Balance your blood sugar while enjoying the healthy and delicious flavors of the Mediterranean diet with this easy 7-day meal plan.

Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., R.D., C.D.
October 15, 2019

There's a good reason the Mediterranean diet was voted best diet overall and best diet for diabetes by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. It's been consistently shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers. The Mediterranean diet is more of a lifestyle than a strict diet plan. It emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, seafood, nuts, seeds and plenty of healthy unsaturated fats while limiting sweets, refined grains, sugars and red meat. The Mediterranean diet isn't just about what we eat—it's also about how we eat. Slowing down and taking the time to enjoy a meal instead of eating on the go or in front of the television can help improve our health and make our meals feel more satisfying. Because weight loss plays an important role in managing blood sugars in type 2 diabetes, we set this plan at 1,200 calories a day to promote a healthy weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week. If weight loss isn't your goal, we included modifications to make this delicious Mediterranean diet plan 1,500 or 2,000 calories a day, depending on your needs.

Why the Mediterranean Diet Is Good for Diabetes

There are several reasons why the Mediterranean diet is good for diabetes. First, it's flexible. Following a rigid diet plan with several off-limits foods not only doesn't work long-term, it makes it hard to enjoy meals with your family. Managing diabetes requires a lifestyle change—shifting to more homemade meals, increasing activity, incorporating plenty of healthy Mediterranean foods that help manage blood sugars and limiting the foods that raise blood sugars quickly (like sugar, sweets and refined grains). If you have diabetes, your risk of heart disease increases, which is why the Mediterranean diet is such a great choice—it includes heart-healthy unsaturated fats while limiting saturated fats from red meat, sweets (like baked goods) and high-fat dairy items. Plus, it incorporates plenty of high-fiber foods, like whole grains, legumes and fresh produce, which can help improve blood sugar control. Fiber is digested slowly, which slows down the rate at which sugar enters your bloodstream, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes.

Mediterranean Foods for Diabetes:

  • Vegetables: The more vegetables the better! Including plenty of fresh or frozen produce in your meals helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Fruit: Frozen and fresh produce are both great options. Try to aim for fruit with seeds and skin, like berries, plums or apples—they are higher in fiber.
  • Whole Grains: Quinoa, muesli, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread and bulgur are just some of the healthy whole-grain options.
  • Legumes: Beans and lentils are packed with fiber. If using canned beans, try to buy low-sodium and give them a rinse before using to get rid of even more sodium.
  • Fish: Fish is a great option—especially the varieties that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, sardines and mackerel.
  • Healthy Fats: Unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, avocado and olive oil should be included often.

Want to Learn More? Check out Mediterranean Diet for Beginners: Everything You Need to Get Started

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make a batch of Maple Granola to have throughout the week.
  2. Prepare the Olive Orange Vinaigrette to have during the week.
  3. Assemble the Vegan Superfood Buddha Bowls to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  4. Prepare two servings of the Date & Pine Nut Overnight Oatmeal to have for breakfast on Days 2 and 3.

Day 1

Breakfast (300 calories)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 1 serving Maple Granola

A.M. Snack (131 calories)

  • 1 large pear

Lunch (293 calories)

P.M. Snack (79 calories)

  • 2/3 cup blackberries
  • 6 unsalted almonds

Dinner (387 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,190 calories, 63 g protein, 117 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 59 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 1,218 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Increase to 1/3 cup unsalted almonds for P.M. snack and add 1/4 of an avocado to dinner.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast, add 1/4 cup walnut halves to A.M. snack, and add 1 plum to lunch.

Day 2

Breakfast (281 calories)

A.M. Snack (61 calories)

  • 2 plums

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Dinner (383 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,200 calories, 55 g protein, 146 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 51 g fat, 1,058 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1 peach to lunch and add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1/3 cup unsalted almonds to A.M. snack and add 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Day 3

Breakfast (281 calories)

A.M. Snack (32 calories)

  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (31 calories)

  • 1/2 cup blackberries

Dinner (499 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,224 calories, 58 g protein, 135 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 55 g fat, 1,004 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted almonds to A.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 1 1/2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast and add 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1 serving Maple Granola to P.M. snack.

Day 4

Breakfast (294 calories)

  • 1 serving nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 1 serving Maple Granola

A.M. Snack (30 calories)

  • 1 plum

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (35 calories)

  • 1 clementine

Dinner (479 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,219 calories, 58 g protein, 136 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 56 g fat, 813 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted almonds to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 2 slices whole-wheat toast with 3 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to A.M. snack and increase to 2 clementines at P.M. snack.

Meal-Prep Tip: Prepare 3 servings Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding to have for breakfast on Days 5 through 7.

Day 5

Breakfast (233 calories)

A.M. Snack (84 calories)

  • 1 small pear

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (59 calories)

  • 1 medium peach

Dinner (448 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve 2 servings of the Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta to have for lunch on Days 6 & 7.

Daily Totals: 1,205 calories, 61 g protein, 146 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 46 g fat, 946 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted almonds to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast and add 1/3 cup walnut halves to A.M. snack.

Day 6

Breakfast (233 calories)

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (448 calories)

P.M. Snack (88 calories)

  • 2/3 cup sliced cucumber
  • 3 Tbsp. hummus

Dinner (351 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,215 calories, 60 g protein, 145 g carbohydrates, 38 g fiber, 46 g fat, 1,508 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted almonds to A.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 1 1/2 Tbsp. peanut butter to breakfast, add 12 walnut halves to P.M. snack, and add 1/2 an avocado to dinner.

Day 7

Breakfast (233 calories)

A.M. Snack (42 calories)

  • 2/3 cup raspberries

Lunch (448 calories)

P.M. Snack (41 calories)

  • 2/3 cup blackberries

Dinner (432 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,197 calories, 70 g protein, 100 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 58 g fat, 1,291 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1/3 cup unsalted almonds to P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 banana to breakfast and add 2 slices whole-wheat toast with 2 1/2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to A.M. snack.

Don't Miss!

Healthy Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Recipes for Diabetes

Diabetes Diet Meal Plan

Diabetes-Friendly Mediterranean Diet Dinners

Advertisement