Sample Diabetes-Friendly 1600-Calorie Meal Plan

Strawberry chicken salad
John E. Kelly/Photolibrary/Getty Images

If you've been instructed to follow a 1600-calorie diabetes-friendly meal plan, here are some ideas that provide a total of 1600 calories in one day—50% from carbohydrate and 25% from fat. Notice that each meal is a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Suggestions include breakfast, lunch (with a recipe link), dinner, and snack ideas. Read more about diabetes meal planning.

Breakfast

  • Spinach, Egg and Cheese Sandwich:
  • 1 toasted English muffin
  • 1/2 cup sautéed spinach
  • 1 fried egg
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup honeydew melon cubes
  • Coffee with 2 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half

Lunch

Dinner

  • 3 ounces grilled lean steak (like flank steak)
  • 1 baked sweet potato
  • 1 cup sautéed green beans and mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 8 to 12 ounces ice water or sugar-free beverage

Snack

  • 1 slice fat-free cheese
  • 4 whole-wheat crackers
  • 8 to 12 ounces ice water or sugar-free beverage

Two Common Methods of Diabetes Meal Planning

Carbohydrate Counting Method: This method involves tracking the grams of carbohydrates you consume in one meal. Most diabetes meal plans will need to have 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrate per meal, and the number of carbs per day should be discussed with your doctor or dietitian.

You might want to keep a log throughout the day.

Plate Method: This method is a little less overwhelming than adding up carbohydrates. Using a standard dinner-sized plate, for breakfast, make half of the plate starch, and the other half fruit and lean protein. For lunch and dinner, make half the plate non-starchy vegetables, and the other half starchy foods and lean proteins.

It does require knowledge of what constitutes a starch, etc. For lunch and dinner, a non-fat milk, low-fat milk, or another starch plus one serving of fruit can be added.