Eat Healthier With These Easy Diabetic Meals

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Try these quick and easy diabetic Meals with Vegetable Dip Recipes. You don’t have to be diabetic to use them. These meals can help you eat healthier and lose weight!

Eat Healthier With These Easy Diabetic Meals

Eat Healthier With These Easy Diabetic Meals

We are often asked to provide diabetic menus and recipes. I have been on a diabetic diet many times just to lose weight and then as a need when I had gestational diabetes.

You don’t have to have diabetes to use these diabetic menus and recipes. They are also excellent menus to use for eating healthier or for sensibly losing weight.

There isn’t anything magical about a diabetic diet. The most important thing to remember in a diabetic diet is DON’T EAT SO MUCH!!

You might be thinking, “but it’s not that easy!” Well, after taking a diabetic eating class, reading tons and tons of information on it and practicing it myself I can tell you, “YES IT IS!!”

You just have to stop making excuses and do it! I am including myself in that, too, because I still have 30 pounds to lose or I run the risk of developing diabetes in the next year or so, so maybe I can motivate myself to do it, too.


Here are some general guidelines about eating with diabetes:

  • Cut your portions. Fill your plate, eat it and then don’t re-fill it.
  • One half of the plate should be vegetables and fruit. Then one quarter should be grains and one quarter meat.
  • Drink all the sugar free coffee and tea you want, but don’t forget to drink water.
  • Use low-fat, low-calorie salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarines, jams and jellies. You can still have the flavor, but without so many calories. I personally don’t like the taste of anything “diet”, so I just eat half the normal serving amount.
  • Avoid a lot of high fat foods or fried foods.

Really, that’s about it. Here are some menu ideas and recipes to help you get started. Please feel free to share your favorite diabetic menus and tips!



Diabetic Breakfast Menus

Menu 1:

1 small (2 oz.) bran muffin
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup fat-free milk

Menu 2:

2 slices whole-wheat toast
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 small banana


Diabetic Snack Ideas

Snack Option 1:

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

Snack Option 2:

1 cup fat-free milk
2 small fig cookies

Snack Option 3:

12 red or green grapes
1/2 cup cottage cheese


Diabetic Lunch Menus

Menu 1:

2 slices whole-wheat bread
3 oz. lean roast beef
2 tsp. mustard
1 cup cooked vegetables

Menu 2:

1 serving (10 oz.) beef barley soup
1 dinner roll
1 medium apple


Diabetic Dinner Menus

Menu 1:

3 oz. chicken breast, sauteed with
1 cup vegetables of your choice
1 Tbsp. olive oil (for cooking)
2/3 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup fat-free milk

Menu 2:

1 medium pork chop
1 dinner roll
2 tsp. margarine
1 small salad
1/2 cup fresh fruit salad


One the hardest parts for me about a diabetic diet is eating a lot of vegetables. I just don’t like them plain and butter and cheese do make them taste MUCH better! One of the best ways to combat this is to make one of these low calorie high protein dips that go with most vegetables.


Cottage Cheese Dill Dip

2/3 cup cottage cheese
2 tablespoons dill weed
Pepper and paprika to taste
Lemon juice to taste

Blend until smooth. Serve with your favorite veggies. 150 calories.

VARIATIONS: Experiment with different herbs to your taste.


Cottage Cheese Dip

1 (12 oz.) package cottage cheese – not creamed
6 Tbsp. Skim Milk
1 1/2 tsp. instant minced onion
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 Tbsp. finely chopped pimento
1 Tbsp. snipped parsley

Beat all of the above ingredients together, but do not cream the cottage cheese. Chill. This dip is good on a baked potato.


Easy Cottage Cheese Dip

2 tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup creamed cottage cheese

Put ingredients into a blender, cover and process at high blend until smooth and creamy. Use in place of sour cream in any dip recipe. It is higher in protein and lower in calories. Yields 1 cup.



  1. Bea says

    All these recipes look good. I like someone to make menus for me. It makes life easier. I also like dip recipes for fruits and vegetables. Thanks.

  2. Dineen says

    I agree that diabetic eating is mostly about portion sizes. So many think they need to be afraid of carbohydrates, completely forgetting that those are what provide our energy. Don’t be afraid of eating muffins, just don’t eat a pop-over sized one like you see packaged at a bakery or 2 or 3 of them. Learn the proper serving sizes like Jill writes about in “Stop Wasting Food and Save Your Money” posted recently.

    As for vegetables needing a little something, I’ve found that I like a tiny bit of olive oil (a little provides a lot of flavor) and a touch of salt or even an herb mix. (Think along the lines of “Mrs Dash”, but I do my own sort of thing with garlic powder and whatever herbs strike my fancy. I am pretty sure I remember reading recipes in Dining on a Dime.)

