Here at Diabetes Meal Plans we've discovered that a low carb diet works very well to control diabetes and feel great every day.
So in this post we've created a cool infographic (please share it around). Plus, we've got 4 basic low carb guidelines to read about, and we've also got a food list for you to take a look at. You can also grab a downloadable copy of our food list at the bottom of this page.
The benefits of a diabetes low carb diet include:
- Decreasing blood glucose
- Lowering A1C
- Decreasing cholesterol
- Increasing HDL
- Increasing weight loss
These are all great goals for you as a type 2 diabetic, and our meal plans help make it easy for you to follow.
It's easier than you think, and the meals are tasty, and delicious!
4 Diabetes Low Carb Diet Guidelines
There is a bit more to it than this, but if you follow these 4 basic guidelines, then you'll find you will be right on track.
1. Eat Plenty of Vegetables
Vegetables, particularly the type that grow above the ground such as cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, artichoke, and so forth.
Vegetables are a central part of our low carb diet plan because research shows that we need plentiful amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, polyphenols, and compounds to help improve our health.
2. Don't Fear Fat
You might think that 40-50% fat in your diet sounds like a lot and be wondering…'won't all that fat make me fat?'!
Fat is nothing to be feared, in fact it's a big fat myth. 🙂
Fat does not spike blood sugar, fat helps you burn fat, fat helps lower cholesterol. In fact, it does the exact opposite of what we've been led to believe.
You can read more on the science behind fats over here.
Our meal plans include all types of fat but still do keep saturated fat lower, predominantly including monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity and glucose transport into cells, as well as providing benefits for vascular health.
3. Eat Protein
Protein helps keep us full and satisfied for longer.
You can eat all types of meats, chicken, fish, and seafood.
And you can select from a large range of dairy products like cheese, feta, and ricotta, along with eggs.
This gives you loads of protein options to help make your meals super tasty.
Sugar – cakes, candy, muffins, packaged and processed foods, and most fruits. Don't worry, we've got plenty of easy delicious dessert options for you. 🙂
Avoid starchy foods – bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes.
Relax…we've got easy low carb bread you can make in a flash – seriously, we've got a 3-minute microwave bun recipe you'll love!
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How Does This Low Carb Diet Thing Stack Up?
While there are various types of low carb diets, for instance, there are very low carb diets that restrict carbs to under 20 grams per day. The research indicates that anything under 120 grams per day provides benefits.
We've found that a sweet spot seems to be around 80 grams per day, which when you add fiber generally comes in around 50 grams net carbs.
Based on a 1600 calorie/ day menu.
20% Carbs: 80 g/ d
20-30% Protein: 80-120 g/d
40-50% Fat: 71-89 g/d
The most important thing is that this way of eating gets you the results you need!
Research has shown than lower carbohydrate diets help you get the best results, which is why we are here to help make it easier for you.
Our Type 2 Diabetes Diet Food List
Grab a free copy of our food list and you can get started in the kitchen yourself right away! Of course, our meal planning service brings this food list to life every week with delicious menus, taking the stress out of planning for you 🙂
Beef, veal, flank steak, ground beef mince, sirloin steak, chuck steak, lamb, etc.
Lean cuts of pork; pork chops or loin.
Chicken, turkey, duck, quail, goose.
Tuna, salmon, cod, trout, bass, flatfish, whitehead, mackerel, herring, eel, haddock, red snapper, trout, drum, walleye, sardines and so forth.
Crab, lobster, prawns, shrimp, oysters, mussels, clams, scallops, abalone, crayfish.
Venison, wild boar, kangaroo, deer, pheasant, moose, wild turkey, alligator, emu, ostrich, elk, bison, turtle. Many people don’t eat these types of meats but you can eat them if you like them. We don't include these in our meal plans.
Beef, pork, lamb, chicken livers. Beef, pork, lamb, chicken tongues, hearts, brains. Beef, pork, lamb, chicken marrow, kidneys. Many people don’t eat these types of meats either but you can eat them if you like them, and they are very good sources of vitamins and minerals. Again, because many people don't like these we don't include them in our meal plans.
Chicken, duck, goose, quail.
