Diabetes type 1 recipes

5 Type 1 Diabetes-Friendly Dinners for Busy Nights

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can help people with type 1 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels and improve their overall quality of life.

“Diet and lifestyle are of the utmost importance in terms of management of type 1 diabetes because what we eat significantly affects our blood sugar and the effectiveness of insulin,” says Juliana Shalek, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of The Nutrition Suite, LLC. “It’s not necessarily only what you’re eating, but how much and when. The type of carbohydrate matters, the amount matters, and the timing of it matters.”

Eating well doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult — and a little planning goes a long way. “Preparation is crucial for anyone with type 1 diabetes because if you skip a meal or snack, it can really throw blood sugar levels into a tizzy,” Shalek says. She suggests making sure meals are timed properly with your routine and when you take your insulin.

Because timing is so important, people managing type 1 diabetes can’t just necessarily run to the nearest corner store or rely on takeout when it comes to dinner. But sticking to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Keep these simple tips in mind to help you have healthy, nutritious meals and snacks at your fingertips, even on your busiest days.

  • Keep pre-portioned high-protein snacks accessible in plastic bags or containers that you can grab on your way out the door.
  • Make a shopping list before you head to the grocery store to make sure you get everything you need in one trip.
  • Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy essentials like canned beans, whole grains, and frozen fruits and vegetables you can use to whip up quick meals.
  • Take an hour on a quiet weekend day to do some batch cooking for the week or 10 to 20 minutes during evening downtime to prepare for and plan out the next day.

A healthy diet for managing type 1 diabetes is very similar to any healthy diet, according to the American Diabetes Association. Shalek says the main thing to keep in mind is to pair carbohydrates with protein and fiber to keep your body from absorbing the carbs too quickly and spiking blood sugar. Here are some quick and easy meal ideas that keep these guiding principles in mind.

1. Baked Shrimp Parmesan

Serves 1 person


  • Shrimp
  • Canned crushed tomatoes
  • Zucchini (made into noodles with a spiralizer tool or ¼ cup pasta substitute of your choice)
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • Low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • Grated parmesan (for garnish)

Prep instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper or nonstick spray. Lay the shrimp in a single layer with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then cover with crushed tomatoes and mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is melted and turning golden brown (about 15 minutes).
  • Spiralize the zucchini and sauté for a few minutes or cook pasta substitute according to package instructions.
  • Plate the shrimp over your pasta substitute and sprinkle with grated parmesan.

Why it’s a good choice: This is a good example of making an otherwise indulgent meal healthier, says Shalek. Keeping the breading off the shrimp and using a vegetable or bean-pasta rather than white, refined pasta helps keep the carbs in check and adds more fiber to the dish. Also, canned tomato or marinara sauces can be high in sugar, so here we’re using simple crushed tomatoes instead.

2. Grilled Turkey Burger Salad

Serves 1 person


  • 4 oz ground turkey patty, lean (season ground turkey with pepper, oregano, or dried herbs of your choice to make your own)
  • Mixed greens
  • Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Cucumber slices
  • ¼ cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • Feta cheese (to garnish)
  • Balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dressing

Prep instructions

  • Heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the turkey burger patties for 5 minutes on each side.
  • Combine the mixed greens with all the vegetables and quinoa or brown rice. Toss with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  • Top the salad with the turkey burger and sprinkle some feta cheese on top.

Why it’s a good choice: Putting a turkey burger over a salad full of nonstarchy vegetables instead of on a carbohydrate-dense bun makes your plate much healthier, lower in carbohydrates, and higher in fiber. Skinless turkey is a great lean protein and using a little bit of balsamic and olive oil instead of a bottled salad dressing cuts down on added sugars. The combo of protein, healthy fats, and carbs will help keep your blood sugar steady.

3. Healthier Burrito Bowl

Serves 1 person


  • Sliced skinless chicken breast
  • ¼ cup black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Sliced peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes (or any nonstarchy vegetables of your choice)
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional: ¼ mashed avocado or ¼ cup of salsa

Prep instructions

  • Shred some rotisserie chicken or cook and slice chicken breast.
  • Fill a bowl with lettuce, beans, all the veggies, and chicken.
  • Top with cheese, mashed avocado, and/or salsa.