  3. Diane says

    How about Vegan Diabetic meals? Any ideas? DH and I both have type 2 diabetes and have been eating Vegan since May and it’s getting a little boring. We plan to stick to it. I’m just not an adventureous cook I guess. We love pasta, beans and sweet potatoes and have them often…and romaine based salads. I make 100% whole wheat bread, we have oatmeal most mornings, at least 2-3 fruits every day and lots of vegetables. Any ideas will be helpful. PS DH doesn’t really like the soy meat substitutes, so I seldom use those.

  4. says

    Diane here is a meal that I love.
    bake a potatoe while it is baking steam or stir fry in soy sauce or chicken stock vegetables that you like. I do vidalia onions, brocoli, snap peas and corn. When the potatoe is done put it on a plate and split it. cutting slices into the potatoe. top with the vegetables add a dab of sour cream no fat is good or the regular add some salt and pepper and enjoy.
    for a variation do the same but add a bit of spaghetti sauce.
    This is a light meal on its own or you could add steamed or poached fish to the plate or a serving of meat for the meat eaters.
    I have learned to control my diabetes by diet but my husband is still on pills for his.
    I have also lost 100 lbs in the last year.
    so portion control is good but learning to cook with less oils and fats is better.

  5. Sheri says

    I have diet controlled diabetes. It started as Gestational 8 years ago.

    Portion control and appropriate snacks. One of the best snacks for me was popcorn!!! 3 cups of popcorn equals one slice of bread! It takes longer to eat, takes up a lot of space and it is fun to eat! A diabetic snack is one carb unit and one protein. A small fruit and 1 ounce of protein will do it. Whole fruit is more satisfying and slower to eat than applesauce. I have a whole chart I made of foods that I eat and what their serving sizes or diabetic exchange would be. If you want a sweet treat, look at your meal to see what you will be giving up to make room for those carbs. A piece of protein or handful of nuts will slow down the sugar hit.

    One thing I like to say is, I can eat whatever I want, just eat less of the high carb foods.

    Vegan ideas: The hard thing is coming up with protein. I agree with your husband about being careful about soy bean products. I think soy beans are fine, but too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Beans are half protein, nuts, seeds and grains are good choices too! Quinoa I believe is very high in protein. It can be used for any meal. Lentils and barley are good for blood sugars. Whole grains, whole fruits, nuts and raw vegetables are slower to turn to blood sugar. Fiber, fats and protein do more than slow down blood sugars! I’m repeating myself…

    Vegan menus:
    Bean salad over pasta
    Fresh Fruit
    Green Tea with Cinnamon (Celestial Seasons Bengal Spice Tea that I make 1/2 and 1/2 with green tea.)

    Breakfast: Oat bran, ground flax seeds, dried cranberries, unsweetened coconut flakes/shreds/flour. Cook or eat uncooked with your favorite form of milk. This will stick with you all morning!

    Snack: 3 cups popcorn
    handful of almonds or walnuts

    Snack: peanut butter on celery sticks
    small apple

    Dinner: Lentil soup
    1 pound lentils
    1 cup barley or two potatoes clean and cut up
    1 onion chopped
    4 cleaned carrots sliced in fat slices
    can be flavored with miso
    (non-vegans can add sliced hot dogs or sausage for flavor.)

    Cook with plenty of water until soft. About 30-40 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Serve with green salad.

    There’t not enough room to write everything in my head… I like brainstorming!

  6. kitblue says

    I have been reading your newsletter for a while now. I don’t always agree with you but the letter is always interesting.
    Regarding a diabetic diet, perhaps you made a mistake in the first breakfast option with 1/2 c blueberries and a banana. according to the classes I took I am allowed only 3 servings of fruit a day. Generally a banana, even a small one, is more than 1 serving, never mind including 1 serving of blueberries.
    I love most vegetables lightly steamed and served with lemon juice and a bit of toasted sesame oil.
    Have you written about hummus, a dip made with chickpeas, sesame butter, lemon juice and garlic. Works well for vegans.
    Another chickpea recipe uses chickpea flour (try Indian grocery stores; tell them what you are making as there are 2 types; if buying in health food or grocery store it will the right kind). Socca is called a pancake and is a French recipe. The recipe I make is baked on a pizza pan and is very thin. The other main ingredients are garlic, water and olive oil. I like spicy food so I include onion and hot peppers.

  7. Julia Ck says

    Diane, there are a variety of delicious vegan recipes written in any of the South beach Diet Cookbooks! I “m going to fix an eggplant dish before the week ends.

  8. Paula says

    Hi…Hubby is on 2 meds for diabetes, and difficult to feed. To help with the veggies, I drizzle a little olive oil (keep oil in an old dish soap bottle to control portions)add some garlic and some red pepper flakes to frozen veggies and nuke in micro. Veggies sauteed in some evoo, w/garlic is another option. Veggies can also be added to spaghetti sauce (Pasta primavera). We only use brown pasta, rice, and whole wheat bread.

    I read somewhere that a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon a day helps regulate blood sugar. Can’t tell you if this works, as hubby hates cinnamon.

