Eat Healthy for Under
5-Day Diabetes Meal Plan
Spending a few hours a week meal planning and prepping is well worth it when you end up with balanced, nutritious dishes. You'll be armed with good-for-you choices at all times, making it easier to stick to your health goals.
Follow this step-by-step meal plan, complete with a shopping list, and cut your time spent in half. It outlines five days of diabetes-friendly meals, each individually reviewed and curated to provide variety, high-quality fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber.
Your Calorie and Carb Goals
The number of calories you need varies based on your height, weight, activity level, and goals. Calculators like the one below can provide an accurate estimate. Plug in your info to learn your daily calorie goal for weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance.
If you need fewer calories than the meal plan provides, slightly decreasing portions or swapping ingredients will help. If you need additional calories, add a second snack to your day. A few smart options include:
- 4 tablespoons hummus with 8 baby carrots: 125 calories, 15g carbs, 6g fiber
- 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt with 23 almonds: 232 calories, 10g carbs, 3g fiber
- 1 hard-boiled egg with 1/4 cup guacamole over 1/2 whole grain English muffin: 221 calories, 17g carbs, 6g fiber
- 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1 teaspoon honey and a dash of : 118 calories, 10 grams carbohydrate, 0g fiber
Most (but not all) of the meals are under 40 grams of carbohydrate.
The right number for you will vary here too, based on activity level and medications. Your dietitian can guide you in pinpointing your ideal carbohydrate range.
Try not to get frustrated if it takes a few rounds of carb counting and consistently measuring your blood sugars to get things right. Eventually, you'll find what works best for you.
This meal plan does not include beverages and assumes that you'll be enjoying refreshing, non-sweetened drinks throughout your day. Water is one choice, but you can also change things up and try freshly steeped mint and lemon tea or a light strawberry basil sparkler. The first adds zero calories, the second only 16 calories and 4g carbohydrate per 12-ounce drink.
Meal Plan Overview
Take a glimpse at what you'll be enjoying throughout the week. Adjust servings per recipe to fit how many people you're feeding. To save time, enjoy dinner leftovers for lunch the next day or for up to two days.
|Breakfast||PB & Banana Crepes||Chocolate Chia Smoothie||Coconut Raspberry Oatmeal||Hummus Breakfast Bagel||Broiled Top Breakfast Frittata|
|Lunch & Dinner||Asian Chopped Salad||Red Curry Lentil Soup||Asparagus Chicken Fried Rice||Mexican Chicken Verde Casserole||Spring Baked Pasta|
|Snacks||Walnut Edamame Mix||Curried White Bean Dip||Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse||Tuna Salad Crisps||Dark Chocolate Cake|
Before you head out, carefully look over the list and cross out all the items you have on hand. This way you won't waste time at the supermarket and can grab exactly what you need.
Buy all of your groceries in one go to save time.
Once you bring them home, prep what you can to save time throughout the week. Store chopped veggies and pre-prepped meals in Tupperware containers in the fridge (sturdy Tupperware and mason jars are key to keeping food fresh and safe). Keep ingredients that weren't used in their appropriate places, like your pantry or the fridge, so you have them handy when it's time to use them.
Pantry Items & Canned Goods
- whole wheat flour
Dairy and Eggs
- unsweetened almond milk
Meat and Seafood
- chicken breast
Bakery and Bread
- whole grain bagel
A Word From Verywell
The goal here is to prepare what you can ahead of time so that you can ease up your workload throughout the week, leaving mostly assembly. Chances are that everything won't be perfect, and that's OK. You can and should modify steps to fit your needs and personal workflow.
It may be helpful for you to schedule time into your calendar, as you would for a meeting or appointment. Blocked out time serves as a reminder for the task and reduces potential distractions and excuses.
If you want to create your own meal plan, explore the many diabetes-friendly recipes we have available. Generally, you should strive for balance and variety. Focus on filling up your plate with vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins like fish and chicken, legumes, and lower-fat dairy products. Portion sizes are also important. Meals rich in fiber and protein will fill you up, helping you stick to an appropriate serving size and in turn better manage your blood glucose, cholesterol levels, weight, and overall health.
Video: Diabetes Lunch Menu - 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan | Diabetes Breakthrough
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