How This Helps

Your main goal when menu-planning for Type 2 Diabetes diet is to control your blood glucose levels and keep them at optimal levels throughout the day. This can be achieved by paying attention to the amount of carbohydrates in your food and by pairing foods that contain carbohydrates with whole grains and healthy fats.  You basically want to eat a healthy and varied diet of nutrient-dense foods which includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats (polyunsaturated fats) like those in fish and avocado.  Studies show that following a heart-healthy Mediterranean-style diet that is high in these healthy foods is beneficial in the prevention and management of Type 2 Diabetes. You’ll also want to plan to have 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day at around the same time – this also helps to maintain optimal blood glucose levels.2  There are several ways to keep track of the amount of carbohydrates you are consuming throughout the day, including the Exchange system, Carbohydrate Counting, and the Glycemic Index.  Your doctor and/or dietician will advise you on the best way to keep track of the carbohydrates you are eating.

Science and Research

This sample type 2 diabetes diet plan is around 1710 calories and provides 1454 mg of sodium.  (Type 2 Diabetics should maintain a lower sodium diet, striving to stay under 1500 mg per day.) This meal plan provides 7 servings of protein, 4 servings of grains, 7 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of fruit, 2 servings of dairy, and 4 servings of fats & oils (with emphasis on healthy fats).  If you find that you need to add more dairy to your diet, you can do so by drinking at least 1 glass of low-fat milk or almond milk with your meals. This level of caloric intake is sufficient for those who are less active and wish to maintain current weight.

Breakfast in diabetic meal plan


Scrambled Egg with Spinach, Feta Cheese, Tomato, and Mushrooms in a grilled Whole Wheat Lavash Wrap and ½ cup of Ripe Avocado Cubes 1 Cup Berries (Blueberries, Raspberries, and/or Blackberries)

456 Calories, 498 mg Sodium, 41g of Carbohydrates, 1 serving of Grains, 1 serving of protein, 1 serving of Dairy, 1 serving of Fruit, 2 servings of vegetables, 1 serving of Grains, 1 serving of Fats & Oils

Nutrition Spotlight: 

Recent scientific studies show that skipping the first meal of the day is associated with irregular blood glucose numbers.  To help control your Diabetes, always make breakfast a priority! 3

See: Best Foods For Diabetics & Shopping List

Snack in diabetic diet

Snack 1: 

1/3 cup of Cottage Cheese and with 1 Cup of Assorted Fresh Cut Vegetables (Carrots, Celery, Broccoli, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber Sticks, Bell Peppers, Raw Zucchini, etc!) + ¼ cup Dry Roasted, Unsalted Almonds

332 Calories, 426mg of Sodium, 15g of Carbohydrates, 1 serving Vegetables, 1 servings Protein, 1 serving of Dairy

Nutrition Spotlight:  Studies have shown that almonds lower postprandial serum glucose responses and reduce hunger when eaten as a snack between meals.4 

See: How to lose belly fat naturally

Lunch & afternoon snack in diabetic diet

1 serving of Chicken & Brown Rice Soup; 1 Cup of Mixed Greens with 2 Tablespoons of Homemade Herbed Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 Apple, sliced
357 Calories, 240mg Sodium, 33g Carbohydrates,  2 servings of Vegetables, 1 Serving of Fruit, 1 Serving of Fats & Oils, 2 servings of protein, 1 serving of Grains

Nutrition Spotlight: Olive Oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are considered healthy.  Replace saturated and trans fats with MUFAs and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) as part of a healthy diet.

Snack 2:
 ½ cup Black Bean Salad with 2 unsalted Brown Rice Cakes 
137 Calories, 15mg of Sodium, 26g of Carbohydrates, 1 serving of Vegetables, 1 serving of protein, 1 serving of Grains, 1 serving of Fats & Oils

Nutrition Spotlight: Black beans are a good choice for a snack in between meals because they are high in protein and fiber, which stabilize blood sugar and prevent spikes and crashes.  Fiber also creates a feeling of fullness to keep hunger pangs at bay until dinnertime.6

See: Oatmeal for diabetes health benefits

Dinner for diabetic meal plan

Oven Roasted Apricot Stuffed Turkey Breast, Roasted Green Vegetable Medley, ½ cup Cooked Quinoa
428 calories, 275mg of sodium, 37g of Carbohydrates, 2 serving of protein, 1 serving of Vegetables, 1 serving of Grains, 1 serving of Fats

Nutrition Spotlight: Diets high in vegetables like those in this recipe are associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.7

See: Ayurveda treatments to prevent and reverse Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetic meal plan considerations

Diabetics are at a higher risk than individuals without diabetes to die of cardiovascular disease or experience a life-threatening stroke, according to the American Heart Association. And for people who don't properly control their illness, the probability of health issues--that vary from cardiovascular trouble to nerve damage and kidney disease--increases exponentially.