    Hubby will snack on string cheese and nuts.His diabetes nurse (insurance co)told him to eat his big meal at lunch, and a light supper. She also told him not to eat past 7 p.m., which is tough since he get home at 9 p.m…He also drinks lots of diet soda, but have started him on Crystal Light to go packets to add to water…he seems to like them (wow!!)

  9. Draima says

    Thank you for this very useful information. I work for an ophthalomologist and we see so many diabetic patients. I would like to print this off and shere it with them if that is ok.

  10. says

    Cinnamon is great for diabetics. My husband drinks tea and puts a stick into the teapot.
    He drinks kool aide unsweetened type. I make it up with the water and splenda a 1/4 cup of splenda to a pitcher of kool aide.
    He works shifts one week he goes in at 6 pm and gets home at 4 am. I leave him a light meal of fish and salad a bowl of fresh fruit and a pot of tea. He sleeps from 7am til noon when he gets up and has a breakfast. He goes back to bed about 3pm until 5pm when I get him up. He doesn’t eat again until he is at work when he has 4 sandwiches.
    This shift is really hard to keep blood sugars at a level that is proper.
    The next week he leaves for work at 6am gets home at 4pm. We eat at 6
    It is much easier to regulate the meals to the proper sugar balance.
    Since our sons have gone I find I do fewer casseroles and one dish meals.
    I have switched to roasting vegetables and poaching fish and rotisserie chickens that I make at home. I cook from scratch and always have but I learned to change recipes. We like chicken balls and deep fried fish but when I do these I cut the chicken into bite size pieces and dip them in tempura batter and fry them this way. Less coating and they cook quickly so you get less fat in the batter. You also eat less because the small pieces make it look like there is more of them. I also do the fish the same way. One fillet usually does for both of us. Roasted sweet potatoes and reg potatoes and onions make up the meal.
    We enjoy finger foods more than large sit down meals so this type is great. I have just found a recipe for baked egg rolls which I am going to try as we like them but the fat from the deep frying adds the calories and ups the sugar level.
    For a breakfast change I scramble eggs ham and cheese and wrap it in a flour tortilla. less bread and better for you. there again finger foods.
    I read somewhere that Uncle Bens converted rice was better for diabetics. My husband loves rice so now I only use Uncle Bens. I do not know if all converted rice does this. I don’t know why converted rice is better so if anyone knows maybe they will let me know.
    Try some of the new asian vegetables that are the market. I tried the green soft melon and it was a change in stir fries. I asked a young asian man who was buying them what you did with them and he said he boils it in water until it is soft then mashes it into the water for a soup. That didn’t appeal to me but he said he uses them in stir fries. So I tried it and it was a change. They look like small green egg plant but they are not bitter.
    Vegetables are good for everyone and diabetics especially. so try new ones who knows you might like them.

  11. Connie Kline says

    Thank you for your eating suggestions and the Diabetic menu which sounds workable. You really lost 30 pounds by just eating differently, and how long did it take? Did you do any form of exercise? I have been receiving your email for quite awhile now and I really like some of the information you include in it. Keep up the great work.

      • Johnnie Lorraine says

        Dear Tawra,
        I have Lupus Nephritis and never have any energy. I have just been diagnosed with diabetes this year due to the prednisone I have to take. I have gone from 160 pounds to 217 pounds as of this morning. I have been trying to find ways to drop the pounds now that my prednisone dose has gone down, but feel limited by lack of choices. Do you have more of a sample menu, like maybe what you use daily? It would really help to see the different options. Thank you.

        • says

          The menus in this post are the only ones we have specifically for this. We usually don’t do menus for special needs diets because there are so many different ones now there is no way we can cover them all. We have had many readers say they love our menus and recipes because so many of the are simple enough to adapt to what their diet calls for. Just be careful though because many think if they go on a healthy diet they can still eat all they want or even more not realizing even healthy foods have calories and sometimes even more. I don’t know how many people I know who are pour honey on everything because they think it is better for them then sugar when the reality is it has way more calories. They should be simply cutting back on sweetener instead.

  12. says

    I am diabetic and not doing well at all. I’m getting ready to start South Beach, modified to include inexpensive ingredients.

    A couple of things about Tawra’s article: most diabetics I know can’t tolerate bananas. They seem to cause blood sugar spikes.

    Also, I almost never buy low fat dressings, mayo, etc., because the manufacturers add sugar to boost the flavor since there is less fat.

    Grandma, I need to lose 100 pounds! How did you do it? Just portion control?

    • says

      Yes, if there are any foods that cause you sugars to spike then avoid them. One thing I’ve found is when I went off gluten my cravings stopped and I was able to get off 20 pounds. I have another 30 to go so I’m going to keep at it.

  13. Paula says

    Hi Grandma…Great ideas!….Does 4 sandwiches send hubby’s sugar through the roof??…I usually make 1 extra portion of our meal, which becomes his lunch the next day….Thank God for the lock and lock containers and the micro at work….I also found that an indoor grill works wonders for veggies and our ‘favorite’ food- chicken breast (I’m growing feathers!!). We will soak them in balsamic vinegar and garlic and then grill. We’ve been using the crockpot a lot this summer as the heat is horrible, even with the AC…And yes, we’ve done takeout more times than I care to count.

