Sample Diet Plan For Diabetes Type 2

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Sample Diet Plan For Diabetes Type 2: Diet plans are many and mostly they aim to help people to lose weight and reduce body fat. They also aim to help people understand the foods that are better for them and those which harm them. A person with diabetes type 2 diet plan is your guide map to healthy food consumption. It aims at improving symptoms, controlling your blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol and lowering blood pressure levels in your body.

  This article features a sample diet plan for diabetics. It includes information on diabetes diet menu and diabetic diet menu for weight loss. In this article are helpful hints to prevent diabetes and give you options that might help avoid diabetes.

What Is a Type 2 Diabetes Friendly Diet? A Complete Guide

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An excellent diabetes diet consists of all the key food groups, including fruits, veggies, healthy fat, and protein.Adobe Stock; Everyday Health

If you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or were diagnosed a while ago but are now ready to make diet changes, the prospect of giving up the foods you love may seem daunting. But you may be relieved to discover that a good diet for type 2 diabetes isn’t as tricky as you fear — and that you can still find joy in food while managing this disease. A healthy diet is a pillar of a successful diabetes management plan. Other pillars include taming stress, exercising regularly, and taking any medications as prescribed.

Is There an Ideal Type 2 Diabetes Diet?

How a Healthy Diet Can Help You Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by a condition called insulin resistance, in which the body can’t effectively use the hormone insulin to ferry blood sugar, or glucose, to cells and muscles for energy. This causes glucose to accumulate in your blood at higher than normal levels, which can put your health in danger.

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Eating a healthy diet is important for everyone, regardless of diabetes status. But for people with this disease, nourishing foods eaten in the right portions provide two key benefits:

Reduced blood sugar Lowering blood sugar that is high can help reduce diabetes symptoms and lower the risk for health complications.

A healthier weight

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 Weight loss is associated with a better A1C result, a two- to three-month average of blood sugar levels.

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What Is a Good Diet for Type 2 Diabetes?

A smart diabetes diet looks a lot like the healthy eating plan doctors recommend for everyone: It includes whole, minimally processed foods, with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates in moderation, lean protein, and healthy fats, and limits added sugars and refined grains.

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“There is no ‘diabetic diet,’” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, the author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet and Belly Fat Diet for Dummies, and based in Vernon, New Jersey. “The guidelines are basically the same for healthy eating for everyone, with or without diabetes,” she says.

According to the American Diabetes Association’s Nutrition Consensus Report in 2019, there are several healthful eating patterns you can follow to manage diabetes, including Mediterranean, low-carb, DASH, paleo, and vegetarian.

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Work with your healthcare team to determine the right ratio of macronutrients and the best eating plan to accommodate your health risks and goals.

15 Smart Strategies That Will Help You Meet Your Type 2 Diabetes Goals

Top Diabetes-Friendly Foods to Eat

While no two diabetes diets will look the same, certain foods are considered staples for people with this disease because they support a healthy weight and blood sugar level. They include:

  • Nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli and high-fiber fruit like apples
  • Lean sources of protein, such as boneless, skinless chicken, turkey, and fatty fish, like salmon
  • Healthy fats, such as nuts, nut butter, and avocado (in moderation)
  • Whole grains, like quinoa and barley
  • Nonfat or low fat dairy, like milk and plain yogurt

Foods to Limit or Avoid With Type 2 Diabetes

Likewise, certain foods are known to throw blood sugar levels out of whack and promote unhealthy weight gain. Foods that should be limited or avoided if you have type 2 diabetes include:

  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Cake
  • White bread and pasta
  • Canned soups, which are high in sodium
  • Microwaveable meals, which are usually high in sodium
  • Candy
  • Sources of saturated fat, like bacon or fatty cuts of meat

A Diabetes Diet Sample Menu

When you’re getting started, it’s helpful to envision exactly what your plate should look like. The ADA has a Create Your Plate tool you can use. With enough practice, the best choices will become second nature. The ADA recommends filling half your plate with nonstarchy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, tomatoes), one-quarter with grains (preferably whole) or starchy foods (sweet potato, plantain), and another quarter with lean protein (beans, seafood, skinless chicken).

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Here are three days’ worth of diabetes-friendly meal ideas to get you started.

Day 1

Breakfast Veggie omelet (1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites), topped with reduced-fat cheese, plus fruit

Snack Plain nonfat or lowfat Greek yogurt and berries

Lunch Salad (dark lettuce or leafy greens) topped with chicken breast and chickpeas with olive oil and vinegar dressing

Snack Celery and carrot sticks with nut butter

Dinner Grilled salmon, steamed broccoli, and quinoa

Day 2

Breakfast Fruit smoothie made with low-fat milk; low-fat plain yogurt; and chia seeds (optional)

Snack Unsalted almonds with a piece of fruit

Lunch Turkey chili with reduced-fat cheese

Snack Sliced vegetables and hummus

Dinner Tofu and veggie stir-fry over brown rice

MORE ON DIABETES-FRIENDLY MEALS

Day 3

Breakfast Old-fashioned or steel-cut oatmeal made with low-fat milk and topped with fruit and nuts

Snack Roasted chickpeas

Lunch Turkey sandwich on whole wheat with sliced veggies

Snack Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese with a sliced peach

Dinner Tray bake (all foods baked on the same tray) made with shrimp and roasted vegetables

As you’ll see, a type 2 diabetes diagnosis is not a sentence to eat boring, bland foods. You can eat the same food as your family, and even add special foods here and there, according to the American Diabetes Association.