Why it’s a good choice: A lot of Mexican dishes often come overloaded with multiple servings of carbs thanks to the rice, corn, beans, and tortillas. This burrito bowl keeps things more diabetes-friendly by only using beans, which are high in fiber. This is a great kid-friendly meal since the flavors are exciting and kids can help build their own bowl.

4. Asian-Style Salmon

Serves 1 person


  • 4 oz salmon
  • ¼ cup brown rice or healthy whole grain of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon less-sodium soy sauce or coconut amino sauce for marinating
  • String beans

Prep instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover the salmon in your marinade of choice and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on how cooked you like it).
  • Steam the string beans and season with salt and pepper (optional).
  • Cook the grains according to package instructions.

Why it’s a good choice: Brown rice and other whole grains are more filling, fiber-rich, and nutrient-dense than white rice, says Shalek. Teriyaki sauces and sauces that come with traditional Chinese takeout are high in sugar, but this recipe sticks to simple, less-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos instead so you can better control the sugar content of your meal.

5. Breakfast Anytime: Spinach and Parmesan Egg Muffins

Serving size: 2 muffins


  • 10 whole eggs (or 5 whole eggs and 1 cup egg whites)
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed

Prep instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  • Whisk together eggs, spinach, cheese, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Pour egg mixture evenly between muffin tins (each should be about ¾ full).
  • Bake for 20 minutes.

Why it’s a good choice: The protein in the eggs and the fiber from the veggies will keep you feeling full. Plus, eggs are incredibly easy and fast to cook and this is a perfect example of a meal you can make a big batch of and store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer to grab on the go, says Shalek. This is another adaptable meal where you can use any kind of nonstarchy vegetable you like.

Meal planning with type 1 diabetes

Planning ahead can help you to make healthier choices for your meals and snacks.

Try these meal planning tips:

  • Make a list of meals for the week.
    • Make sure to include all the different food groups.
    • Have fruit for dessert instead of something with added sugars.
  • Make a grocery list based on these meals and what you already have.
  • Do not go grocery shopping on an empty stomach.
  • Shop the outside of the store and limit what you buy in the aisles.
    • Look for canned vegetables with “no added salt.”
    • Look for canned fruit with “no sugar added” or “in their own juice.”
    • Do not buy chips, sweets, and sweetened drinks.
  • When you get home, clean and cut up fruits and vegetables for easy snacks.
  • Store healthy snacks at eye level in the pantry and fridge.

Healthy meal time

Here are some tips for healthy and successful mealtime.

  • Eat dinner together as a family at the dinner table.
  • Turn off distractions, such as TV, cell phone, and tablet.
  • Use 10-inch plates instead of 12-inch ones to help with portion control.
  • Do not eat second helpings.
  • Take a sip of your drink between every few bites to slow down your eating.
  • Limit meals to 30 minutes.

Sample meal plan

A healthy meal plan for a 10-year-old child with type 1 diabetes has 55 to 60 grams of carbohydrate for meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Children 7 years or older should eat 15 grams carbohydrate for afternoon and bedtime snacks.

Children 1 to 6 years old should eat 10 grams of carbohydrate for morning, afternoon, and bedtime snacks.

Use this example meal plan


  • Egg sandwich (whole wheat English muffin and 1 egg)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup low fat milk


  • Turkey sandwich (2 slices whole wheat bread, 3 ounces of turkey, 1 tablespoon mustard)
  • 1 cup baby carrots with 1 tablespoon ranch
  • 10 small grapes
  • 1 cup low fat milk

Afternoon snack

  • 6 whole wheat crackers
  • 1 ounce string cheese


  • 3 ounces chicken breast
  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 1 cup low fat milk

Bedtime snack

  • 6 ounces light yogurt

Cooking for the Type 1 Diabetic

If you are a caregiver for someone with type 1 diabetes, you know that a healthy diet and proper food preparation are an important part of controlling diabetes.

“You don’t need to buy special foods,” advises Sue Tocher, MS, RD, dietitian and diabetes clinical program coordinator at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “You should prepare the same healthy foods that would be recommended for someone without diabetes. That means plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and a low concentration of fats and sweets.”