    Read somewhere that sweet potatoes are better that white potatoes, so since the fall is coming, I should be able to sneak a little cinnamon on them and help the cause…Does anyone know how to fill up a ravenous hungry hubby whose a diabetic? He loves pasta and loads it to the gills, and he’s not always in the mood for salad…..

    Also read somewhere that Splenda was not so healthy. Something about the processing and bleach (?)…I heard Stevia is plant based and safer. Hubby loves his diet Pepsi (would drink a gallon if it was available to him), but I worry about aspartame sweetener. I’ve heard it reffered to as an “excitotoxin”,

  14. says

    Serena changed my life style and my way of cooking. Not so hard to do either.
    I am a reader grab a snack a book and sit down.
    Well I am still a reader but now I only pick up the book twice a day and pick up knitting the other times. You can’t munch if you want to keep the yarn looking good. Also you have something to show for the hour you have been sitting.
    Also I am cooking differently. When I had children at home it was a lot of casseroles and soups and big sit down meals. Both my boys are now well over 6′ and weigh 200. none of that is fat just muscle. So we are a family of good eaters.
    Now with just my husband and I and more time to spend on fun stuff I do a lot of stir fries, bbqing, and salads.
    20 years ago I was told I had fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Worst thing they could have told me I had. Pills to make me sleep, also had the side effect of making me want to eat anything that wasn’t nailed down and some days I would pull the nails out. in one year I went from 150 to 260lbs. Nobody explained the side effect and I was too sick to care.
    I have never been athletic I was always too sore and clumsy as all get out. But at the age of 50 I was sent to an orthopedic surgeon to find out why I was losing my fine motor skills in my hands. Talked to her for 5 min and she said the nerves around my elbows were in the wrong place and were being squashed. had ulnar nerve surgery on my left arm and the pain went away and my arms stopped shaking. The next year she fixed my right arm. I could actually walk across the room like a normal person because the jarring of my feet touching the floor didn’t hurt my arms.
    I started walking more and felt better and the weight started coming off. In one year I had gotten from 260 down to 220. Not bad since the weight had been going on over a couple of years.
    Then my legs started not wanting to co-operate so the walking ended and the weight came back slowly.
    Last christmas I got sick with some cold virus and I couldn’t breathe for about 2 months. gained weight and finally they decided it wasn’t just a bad cold and I got anti-biotics. It went away but for some at the time unknown reason my feet started swelling. twice the normal size and I was either not walking at all or using crutches. For a month.
    Saw a rhumetologist and he has told me I never had fibro and my feet and hands were swelling and burning because I have sero-negative RA. He says it does not show up in blood work and that makes it very difficult to diagnose so many drs. just tell you that you have fibro.
    Now I am on the right pills and the pain is going away gradually. I saw him 4 weeks ago and they have finally kicked in so I am walking again. Not far but almost every day.
    Another thing about the pills is that they take away my appetite. The first week of taking them I lived on 2 pieces of toast with peanut butter a day. Just didn’t want to look at food, cook food or even shop for food. Good thing we have a freezer and a husband who is not a picky eater.
    I have another 30lbs to go but I am not too worried about it. I am 55 so I don’t think I need to get into the clothes the young scrawny women wear and loosing down from 260 I feel almost petite. It helps that my husband is 6′ and weighs 220. He has also lost down from 280 just from my cooking changes.
    6 months ago he had all his teeth out and is still adjusting to the false teeth which have to be adjusted to his mouth as it settles from the loss. No steaks, or hard foods. For the first month it seemed to be soft food practically baby food.
    Now it is fish chicken for meats.
    We have given up chips which we ate a lot of. almost every night a large bag or two. He drinks diet root beer, tea with splenda and kool aide with splenda. Even the lighter hot chocolate. I still drink coke as it is the only one without citric acid.
    I used to fry almost everything now I deep fry a meal once a week but have cut down on the portion sizes by cutting the fish and chicken into smaller pieces.
    I roast most vegetables using olive oil and different spices.
    We eat popcorn once in a while using a popper not the microwave things.
    When I make pancakes on the weekend I make my own syrup using brown sugar splenda water and a flavouring like rum or brandy from the baking section.
    I rarely make desserts but once in a while we do splurge and have a milk shake. more fruit than ice cream and milk.
    We are outdoors people and spend our spare time out in the canoe the boat or hunting. When we are out we have crackers cheese or very small sandwiches made up as we want them. I use egg buns which are about half the size of hot dog buns.
    so food choices and style of cooking.
    life style changes. nothing drastic just small things makes it easier to continue.
    attitude. One dr said lose weight. I told him to get rid of the pain and I would get rid of the weight. He sent me to the surgeon who fixed my arms. I went back and he said you look like you have lost weight. I told him he got rid of the pain so I got rid of the weight. I told him I stick to my bargains. Did it ever feel good to tell him that.
    set small goals for yourself. get outside every day even on a miserable get outside and smell the fresh air. you will feel better and it is building up towards taking a walk the next day.
    I think I just wrote a book. Tawra can you make it so we can preview what we write so we can keep it in order and not rattle on so much. I write like I talk and when I write my chidrens books I need someone to edit out the extras. guess I need to that in writing to adults as well.