Cottage cheese, cheddar, feta, ricotta, cream cheese, cream, a little yogurt and milk.
Vegetables are ALWAYS at the top of the list and you should be eating at least 5-10 serves a day.
One serve of veggies is equal to half a cup of something like broccoli or cauliflower, and 1 cup of leafy veggies like kale or lettuce. So 2.5 cups of veggies is your daily minimum. With diabetes, veggies need to be your predominant choice of carbohydrate. The great thing about that is they provide great nutritional value as they contain loads of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds like polyphenols that are beneficial to improving health.
Vegetables to choose from in abundance
Artichoke, asparagus, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, onions, leeks, kohlrabi, green onions, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, cabbage, brussel sprouts, artichoke, okra, zucchini, yellow summer squash, swiss chard, radish, sugar snap peas (snow peas), mushrooms, green beans, and so forth.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Lettuce, seaweeds, alfalfa, bean sprouts, spinach, collard greens, kale, beet greens, mustard greens, dandelion, fennel, swiss chard, watercress, turnip greens, rocket, endive, bok choy, chicory, radicchio, chinese cabbage, silverbeet.
Try and get some green leafy veggies into your daily routine.
Vegetables to eat sometimes or in smaller amounts
Pumpkin, turnip, beets.
Vegetables to avoid
Potato, sweet potato, yams, plantain, parsnip.
Beans & Legumes
Black beans, broadbeans, great northern beans, lentils, mung beans, navy beans, pinto beans. Only eat small amounts of around 1/4 cup, which is about 30-40 g serve of beans and 20 g serve of lentils. These are great for inclusions in salads and stir frys.
Beans and legumes are also great for sprouting and can be eaten in much larger portions as it reduces the carbohydrate content dramatically.
- 1/4 cup cooked mung beans = 9.6 g total carbs, 6.1 g net carbs
- 1/4 cup sprouted mung beans = 1.5 g total carbs, 1 g net carbs
As a member, you'll have access to our full food lists and cheat sheets to make things easier.
Fresh & Dried Herbs
Parsley, thyme, lavender, mint, basil, rosemary, chives, tarragon, oregano, sage, dill, bay leaves, coriander/cilantro, and so forth.
Spices and natural flavour enhancers
Ginger, garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, vanilla, cloves, chillies, stevia, garam masala, cajun, five spice, and so forth. Always check the labels when buying spice blends as some of them contain sugar and additives.
Pasta, rice, and noodles
Konjac noodles or rice, kelp noodles, or use things like sliced or shredded zucchini to make noodles. I'd highly recommend you get hold of a veggie noodle maker, they are cheap and they are brilliant!
Make cauliflower rice instead of rice. These are all low carb/ no carb options. We've got lots of options in our meal plans!
Almond flour or almond meal, coconut flour, chickpea flour, and corn flour (in small amounts to thicken sauces).
Berries such as fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries are your best choices, eaten 1/2 cup per serve. Followed by stones fruits such as peaches and plums (1 small fruit per serve), grapefruit and cherries. We stick to using berries in our meal plans. Lemons and limes are fine too.
Our delicious desserts use berries, stevia, vanilla, cocoa, carob, cinnamon, and coconut to naturally sweeten things 🙂
Monounsaturated fats and in particular extra virgin olive oil has some amazing anti-inflammatory and beneficial health properties and has been shown to help lower cholesterol and have beneficial effects on blood glucose and A1C levels.
Foods to increase monounsaturated fat intake include:
- Oils such as – virgin olive, hazelnut, avocado, sesame, macadamia, and almond oils.
- Green, black, or kalamata olives
- Nuts & seeds – macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or butter, almonds or almond butter.
- Cocoa butter
- Tahini – sesame paste
- Fish – herring fish, cod liver oil, sardines, and cod fish
You also want to increase your intake of omega 3 fats.
- Canned or fresh salmon
- Canned sardines or herring
- Canned or fresh tuna
- Chia seeds
Other fats to enjoy in your plan:
- Full fat dairy products
- Coconut oil
Our meal plans take all these wonderful foods and put them into weekly meal plans you will thoroughly enjoy!