Diabetic Diet Menus

Cheryl Zielke
Healthy Meal
Healthy doesn't mean boring.

Initially, a diabetic diet can be overwhelming. What to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat are commonly asked questions when embarking on a diabetic diet. In addition, learning about carbohydrates and their effect on glucose and insulin levels, and counting carbohydrate grams can be challenging at the onset. However, with sensible meal planning and the sample diabetic diet menus below, following a diet to control blood glucose levels can be easy and enjoyed.

Importance of Meal Planning

For most people, thinking about planning a week's worth of meals, or even three meals for the day, is unimaginable. However, whether you are trying to lose weight, aiming to maintain weight, or controlling a health condition, such as diabetes, meal planning is the answer. With thought, preparation, and modifications to suit your lifestyle, daily or weekly menus function as your game plan to balanced, healthful food selection. Benefits of meal planning include:

  • Controlled blood sugar/insulin
  • Reduction and/or elimination of medications
  • Weight management
  • Controlled cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Controlled blood pressure
  • Less likely to skip meals
  • Proper portions
  • Less frustration about what to eat

Diabetic Menus

Adhering to practical food choices can make a profound difference to your blood glucose and insulin levels. That reason alone is enough to imagine doing the once unimaginable task of planning suitable and tasty meals. Meals do not have to be bland or severely restrictive. The most important feature of a daily menu is its mix of complex carbohydrates, such as grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats.

The following diabetic diet menus will launch you on your way to a lifetime of healthy eating. Each menu supports adequate complex carbohydrate intake to discourage escalating glucose levels. The calorie totals range from 1200 to 1500 per day. Providing yourself with a meal or snack at two to three hour intervals is highly recommended, as is always eating within one hour of waking. It is wise to seek the expertise of a nutritionist or other medical professional to help devise meal plans to meet your individual needs.

Day 1

Breakfast

  • 1 small (2 oz.) bran muffin
  • ½ c. blueberries
  • 1 c. fat-free milk

Snack

  • 1 small banana

Lunch

  • Spinach salad with 2 tbs. reduced-fat dressing of choice
  • 1 small whole-wheat pita
  • 2 oz. low-sodium turkey breast
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • 2 tsp. mustard
  • 1 orange
  • 1 c. fat-free milk

Snack

  • 20 almonds
  • 6 oz. low-fat yogurt sweetened with sucralose (Splenda brand)
  • 1 c. herbal tea or coffee

Dinner

  • ¼ lb. raw shrimp, grilled or sautéed in small amount of olive oil
  • 3/4 c. whole-wheat pasta
  • ½ c. black beans
  • 1 c. steamed broccoli

Day 2

Breakfast

  • 2 slices whole-wheat toast
  • 2 tbs. peanut butter
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 c. tea or coffee

Snack

  • 1 c. herbal tea
  • ½ c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbs. chopped walnuts

Lunch

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 3 oz. lean roast beef
  • 2 tsp. mustard
  • 1 c. raw or steamed cauliflower
  • 1 c. tea or coffee

Snack

  • 1 c. fat-free milk
  • 2 small fig cookies

Dinner

  • 3 oz. chicken breast, sautéed with 1 c. of vegetables of choice
  • 1 tbs. olive oil (for cooking)
  • 2/3 c. cooked brown rice
  • 1 c. fat-free milk

Day 3

Breakfast

  • 3/4 c. bran cereal
  • 1 c. strawberries
  • 1 c. fat-free milk

Snack

  • 12 red or green grapes
  • ½ c. cottage cheese

Lunch

  • 1 serving (10 oz.) beef barley soup
  • 1 multi-grain dinner roll
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 c. tea or coffee

Snack

  • ¼ c. sunflower seeds
  • 6 oz. low-fat yogurt sweetened with sucralose (Splenda brand)

Dinner

  • 6 oz. halibut or other white fish, broiled
  • 2/3 c. whole-wheat couscous
  • Mixed green salad with 2 tbs. reduced-fat dressing
  • 1 c. tea or coffee

Other Resources

There are several books available to help with additional meal planning. Reversing Diabetes and Betty Crocker's Diabetes Cookbook are highly recommended due to their wealth of information and diabetic diet menus.

Diabetic Diet Menus