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What to Drink When You Have Diabetes

Your choice of drinks can make a difference in your blood sugar levels. Palinski-Wade recommends focusing on unsweetened beverages, such as water and seltzer. (To jazz it up, add a splash of 100 percent fruit juice, she says.)

If you like coffee or tea, you may notice that caffeine increases your blood sugar levels, so Palinski-Wade advises monitoring your glucose response after consuming these drinks to see where you stand.

Artificially sweetened beverages, such as diet colas or lemonade, should go on the “proceed with caution” list. “Although these beverages are free of added sugars, consume these in moderation, since some research indicates some artificial sweeteners may impact gut health,” she says.

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When it comes to alcohol, if you are someone who drinks, you may be able to do so moderately even with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, but know that alcohol can lead to hypoglycemia, especially if you are on certain medications. Mixing metformin with alcohol may contribute to a rare but serious condition called lactic acidosis.

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 If you’re a man, stick to two drinks maximum per day; if you’re a woman, drink no more than one per day. One drink equals a 5-ounce (oz) glass of wine, a 12 oz beer, or 1½ oz of 80-proof liquor.

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Macronutrient Ratios for Type 2 Diabetes

You don’t need to worry about counting macros if you’re following a balanced diet rich in whole foods. But here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.

Carbohydrate Moderation

You can find carbohydrates in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and beans, and dairy. These foods supply necessary vitamins, minerals, and fiber that everyone needs to be healthy.

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That said, for people with type 2 diabetes, limiting carbs will help regulate blood sugar. “Although individual carbohydrate goals will vary based on age, activity level, medication, and individual insulin resistance levels,” says Palinski-Wade, “it’s imperative to avoid having too many carbohydrates in one sitting.”

If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes and don’t take medication, cap carbs to no more than 60 grams (g) per meal (four carbohydrate servings).

You can also use a diabetes exchange list, which tells you how foods compare in terms of their carbohydrate content. For instance, 1 apple and ½ cup applesauce both contain about 15 g of carbs.

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Good sources of carbs include:

  • Whole grains, like whole-wheat pasta and bread, brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa
  • Nonstarchy veggies, like peppers, eggplant, onion, and asparagus
  • Starchy veggies, such as sweet potatoes and corn, are okay to eat in moderation, just mind the carbohydrate content
  • Fresh, fiber-rich, whole fruit like raspberries, apricots, and pears
  • Nonfat or low-fat dairy, like unsweetened yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Beans and legumes, like black beans, chickpeas, and lentils

Limit unhealthy carb sources, which include sugar and refined grains like white bread and pasta. 

Proteins

One-quarter of your plate should contain a source of lean protein, which includes meat, skinless poultry, fish, reduced-fat cheese, eggs, and vegetarian sources like beans and tofu.

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 Enjoy these diabetes-friendly options:

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  • Beans, including black or kidney beans
  • Hummus
  • Lentils
  • Edamame
  • Whole nuts and nut butter
  • Tofu
  • Fish, such as tuna, sardines, or salmon
  • Skinless poultry
  • Eggs
  • Low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
  • Reduced-fat cheese or regular cheese in small amounts
  • Lean beef, like sirloin or tenderloin

Fats

Fat is not the enemy, even if you have diabetes! Learn to tell unhealthy fats from healthy fats and enjoy them in moderation, as all fats are high in calories.

Type matters more than amount: Aim to limit saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of total calories, Palinski-Wade advises.

Consider opting for these sources of healthy fat, per the American Diabetes Association (ADA):

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  • Avocado
  • Oils, including canola, and safflower
  • Nuts, such as almonds, peanuts, and walnuts
  • Olive oil
  • Seeds, including sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower

SAMPLE DIET

Nadine Greeff/Stocksy United

Day 1

Breakfast (255 calories)

  • 1 serving Strawberry-Pineapple Smoothie

A.M. Snack (59 calories)

  • 1 medium peach

Lunch (325 calories)

  • 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

P.M. Snack (105 calories)

  • 8 walnut halves

Dinner (458 calories)

  • 1 serving Greek Grilled Salmon Kebabs with Tzatziki & Green Beans
  • 1 serving Persian Cucumber & Tomato Salad with Preserved Lemon

Daily Totals: 1,201 calories, 59 g protein, 129 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 56 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 1,345 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add ¼ cup dry roasted unsalted almonds to A.M. snack and 1 pear to lunch.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 1½ Tbsp. almond butter to breakfast, ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack and 1 banana to lunch, increase walnut halves to ¼ cup at P.M. snack and add a 2-oz. slice of whole-wheat baguette to dinner.