  15. says

    Paula the sandwiches do add up the sugar but he hates to take a meal that has to be open to the air to eat it.
    He works under ground as a hard rock gold miner and the dirt in the air is horrible. Even in the lunch rooms it is just nasty.
    He has always just taken sandwiches in the sandwich bags so he can hold onto the corner of the sandwich and never has to touch it.
    But that is why I say shift work makes it hard to regulate his sugar.
    We have been using splenda for about 6 years now and have had no problems with it. He drank the Nestea drink mixes with splenda but they were expensive so he decided koolaide was just as good. He takes tea bags cinnamon sticks and splenda for hot drinks at work and a small bottle of kool aide and 4 sandwiches of cold meat.
    Sometimes I will use pita pockets as a change. And less bread
    You say you are growing feathers well this year I can swim without breathing. We eat lots of fish. We also catch a lot when we are out boating. I usually for the caught ones leave the skin on and stuff it with a bread dressing wrap it in foil and bake it. No need to fillet it and the bones come out as you serve it hot off the bbq or out of the oven.

    For a lover of pasta you could make the pasta then make either a white sauce or cheese sauce add some flaked fish and peas and serve it on the pasta.

    Make a tomatoe sauce load it with zucchini shredded or finely chopped carrots and onions to top the pasta.

    The more healthy stuff you load into the sauce the less pasta you need under it.

    to start adding cinnamon to things try chinese 5 spice to hams or stir fries of chicken or pork. Then gradually add a touch of cinnamon it won’t show up drastically but it does add a little something to the dish.

  16. Paula says

    Hi Grandma…Thanks for the tips, they’ll come in handy! He loves sushi (yuk)and I’m not much of a fish eater (maybe canned tuna and fishsticks), so there goes the fish….We occasionally have beef, but it’s mostly chicken. I do use chick peas in lieu of meat sometimes to stretch the budget, and he likes falafel (‘meatballls’ made from chickpeas and fried)…

  17. says

    Have some tips. Was a BAD diabetic for many years. 4 insulin shots a day and blood pressure meds. Lost 90 pounds on a 1500 calorie diet (too low for men) eating good foods. Totally gave up pop, no diet coke, pepsi, etc. This really helped because that stuff really increases your cravings for sweets, no kidding.

    Use real coffee, the only milk I use is 8th continent light soy milk (50 calories) which is an expense that has been worth it, this stuff keeps forever in your frig and I find $1 off coupons quite often. Used Wonder Whole Wheat bread for sandwiches, only 110 calories for 2 slices AND has good fiber and protein, use light thomas whole wheat english muffins, lots of fiber and only 100 calories for the whole muffin. You get the idea, find whole grain breads out there that are high in fiber and protein and low in calories that you like. That is the key. No matter how good it is for you, if you don’t like it, if you don’t enjoy what you eat, you will find flavor in bad things plain and simple. Fiber is a big key and yes, these things I mentioned cost a little more, but when you are a diabetic, being careful with the foods you bring in will cost you a whole lot less at the doctor’s office and help you lose the weight. I use Krema peanut butter which has no added oils, sugars or salt and tastes great. Bought a peanut butter stirrer off the net, works GREAT for the natural nut butters and has paid for itself. I’m 62 years old and it is all about health. If I can say anything to you guys who are younger, please lose the weight now, get your health back, good food choices will make a great difference and use coupons for these good foods. Because of the years of diabetis and bad self care (very poor eating) I have aortic stenosis. You can’t reverse that with diet, but you can slow the progression down. Correct your diet before this happens to you. Men 1800 to 2000 calories for hard workers is low enough, you will lose. Have fried food once in a while, as long as it is not a daily thing it won’t hurt you that much and is a real treat, once or twice a week is okay. Make my own veggie sausage, which is great and quite low in fat and sodium. Watch your sodium because diabetis runs havoc on your circulatory system and salt does not help.

    I am now off all diabetis meds and off of blood pressure medicine. Wow! One day, a little bird flew in front of my car, swooped down to get food off the road and I barely missed it. I said, I know you are hungry, but it is not worth your life. Then I thought about what I had just said. Great motto, use it. Be wise in your choices, use coupons and save money, but be good to yourself. Of course, it goes with out saying eat fruits instead of juices and get your veggies every day. Hope this helps someone get their health back.

  18. Susan says

    The cinnamon trick is a big thing with my mom. I can’t get her to cut out her sugar. She takes a cinnamon capsule every day. We have found them in the vitamin section of every drug store and even Wal-mart. 1000 units is best but 2000 will actually help you loose weight.


