These sample meal plans are meant to serve as a guide for you. Our meal plans should help you see how to put together balanced meals with our recipes and other foods in your own kitchen.
We follow very general diabetes nutrition guidelines to create these meal plans each month. You may need more or less calories or carbohydrates than the standard plan suggests. You may also need more or less of other nutrients depending on the condition of your health. (For example, if you have high blood pressure, you may need to restrict sodium more than our meal plan suggests.)
Although ADA has general nutrition guidelines, we still encourage you to work with your health care provider, a registered dietitian (RD), or a certified diabetes educator (CDE) to make a plan that is individualized for you and will help to meet your diabetes and weight loss goals.
Our Meal Planning Guidelines:
Meal plans are balanced
They include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks.
Each one-day plan includes about 8 servings of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are included at almost every meal and snack.
1550-1650 calories per day
Your calorie level may vary based on your age, gender, activity level, and whether or not you need to lose weight.
Calories are spaced throughout the day between meals and snacks.
We also include tips each month to add or cut total calories by 200.
Moderate-carbohydrate (45-50% of calories come from carbohydrate)
We also provide tips on how to adjust the meal plan to make it lower in carbohydrates while keeping the same number of calories.
<7% of total calories from saturated fat and <1% of total calories from trans fat
Saturated and trans fat tend to increase cholesterol levels and are sometimes called “bad fats”. High cholesterol is a risk factor heart disease, which is closely connected to diabetes. Limiting “bad fats” can help you reduce your risk for heart attack or stroke.
“Good fats” include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Meal plans include these over “bad fats” as much as possible. They have been linked to better brain and heart-health.
100-250 mg of cholesterol per day
Your body makes some cholesterol on its own but you also get cholesterol from food. We recommend having less than 200 mg per day when possible. Some meal plans may have more than 200 mg, however.
Some foods, like shrimp or eggs are fairly healthy foods other than their cholesterol content. Meal plans may include these foods because they provide other benefits or help to balance the plan.
>25 grams of fiber per day
You get fiber from plant-based foods like whole grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and beans.
Most people need 25 grams or more of fiber per day, but many Americans only get about half of what is recommended.
1500-2300 mg of sodium per day
Watching sodium is important for blood pressure control.
The American Diabetes Association recommends 2300 mg of sodium or less per day.
If you have diabetes and hypertension, the American Diabetes Association recommends 1500 mg of sodium or less per day.