the fact that it all reminds me that I can still eat! I just love how much clear, understandable information is available. I appreciate the very quick responses I have received from my emails. Excellent resource! Thank you so much!!
What To Drink When You Have Diabetes
Your choice of drinks can make a difference in your blood sugar levels. Palinski-Wade recommends focusing on unsweetened beverages, such as water and seltzer.
If you like coffee or tea, you may notice that caffeine increases your blood sugar levels, so Palinski-Wade advises monitoring your glucose response after consuming these drinks to see where you stand.
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How Much To Eat: Food Portion Control
Once again, how much to eat depends on the individuals needs. Case in point, people with diabetes who also have excessive weight need to work on achieving a healthy Body Mass Index to reduce the risk of certain conditions like cardiovascular diseases.
Doctors often suggest three kinds of meal planning to patients: The Plate Method, Carbohydrate Counting, and Portion Sizes.
The Plate Method
For many people with type 2 diabetes, this diet meal planning strategy is the easiest because there is no need to count the carbohydrate and calorie intake.
Think of this strategy as a diabetes diet food chart, but contained in a plate. Follow the instructions below.
And thats it! However, please keep in mind that you also need little snacks to go along with your main meals.
Using Portion Sizes
In creating the diabetic diet meal plans, portion sizes will also come in handy. Individuals with diabetes can use it when preparing both the main meals and the snacks so they will not eat too much or too little of certain foods.
To put things into perspective, consider rice.
Below are the recommended portion sizes :
Dining Out When Managing Type 2 Diabetes
It can seem tough to navigate a menu when youre eating out, but its not impossible. Enjoy your time with friends and eat delicious food with these guidelines from Palinski-Wade.
Have an appetizer before you leave. Its tempting to save up calories throughout the day to help plan for a night out, but that approach can backfire. Youll be famished by the time you get there and less likely to make a healthy choice when you order. Eat a small, healthy snack before you go, like some nuts or a low-fat plain yogurt. This can help decrease hunger and prevent overeating, she says.
Visualize your plate. Ideally, your plate should look very similar to the way it does at home with a couple of small tweaks: ½ nonstarchy vegetables , ¼ lean protein, and ¼ whole grains. You want to be careful not to eat too many carbs at one sitting, and avoid meals packed with saturated fat, says Palinski-Wade.
Sip smart. Alcohol stokes your appetite, so if you do have alcohol , do so near the end of the meal. Limit it to one glass.
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When Should I Eat If I Have Diabetes
Some people with diabetes need to eat at about the same time each day. Others can be more flexible with the timing of their meals. Depending on your diabetes medicines or type of insulin, you may need to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at the same time each day. If you take mealtime insulin, your eating schedule can be more flexible.
If you use certain diabetes medicines or insulin and you skip or delay a meal, your blood glucose level can drop too low. Ask your health care team when you should eat and whether you should eat before and after physical activity.
Diabetes Diet Basics & How To Get Started:
Being diagnosed with diabetes can feel overwhelming. It’s difficult to know where to start, what to believe and how to make changes to your routine. As with most health changes that we want to become habits, the trick is to start small. Perhaps begin by cutting out sugary drinks and stick to water, then try to cook more at homestarting with just one meal or snackthen consider focusing more on adding plenty of nonstarchy vegetables, fruits, lean protein and more whole grains .
There are a few key changes that can help improve your blood sugars:
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What Is The Best Menu For People With Type 2 Diabetes
The best menu for people with Type 2 diabetes includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, states Mayo Clinic.Non-fat dairy products, beans and lean meats, such as poultry and fish, are also ideal, notes the American Diabetes Association. People with Type 2 diabetes need not follow a restrictive diet, but they must follow a healthy-eating plan that includes foods with plenty of nutrients and minimal amounts of fats and calories. Portion sizes and carbohydrate consumption also require monitoring.
Although it may take some planning, people with Type 2 diabetes are generally able to eat the same foods that other people enjoy while still managing healthy cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, states the American Diabetes Association. An appropriate menu for someone with Type 2 diabetes varies depending on the persons size and physical activity level, notes Mayo Clinic. For breakfast, a person who requires between 1,200 and 1,600 calories daily may eat whole-wheat waffles or pancakes, 3/4 of a cup of berries or one piece of fruit and 6 ounces of non-fat vanilla yogurt.
You Can Eat Many Types Of Foods
There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
- eat a wide range of foods including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta
- keep sugar, fat and salt to a minimum
- eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day do not skip meals
If you need to change your diet, it might be easier to make small changes every week.
Information about food can be found on these diabetes sites:
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Your Weight Is Important
Losing weight will make it easier for your body to lower your blood sugar level, and can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol.
To know whether you’re overweight, work out your body mass index .
If you need to lose weight, it is recommended for most people to do it slowly over time. Aim for around 0.5 to 1kg a week.
The charity Diabetes UK has more information on healthy weight and weight loss.
There is evidence that eating a low-calorie diet on a short-term basis can help with symptoms of type 2 diabetes. And some people have found that their symptoms go into remission.
A low-calorie diet is not safe or suitable for everyone with type 2 diabetes, such as people who need to take insulin. So it is important to get medical advice before going on this type of diet.
Page last reviewed: 18 August 2020 Next review due: 18 August 2023