Day 2

Breakfast (274 calories)

  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • ¼ cup Maple Granola

A.M. Snack (64 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries

Lunch (305 calories)

  • 1 serving Meal-Prep Turkey Cobb Salad
  • 1 plum

P.M. Snack (159 calories)

  • 2/3 cup blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (403 calories)

  • 1 serving Vegetarian Lo Mein with Shiitakes, Carrots & Bean Sprouts
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 Tbsp. Citrus Vinaigrette

Daily Totals: 1,205 calories, 59 g protein, 120 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 58 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,266 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Increase Maple Granola to 1/3 cup at breakfast, add ½ an avocado to lunch and increase almonds to ¼ cup in the P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Increase Maple Granola to 1/3 cup and add 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 1½ Tbsp. almond butter to breakfast, add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 1 banana and ½ an avocado to lunch, and increase almonds to ¼ cup at P.M. snack.

Meal-Prep Tip: Prepare 1 serving of Date & Pine Nut Overnight Oatmeal to have for breakfast tomorrow.

Day 3

Breakfast (281 calories)

  • 1 serving Date & Pine Nut Overnight Oatmeal

A.M. Snack (101 calories)

  • 1 medium pear

Lunch (305 calories)

  • 1 serving Meal-Prep Turkey Cobb Salad
  • 1 plum

P.M. Snack (31 calories)

  • ½ cup blackberries

Dinner (464 calories)

  • 1 serving Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls
  • 1 serving Jason Mraz’s Guacamole

Daily Totals: 1,183 calories, 68 g protein, 127 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 52 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,307 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add ½ an avocado to lunch and 10 walnut halves to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt to breakfast, add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 1 banana and ½ an avocado to lunch, add 6 walnut halves to P.M. snack, and add 1 oz. corn tortilla chips to dinner.

Day 4

Breakfast (274 calories)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • ¼ cup Maple Granola

A.M. Snack (59 calories)

  • 1 peach

Lunch (305 calories)

  • 1 serving Meal-Prep Turkey Cobb Salad
  • 1 plum

P.M. Snack (64 calories)

  • 1 cup raspberries

Dinner (500 calories)

  • 1 serving Salsa-Black Bean Burgers
  • 1 serving Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges

Daily Totals: 1,201 calories, 57 g protein, 135 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 52 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,389 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Increase Maple Granola to 1/3 cup at breakfast, add 8 walnut halves to A.M. snack and add ½ an avocado to lunch.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice whole-wheat toast and 1½ Tbsp. almond butter to breakfast, add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 1 banana and ½ an avocado to lunch, and add 1 5-oz. container nonfat plain Greek yogurt to P.M. snack.

Meal-Prep Tip: Prepare 1 serving of Date & Pine Nut Overnight Oatmeal to have for breakfast tomorrow.

Day 5

Breakfast (281 calories)

  • 1 serving Date & Pine Nut Overnight Oatmeal

A.M. Snack (41 calories)

  • 2/3 cup blackberries

Lunch (305 calories)

  • 1 serving Meal-Prep Turkey Cobb Salad
  • 1 plum

P.M. Snack (126 calories)

  • 2/3 cup raspberries
  • 1 5-oz. container nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Dinner (459 calories)

  • 1 serving Turkish Seared Tuna with Bulgur & Chickpea Salad

Daily Totals: 1,213 calories, 74 g protein, 130 g carbohydrates, 28 g fiber, 48 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,257 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add ½ an avocado to lunch and add ¼ cup Maple Granola to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt to breakfast, ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, ½ an avocado and 1 banana to lunch, and 1 serving Balsamic & Parmesan Roasted Broccoli to dinner.

Day 6

Breakfast (274 calories)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup blackberries
  • ¼ cup Maple Granola

A.M. Snack (83 calories)

  • 1 plum
  • 4 walnut halves

Lunch (304 calories)

  • 1 serving Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

P.M. Snack (101 calories)

  • 1 medium pear

Dinner (439 calories)

  • 1 serving BBQ Chicken Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 Tbsp. Citrus Vinaigrette

Daily Totals: 1,201 calories, 79 g protein, 143 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 39 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 1,345 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Increase Maple Granola to 1/3 cup at breakfast, increase to 10 walnut halves at A.M. snack, and add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Increase Maple Granola to 1/3 cup at breakfast and add 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 1½ Tbsp. almond butter, increase to 12 walnut halves at A.M. snack, add 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast to lunch, add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack, and add ½ an avocado at dinner.

Day 7

Breakfast (255 calories)

  • 1 serving Strawberry-Pineapple Smoothie

A.M. Snack (30 calories)

  • 1 plum

Lunch (304 calories)

  • 1 serving Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

P.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (405 calories)

  • 1 serving Sweet & Sour Chicken
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 Tbsp. Citrus Vinaigrette

Daily Totals: 1,201 calories, 66 g protein, 136 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 51 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 1,361 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1 banana to breakfast and 15 walnut halves to A.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 1½ Tbsp. almond butter to breakfast, add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack, add 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado

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