Lose weight, lower your blood sugars and reduce inflammation with this healthy diabetes meal plan.

Emily Heaslip, M.S., R.D., C.D.
February 14, 2020

When it comes to diabetes, we often hear about managing carbohydrates, weight loss and exercise. But did you know that inflammation can also increase blood sugar? Research shows that one of the underlying causes of diabetes is chronic low-grade inflammation. A combination of poor nutrition, higher body fat, stress and lack of exercise all contribute to increased inflammation, which results in insulin resistance, meaning higher blood sugars and eventually type 2 diabetes. Eating more anti-inflammatory diet foods, like nuts, fish, olive oil, berries and dark leafy greens, can make a big difference.

Read More: The Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods for Diabetes

In this healthy diabetes meal plan, we pumped up the anti-inflammatory foods while keeping the carbohydrates consistent and the fiber intake high to help support healthy blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation. Because excess body weight can increase both inflammation and blood sugars, we set this plan at 1,200 calories a day to promote a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week, and included modifications to bump up the calories to 1,500 or 2,000 calories a day, depending on your needs.

Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods List for Diabetes

  • Berries
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Natural nut butters
  • Oatmeal
  • Greek yogurt, especially plain, unsweetened yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Beans and lentils
  • Turmeric
  • Quinoa
  • Avocado
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus fruits
  • Garlic, spices and herbs
  • Fish, especially fish high in omega-3 fatty acids

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make Vegan Superfood Buddha Bowls to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  2. Prepare Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats to have for breakfast on Days 2 and 3.

Day 1

Breakfast (266 calories, 38 g carbohydrates)

A.M. Snack (101 calories, 27 g carbohydrates)

  • 1 medium pear

Lunch (360 calories, 34 carbohydrates)

P.M. Snack (92 calories, 3 g carbohydrates)

  • 12 unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (382 calories, 50 g carbohydrates)

Daily Totals: 1,202 calories, 50 g protein, 153 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 45 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 1,279 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Increase to 2 servings Peanut Butter-Banana Cinnamon Toast at breakfast and increase to 15 almonds at P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 22 walnut halves to A.M. snack and add 1 serving Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Day 2

Breakfast (197 calories, 35 g carbohydrates)

A.M. Snack (133 calories, 8 g carbohydrates)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Lunch (381 calories, 43 g carbohydrates)

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

  • 1 medium orange

Dinner (415 calories, 44 g carbohydrates)

Daily Totals: 1,186 calories, 58 g protein, 146 g carbohydrates, 36 g fiber, 48 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 1,151 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Add 1 clementine to breakfast and add 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds to A.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include all modifications for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 15 walnut halves to P.M. snack and add 1 avocado, sliced, to dinner.

Day 3

Breakfast (197 calories, 35 g carbohydrates)

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

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (381 calories, 43 g carbohydrates)

P.M. Snack (133 calories, 8 g carbohydrates)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Dinner (408 calories, 47 g carbohydrates)

Daily Totals: 1,214 calories, 58 g protein, 158 g carbohydrates, 34 g fiber, 45 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 1,214 mg sodium

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

To make it 2,000 calories: Include the modification for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to A.M. snack and add 1 avocado to dinner.

Day 4

Breakfast (266 calories, 38 g carbohydrates)

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

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (381 calories, 43 g carbohydrates)

P.M. Snack (8 calories, 2 g carbohydrates)

  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
  • Pinch of salt & pepper

Dinner (476 calories, 37 g carbohydrates)

Daily Totals: 1,225 calories, 60 g protein, 145 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 49 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 1,163 mg sodium

To make it 1,500 calories: Increase to 2 servings Peanut Butter-Banana Cinnamon Toast at breakfast.

To make it 2,000 calories: Include the modification for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 medium orange to lunch and add 1 large pear and 1/4 cup hummus to P.M. snack.

Day 5

Breakfast (263 calories, 24 g carbohydrates)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  • 1 tsp. honey

A.M. Snack (35 calories, 9 g carbohydrates)

  • 1 clementine

Lunch (381 calories, 43 g carbohydrates)

P.M. Snack (77 calories, 21 g carbohydrates)

  • 1 small apple

Dinner (458 calories, 47 g carbohydrates)

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve 2 servings of Mexican Quinoa Salad to have for lunch on Days 6 and 7.

Daily Totals: 1,214 calories, 58 g protein, 143 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 53 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 713 mg sodium

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

To make it 2,000 calories: Include the modification for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 large pear to breakfast, add 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast to lunch, and add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to P.M. snack.

Day 6

Breakfast (263 calories, 24 g carbohydrates)

  • 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
  • 1 tsp. honey

A.M. Snack (66 calories, 4 g carbohydrates)

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

Lunch (458 calories, 47 g carbohydrates)

P.M. Snack (64 calories, 15 g carbohydrates)

  • 1 cup raspberries

Dinner (355 calories, 28 g carbohydrates)

Meal-Prep Tip: Prepare Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats to have for breakfast tomorrow.

Daily Totals: 1,206 calories, 63 g protein, 118 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, 58 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 1,155 mg sodium

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

To make it 2,000 calories: Include the modification for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 serving Peanut Butter-Banana Cinnamon Toast to A.M. snack, add 1 orange to lunch, and add 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast to dinner.

Day 7

Breakfast (197 calories, 35 g carbohydrates)

A.M. Snack (101 calories, 27 g carbohydrates)

  • 1 medium pear

Lunch (458 calories, 47 g carbohydrates)

P.M. Snack (97 calories, 11 g carbohydrates)

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

Dinner (362 calories, 43 g carbohydrates)

Daily Totals: 1,216 calories, 54 g protein, 163 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 43 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 1,513 mg sodium

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

To make it 2,000 calories: Include the modification for the 1,500-calorie day, plus add 1 medium orange to lunch, add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts to P.M. snack, and add 1 serving of Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

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