Diabetes: Food and Blood Glucose Levels

It’s important for diabetics to keep their glucose from getting too low or too high. This is achieved by regularly checking blood glucose levels and regulating insulin dosage and carbohydrate intake. It’s best to eat about the same amount of carbohydrates each day, eat and snack at regular hours, and avoid skipping meals.

“Carbohydrates are the most important food group for diabetics,” says Tocher. “These are the foods that impact glucose levels. Fats and proteins supply calories but have little effect on blood glucose.”

Foods that contain lots of carbs include bagels, crackers, dried beans and peas, fruit, pasta and rice, and of course, sweets.

Diabetes: The Food Pyramid

The diabetes food pyramid illustrates how to make the best food choices. The pyramid has six color-coded categories, each representing a different food group.

“The idea of the food pyramid is to get you to eat from a variety of food groups,” says Tocher. “The foods closest to the bottom are the foods that are closest to their natural state, such as whole grains, fresh vegetables, beans, and fresh fruit. You want to get your calories from the bottom up.” Foods from the bottom also provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Moving up the pyramid, as the category sections narrow, are milk products, meat, and meat substitutes like eggs, fish, and tofu, and then fats and sweets.

Foods that contain refined sugars and fats are empty calories and have the least amount of nutrients. They also tend to have more saturated fats and cholesterol.

Diabetes: The Right Foods in the Right Amounts

Tocher says it is important to pay attention to serving sizes. “Americans have a tendency to supersize their portions. A normal portion of pasta for an older child or adult is one cup, which is equal to three servings of starch,” she explains. “A typical portion you might see in a restaurant could be five times what is normal.”

  • Fruits. You should provide at least five servings of fruit each day. “One medium apple or banana is equal to two servings,” notes Tocher.
  • Fish. Fish like salmon and tuna are high in fatty acids that are heart-protective. Try to serve fish two to three times per week.
  • Grains and starches. Choose 4 to 11 servings a day, depending on calorie needs. Look for foods that list whole grains as their first ingredient, like whole-grain bread or pasta, brown rice, beans, corn, and potatoes.
  • Vegetables. You should provide five servings a day.
  • Dairy. Offer low- or non-fat milk two to three times per day.
  • Meat protein. Limit meat to four to six ounces a day. Proteins that can substitute for meat include tofu, eggs, beans, or cheese.

Diabetes: Cooking Tips

How food is cooked is also important. Using high-fat dressing or sauces on low-fat foods, for instance, is not a healthy way to cook. If you use oils to cook, use canola or olive oil.

Other smart cooking tips:

  • Broiling, grilling, roasting, and steaming are better than frying.
  • Use low-fat or fat-free salad dressing.
  • Steam vegetables in water or low-fat broth.
  • In place of salt, try lemon or lime juice.
  • Try a piece of lean ham or smoked turkey instead of butter for flavoring vegetables.
  • Eat fruits raw or cooked without adding sugar.
  • Use low-fat or non-fat yogurt as a substitute for sour cream.
  • Trim all the fat off meat before cooking.
  • Take the skin off chicken and turkey before cooking.

Diabetes: Special Tips for Children

“I remind parents that eating habits formed in childhood can last a lifetime, and diabetes is a lifetime disease,” Tocher notes.

  • Vitamin D is especially important in children. “I recommend parents limit drinks at mealtime and snacks to either milk or water,” says Tocher.
  • Children can get their whole grains and dairy from cereal, but make sure that there are less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Limit fruit juice to eight ounces per day. Even 100 percent unsweetened juice has too much concentrated sugar. “It’s better to eat your carbohydrates than to drink them,” advises Tocher.
  • Non-diet colas and sodas should be eliminated completely. “One 22-ounce cola contains the same amount of carbohydrate as an entire meal — and it is all empty calories,” warns Tocher.
  • Children like to snack, but this can increase insulin requirements. Always allow two hours between meals and snacks.

Preparing the right meals for someone with diabetes is an important part of diabetes management that requires education and preparation. You can get help from your loved one’s doctor and diabetes educator. Many diabetes clinics offer classes for caregivers.

