If you have been diagnosed with diabetes your specific diet may vary depending on your medications, exercise and blood sugar levels.
Please also see the last section, at the bottom, for alternate meal planning and self made recipes
Generally, persons diagnosed with diabetes may eat anything that the rest of their family eats, either way, it is also good for the entire family to adopt healthier food choices.
You can calculate your own meals on this diabetic diet, to suit your own taste.
Use this table to calculate your calorie and portion sizes.
It is important to eat many small meals all throughout the day.
When doing shopping make healthy choices.
Avoid processed foods and choose foods rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
It is important to avoid sugary drinks, even when food labels scream ORGANIC or LOW FAT it does not mean that it is healthy.
Always check food labels for the kilojoule or calorie weight per serving and calculate that you remain under your daily calorie or kilojoule requirement.
On this diabetic diet you may consume as much as you like of:
Sprite Zero, Coke Zero and plain, normal unflavored water or mineral water
Cups of coffee or tea with no sugar and no milk (If you add low fat milk, deduct same calories from your meal plan)
Guidelines to calculating your diabetic diet formula:
- Mix and match meals, snacks and keep things interesting.
- The most important thing is portion sizes
- Eat healthy meals and stay under your calorie requirements and watch the carbs!
Diabetics need to balance blood sugar levels, you can eat a very small portion of anything but balance it with what your diet needs!
Example: When snacking on sweet fruit, also eat some protein like yogurt or cheese at the same time (small portions though, count those Calories!)
These are some of the danger foods: Sweets, Pasta, Rice, Chocolates, Cookies, Pastries, Syrups, Sweet drinks, fruit juice, almost anything processed or made with white flour or sugar.
You can eat all of the danger foods though, just very small portions and counter sugars with fibre and protein to stabilise blood sugar levels and watch the calories.
Always count your calorie carb intake, try to take the same amount (calorie weight) of carbs at the same time each day. The formulations below works well on the exchange system, whereby you calculate your own individual calorie weights and exchange the different combinations of foods. Remember you can exchange carbs with other carbs, protein with other protein and always take as little fat as possible (around 5% to 7% of total calorie intake). Always opt for the higher GI (glycemic index) when comparing apples with apples. (Yes, wholewheat bread brand one can have a different GI as brand number two)
Combine one of the following for: Breakfast, Mid morning snack, Lunch, Mid Afternoon snack, Dinner and late night snack = 6 Small Daily Meals
(Increase or decrease your portion size (Calorie weight) to suit your dietary requirements)
- Shredded whole grain wheat cereal with 1% milk, no sugar (or use suitable sugar replacement) (200 Calories)
- One cup of fat-free yogurt (135 Calories)
- Boiled egg (70 Calories) and one slice of very lightly buttered toast (130 Calories)
- Pronutro 120g and 150ml 1% milk (180 calories)
- Orange & Berry Salad (60 Calories per medium orange & 65 Calories per cup mixed berries)
- Sardines on slice of toast (200 Calories)
- One fried egg, slice of fried ham, slice of toast and 15g of grated cheese (250 Calories)
- Scrambled Eggs, beans and toast (See Recipe)
Diabetic Diet – Lunches:
- Large slimmers Salad – – Calories: 120 (See Recipe)
- Veggie stew (Large portion: 150 Calories) (See Recipe)
- Chilled beetroot salad (75 Calories per cup)
- Popcorn: – Calories: 120 (See Recipe)
- Boiled Egg (70 Calories) and Whole fresh Tomato (22 Calories per medium tomato)
- Toasted cheese (no crusts) and tomato – Calories: 125 (See Recipe)
- Baked beans on toast – Calories: 125 (See Recipe)
- Dinners: (combine veggies option to suit taste, calorie count and requirement)
- Fish Curry – See Recipe
- Rich Broth Soup (Soup package Add 150g cooked Chicken cubes or 150g diced beef cubes as well as 1/2 cup corn per portion mix in fresh Brocolli and other veggies)
- Tomato Curry (22 Calories per medium tomato – use two per portion) Use only extra lean mince (200g per raw portion around 250 Calories) 125g Rice (150 Calories)
- Tuna Salad – Make to taste, add cucumber, tomato and lettuce to taste – also interchange with strips of chicken breasts and add spices to taste
- Fried Chicken Fillet slices 200g with mushroom & garlic (250 Calories), 125g Brown Rice (130 Calories per cooked 1/2 cup) and veggies (120 Calories)
