A Sample Meal Plan for Diabetes

Here's a taste of how much delicious food you can eat for 1,400 calories

crackers with peanut butter
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If you love to eat, a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes may seem like the end of the world of good food as you know it. And it's true you'll have to rethink every morsel you put into your mouth in order to keep your blood sugar, or glucose, at safe and healthy levels. If you're overweight, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, you also may need to rein in the number of calories you eat. The good news about that: Losing excess pounds, along with making other lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise, may help control your glucose so you don't need to take medication.

What will your daily diet look like as you begin to eat with your condition in mind? Here's a sample one-day meal plan to give you an idea of how easy it really is to eat healthfully without depriving yourself when you have type 2 diabetes. It includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a morning and an evening snack. The entire day's worth of food adds up to around 1,400 calories—55 percent from carbohydrates and 19 percent from fat. It's a great jumping off point for planning future meals. Just keep in mind that you'll need to rejigger it if your doctor recommends you eat a different number of calories—1,200, say, or 2,200 each day.

Breakfast

Coffee with 2 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half

6 ounces fat-free yogurt mixed with:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened bran flakes
  • 8 walnut halves broken into small pieces
  • 1 diced peach

Lunch

1 ham and turkey wrap (1 slice lean ham, 2 slices turkey, lettuce, tomato, and a quarter of an avocado dressed with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and rolled up in a thin whole-wheat tortilla)

1 medium apple

8 to 12 ounces of water or a sugar-free beverage

Afternoon Snack

1 cup of baby carrots

Dinner

1 4-ounce salmon filet seared in a teaspoon of olive oil and topped with a tablespoon of pesto (jarred or homemade)

1/3 cup cooked brown rice

1/2 cup steamed green beans dressed with a teaspoon of olive oil and lemon juice, salt, and pepper, to taste

8 to 12 ounces of water or a sugar-free beverage

Evening Snack

3 (2 1/2-inch) graham cracker squares

2 tablespoons low-fat peanut butter or almond butter

8 ounces (1 cup) skim milk

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