To find a diabetes educator near you, go to the Web site of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. To learn more about the diabetes food pyramid, go to mypyramid.gov or www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov.

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-Ross Wollen

I’m a chef, so food is my passion. Imagine my dismay, then, when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year at age 36.

It was one thing to learn I’d need insulin for the rest of my life. That fate, curiously, was easy to accept, as what choice did I have? But as a foodie, my greatest passions in life are to cook well and eat rapturously. It terrified me to learn I now needed to carefully monitor my carbohydrate consumption. Would diabetes change everything?

It did — and this is how I negotiated my new reality and how, surprisingly, I found myself eating better than ever before.

Several years before my diagnosis, I had been the executive chef of a restaurant group in California that wanted to position itself on the vanguard of the low-carb and paleo diet fads. It was my job to know all about these diets and promote them, but I had no personal interest in carbohydrate restriction. I adored my starches and sweets, and didn’t understand why others willingly would give them up.

My occasional surveys of the low-carb blogosphere only bolstered my skepticism. Low-carb adherents favored unfamiliar combinations such as pizza crusts made of cheese and sandwiches with chicken breasts used as the bread.

Initially, I had no reason to doubt my doctor when he said I’d be able to eat the same way I always had. Carb counting would be easy for me; after all, I’d been writing professional recipes in Excel for years, meticulously weighing ingredients and tracking yields. Within days of my diagnosis, I had spreadsheets for my old favorite recipes with full macronutrient calculations.

Many people with diabetes sadly must retreat to the world of frozen and prepackaged meals, with their industrial consistency and FDA-mandated nutrition panels. And fresh ingredients can be expensive. It was a blessing that I had the experience and opportunity to continue cooking most of my meals from scratch.

But I was struggling mentally with trying to eat “normally”. New rituals of syringe, scale, and calculator rudely intruded on my cherished meal preparation. Family-style dining became less familiar when daddy’s carefully measured portion was set aside from the communal platter, not to be shared. And I shared a pre-dinner toast with one eye on the clock, mindful of the encroaching risk of hypoglycemia. Restaurant menus were minefields. And the more carb-heavy my meal, the more anxious I became about my glucose response. Eating normally simply didn’t feel normal at all.

It was sheer fatigue from these burdens that pushed me toward my first low-carb meals. Like many people with new diagnoses, I had been told to take one unit of Humalog for every 10g of net carbs I’d eat. But what if I ate a meal with virtually zero carbs?

So I ate my first carb-free lunch, didn’t inject, didn’t weigh my portion, and didn’t time my meal — and my stress evaporated. I know that my insulin requirements might change over time, but at the time I felt newly unencumbered by diabetes: for all intents and purposes, I did not have diabetes, even if only for one afternoon.

If I could eat like this regularly, nothing about my food would need to be as carefully timed, predictable or controlled. This, despite the menu restrictions, was what felt normal. And I soon found that the resultant blood sugars—a gentle delayed gluconeogenesis rise, with zero unexpected highs or lows—were a triumph. I was convinced.

My first low-carb meals were meager and unimaginative: cheese, salami, maybe some pickles or raw veggies on the side. It was hardly an exciting or sustainable meal plan. Convenient low-carb options can be scarce, and I realized that I’d need to start cooking much more frequently to bring some much-needed variety to my diet.

My efforts in the kitchen reaped immediate rewards, and soon I realized I actually was eating better than I had before my diagnosis. I was cooking almost every meal now, and the food was lavish and rich. I also felt incredibly healthy. My consumption of vegetables, nuts, healthy fats and seafood skyrocketed. (I have no compunction in grabbing my Humalog and indulging in real pasta or real ice cream, but these have become rare treats.)

I admit to dabbling in the dark arts of faux-carb cookery. I riced cauliflower and noodled zucchini. I baked almond flour cookies and coconut flour cakes. I erected a gluttonous tower of nachos with pork rinds in place of tortilla chips. But the truth is that I’m rarely satisfied by these dishes, which I cannot help but compare to their superior high-carb inspirations.

