The diet for diabetes should be balanced and based on the principles of a healthy diet. After diabetes is diagnosed, it is quite common for people to start panicking because of the need to make significant changes in their lifestyle. If you are not obese and don’t have signs that signal the progression of 2 type diabetes (e.g., loss of sensation in your fingertips), you have nothing to worry about. You shouldn’t even exclude your favorite foods from the diet.

Meal Plan for Type 2 Diabetes

Making informed decisions about what you eat will help you control your blood sugar by knowing which foods should be included and excluded in the ration and how they affect your body. A balanced diabetes diet can also help lower cholesterol levels and the risk of complications associated with high cholesterol.

Counting Carbs

Those who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes should stick to the type 2 diabetes meal plan. For this, they need to count carbs to have the level of blood sugar under control. Your healthcare specialist may tell you to plan meals taking into account the glycemic index. It is about counting carbs. Everyone knows that a balanced diet should contain a certain amount of carbs, fats, and proteins.

People with type 2 diabetes should eat foods that contain carbs carefully. The reason is that carbs transform into sugar, and the level of glucose increases. To avoid the increase in the blood sugar level, you need to watch how many carbs you consume to avoid any possible type 2 diabetes complications.

According to ADA, you should keep in mind that the number of carbs mustn’t exceed 40-60% of your daily ration. One more thing to take into account is that you can’t eat up to 60% at once. You should divide this amount into meals and consume it during the day. There are many factors that may influence the daily plan. They are age, the current health needs, the use of drugs. So, consult your doctor about the number of carbs you can eat without any harm.

The Plate Method

Consider the three main elements of a typical lunch or dinner – meat, carbohydrates, such as starch, vegetables. Arrange them on a plate, as if dividing it into 3 compartments. This simple technique will allow you to properly formulate your daily diet.

The dimensions of the compartments, of course, matter. Divide the plate into the right and left halves, and divide the right side in half again. When you are going to eat, always perform such an abstract operation first, and then fill it with real content.

  1. Left side: vegetables. Eat anything other than corn, potatoes, etc. Sometimes vegetables can be replaced (or supplemented) with fruit.
  2. Top right: starch. These are carbohydrate foods – bread (eat bran), pasta, rice (preferably not polished), potatoes, corn.
  3. Bottom right: protein. These are lean meats, chicken, turkey, Mediterranean fish, eggs, dairy products, such as cheese or yogurt.

This is the correct filling of the plate recommended for the type 2 diabetes meal plan. You can add a little vegetable oil or soft margarine. It must be soft as solid one contains a lot of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which increases the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which contributes to the development of atherosclerosis. If you want to add more, fill the left half of the plate, and the amount of “side dish” here is not limited. However, on the right side of the plate, one “dose” is more than enough.

This filling of the plate is effective since you do not need to count how many carbohydrates and calories you have eaten and think about the glycemic indices of foods. And unlike some low-carb diets, you don’t need to completely cut out certain food groups. The facts show: the simpler the approach, the more likely it is to make it the norm, and this is the main thing in diabetes.

This way of filling a plate is good not only for its simplicity. It has three other undoubted advantages: it reduces calorie intake, saves you from excess carbohydrates, and does not leave you hungry.

Portion Size

You should take into account that your current test results, age, the type of activity, and other factors may influence the portion size. Here are common rules for measuring the size of your portion. People with type 2 diabetes should buy kitchen scales. Remember that your dietitian may recommend you follow the diet with fewer or vice versa a larger number of restrictions. Here are examples of the portion size for the foods people with 2 type diabetes can eat.

  • Food that contains starch: rice (2 tablespoons), cereal (3 tablespoons), pasta (3 tablespoons).
  • Dairy products: Milk (200ml), cheese (30 g), yogurt (125 g pot).
  • High-protein foods: meat (up to 90 g), beans (4 tablespoons).
  • Veggies: 1 onion, 1 potato, 4 mushrooms, 3 tablespoons of beans.
  • Products that contain fat: butter (5 g), spread with the low-fat concentration (10 g), 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  • Fruit: juice (150 ml), 2 tangerines, 2 plums, 7 strawberries.