  19. says

    one thing for diabetics to check is to find if rice spikes your sugar. My husband loves rice so we use it a lot thinking it is healthy well if we use the normal rice even the healthier brown rice his sugar goes crazy.
    He was talking to a guy at work and they were talking food and he was told that converted rice does not spike your sugar level. For 2 weeks now I have used Uncle Bens converted rice and his sugar levels are normal.
    The guy discovered that info on the glysemic list for foods.
    Something to keep in mind or think about.
    not sure if I mentioned it here or not but what the heck. my memory is kind of off and on most of the time.

    • Sheri says

      Barely is a good alternative to rice. Barley has something in it (I forget now what it is…) that is good for diabetics. It is also less expensive than converted rice. We do barely much more than rice.

  20. Lisa says

    I have a friend who is a ‘brittle’ diabetic who was doing everything right, but still having great trouble regulating her blood sugar levels. Her high and low spikes were getting life-threatening. For her, the culprit turned out to be dairy products. They raised her levels, then dropped her way low. I think this could be a solution for some people who are mystified by their symptoms.

  21. AMY Ben-Ezra says

    I thought we diabetics were supposed to avoid bananas, and lean toward apples and plums, that have a lower GI index, since we have to watch our cholesterol, too.

      • says

        if my husband has a banana his blood sugar spikes to 15. But I can have bananas with little change.
        I know the american system is different for measuring but 15 is bad.
        I had a problem with dropping in my diabetes and was told to carry a chocolate bar with me. I did but it did nothing to raise my count. I need a piece of bread with peanut butter to start feeling better or a cup of coffee.
        The guidelines are a good starting point but each person has to find what foods work for them.

    • says

      We are having internet problems. I will check with Tawra and Mike. They are fixing it as we specak although I did get your post okay. Didn’t know if there were others.

  22. says

    I reversed my type 2 diabetes and one of the most important things a diabetic can do is to eat only whole grains–whole grain bread, pasta, and wild/brown rices. Stay far away from refined things like white flour, white rice, white pasta. It will hit your blood stream like sugar. Also, healthy oils like olive or peanut or even coconut oils are good to use.

  23. says

    P.S. The ADA recommendations will keep a diabetic on medications for the rest of their lives. Sorry if that offends anyone, but the truth is that you CANNOT have your cake and eat it too–just because you take metformin or something like it, doesn’t mean that you can eat refined food without consequence. Don’t lose hope–there are many wonderful foods/desserts a diabetic can eat. Look at Jim Healthy’s My Healing Kitchen online. Also check out The 30 Day Diabetes Cure by Jim Healthy and Stephan Ripich. I’m not a spokesperson–just someone who tried this approach and was off my meds in only two days!!! :)

    • says

      This is why I don’t like to and rarely do give menus for special diet needs even though people beg us to all the time. They never fit everyone’s needs perfect so it is much better if a person can learn to adapt regular recipes and menus to their own needs. One of the funniest days we had was when a woman called and very nastily hollered at us because all of our recipes didn’t work for her. She needed a diabetic, gluten free, sugar free, wheat free, milk, egg free and a couple of other things diet and we should write some that would work for her. A couple of hours later we had a lady who e mailed us a long e mail saying how much she appreciated our recipes and cookbook because she was on a special diet – she was diabetic, gluten free, sugar free, wheat free, milk, egg free etc. diet and our recipes were so easy to adapt. Once again it is all in the way you look at things.

  24. says

    Gotta tell you, bananas and milk, and a number of the other things listed for meals or snacks, will send my blood sugar over the top. I think each person has to watch their counts and see what tips it up and what keeps it down, but most of us find that many fruits and even vegs, have to be limited depending on what else we have eaten or how long it’s been since we ate. Corn and tomatoes, potatoes, grapes and oranges, as well as bananas and so on, can be a no no. Green vegs, high fiber vegs and fruits, whole grain pasta and bread, meats, those work really well. Say if I have a dish with pasta for lunch, then I know I can have a green veg with it, but not bread or fruit, ect… It’s all about balance. I also know that for me, a banana can push my sugar up as much as some candy. That’s just my two cents and my accounts.

    • Sheri says

      You are so right! On the diabetic meal charts, you only get half of a banana. Put it with peanut butter and you win. Not with another carb.

  25. Linda says

    I have been a diabetic for over 20 years. My pancrease is not functioning at all. 100% dead. I went to school to learn to do diabetic diets.
    Diabetics cannot have much milk at all. It runs your blood sugars up drastically within 1/2 hour.
    A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards.
    What you have to do the most is watch your carbohydrates.( starches) Some people think this means no sugar but they forget the natural sugars in most foods.

    If you only have the choice between 2 foods it would be better to pick a brownie than a potato because it takes the brownie longer to break down and run your sugar up than it does a potato. ( this I did not know)

    Also watch what you drink. There are sugars a nd carbohydrates in most prepared drinks. Other than black coffee and tea.

