Menu planning for people with diabetes shouldn’t be much different than for people who don’t have diabetes. You’ll benefit from eating three healthy meals per day, and including healthy amounts of vegetables, grains and starches, and protein.
When you’re thinking about healthy menu planning, Canada’s Guide to Healthy Eating is an excellent place to begin.
Tips for healthy eating:
- Eat dark green, leafy vegetables – such as spinach and kale – these are packed with Vitamins A and C.
- Choose fruit portions that contain approximately 15 grams of carbohydrate per serving; for example, ½ a medium banana, a ¾ cup of cubed pineapple, or two cups of whole strawberries.
- Reduce sodium in your diet by using herbs and spices to flavour your food instead of adding salt.
- Choose lower-fat cooking methods, such as baking, grilling, steaming, or poaching.
How many servings should I be eating?
- Fruits and Vegetables: eat up to three servings of fruit, and up to seven servings of vegetables each day.
- Grains: eat two to three servings per meal each day of high-fibre grains and cereals, such as brown rice, oats, quinoa, wild rice, whole grain breads and whole wheat pasta. One serving is ⅓ to ½ cup.
- Meat and meat products: eat two to three servings of meat and meat products each day. Choose lower-fat options, such as skinless chicken or turkey and lean pork, and fish. One serving is equal to about two to three ounces: that’s about the size of a deck of cards.
- Milk and dairy products: eat two to three servings of milk and milk products each day. Choose low-fat milk, yogurt and cheeses (for example, ricotta, or low-fat cheddar). One cup of milk is equal to one serving.
Sample weekly meal plan:
Below is a sample plan for an entire week’s worth of meals. You can use this as your guide, or print the blank meal planning form below and create your own!Remember to use Canada’s Guide to Healthy Eating as a starting point. Everyone’s needs are different and an individualized meal plan that takes into account your age, gender, weight and weight goals – as well as your individual food preferences – will help you to stick with it.
|Breakfast||· Hard-boiled egg· Whole grain toast· Apple· Low-fat milk|
|Lunch||· Chicken sandwich on whole grain bread, with mustard and low-fat mayo· Carrot and celery sticks· Grapes· Low-fat yogurt|
|Snack*||· Orange slices|
|Dinner||· Grilled salmon· Asparagus· Brown rice|
|Breakfast||· Healthy shake, with blended fruit juice, frozen fruit, plain yogurt and low-fat milk|
|Lunch||· Fresh greens with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery, topped with grilled salmon, low-fat dressing and a few grindings of Romano cheese· Pita|
|Dinner||· Pork chops· Baked potato· Green beans· Raspberries|
|Breakfast||· Whole grain, high-fibre cereal, with low-fat milk· Sliced strawberries|
|Lunch||· Whole wheat pita, spread with hummus, and filled with lettuce and shredded carrots· Cherry tomatoes· Orange slices|
|Snack*||· Plain popcorn|
|Dinner||· Whole grain pasta with tomato sauce and grilled shrimp· Sautéed onions, mushrooms and zucchini|
|Breakfast||· Scrambled eggs in a whole wheat tortilla with shredded cheese, green peppers· Low-fat milk|
|Lunch||· Low-fat cheese, with low-salt crackers· Cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices· Plums|
|Dinner||· Beef stew with veggies and steamed potatoes|
|Breakfast||· Whole grain toast topped with peanut butter· Banana· Low-fat milk|
|Lunch||· Cauliflower or broccoli soup· Whole wheat bagel and a slice of low-fat cheese· Blueberries· Low-fat yogurt|
|Dinner||· Black beans and kidney beans mixed with corn, chopped tomatoes, onions and peppers· Whole grain pasta|
|Breakfast||· Oatmeal with low-fat milk, topped with cinnamon and raisins|
|Lunch||· Turkey sandwich on rye, with low-fat mayo and mustard· Zucchini sticks and cherry tomatoes· Grapes· Low-fat milk|
|Dinner||· Baked haddock· Couscous· Broccoli|
|Breakfast||· Omelette filled with low-fat cheese and veggies· English muffin· Low-fat milk|
|Lunch||· Vegetarian chili· Whole wheat roll· Carrot and celery sticks|
|Snack*||· Popsicle (made from fruit juice or yogurt)|
|Dinner||· Roast chicken· Roasted carrots and parsnips· Baked potato|
* Ask your dietitian or healthcare team if a snack is an appropriate addition to your meal plan.