You are recommended to weigh your foods if you need to stick to the type 2 diabetes meal plan for weight loss. Don’t eat fast. Check what apps can help you monitor what you eat and be aware of the portion size. There are different food planners you could download.

7 Day Meal Plan For Type 2 Diabetes

Check the 7-day meal plan for type 2 diabetes.

  Breakfast Lunch Dinner
1st Day
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 banana or 1 Toast
  • Black Coffee
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 banana or 1 toast
  • Black Coffee
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • Vegotablo Salad (consists of lettuce, cucum-ber, with a balasamic vinegar or lemon as dressing)
2nd Day
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 grapefruit
  • Black Coffee
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 banana or 1 Toast
  • Black Coffee
  • Beef Steak 200 g
  • Vegetable Salad
  • Black Coffee
3rd Day
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 grapefruit
  • Black Coffee
  • Vegetable Salad
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 banana or 1 toast
  • Black Coffee
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • Black Coffee
4th Day
  • 1 hard boiled egg
  • 1 grapefruit
  • Black Coffee
  • Vegetable Salad
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 Banana or 1 Toast
  • Black Coffee
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • boiled spinich
  • Black Coffee
5th Day
  • 1 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 banana or 1 Toast
  • Black Coffee
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • boiled spinich
  • 1 banana or 1 Toast
  • Black Coffee
  • 1 piece of white fish
  • Vegetable Salad
  • 1 banana or 1 toast
  • Black Coffee
6th Day
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 Qrapefruit
  • 1 banana or 1 Toast
  • Black Coffee
  • Fruit Salad Consists of cucumber lettuce, apple, strawberry, banana etc)
  • Beef Steak 200 g
  • Celery
  • Tomato
  • Black Coffee
7th Day
  • 2 hard boiled egg
  • 1 grapefruit
  • Black Coffee
  • 1 chicken breast
  • Celery
  • Tomato
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • Black Coffee
  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • Tomato
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • Steamed Cabbage
  • Black Coffee


This is a very important meal. The body needs to ensure a good start, so the total calorie content of breakfast should be about 350 kcal. A hearty meal is quite acceptable here: the better you “refuel” in the morning, the easier it will be to reduce portions at lunch and dinner.

One of the goals of breakfast is to get enough protein. The traditional omelet can be replaced with dairy products. A complete breakfast is sugar-free low-fat yogurt with 3-4 tablespoons of high-fiber cereals.

For fruit juice, limit yourself to one incomplete glass (approximately 180 ml). Juices, of course, contain many useful substances, but there are also a lot of calories. In addition, they lack the dietary fiber that provides satiety, so sugar is quickly absorbed, which threatens a jump in blood glucose levels.

If you prefer cereals, use cereals that provide a minimum of 5 g of fiber per serving. Some ready-to-cook mixtures also contain significant amounts of soy protein. If you add fruit to this porridge, you get a perfectly balanced meal.


It is important to eat it no later than 5 hours after breakfast. In addition, in the middle of the working day, you need food that will invigorate and not catch up with drowsiness. So, eat more protein and a minimum of fat during lunch. There is usually more time for lunch than breakfast, so take your time. When you eat slowly, chewing food thoroughly, and enjoying its taste, you can better satisfy hunger and reduce risk of overeating. Salad will give you the right amount of vegetables. If you dine with sandwiches, add vegetables – lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers. As for the dessert, eat fruit.


This meal is often the most satisfying of the day. But you are recommended to have dinner so as not to exceed lunch in calories. Prepare evening meals so that the leftovers can be used the next day, for example, at lunch. Remember to finish dinner at least 4 hours before you go to bed. The body must have time to digest food and “burn” more calories received before the metabolism (during sleep) slows down. If you are tired by the evening and do not feel like cooking, just reheat in the microwave or boil the frozen vegetable mixture – you may not want anything else.