    1 serving of vegetables is 1/2 cup when cooked and 1 cup when raw.
    It is better to stick with Mrs Dash than to add other things such as butter or margarine. Only a tiny pat of margerine should be added to your serving.Check for low fat margarines and Its not Butter.

    This is even more important when you are on an insulin pump like I am.

  26. Doris says

    I don’t eat cereal, muffins, milk, spinach, greens, kale. The dark green vegetables because they interfere with medication.
    Eggs only for breakfast because an hour after I have grains I’m hungry and wanting protein to keep me full until lunch. I quit milk 65 years ago and only use it to cook with or in ice cream and cheese. I don’t think, I’m very picky, but most foods listed in sample menus leave me feeing sick just reading them.

  27. Grizzly Bear Mom says

    Tawara and Jill: I understand that you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. My take away: more brownies less potatoes! HA HA!

  28. Simplesista says

    Hi! I’m just posting to say glad to read your posts grandma, I did post for the first time a couple of nights ago(I’m new to the site but trawled through the backlog and read most posts from 2010!) and one of the reasons I posted was to ask about u as I hadn’t noticed any recent posts from u! So I’m glad u have posted today and that you’re ok.
    Best wishes from the unusually warm and sunny shores of England today,

  29. Judith says

    There is a big difference between the diet for gestational diabetes with the need for 1/3 more protein and increased Ca for the baby, etc., and that for Type II adult diabetes which doesn’t need nearly as much CHO as these menus have. Every adult diabetic needs to read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis if you really want to get a better handle on your diabetes. Many diabetic educators are WAY behind the latest standards for what the best guidelines are for diabetic health truly are. For example, the daily fasting blood glucose levels have been 70 to 100 for the last 10 years and yet some PMD’s still incorrectly have their patients use the old and out of date 100-130 which will continue to increase heart disease and kidney disease complications and the need for more insulin and other medications.

    • says

      Since we are not doctors we try to be very careful in saying you need to do this or need to do that, only a persons doctor can tell them exactly what they need to do and eat. Be careful in reading things or trying things others have tried with out checking with your doctor. These menus were not given with so much diabetics in mind but more for the average person who would like to eat an all around general healthier diet.

      • Judith says

        “Eat Healthier With These Easy Diabetic Menus” was the topic of this thread or so I thought. I’m sorry Jill, that I got onto the wrong thread. I thought I read something about diets learned when someone was a patient during a gestational diabetic phase of their life. As a person trained in diets, food science technology, foods and nutrition research at the MS level, and having some 30 years in public health and private practice in these areas, LDE, RD, retired now, I didn’t realize I was not qualified to comment as I did in my post. Also, I’ve been a Type II diabetic for some 18 years as have a lot of the other posters. I will try to be more careful in any future posts, not being a doctor, just a Licensed Diabetic Educator and Registered Dietitian, retired.

        • says

          That’s fine Judith my daughter was talking about when she had gestational diabetes but we have to be extra careful about these things because people will sometimes just do what is said on a post from us or a reader and start doing things or diagnosing themselves when they really need to see a doctor. I would really hate for anything to happen to them because they wouldn’t go to see a doctor. I have a feeling your info is fine (if I didn’t I wouldn’t have posted it at all) but have no way of knowing peoples real qualifications etc. either. It was just a misunderstanding we really mostly did the menus because we had some ask us specifically for some healthier ones.

  30. Sheri says

    I was in that same boat and now considered pre-diabetic. Like you said, I can eat anything I want, just not as much. One important thing to reduce the glycemic response is to eat whole grains and less refined foods. It’s just a healthier eating plan for anyone! If I drink fruit juice, it’s just 1/4 cup in my tall glass to flavor my water. I can have ice cream, but only half a cup. Snacks that stick with you include raw nuts and nut butters. And you hardly can go wrong by eating your lightly steamed or raw vegetables and plenty of them! Or an apple– skip the applesauce. The less it is processed the better. It takes longer to digest and keeps you feeling fuller and more satisfied longer. We use plain yogurt as a sour cream substitute. Whole milk yogurt feels and tastes closer to sour cream. Using more cinnamon in the oatmeal and other such things makes it taste sweeter without the sugar AND it helps diabetics! I’ve been eating this way for 11 years when I was pregnant with Ezra. But we have always had a healthy diet and it keeps getting healthier as I learn more.

    I found that cooked dry beans are neutral on my blood sugars. Yes it has carbs, but also protein and plenty of fiber, which both slow down the glycemic response. Long ago, I also discovered that it can satisfy a chocolate craving! Really! I friend of mine kept an open can I her refrigerator for her PMS days! Now we are both well past those days… I’m also glad that dark chocolate is now recognized as a health food. Us ladies always knew that anyways… Didn’t we!

    I never did the artificial sweeteners. I don’t think they are healthy at all! In fact, the research is showing that it makes sugar cravings and insulin response worse!

