This healthy 1,200-calorie meal plan for diabetes makes it easy to balance your blood sugar while loving what you eat.

Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.
Updated January 17, 2020

The simple meals and snacks in this meal plan feature some of the best foods for diabetes to help you keep your blood sugar in check so you can feel your best while you lose weight. In this 1,200-calorie diabetes meal plan, you'll see plenty of complex carbohydrates (think whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables), lean protein and healthy fats—nutritious foods that will help to keep you feeling satisfied and energized during the day.

Related: The Best 30-Day Diabetes Diet Plan

What you won't see much of are refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white pasta and white rice) or added sugars, which can spike your blood sugar quickly. It's okay to have these foods sometimes but the healthier whole grains and naturally sweet foods (like fruit!) will make it easier to keep your blood sugar where you want it. We've also cut back on saturated fats and sodium, as research shows it's important to keep these in check to keep your heart healthy. What we definitely didn't skimp on is flavor. The meals and snacks in this diet plan feature fresh ingredients and plenty of herbs and spices that add delicious flavor without adding extra sodium.

Read More: Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan for Diabetes

The carbohydrates are balanced throughout the day with each meal containing between 2 to 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 diet meal plan, and add in daily exercise for a healthy and sustainable approach to managing diabetes and maintaining a healthy weight.

Looking for a higher calorie level plan to follow? See this healthy diabetes meal plan at 1,500 calories and 2,000 calories.

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals

A little meal prep at the beginning of the week can go a long way to make the week ahead easier.

  1. Prep the Zucchini Noodles with Quick Turkey Bolognese to have for lunch on Days 2, 3, 4 & 5. Freeze any leftovers for up to 3 months.
  2. Make the Frozen Chocolate-Banana Bites to have as an evening snack on Day 4.

Day 1

Breakfast (221 calories, 35 g carbs)

Diabetes Tip: Oats are a great high-fiber option for breakfast. The less processed the oat, the higher the fiber content-instead of instant oats, try old-fashioned, rolled or steel-cut oats. Old-fashioned oats take 10 minutes or so to cook, with heartier oats taking longer. If you're feeling rushed in the mornings, try this recipe for overnight oats that can be heated up in the microwave or pull out your crock pot to make a bigger batch of creamy oats.

A.M. Snack (109 calories, 15 g carbs)

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Lunch (398 calories, 41 g carbs)

P.M. Snack (95 calories, 25 g carbs)

  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Sprinkle the apple slices with cinnamon.

Dinner (396 calories, 43 g carbs)

Daily Total: 1,219 calories, 67 g protein, 160 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 40 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 1,379 mg sodium

Day 2

Breakfast (234 calories, 33 g carbs)

Diabetes Tip: The carbohydrate and fiber content of store-bought breads can vary greatly. Aim for a bread that delivers around 1 carbohydrate serving (15 grams of carbs) and upwards of 20 percent of the daily value for fiber for one slice.

A.M. Snack (30 calories, 8 g carbs)

  • 1 medium plum

Lunch (365 calories, 45 g carbs)

P.M. Snack (84 calories, 21 g carbs)

  • 1 cup blueberries

Dinner (477 calories, 43 g carbs)

Diabetes Tip: Legumes, like lentils, deliver a combination of a fiber, carbs and protein-a mix that helps to keep blood sugar balanced and helps you feel more satisfied.

Daily Total: 1,191 calories, 47 g protein, 150 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 50 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,819 mg sodium

Day 3

Breakfast (279 calories, 40 g carbs)

Diabetes Tip: When buying muesli, look for a brand that doesn't have added sugars, which take away from the healthy goodness of this whole-grain breakfast.

A.M. Snack (64 calories, 15 g carbs)

  • 1 cup raspberries

Lunch (406 calories, 37 g carbs)

P.M. Snack (62 calories, 15 g carbs)

  • 1 medium orange

Dinner (394 calories, 42 g carbs)

Daily Total: 1,204 calories, 84 g protein, 150 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 36 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 1,341 mg sodium

Day 4

Breakfast (221 calories, 35 g carbs)

A.M. Snack (64 calories, 15 g carbs)

  • 1 cup raspberries

Diabetes Tip: Rather than buying sugary flavored yogurt, add honey or maple syrup to plain yogurt-this allows you to control the amount of sugar you're getting. Or go with a "light" option made with zero-calorie sweeteners. And rather than granola, which is often made with added sugar, go for sugar-free muesli as an alternative.

Lunch (365 calories, 45 g carbs)

P.M. Snack (62 calories, 15 g carbs)

  • 1 medium orange

Dinner (401 calories, 37 g carbs)

Combine green beans with couscous and parsley. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Evening Snack (102 calories, 20 g carbs)

Daily Total: 1,215 calories, 76 g protein, 168 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 33 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 1,598 mg sodium

Day 5

Breakfast (257 calories, 39 g carbs)

A.M. Snack (30 calories, 8 g carbs)

  • 1 plum

Lunch (365 calories, 45 g carbs)

P.M. Snack (95 calories, 25 g carbs)

  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Sprinkle the apple slices with cinnamon.

Dinner (468 calories, 54 g carbs)

Diabetes Tip: While brown rice and other whole grains, like whole-wheat pasta, are healthy options for people with diabetes, cauliflower rice and veggie noodles are fun low-carb alternatives.

Daily Total: 1,216 calories, 67 g protein, 171 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 35 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 2,001 mg sodium

Day 6

Breakfast (306 calories, 46 g carbs)

A.M. Snack (64 calories, 15 g carbs)

  • 1 cup raspberries

Lunch (325 calories, 47 g carbs)

P.M. Snack (30 calories, 8 g carbs)

  • 1 plum

Dinner (489 calories, 39 g carbs)

Diabetes Tip: Pairing carbohydrates with protein and fiber slows down the digestion and absorption process, helping to keep your blood sugar from rising too quickly. Here we pair chicken with brown rice and broccolini for a balanced diabetes-friendly dinner.

Meal-Prep Tip: Make the Frozen Chocolate-Banana Bites to have as a P.M. Snack on Day 7.

Daily Total: 1,214 calories, 77 g protein, 146 g carbohydrates, 30 g total fiber, 39 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 906 mg sodium

Day 7

Breakfast (357 calories, 36 g carbs)

A.M. Snack (42 calories, 11 g carbs)

  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Lunch (374 calories, 53 g carbs)

P.M. Snack (102 calories, 20 g carbs)

Dinner (350 calories, 44 g carbs)

Top sweet potato with Greek yogurt and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.

Diabetes Tip: Nonfat Greek yogurt is a tasty low-saturated fat alternative to sour cream that can be used to top baked potatoes, chili and more.

Daily Total: 1,505 calories, 78 g protein, 169 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 61 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 1,632 mg sodium

You Did It!

Congratulations on finishing this weekly meal plan for diabetes at 1,200 calories. Whether you made every single meal in this plan or simply used it as a guide for healthy eating, we hope you found it inspirational, exciting and informational. Don't miss our other healthy meal plans for diabetes and collection of delicious diabetes-friendly recipes.

WATCH: What a Diabetes Meal Plan Looks Like

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