Sample Diabetes-Friendly 1600-Calorie Meal Plan

One Day of Tasty and Well-Balanced Diabetes-Friendly Meals

Strawberry chicken salad
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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.


  • 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



  • 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


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

More Diabetes-Friendly Meal Plans

If your physician or dietitian has recommended a daily calorie intake of 1800, 2000, 2200 or 2400, these sample menu plans will take you in the right direction:

    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.

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