- Chicken Breast Strips (165 Calories per 100 grams) zucchini (20 Calories per raw cup), Onion, peppers & tomato stirfry
- Grilled Pork Loin 150g, Rice 105g and Veggies (Choose two of:spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower)
Diabetic Diet – Veggies:
- Cabbage (22 Calories per raw cup)
- Spinach (7 Calories per raw cup)
- Onions (65 Calories per raw cup)
- Pumpkin (30 Calories per raw cup)
- Carrots (44 Calories per raw cup)
- Fried Mushrooms (15 Calories per cup) with garlic (4 Calories per clove)
- zucchini (20 Calories per raw cup)
- Tomato & Onion sauce (40 Calories per serving)
Diabetic Diet – Snacks: (maximum 200 calories)
- 4x Provita Biscuits with 1/2 tea spoon marmite (105 Calories)
- Banana Milkshake – Calories: (95 Calories)
- 1 Medium Apple (180g) sliced: (95 calories)
- Popcorn: – Calories – Calories: (100 Calories)
- One Glass of red wine (250ml 170 calories)
- 1 Cup (180g) of sliced orange (85 Calories)
- 1 small Banana 15cm/6 Inch (90 Calories)
Still Hungry Options:
Cow Mix – One Cup of chopped lettuce mixed with one cup of chopped Cucumber and 1/4 cup of finely chopped tomatoes (50 Calories)
Popeye Mix – One cup of raw chopped spinach, 1/2 cup of raw chopped cabbage, add vinegar to taste, spices to taste – Mix very well (15 Calories)
Teasoup – Boil either the Cow mix or Popeye mix (without vinegar) with 2 cups of water (500ml) add spices (not too much salt) and one teaspoon of Bisto (close to the same calorie weights) – You can also strain the liquid and cool it to consume later, and bake the solids into squares with sprinkling of low-fat cheese on top. (The cheese adds calorie weight, add to your calculation)
General Cooking guidelines for this diet:
Do not use any: syrups, sugars,
Use as little salt as possible, use additional chilli powders and non salt spices, pepper etc for taste enhancements
Oven Fry where possible. Use low oven heat over longer cooking times for soft foods and high or grill on crispy foods
Toasted cheese and tomato Recipe:
Chop 40 grams tomato and spring onions together, 15grams grated low fat cheese, lightly toasted full grain bread with crusts removed. Spread tomato & onions over toast and grate cheese on-top. Place under oven grill for a minute or two until cheese is molten – Total calories: 95
Baked Beans on toast Recipe:
75 grams of baked beans (One third of a standard 220g can) and one slice of toasted low GI bread (no butter or margerine) – Total calories: 95
30 grams of popping corn in microwave bowl, pop in microwave until the pops are more than 2 seconds apart, sprinkle some worcestersauce and nothing else, no sugar, salt oil etc. – Total calories: 100
One tomato, finely chopped, half cup onion finely chopped, 30g cucumber, cut off skin and dice add 1/2 cup lettuce also finely chopped and mix all together with teaspoon of olive oil (2,5ml) & Spice to taste
One ripe or over ripe banana and one cup 250ml of 1% milk in a blender, serve chilled – Total calories: 95
Fry 1 cup finely diced onions in 2tsp Olive oil, add spices to taste then add one cup diced zucchini and 1/2 cup mushrooms. When done add one chopped tomato, fry until tomato done. Reheat one portion per time as needed, in microwave
Same process as Veggie Stew above: Fry 1 cup finely diced onions in 2tsp Olive oil, add 2 tsp mild curry or to taste, add one tsp of apricot jam, add spices to taste. Then add 400g chopped fish – makes 4 servings
Alternate menus and combinations for low calorie diets and diabetics
Another way of planning your meals is to count your portion sizes and divide each meal into three equal sized sections: Veggies, Carbs, Protein – Carefully look at the lists and classifications below:
Good veggies are low carb (and low cal) veggies for example: spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, pure vegetable juice, salsa, onion, cucumber, beets, mushrooms, peppers, turnips
Good Carbs:whole grain breads, high-fiber cereal (Special-K, etc), oatmeal, rice, pasta, dal, tortillas, beans, potatoes, green peas, corn, sweet potatoes, green squash, low-fat crackers and popcorn
Good Protein: Skinless Chicken breasts, fish and seafood such as shrimp, clams, oysters, crab or mussels, lean cuts of beef, pork and lamb (examples: sirloin, pork loin lamb leg),tofu, eggs and low-fat cheese
You can look for free recipe ideas here – Just cut out and replace (if possible) the obvious non allowed items
The meal plans, formulas and information is not intended for type 1 diabetes, if you have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes your medical professional will assist you with a diet specific to your diagnoses.