It is recommended to distribute the daily calorie content of the food as follows: 60% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 10% fat. Just reduce the consumption of oil and fatty meats to a minimum and eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible.

Best Meal Plan for a Child with This Type of Diabetes

If the child is diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes, the endocrinologist will prescribe insulin and a diet to support the normal development of the growing child. The menu depends on the stage of the disease, condition, and age. It is necessary to balance nutrition so that the child receives nutrients without the risk of exacerbation of the disease.

Strict adherence to the diet is important at any age, but it is especially important to approach the diet of children who cannot independently assess their well-being. Check the recommendations for the meal plan for a child diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

  • Feed your baby on a strict schedule. Small shifts up to 20 minutes are possible only towards an earlier time.
  • Children should have 6 meals a day – 3 main meals and 3 snacks between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Minimize the consumption of yolks, pasta, semolina, sour cream, potatoes, and rice. It is advisable not to salt the food or use it in very small quantities.
  • Once a day, the menu should include buckwheat, oatmeal, barley, or other coarse cereal.
  • Choose bread with bran or rye and protein-wheat.
  • Lean meats: rabbit, lean chicken, and turkey, veal, lean fish.
  • Soups based on vegetables or mushroom broth.
  • Low-fat dairy products (milk, cheese, cottage cheese).
  • Half of the fat should come from corn or olive oil. You can include butter in the diet.

In percentage terms, the calorie content of food can be divided as follows: about 25% each – in the main meals and about 10% – in additional meals. The daily diet should contain 30% fat, 20% protein, and 50% carbohydrates. Make sure you need to follow the same rules when following the type 2 diabetes pregnancy meal plan.

Healthy Meal Plan During Pregnancy

Pregnant women should be careful when planning their meals. Here are the recommendations you should follow if you have gestational diabetes. Check the pregnancy meal plan with type 2 diabetes.

  • Give preference to complex carbs, for example, whole grains.
  • Consume many veggies and fruit.
  • Choose dairy products that don’t contain much fat.
  • Measure the level of blood sugar during the day and have healthy snacks.
  • Don’t consume more than 2000 calories per day.

Consult your healthcare specialist about your meal plan to avoid any complications and risks.

Recommended Types of Food for Type 2 Diabetes

If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, plan your daily ration taking into account all the diet restrictions. What is a good type 2 diabetes meal plan? It should consist of the following foods:

  • vegetables;
  • fruit;
  • grains;
  • proteins;
  • dairy products.

Everyone knows that diet plays a dominant role in diabetes. The compiled menu should include only foods that are permitted for consumption. The list of them is quite wide, which allows you to sufficiently diversify your diet and get real pleasure from healthy, tasty cooked food.

Vegetables top the list of recommended foods for weight loss type 2 diabetes meal plan. This is a large set of valuable substances, minerals, vitamins, and fiber with minimum calorie content. Special attention should be paid to cabbage. Such a plan will fit any budget and will be great for a vegetarian/vegan diagnosed with diabetes 2 type.

White cabbage has all the nutrients necessary for the body that strengthen the immune system, restore the work of internal organs, and replenish the energy supply.

You can cook a wide variety of dishes from cabbage. Cabbage helps reduce blood glucose, improves blood circulation, accelerates tissue regeneration, stabilizes the synthesis of natural insulin by the pancreas, normalizes metabolic processes of the body, cleanses toxins, excess cholesterol, and toxins, and normalizes blood pressure. Cauliflower is also noteworthy and should be included in the diet of diabetes patients. It contains phytoncides and vitamins in large quantities, which comprehensively improve the state of blood vessels, protect against the development of atherosclerosis, and help the body fight infectious and viral diseases.

