Figuring out what to eat for dinner every night can be a real hassle. It isn’t easy to come up with fresh ideas, and quite frankly, you probably don’t have the time or motivation to think about it too much.
And if you have or a family member has diabetes, the choice becomes even more challenging. The good news is that you can help control your blood sugar through diet if you have the right strategy to follow.
In fact, I’ve put together my own sample meal plan for diabetics that I’m going to share with you today.
Prevent and Manage Type 2 Diabetes & Other Conditions with a Diet Plan
Managing your blood sugar is essential to losing weight, preventing and controlling type 2 diabetes, and saving yourself from the trouble of a number of chronic health conditions—and the key to doing that is making the right choices at meal times.
For decades, public enemy number one was dietary fat—at least in the eyes of marketing companies. You still may find you’re buying low-fat options, but dietary fats have little impact on blood sugar levels, which are the cause of type 2 diabetes, most cases of weight gain, and too-common health problems like high blood pressure.
Low-fat or fat-free foods are often loaded with added sugars that poison you. So finding healthy things to eat—even those high in fats—is the best way to manage blood sugar levels to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. When you’re designing meals, take sugar into serious account. It can be easily avoided if you know where it’s lurking and are aware of healthier alternatives.
The Best Way to Structure Blood Sugar-Friendly Meals
A good way to structure meals is in terms of macronutrients. For example, with every meal, I like to make sure I have a protein source, like eggs or lean meat; a fat source, like nuts, olive oil, or one that occurs naturally in a meat; and fibrous carbohydrates, like oats, green veggies, fruit, or whole grain. Taking this into account, it becomes much easier to build meals.
Meal Plan for Diabetics & Blood Sugar Control
Designing a meal plan on the weekend for the week ahead makes this much easier. A meal plan that works to keep blood sugar in check looks something like this:
- Eggs or egg whites
- Plain yogurt; or
- Fruit; or
- Nuts (or mix all three!)
- Turkey sandwich with veggies on whole-grain bread; or
- Mixed green salad with chicken or tuna; or
- Greek chicken salad
- Protein bar; or
- Apple with natural peanut butter; or
- Carrot sticks; or
- Cranberries and almonds
- Chicken breast with veggies and brown rice; or
- Salmon and quinoa salad; or
- Sirloin steak with asparagus and sweet potato
- Greek yogurt with peanut butter and fresh fruit (add some sugar-free pudding mix to make it sweeter)
This is a meal plan that’s very low in sugar and will keep your blood sugar and insulin from spiking—which is necessary to control weight with all its resulting health issues and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
When picking sauces and dressings, it’s important that you look at the ingredients label. For dressings, I recommend olive oil and balsamic vinegar and, instead of sauces for meats, using seasonings is a safer idea—provided there isn’t a lot of sugar in them.
Depending on your current health, sticking to a meal plan during the week and using a little more freedom on the weekends helps you stay motivated while still offering health benefits.