The Best 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan

By: Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D., Digital Meal Plan Editor

This 1,200-calorie meal plan makes it easy to follow a diabetes diet with healthy and delicious foods that help to balance blood sugar.


The simple meals and snacks in this 7-day plan feature complex carbohydrates (think whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables), lean protein and healthy fats. We limited refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white pasta and white rice) as well as added sugars, which can spike your blood sugar quickly. We've also cut back on saturated fats and sodium, as they can negatively impact your health if you eat too much. The carbohydrates are balanced throughout the day with each meal containing 2-3 carb servings (30-45 grams of carbohydrates) and each snack containing around 1 carb serving (15 grams of carbohydrates). The calorie and carbohydrate totals are listed next to each meal and snack so you can swap foods with similar nutrition in and out as you like. Eating with diabetes doesn't need to be difficult—choose a variety of nutritious foods, as we do in this meal plan, and add in daily exercise for a healthy and sustainable approach to managing diabetes.

 

Day 1

Breakfast (294 calories, 41 g carbohydrates)

• 1/2 cup oats cooked in 1/2 cup each 2% milk and water
• 1 medium plum, chopped
• 4 walnut halves, chopped

Top oats with plum and walnuts.

A.M. Snack (96 calories, 18 g carbohydrates)

• 3/4 cup blueberries
• 1/4 nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Top blueberries with yogurt.

Lunch (319 calories, 37 g carbohydrates)

Turkey & Apple Cheddar Melt
• 2 slices whole-wheat bread
• 2 tsp. whole-grain mustard, divided
• 1/2 medium apple, sliced
• 2 oz. low-sodium deli turkey
• 2 Tbsp. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
• 1 cup mixed greens

Top one slice of bread with 1 tsp. mustard, apple, turkey and 1 Tbsp. cheese. Top the other slice of bread with the remaining 1 tsp. mustard and 1 Tbsp.cheese. Toast sandwich halves face-up in a toaster oven until the cheese begins to melt and bubble. Add the mixed greens to the sandwich just before serving.

*Look for a deli turkey with less than 150 mg sodium per 1-ounce serving.

P.M. Snack (58 calories, 16 g carbohydrates)

• 1/2 medium apple, sliced
• 1/2 tsp. honey
• Pinch of cinnamon

Drizzle the apple slices with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Dinner (417 calories, 54 g carbohydrates)

• 2 1/2 cups Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup
• 1 serving Rosemary-Goat Cheese Toast

Make Ahead Tip: Save 1 3/4 cups soup for lunch on Day 2, and another 2 cups for lunch on Day 6.

Daily Total: 1,185 calories, 60 g protein, 166 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 66 g sugar, 35 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,539 mg sodium

 

Day 2

Breakfast (297 calories, 33 g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 25 pistachios

A.M. Snack (52 calories, 13 g carbohydrates)

• 10 cherries

Lunch (314 calories, 47 g carbohydrates)

• 1 3/4 cups Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup
• 2 slices whole-wheat baguette (cut ¼ inch thick)

P.M. Snack (95 calories, 25 g carbohydrates)

Cinnamon Apples
• 1 medium apple, sliced
• Cinnamon to taste

Sprinkle apple slices with cinnamon.

Dinner (420 calories, 48 g carbohydrates)

• 2 1/2 cups Lentil & Roasted Vegetable Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
• 1 serving Frozen Chocolate-Banana Bites, to enjoy after dinner

Make-Ahead Tip: Cook an extra 1/2 cup of lentils to have for lunch on Day 3.

Daily Total: 1,179 calories, 39 g protein, 166 g carbohydrates, 35 g fiber, 65 g sugar, 47 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,425 mg sodium

 

Day 3

Breakfast (289 calories, 27 g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Yogurt with Blueberries & Honey
• 1 tsp. ground flaxseed
• 6 walnut halves, chopped or whole

Add flaxseed to yogurt for an added boost of fiber and omega-3s. Top with chopped walnuts, or leave the walnuts whole to have on the side.

A.M. Snack (30 calories, 8 g carbohydrates)

• 1 medium plum

Lunch (347 calories, 48 g carbohydrates)

• 3 1/2 cups Mixed Greens with Lentils & Sliced Apple

P.M. Snack (62 calories, 15 g carbohydrates)

• 1 medium orange

Dinner (490 calories, 52 g carbohydrates)

• 1 1/3 cups Chicken Sausage & Peppers
• 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
• 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp. no-salt-added Italian seasoning
• Salt to taste

Season rice with oil, Italian seasoning and salt. Serve chicken, sausage & peppers over the rice.

• 1 1/2 cups mixed greens
• 1/4 cup shredded carrot
• 1/4 cup sliced cucumbers
• 1 Tbsp. Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette, or a premade Italian salad dressing*

Combine greens, carrot, cucumber and vinaigrette.

*When buying premade salad dressings, look for one made without added sugars. And, choose one made with olive oil or canola oil.