What about drinks? With diabetes, you can drink tea. It can be either traditional or herbal. There are special medications recommended for diabetes. They need to be brewed according to the instructions. You can experiment and add a little mint, lemon balm, thyme, chamomile, or another medicinal herb to your usual tea. It is good to drink tea with a spoonful of fragrant and healthy honey. Tea contains up to three hundred chemical compounds. The polyphenols contained in tea are able to maintain the required level of insulin in the body.

Drinking tea will help neutralize the negative effects of medications. It is best to buy high-quality tea from a trusted manufacturer and follow the brewing technology.

  • Green tea. With diabetes, it is very useful to drink green tea, up to 4 glasses a day. It is rich in antioxidants that protect against cancer, water-soluble vitamins, lowers blood pressure, and helps maintain a good shape. Tea normalizes the work of blood vessels and the heart, lowers cholesterol. Don’t add sugar to the tea.
  • Black tea. It contains enough active polyphenols that help the body fully utilize insulin. Tea dilates blood vessels, cleanses the kidneys, improves blood circulation. Therefore, black tea can and should be drunk by diabetes patients.

Diabetes diet food list

Which Food to Avoid in This Type?

9 foods to avoid when you have type 2 diabetes

You shouldn’t eat such food as sneakers, chips, pies, pasties at all. That’s why you should cook foods to take with you beforehand; don’t buy fast food. Remember that you shouldn’t drink beverages that contain much sugar, eat much pasta and bread, avoid cereals with much sugar, dried fruit, all foods that contain trans fats. As for dairy products, you are recommended to avoid yogurts with different flavors and sweeteners. It’s due to the fact that they contain many carbs.

Don’t forget to keep to a diet plan when you are at the party or some celebration with lots of tasty foods. Take into account that people with type 2 diabetes should avoid drinking alcohol. You can do this rarely in small quantities after the consultation with your healthcare specialist.

How to Make a Good Meal Plan?

As has already been said in the beginning, if you are diagnosed with 2 type diabetes, you should count carbs and stick to the plate method. These are the 2 most effective ways to control the level of blood sugar. You need to follow the guidelines of your healthcare specialist. Make a plan with all the details not to forget what foods you can consume and what foods you should avoid. You are recommended to count carbs with your dietitian not to exceed your individual norm. First, you should plan meals for a week and go shopping with a list. With time, you will get used to making plans without any problems.

Draw a plate and place all the foods you can eat not to harm your health. It’s a very convenient method to memorize what foods you should consume and what serving size you shouldn’t exceed.

Sample Menu for 1800 calorie healthy eating plan

  Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner Snack
  • 1c bran flakes
  • 8oz skim milk
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 sl wheat bread
  • 1 oz arm roast
  • 1 tsp mayo
  • 1c. lettuce with 1 tbsp salad dressing,
  • 2oz. chicken
  • 1 small dinner roll
  • 1 c sweet potato
  • 1 tsp margarine
  • 1 /2c green beans
  • 8oz skim milk
  • 1 large apple
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 oz. pork loin chop 
  • 1 c. broccoli
  • 6oz baked potato
  • 1 tsp tub margarine
  • 6 oz nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 c. granola
  • 2 slices wheat toast
  • 2 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 1/4c fresh strawberries
  • 3 graham cracker squares
  • 8 oz skim milk
  • 2 eggs, scrambled with 1/2c fresh mushrooms, peppers and onions in 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 6-inch tortillas
  • 1 c. tropical fruit
  • 1 /3 с pasta
  • 1 tbsp reduced-fat mayo
  • 2 tsp plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 /2 c cabbage slaw
  • 3 oz. chicken breast
  • 2/3 c. brown rice with 6 almonds,
  • 1/2 c. water chestnuts,
  • 1/2 c shredded carrot
  • 1 c. sliced tomato
  • 8 oz skim milk
  • 8oz. skim milk
  • 2/3 c wheaties
  • 2 4-in. pancake
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 tsp light jelly
  • 1/2 c. apneots
  • 4oz orange juice
  • 8oz milk
  • 1 /2 lenders wheat bagel with 1 tsp fat- free cream cheese
  • roast beef sandwich made with 2 oz meat,
  • 2 slices bread
  • ketchup/mustard
  • 1 c. asparagus
  • 1 tsp margarine
  • 9 tortilla chips (without hydrogenated oil)
  • 1/4 c salsa
  • 3 oz. round steak
  • 1/2 c boiled potato
  • 1 tsp margarine
  • 1 c. cooked carrots
  • 8oz skim milk
  • 1 kiwi
  • 3 c. popcorn popped in 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 8 oz. skim milk
  • 1 c. oatmeal
  • 8oz. skim/soy milk
  • 1 small orange
  • 6 saltines
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tacos, each with 1/2 oz grd beef,
  • 1/2 oz chcddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, green pepper, salsa
  • 1/3 c. rice
  • 1/2 c pears
  • 6 oz. nonfat yogurt
  • spaghetti;
  • 1 c. pasta
  • 1 /2 c red sauce
  • 3 meatballs (golf ball size)
  • 1 c. carrot/broc blend
  • 8oz skim milk
Trail mix:

