Even with dietary restrictions, it’s possible to eat a versatile and delicious range of foods. Diabetics don’t have to settle for a stale menu of the same old foods day in and day out.
The exact dietary advice you follow will depend on your blood glucose levels, activity levels and whether or not you take medication to manage diabetes. Generally, clean eating for diabetics involves not only consuming whole, clean ingredients, but also keeping the amount of carbohydrates you consume in check.
Carbohydrates are broken down by insulin in the body, a hormone that does not behave normally in diabetics. The amount of carbs you should have per meal is something you’ll need to work out with your doctor and/or nutritionist. The American Diabetes Association gives the rough guideline of 45-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. The following 7 day clean eating menu for diabetics is based on this guideline.
Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Carbs: 56 g
Oats release glucose slowly in the body, and cinnamon may lower fasting blood glucose levels.
Lunch: Spinach and Bean Burrito
Carbs: 50 g
Legumes are believed to improve blood sugar control!
Dinner: Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey
Dairy contains vitamins and minerals that can help increase insulin sensitivity.
Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal (leftover from Day One)
Lunch: Wild Salmon Vegetable Salad with Lemon Miso Dressing
Carbs: 21 g
Very low in carbs, this salad gives you a healthy dose of omega-3’s from both salmon and olive oil. These fats help fight inflammation and protect your cells. Olive oil also improves insulin sensitivity.
Dinner: Spicy Three Bean Turkey Chili
Carbs: 41 g
Plenty of legumes, and plenty of leftovers!
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Breakfast: Pita Pocket Breakfast Sandwich
Carbs: 21 g
This very low-carb breakfast calls for both whole eggs and whites; egg whites have very little impact on your blood glucose levels.
Lunch: Spinach and Bean Burrito (using leftovers from Day One)
Dinner: Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey (leftover from Day One)
Breakfast: Chocolate Oatmeal with Egg Whites
Carbs: 38 g
This recipe combines diabetic-friendly oatmeal and egg whites with the surprise ingredient of cocoa powder.
Lunch: Spicy Three Bean Turkey Chili (leftover from Day Two)
Dinner: Orange Glazed Salmon with Wilted Kale with Brown Rice
Carbs: 33 g
This extremely low-carb fish recipe combines heart-healthy salmon with kale, a vegetable that can help improve blood glucose levels. Throw in ½ cup brown rice for a rounded meal.
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Breakfast: Individual Egg and Spinach Bowls
Carbs: 6 g
Extremely low in fat, calories and carbs, you can afford to eat two of these mostly-egg-white bowls.
Lunch: Three Cheese Ziti with Turkey (leftover from Days One and Three)
Dinner: Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Roast with Brown Rice
Carbs: 25 g
With a measly 2 grams of carbs to the pot roast, you can easily afford to throw in ½ cup of brown rice. This is low-carb comfort food at its finest.
Breakfast: Oatmeal Blueberry Protein Pancakes
Oats. Protein. Pancakes. Enough said!
Lunch: Orange Glazed Salmon with Wilted Kale (leftover from Day Four)
Dinner: Spicy Three Bean Turkey Chili (leftover from Days Two and Four )
Breakfast: Egg and Spinach Bowls (leftover from Day Five)
Lunch: Chickpea Cakes with Cabbage Salad
Carbs: 35 g
This salad gives you diabetic-friendly legumes and cholesterol-lowering cabbage for a tasty lunch.
Dinner: Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Roast (leftover from Day Five)
Apple Slices and Peanut Butter – Protein will satisfy your hunger and make it easier to bypass extra carbs.
Low-Fat String Cheese – Low calorie, low-carb and so fun to eat.
Hard-Boiled Egg – Less than 5 grams of carbs.
1/3 cup Hummus with Vegetable Sticks – Pack in some protein and a plethora of phytonutrients and antioxidants from a rainbow of vegetables.