Keep these easy to follow diabetic diet plan tips handy!
Anything that makes diabetes meal planning easier is always a plus. That’s because dietary changes can be the most important as well as difficult adjustment to make after receiving a diabetes diagnosis. This is particularly true for those who need to bring their weight under control. In fact, this area of diabetes management is so important that much research has been focused on identifying the most beneficial foods that retard rather than exacerbate the diabetic condition. So, finding an easy to follow diabetic diet plan may help to keep things a little bit simpler.
In a recent research study by a team of diabetic experts, fiber, vitamin D, omega-3s and calcium were singled out as significant for weight loss in general and diabetes in particular. Researchers concluded that, when these are eaten together they work synergistically in the body to help balance blood sugar levels and encourage weight loss. Also, based on an ongoing investigation of over 83,000 women, it was found that those who consumed at least 1,200 mg of calcium and more than 800 IU of vitamin D a day were 33% less likely to have developed diabetes than those taking in less of both nutrients. Researchers also believe that Vitamin D help to suppress cellular inflammation that contributes to diabetes. While it is beneficial to consume foods high in these nutrients, it is also important to eat a variety of other diabetic friendly foods and watch portion sizes.
If you were recently diagnosed and not sure where to start or have been struggling with your food choices, take a look at the following easy to follow diabetic diet plan. The American Diabetes Association and staff at the Mayo Clinic also recommend many of the ingredients on this meal plan to help manage diabetes.
Easy to follow Diabetes Diet Plan
Monday: Fiber Rich Smoothie. Nothing is faster than popping creamy yogurt, low-fat milk, real oats, and a spoon or two of flax meal and a handful of nuts and frozen berries into a blender for a quick on-the-go nutrition dense breakfast.
Tuesday: Vegetable Omelet. Start with egg substitute which is low in fat and cholesterol. Add sliced any of the following for their nutritional content such as broccoli, kale, white beans, onions, garlic, and herbs as desired. Top with low fat cheese or a couple sprinkles of parmesan cheese.
Wednesday: Oatmeal with a twist: Add a dash of cinnamon to cooked oatmeal and top with pecans, walnuts or almonds.
Thursday: Yogurt, fruits and granola parfait: This breakfast provides a ton of fiber, calcium and protein for a low carb fun start to the day. The best part is you can substitute different fruits or nuts instead of granola without changing the base of this meal. Greek yogurt provides a creamy texture with fewer carbs and more protein than regular yogurt which makes it ideal. Layer unsweetened yogurt, between fruit and granola. Add chia seeds or flax seed to the layers and top with cinnamon for an even more nutrient packed breakfast.
Friday: Whole grain bagel and cream cheese. Served lightly toasted bagel with fat free cream cheese and a calcium enriched beverage.
Saturday: Avocado, tomato Sandwich. Makes a yummy breakfast brimming with heart healthy fat and fiber. Top whole grain toast with a thick layer of mashed avocado and a slice or two of ripe tomato. Lean slices of chicken or turkey will add more protein and bulk to keep you fuller longer.
Sunday: Eggs and Whole Grain Toast: Eggs are already a staple for most people and on their own they provide lean protein. They can be enjoyed scrambled with a little bit of olive oil. Switch up add-ins such as with lox, sardines, tomato or salsa to keep this Sunday breakfast interesting. These yummy eggs can be eaten alone or served on crispy whole grain toast or English muffin.
In-between Snack Options:
- Handful of unsalted nuts of your choice.
- A crisp green apple
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries and blueberries
- 1 cup of cubed papaya drizzled with lemon juice
- A slice of cantaloupe alone or topped with berries of your choice
- 6 oz. fat-free light yogurt topped with crushed almonds
- 2 fresh or dried figs and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
- Medium apple with all-natural or organic peanut butter
- Graham crackers with organic or all natural berry spread
The American Diabetes association suggest putting a different spin on a few traditional lunch and dinner favorites to make them not only diabetes friendly but the perfect addition to an easy to follow diabetic diet plan.