It’s often a disservice to the wide range of naturally low-carb ingredients to make them imitate other foodstuffs; they should be prepared to maximize their own unique culinary potential. Vegetables, meats and seafood can stand on their own without added sugar or simple starches. My new cooking goal is to prepare low-carb meals that are so delicious and satisfying that the absence of carbohydrates will not even be noticed. Nothing should taste like a compromise.

Recipe – Bacon, Avocado & Smoked Almond Salad

This Bacon, Avocado & Smoked Almond Salad is exemplary of the cooking that has been one of the unforeseen joys of my post-diagnosis life. One portion of this salad can be the major meal of the day—with no need for bread on the side. It has so few net carbs some people with diabetes might not need to bolus at all. A single portion should have about 16 grams of total carbs: 9 grams of fiber and 7 net carbs of the unprocessed, slow variety.

Ripe avocado—that impossibly luxurious fruit, full of healthy fats and fiber—is the critical ingredient. I scatter sliced avocado into the salad bowl and toss it with the other ingredients, causing some of the slices to smash and spread and marry with the lemony dressing. Substantial greens, such as baby kale, can stand up to the creaminess without wilting, and impart their own distinct healthful flavors. Bacon should be just-cooked, chopped and mixed in while still warm and glistening. Smoky nuts amplify the bacon’s sweetness and add the right crunch. The combined effect is simultaneously luscious, fulfilling and wholesome.

The homemade vinaigrette recipe makes nearly a pint, enough for several salads, and it keeps well in the refrigerator. One can easily substitute a store-bought Caesar dressing.

Bacon, Avocado & Smoked Almond Salad For Two:

4 cups hearty salad greens (baby kale, arugula, mixed lettuces)

6 strips thick-sliced bacon, freshly cooked, chopped into bite-sized pieces

One avocado, sliced

Smoked almonds, 2 oz. (scant ½ cup), roughly chopped

Lemon vinaigrette, 5 tablespoons, see recipe below

Toss and enjoy.

Lemon Vinaigrette:

1 cup olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

¼ cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon mustard (whole grain or Dijon)

1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)

Fresh black pepper to taste

Combine all in blender and pour over salad.

If you have type 1 diabetes, it is important to know how many carbohydrates you eat at a meal. This information helps you determine how much insulin you should take with your meal to maintain blood sugar (glucose) control.

Carbohydrates are the main type of food that raises blood sugar. The starch, fruit and milk groups of the Food Group Pyramid for Diabetes are high in carbs. Foods in the Other Carbohydrates and Combination Food groups are also high in carbs. The vegetable group has a small amount of carbohydrates. The meat and fat groups have few or no carbs. The amount of carbohydrates you eat at each meal will determine how high your blood sugar rises after the meal. The other two major nutrients, protein and fat ,also have an effect on blood glucose levels, though it is not as rapid or great as carbohydrates.

Most people with diabetes can control their blood sugar by limiting carbohydrate servings to 2-4 per meal and 1-2 per snack.

A delicate balance of carbohydrate intake, insulin, and physical activity is necessary for the best blood sugar (glucose) levels. Eating carbohydrates increases your blood sugar (glucose) level. Exercise tends to decrease it (although not always). If the three factors are not in balance, you can have wide swings in blood sugar (glucose) levels.

If you have type 1 diabetes and take a fixed dose of insulin, the carbohydrate content of your meals and snacks should be consistent from day to day.

Children and Diabetes

Weight and growth patterns can help determine if a child with type 1 diabetes is getting enough nutrition.

Changes in eating habits and more physical activity help improve blood sugar (glucose) control. For children with diabetes, special occasions (like birthdays or Halloween) require additional planning because of the extra sweets. You may allow your child to eat sugary foods, but then have fewer carbohydrates during other parts of that day. For example, if child eats birthday cake, Halloween candy, or other sweets, they should NOT have the usual daily amount of potatoes, pasta, or rice. This substitution helps keep calories and carbohydrates in better balance.

Meal Planning

One of the most challenging aspects of managing diabetes is meal planning. Work closely with your doctor and dietitian to design a meal plan that maintains near-normal blood sugar (glucose) levels. The meal plan should give you or your child the proper amount of calories to maintain a healthy body weight.

