Sample 1200 calorie meal plan for diabetes

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There is no one-size-fits-all diet for all diabetics, and all meal plans should be individual , but regardless of your meal plan, cutting calories and carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood sugar. Depending on your height, weight, age, and activity level , a 1200 calorie meal plan might work for you. If your healthcare provider has suggested this to you and you're not sure where to start, it's a good idea to get an idea of what your daily meal will be like. A three-day alternate meal plan can help you stop making decisions while keeping calories, carbohydrates, and fats in check.

Get Medication Information / Brianna Gilmartin

What to think about when planning your meals

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy and the nutrients that most affect blood sugar levels . People with diabetes need to monitor their carbohydrate intake because excess carbohydrates, especially in the form of white, refined, processed, and sugary foods, can raise blood sugar, triglyceride levels, and ultimately lead to an increase of weight. When you think of carbohydrates, you need to think not only about the type, but also the portions.

7 ways to eat healthy for diabetes

Choose high-fiber carbohydrates like whole grains, starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, low-fat dairy products like Greek yogurt, and low-glycemic fruits like berries. Most people benefit from 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15 to 20 grams per snack, but this will depend on your blood sugar control, physical activity, and weight, among other individual factors. It is always a good idea to meet with a registered dietitian or licensed diabetes instructor to determine the amount of carbohydrate that is right for you. Keep in mind that each gram of carbohydrate contains approximately four calories. So if you eat 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 30 grams per snack, you will get 660 calories from carbohydrates per day.

Protein – Protein is a macronutrient and another form of energy for the body. Adequate protein intake is important for boosting immunity, wound healing, muscle repair, and satiety. On a calorie-controlled diet, it is important to choose lean proteins (as these types will have fewer calories and less fat). Lean protein sources include white meat, chicken, pork, turkey, lean beef (95% lean), egg whites, and low-fat dairy products. If you are vegan or vegetarian , beans and soy proteins like edamame and tofu are also sources of protein, but keep in mind that they also contain carbohydrates. Protein also contains four calories per gram. Some research suggests that a high-fat, high-protein breakfast can lower hemoglobin A1C levels in people with diabetes.

Fat: Fat is another macronutrient. Fat plays an important role in the body and is necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 have anti-inflammatory properties and are the building blocks of hair, skin, and nails. These fatty acids also help maintain brain health. When choosing sources of fat, you'll want to choose unsaturated fats like oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish like sardines and salmon. Limit saturated and trans fats as often as possible, such as high-fat cheese, fried foods, fatty meats such as hot dogs and bacon, butter, cream, and sweets such as cookies and cakes. You should also watch your fat portions, even healthy fats, as fat calories can add up quickly. One gram of fat contains nine calories.

1200 calories is not for everyone

First, we'll start with a caveat: a 1,200 calorie diet is not suitable for everyone with diabetes. To lose weight, this calorie level is low enough to adversely affect the metabolism of many people. Also, this calorie level may not provide enough carbohydrates to supplement drug regimens or prevent hypoglycemia .

However, 1,200 calories will meet the energy needs of some people with diabetes. It's probably best if you're light and tall, over 65, and / or less active. If you have received a prescription for a 1,200 calorie diabetes diet, your healthcare provider will consider all of these factors.

If your healthcare provider has prescribed a diet other than 1200 calories, we also have sample meal plans for you .

What the daily menu looks like

This eating plan should give you some ideas for your new diet. It provides about 1,200 calories per day, 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates per meal, and 15 to 30 grams per snack .

1 day

Breakfast

  • Omelette made with 2 egg whites, one egg, and 1 slice (30 grams) of low-fat cheese.
  • 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 teaspoon of nut butter
  • 1 small orange or 2 small kiwis
  • Coffee with 1 1/2 tablespoon

Total carbohydrates per meal: ~ 30 grams.

Dinner

  • 2 cups chopped vegetables with 4 ounces (palm-sized) grilled chicken and 1 tablespoon oil-based dressing
  • A small 4-ounce apple
  • One 6-ounce low-fat yogurt
  • 8 to 12 ounces of water or unsweetened drink

Total carbohydrates per meal: ~ 40 grams of carbohydrates.

Snack

  • 3 cups popcorn

Total carbohydrates per snack: ~ 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Dinner

  • Turkey Broccoli Wrap:
  • 4 ounces lean white turkey meat cooked in 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 low carb whole grain wrap (about 20g carbs)
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli seasoned with 1 teaspoon olive oil (top with hot sauce)
  • 8 to 12 ounces of water or unsweetened drink
  • 1 cup raspberries

Total carbohydrates per meal: ~ 45 grams of carbohydrates.

Day 2

Breakfast

  • 1 package low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted almonds, chopped
  • 1 cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon halved

Total carbohydrates per meal: ~ 25 grams of carbohydrates.

Dinner

  • Open turkey sandwich:
  • 4 thin slices of roasted turkey
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread
  • lettuce, tomato, 1/4 avocado, chopped, tablespoon mustard
  • 15 baby carrots with 1 tablespoon hummus

Total carbohydrates per meal: ~ 35g carbohydrates.

Snack

  • 1 1/4 cups strawberries with 1 tablespoon nut butter

Total carbohydrates per snack: ~ 18 grams of carbohydrates.

Dinner

  • Bowl with grilled shrimp and quinoa:
  • 4 ounces grilled shrimp
  • 1/2 cup quinoa cooked in water or low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated low-fat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of sauce

Total carbohydrates per meal: ~ 40 grams of carbohydrates.

Day 3

Breakfast

  • Sweet potato and strawberry toast

Total carbohydrates per meal: ~ 17 grams of carbohydrates.

Dinner

  • 5 chopped veggies and herb egg salad
  • on top of 1 brown rice cake
  • 1 cup of blackberries
  • 8 to 12 ounces of water or mineral water

Total carbohydrates per meal: ~ 40 grams of carbohydrates.

Dinner

  • 150 grams of baked fish with lemon, garlic powder, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 small baked sweet potato, sprinkled with cinnamon and 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1.5 cups cooked spinach
  • 8 to 12 ounces of water or mineral water

Total carbohydrates per meal: ~ 30 grams of carbohydrates.

Create your own meal plan

This menu is just a three-day example of all the delicious meals you can pack in one day on a 1,200 calorie diet. If you want more variety, there are many nutritious foods you can enjoy, you just need to learn how to calculate nutritional values to stay on track.

With a prescription nutrition calculator, you don't have to guess what you are eating. To use it, simply enter the recipe you want to cook and it will give you the ability to easily read the nutrition label. You can also use it for side dishes, snacks, and drinks.

If your recipe results show that you have too many calories for your diet, you can make adjustments. You can edit each ingredient and the calculator will show you a number of popular options to choose from.

This can be very helpful when making a shopping list. You will have a clearer idea of which foods are lower in calories, fat, and sugar. A little knowledge before going to the store can really help you make better decisions.

Frequently asked questions

  • Talk to your doctor or dietitian. The right amount of calories for you will depend on a number of factors, including your age, activity level, and current weight.

  • Generally, in diabetes, about half of the calories come from carbohydrates. This means that if you are on a 1,200 calorie diet, about 600 calories will come from carbohydrates. Since each gram of carbohydrate has approximately four calories, you should consume approximately 150 grams of carbohydrate per day. Be sure to talk to your doctor or dietitian to find the right amount of carbohydrates for you.

  • A good meal plan will help you get the nutrients you need while maintaining your blood sugar goal. You should focus on whole foods, such as non-starchy vegetables and lean proteins, rather than processed foods.

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