Make Ahead Tip: Cook an extra 1/2 cup of brown rice to have for dinner on Day 7. You can substitute brown rice for the farro in the dinner recipe for Day 4. If you choose to do so, cook an extra 2 cups of rice tonight to save yourself time tomorrow.

Daily Total: 1,218 calories, 63 g protein, 151 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 75 g sugar, 45 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 830 mg sodium

 

Day 4

Breakfast (295 calories, 42 g carbohydrates)

• 1/2 cup oats cooked in 1/2 cup each 2% milk and water
• 1 tsp. ground flaxseed
• 1 medium plum, chopped
• 3 walnut halves, chopped

Mix oatmeal and flaxseed; top with plum and walnuts.

A.M. Snack (52 calories, 13 g carbohydrates)

• 10 cherries

Lunch (350 calories, 46 g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Veggie & Hummus Sandwich
• 3 dried apricots

P.M. Snack (62 calories, 15 g carbohydrates)

• 1 medium orange

Dinner (450 calories, 41 g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Lemon-Herb Salmon with Caponata & Farro*

*Don't have farro? You can substitute another whole grain you have on hand, like brown rice.

Daily Total: 1,209 calories, 61 g protein, 158 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 61 g sugar, 43 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 1,032 mg sodium

 

Day 5

Breakfast (276 calories, 44 g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast
• 20 cherries

A.M. Snack (51 calories, 13 g carbohydrates)

• 6 dried apricots

Lunch (350 calories, 41 g carbohydrates)

Turkey & Pear Pita Melt
• 1/2 large whole-wheat pita round (save the other half for lunch on Day 7)
• 3 1/2 oz. low-sodium deli turkey
• 1/2 medium pear, sliced
• 2 Tbsp. shredded Cheddar cheese
• 1 cup mixed greens

Top pita with turkey, pear and cheese. Toast in a toaster oven until the cheese starts to melt. Add greens to the pita just before eating.

• 1 medium plum

P.M. Snack (52 calories, 14 g carbohydrates)

Cinnamon Pears
• 1/2 medium pear, sliced
• Cinnamon to taste

Sprinkle pear slices with cinnamon.

Dinner (448 calories, 38 g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs
• 1 slice whole-wheat baguette (cut 1/4 inch thick), toasted
• 1/2 Tbsp. goat cheese
• 1/4 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary

Toast baguette and top with cheese and rosemary.

Daily Total: 1,176 calories, 64 g protein, 151 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 74 g sugar, 37 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,738 mg sodium

 

Day 6

Breakfast (291 calories, 28 g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Yogurt with Blueberries & Honey
• 2 tsp. ground flaxseed
• 5 walnut halves, chopped

Mix yogurt and flaxseed. Serve topped with walnuts.

A.M. Snack (72 calories, 18 g carbohydrates)

• 14 cherries

Lunch (337 calories, 42 g carbohydrates)

• 2 1/2 cups Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup

P.M. Snack (62 calories, 15 g carbohydrates)

• 1 medium orange

Dinner (422 calories, 53 g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Apple-Glazed Chicken with Spinach
• 1/2 cup Steamed Butternut Squash
• 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/8 tsp. dried
• Salt and pepper to taste

Toss squash with oil and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Daily Total: 1,184 calories, 78 g protein, 156 g carbohydrates, 27 g total fiber, 88 g sugar, 34 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 1,541 mg sodium

 

Day 7

Make Ahead Tip: Tonight's dinner is a slow-cooker recipe. Make sure you start it early enough in the day that it will be ready in time for dinner.

Breakfast (300 calories, 40 g carbohydrates)

• 2 Blueberry-Pecan Pancakes
• 3 Tbsp. blueberries, fresh or frozen
• 2 tsp. ground flaxseed

Microwave blueberries until soft and sauce-like, about 1 minute. Stir in the flaxseed for an extra fiber kick, and serve with the pancakes.

A.M. Snack (62 calories, 15 g carbohydrates)

• 1 medium orange

Lunch (325 calories, 35 g carbohydrates)

• 2 cups mixed greens
• 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
• 1/4 cup grated carrot
• 1 1/2 Tbsp. Garlic-Oregano Vinaigrette, or a premade Italian salad dressing

Combine greens, cucumber, carrot and vinaigrette.

• 1/2 large whole-wheat pita round, toasted
• 1/4 cup hummus

P.M. Snack (95 calories, 25 g carbohydrates)

• 1 medium apple

Dinner (444 calories, 48 g carbohydrates)

• 1 serving Mushroom-Sauced Pork Chops
• 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
• 3/4 cup Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Daily Total: 1,224 calories, 54 g protein, 164 g carbohydrates, 28 g fiber, 57 g sugar, 44 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 1,270 mg sodium

 

Please Note: This meal plan is controlled for calories, carbohydrates, fiber, saturated fat and sodium. If you are concerned about any nutrient in particular, speak with your health care provider and a registered dietitian about altering this plan to best suit your individual health needs.

Watch: What Does a 1-Day Diabetes Meal Plan Look Like?

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