The food you eat increases the amount of glucose in your blood. Insulin decreases blood sugar (glucose). By balancing food and insulin together, you can keep your blood sugar (glucose) within a normal range. Keep these points in mind:

  • Your doctor or dietitian should review the types of food you or your child usually eats and build a meal plan from there. Insulin use should be a part of the meal plan. Understand how to time meals for when insulin will start to work in your the body.
  • Be consistent. Meals and snacks should be eaten at the same times each day. Do not skip meals and snacks. Keep the amount and types of food (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) consistent from day to day.
  • Learn how to read food labels to help plan you or your child’s carbohydrate intake.
  • Use insulin at the same time each day, as directed by the doctor.

Monitor blood sugar (glucose) levels. The doctor will tell you if you need to adjust insulin doses based on blood sugar (glucose) levels and the amount of food eaten.

Having diabetes does not mean you or your child must completely give up any specific food, but it does change the kinds of foods one should eat routinely. Choose foods that keep blood sugar (glucose) levels in good control. Foods should also provide enough calories to maintain a healthy weight.


A registered dietitian can help you best decide how to balance your diet with carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Here are some general guidelines:

The amount of each type of food you should eat depends on your diet, your weight, how often you exercise, and other existing health risks. Everyone has individual needs, which is why you should work with your doctor and, possibly, a dietitian to develop a meal plan that works for you.

But there are some reliable general recommendations to guide you. The Diabetes Food Pyramid, which resembles the old USDA food guide pyramid, splits foods into six groups in a range of serving sizes. In the Diabetes Food Pyramid, food groups are based on carbohydrate and protein content instead of their food classification type. A person with diabetes should eat more of the foods in the bottom of the pyramid (grains, beans, vegetables) than those on the top (fats and sweets). This diet will help keep your heart and body systems healthy.

Grains, Beans, and Starchy Vegetables

(6 or more servings a day)

Foods like bread, grains, beans, rice, pasta, and starchy vegetables are at the bottom of the pyramid because they should serve as the foundation of your diet. As a group, these foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates.

It is important, however, to eat foods with plenty of fiber. Choose whole-grain foods such as whole-grain bread or crackers, tortillas, bran cereal, brown rice, or beans. Use whole-wheat or other whole-grain flours in cooking and baking. Choose low-fat breads, such as bagels, tortillas, English muffins, and pita bread.


(3 – 5 servings a day)

Choose fresh or frozen vegetables without added sauces, fats, or salt. You should opt for more dark green and deep yellow vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, romaine, carrots, and peppers.


(2 – 4 servings a day)

Choose whole fruits more often than juices. Fruits have more fiber. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, are best. Drink fruit juices that do NOT have added sweeteners or syrups.


(2 – 3 servings a day)

Choose low-fat or nonfat milk or yogurt. Yogurt has natural sugar in it, but it can also contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Yogurt with artificial sweeteners has fewer calories than yogurt with added sugar.

Meat and Fish

(2 – 3 servings a day)

Eat fish and poultry more often. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey. Select lean cuts of beef, veal, pork, or wild game. Trim all visible fat from meat. Bake, roast, broil, grill, or boil instead of frying.

Fats, Alcohols, and Sweets

In general, you should limit your intake of fatty foods, especially those high in saturated fat, such as hamburger, cheese, bacon, and butter.

If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with a meal. Check with your health care provider about a safe amount for you.

Sweets are high in fat and sugar, so keep portion sizes small. Other tips to avoid eating too many sweets:

  • Ask for extra spoons and forks and split your dessert with others.
  • Eat sweets that are sugar-free.
  • Always ask for the small serving size.

You should also know how to read food labels, and consult them when making food decisions.

Your meal plan is for you only. Each person with diabetes may have a slightly different meal plan. Talk to your Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator to help you plan your meals.

American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes–2011. Diabetes Care. 2011 Jan;34 Suppl 1:S11-61.

Eisenbarth GS, Polonsky KS, Buse JB. Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR. Kronenberg: Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 31.

American Diabetes Association. Nutrition recommendations and interventions for diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care. 2008;31:S61-S78.

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