Monday: Multi-vegetable Sandwich: Use thin slices of whole grain sandwich bread, lean turkey, hummus, spinach and bell pepper with a dash of mustard. Instead of French fries, pack some crunchy carrot and sticks and light ranch dressing.
Tuesday: Roast-beef sandwich: Grab some of that leftover roast from Sunday’s dinner. Spread a thin layer of mashed avocado on two slices of reduced calorie whole grain bread or English muffin. Add a slice of Romaine lettuce and beefy tomato and top with two to three thin slices of roast beef, turkey or chicken.
Wednesday: Tuna Salad: Combine canned tuna treated with light mayo, diced celery, diced green apple, lemon juice and freshly ground pepper. Spoon it over a bed of spicy arugula, romaine lettuce or greens of your choice.
Thursday: Quinoa and White Bean Salad: Combine cooked red quinoa, white beans, chopped bell pepper, carrots and broccoli to make this salad. Blend extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper for a fresh dressing.
Friday: Chicken Salad. Make a green salad with spinach, romaine lettuce, chopped celery, red and green grapes. Top with chunks of cooked chicken breast. Dress with a drizzle of make ahead sesame dressing. Serve with whole grain crackers.
Saturday: Bean tostada: If you are at home on a Saturday, bake a couple of corn tortilla in a 400-degree oven until crisp. Mash and spread half cup cooked or canned pinto beans (rinsed) and 2 Tbsp shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese melts. While the cheese is melting make a crisp slaw by chopping a tomato and shredding 1 cup cabbage. Mix with low fat ranch dressing.
Sunday: Pesto pizza: Split a 100% whole grain English muffin and top with two tablespoons easy home-made basil pesto sauce, a slice of tomato and a slice of reduced-fat cheese. Broil or bake in oven until cheese melts.
Monday: Oven Baked Wild Salmon with roasted Vegetables. Season salmon filet with olive oil, salt and black pepper. Roast together in a 350-degree oven. Serve with roasted asparagus spears and cauliflower.
Tuesday: Chicken Stir fry. Make your own and freeze for use again or buy a frozen vegetable stir-fry medley and keep in your freezer. Quickly sauté chicken strips in a sauté pan on top of the stove and set aside. In the same pan sauté vegetables such as broccoli, celery, julienned carrots, green beans and onions. Return chicken to the pan. Season to taste. Serve over brown rice or quinoa.
Wednesday: Halibut and potatoes: Place halibut or other fish with ½ cup onions, green peppers and a sprig of thyme or rosemary. Wrap and bake for 10 minutes or until fish flakes. Serve with red potatoes, roasted in one tablespoon olive oil and seasoned with fresh parsley.
Thursday: Pasta Primavera. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Just before pasta is cooked, drain and combine with frozen vegetables and diced chicken. Toss with pasta sauce or two tablespoons of light salad dressing.
Friday: Crockpot Chili. Toss cooked pinto beans, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, frozen corn, diced onions, bell pepper, carrots, grated garlic and ½ of a seeded Jalapeno in a crockpot with some cumin, chili powder and garlic. Cover and cook in a crock pot on low for 6-8 hours.
Saturday: Chicken Tacos. Fill a corn tortilla with home-made roasted chicken or store-bought rotisserie chicken shredded. Top with diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro and black beans. This can be topped off with diced avocadoes, salsa or plain Greek yogurt. Substitute chicken with fish if you prefer.
Sunday: Roast Beef, Chicken or Turkey. Defrost, season and marinate your chicken, turkey or a lean cut of beef on Saturday for a hearty Sunday dinner. After breakfast on Sunday morning, brown roast on each side in a hot roasting pan to seal in the juices. Add garlic, onion, a sprig of thyme, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, celery and unsalted beef broth in the pan with the roast. Slow cook in a 350-degree oven to desired doneness. Skim off any fat before serving.