Luckily there are loads of tasty foods that are beneficial for diabetes. The best foods for diabetics are low carb, low-sugar, high in fiber, digestion-slowing macronutrients such as healthy fats and protein, and high taste. These superfoods will keep your blood glucose in check without skimping on taste. Bonus: the majority of these foods are also packed with essential vitamins and antioxidants to fight inflammation off and maintain your energy levels high.

The Diabetic Meal Plan: Healthy ingestion can help you prevent, control, and even reverse diabetes. And with these hints, you can still enjoy your food without feeling hungry or deprived. What's the best diet for diabetes?

Most diabetes type 2 cases can be prevented, and some may even be reversed. Taking measures to prevent or control diabetes does not mean living in deprivation.  It simply means eating a tasty, balanced diet that will boost your energy and improve your mood. 

When you are trying hard to prevent or reverse diabetes, your nutrient needs are almost the same as everybody else, so no particular foods are essential. However, you do have to pay attention to some of your food choices--most notably the carbohydrates you consume. While the Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can assist with this, the most important thing you can do is eliminate a little weight.

Losing just 5 percent to 10% of your overall weight can decrease your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Eating healthy and losing weight can also profoundly impact your mood, energy, and sense of health. Even if you've already developed diabetes, it is not too late to generate a positive change. By being physically active, eating healthier, and losing weight, you may lessen your symptoms or even reverse diabetes. 

- The largest risk for diabetes: stomach fat

Being obese or overweight is the primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes. However, your risk is greater if you are inclined to carry your weight around your abdomen instead of your buttocks and thighs. A good deal of belly fat surrounds the abdominal organs and liver and is closely linked to insulin resistance. You're at an increased risk of diabetes if you're:

A woman with 35 inches or more waist circumference

A man with 40 inches or more waist circumference

Calories from fructose found in carbonated drinks like soda, sports, and energy drinks are more likely to add weight around your stomach. Cutting back on sugary foods may indicate a slimmer waistline in addition to a lower risk of diabetes.

- Arranging a diabetes diet

A diabetic diet need not be complex, and you don't need to give up your favorite foods. A diabetic diet is much more about your overall dietary pattern as opposed to obsessing over particular foods. Aim to consume more natural, unprocessed food with less convenience or packaged foods.

- Glycemic index

High glycemic index (GI) foods boost your blood sugar rapidly, while low GI foods have the least effect on blood glucose. While the GI has been promoted as a tool to help manage blood glucose, there are some notable drawbacks.

See: Keto diet benefits for weight loss, diabetes & PCOS


1 Dangi-Garimella, Surabhi, Ph.D. "New Studies Affirm Mediterranean Diet's Potential for Patient Self-Management, Prevention of T2DM." AJMC (2014): n. pag. 17 Mar. 2014. Web. 
2"Diabetes Diet." University of Maryland Medical Center. Ed. Harvey Simon, MD,.University of Maryland Medical Center, 25 May 2012. Web.
3 Jakubowicz, Daniela et al. "Diabetes Care." Fasting Until Noon Triggers Increased Postprandial Hyperglycemia and Impaired Insulin Response After Lunch and Dinner in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Clinical Trial. American Diabetes Association, 28 July 2015. Web. 
4 Tan, S Y, and R D Mattes. “Appetitive, Dietary, and Health Effects of Almonds Consumed with Meals or as Snacks: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.”European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 67.11 (2013): 1205–1214. PMC. Web. 6 Dec. 2015.
5 Hensrud, Donald, MD. "Nutrition and Healthy Eating." Olive Oil: What Are the Health Benefits? Mayo Clinic, 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
6 "5 Healthy Snacks for People With (or Without) Diabetes." Health. Health Magazine, n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2015. .
7 Dominguez, Ligia J. et al. “Association of a Dietary Score with Incident Type 2 Diabetes Diet: The Dietary-Based Diabetes-Risk Score (DDS).” Ed. Manlio Vinciguerra. PLoS ONE 10.11 (2015): e0141760. PMC. Web. 10 Dec. 2015. 

See: Yoga for Diabetes Type 2

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