  31. Lori says

    I’d like to offer my two cents of advice, if I may. I’ve been struggling with diabetes for many years. My Tryglicerides have always been too high, and nothing seemed to work, not even losing weight. I also had terrible digestive issues, so bad that I started wondering if I had Crohn’s disease.

    A friend recommended the Primal/Paleo diet, and 2 months ago, I decided to give it a try. I’ve been a carboholic all my life and wasn’t sure that I could do it. I did not follow it 100% but did eliminate most grains from my diet. Except for the occasional rice and corn tortilla, I did pretty well. Within a week, I noticed that my digestive issues were improving, and this has continued to get better. I can only think that I have a gluten sensitivity and didn’t know it.

    6 weeks after I started, I had my blood work done. My doctor was shocked. My Tryglicerides finally went down, and so did my bad cholesterol! My A1c went down too! I feel better, my energy is constant now, instead of the highs and lows I used to have during the day.

    My dinner tonight was: Meatballs (prepared with almond flour, instead of bread crumbs), roasted spaghetti squash, simply dressed with olive oil and spices, and a cucumber/tomato salad. It was delicious and filling.

    I hope this helps someone. We are all different and that’s the beauty of it. Thanks Jill and Tawra for always offering your advice.

  32. Kelly says

    Tawra, if you aren’t a fan of veggies and are looking for some low-salt seasoning blends, check out Penzey’s Spices. They have a lot of different seasoning blends that are so tasty – I love their Mural of Flavor and Forward! blends. Their catalogs are a joy to read, feature some amazing recipes and really positive articles, and they usually have coupons for free spices. I also like their Ruth Ann’s and Fox Point seasoning as well. Check them out :-)

  33. shirley says

    please i need to know what to have for breakfast lunch and dinner.i have not had any luck keeping my blood sugars down now and i am really worried. i know everyone is different but i don’t know what to eat anymore or how much. i need meal plans to get me started again.

    • says

      I know it can be frustrating Shirley. My daughter (Tawra) is having to go through the same thing you are at the moment. She is on what I call the latest diet a “no food diet”. Even though I am teasing I do know it can be frustrating. Here is one thing you might try. Sometimes writing things down helps to see them more clearly.

      1. Take a sheet of paper and write columns that say fruit, veggies, meats, carbs. etc. and under each column write the things you know you can eat. Start slow with maybe only 5-10 things in each column. As soon as you run out of ideas for a column move on to the next column.

      2.Take a second piece of paper and write breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack in 4 columns. Then referring to the first paper write under breakfast a fruit, a protein, veggie, carb. listing 3-4 things you can have. Move on to lunch and list, dinner then a couple of snacks.

      I would just start with 5 days since you are having trouble. At the end of 5 days repeat those same 5 days.
      If those are working for you then do step 2 again adding 5 more days.

      This gives you a total of 10 days worth of meals which will give you more variety then you realize because the average family surprisingly eats the same 10 meals over and over. To help you get more ideas I have given you the link to the diabetic site bellow which if you click on it it lists the foods you can have, how much you can have etc. You may have to change your list a bit after you try it. Like you said everyone is different so what may cause your blood sugars to spike may not in someone else so just keep adjusting it one food at a time.

      Don’t panic it will take a little practice but you will get it figured out. For breakfast tomorrow start with something simple like an apple with peanut butter on it or scrambled eggs with tomatoes,onions or peppers chopped in it and an apple on the side. For lunch have some chicken with a salad and veggie. See how simple these are that is the way you need to do your list and menus.

      One last thing don’t forget things like if you love chicken salad sandwiches you can still have that just put it on lettuce instead, the same with tuna salad. These are very easy changes which you can do with many things. Here is the diabetes link – Diabetes Ass.

  34. Grizzly bear Mom says

    I’m a type II diabetic and had a blood sugar spike of 455 a month ago and am brining it down steadily. I’ve been as low as 132 but never exceed my 1600 calorie or 44 carbs per meal limits and log food and exercise on myfitnesspal.coom. I have steel cut oatmeal with unsweetened peanut butter for breakfast. For lunch is a pound of vegetables. aspargrus, artichoke, beans, berries, broccoli, cabbage, califlower, carrot, bitter greens, onions, mushrooms, and a tablespoon of peanuts so I can absord the nutrients. No dressing. Dinner is a small burger that I eat from my hand with mayo and blue cheese atop. It tastes better without the bun because the bun masks the caramelization.

  35. grizzly bear mom says

    I forgot to mention that I have a cup of homemade vegetable soup with my burger every night. In the past month I have never exceeded my calorie or carb limits. I track them on my fitness pal. My point is the more nutrients I eat, the healthier and iftter I will be so that I can go into remission from diabetes II.

    Grandma-if you husband works where it is dirty and he doens’t want to touch his food with dirty hands, you could put ANYTHING in a baggie such as quinea and cheese and have him just hold that to his mouth like he does the sandwich.


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