  • 10 peanuts
  • 4 pecan halves
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • 3/4 c Chccrios
  • 2 slices cinnamon toast-with total 2 tsp margarine
  • 1 c cantaloupe
  • 8 oz. skim milk
  • 1 sl wheat bread
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 c beef and bean chili
  • 4-in square com bread
  • 1 c. carrots/ 1 celery
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 8oz skim milk
  • 17 grapes
  • 3 oz. fish
  • 6oz. baked potato
  • 1 tsp margarine
  • 1 c green beans
  • 1/2 c coleslaw
  • 1 small nectarine
  • 8 oz skim/soy milk
  • 2 slice French toast
  • 8 pecan halves
  • 2 tbsp sugar-free syrup
  • 8 oz skim/soy milk
  • 1/2 English muffin
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • 4oz skim milk
  • Shish kabob-baste in 11 oil-2 oz cubed chicken,
  • 1 1/2 c. grilled pepper, onion, mushroom,
  • 1/2 c grilled pineapple,
  • 1 c. brown and wild rice
  • 3 graham cracker squares
  • 4oz. skim/soy milk
  • 3oz ground beef patty whole wheat bun
  • 1 1 /4 c watermelon
  • 1 c lettuce, radishes, peppers
  • 2 tbsp salad dressing
  • 8 oz skim milk
  • 1/4 c cottage cheese
  • 1/2 c peaches
  • 2 scrambled egg
  • 1 c. hash browns
  • 2 tsp canola oil(for frying)
  • 1/2 c. orange juice
  • I slice raisin bread
  • 1 T fat-free cream cheese
  • Taco salad – 1 1/2 c lettuce, 1/2 c tomato, 1/2 c peppers, 1/2 c black beans, 1/2 c com, 1/4 c salsa, 1 oz chcddar cheese,
  • 14 tortilla chips
  • Sugar-free gelatin with 1/2 c banana
  • 3oz turkey tender
  • 1/2 c sweet potato
  • 1/2 c green beans
  • 3/4 c blueberries
  • 8 oz. skim/soy milk
  • 8oz skim/soy milk
  • 1 cookie (made with canola oil)

Useful Tips for Making a Plan

Here are several useful tips for you to keep in mind.

  • Eat complex carbs only.
  • Consume less salt.
  • Exclude sweets and products that contain much sugar.
  • Eat within the recommended portion size.
  • Consume more veggies and fruit.
  • Stick to the plate method.
  • Try to drink alcohol as seldom as possible.
  • Eat healthy fats only.

You are recommended to download glycemic load counter apps to make it easier to follow the diet. There are many calorie counters and diet trackers for both Android and iOS. You can also download a visual food diary and follow the meal plan designed for you by your dietitian.

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