Quality food intake with balanced meal planning is the key to healthy success for those with diabetes. Nevertheless, diabetic menus don't have to be dull. With just a little forethought, daily menus for diabetics can be appealing, pleasing and healthy. The goal with each diabetic menu suggestion is to select foods that help maintain and stabilize blood sugar. Great diabetic menu choices encourage healthy eating which diabetics and non-diabetics will find beneficial.
Breakfast Menu Examples
Start breakfast with healthful foods that provide energy. For breakfast, protein from poached eggs is healthy, even for those who only want to consume the egg-white portion. Add a whole-grain slice of bread to serve with the poached eggs and a wedge of cantaloupe. Another breakfast idea is to dress up oatmeal with fiber and flavor by adding flax seeds, apple chucks, cinnamon and a tablespoon of walnuts. With the oatmeal, enjoy a cup of herbal tea and some non-fat yogurt. Breakfast can be fun and fanciful, especially when creating a quick frittata made with vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, celery, onion or zucchini. Add a slice of fresh pineapple to help digest the egg protein in the frittata. Whole grains are an important part of the diabetic menu planning. Whole-grain breads, rolls or muffins are a quick way to create breakfast. Add natural peanut butter and non-sugar fruit spread to any whole-grain bread and combine it with a delicious and nutritious fruit smoothie.
Lunch Menu Examples
Ideal portions for diabetic menus consist of 1/4-portion whole grains, 1/4-portion lean protein and 1/2-portion vegetables, states "The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook." Types of example menu ideas that follow this formula are spinach salad with pine nuts and goat cheese, mandarin oranges and lentil soup. Add extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar to the spinach salad for a simple homemade dressing. Another lunch menu idea is to create lettuce wraps filled with carrot shavings, cucumber slices and spiced pork. Add a green salad with some mango and non-fat yogurt. For lunch with a southwestern flair, try a black bean burrito with grilled red and green peppers, onions and fresh cilantro. Create a southwestern corn and zucchini saute for a side dish by adding southwestern spices such as chili powder. For dessert, cool the palate with fresh strawberries. Another example of a nutritious lunch is middle-eastern style chicken kabobs skewered with a variety of vegetables and served with tabbouleh and a few slices of a fresh orange.
Dinner Menu Examples
MayoClinic.com promotes many main meal recipes for diabetics. Some of its suggestions include barbecue chicken pizza. Create your own chicken pizza by starting with a good quality crust and add plenty of vegetables to top the pizza, such as fresh tomatoes, onion or even lettuce. The pizza pairs well with coleslaw and a refreshing glass of ice tea. When using lean meats for dinner menus, pair the dishes with plenty of vegetables. For example, create beef stew that contains 75 percent of vegetables with 25 percent of beef. For a beef stew supper, add a side of fresh steamed green beans. Another example dinner is risotto, which makes a hearty meal especially with added barley and roasted tomatoes. Instead of old-fashioned hamburgers for grilled dinners, create black bean burgers with plenty of fresh vegetable toppings of your choice. Add a chipotle ketchup for additional flavor and on the side, serve sauteed mushrooms. Consider dinner menu items of broccoli, chicken and cheddar cheese baked casserole with a carrot raisin salad on the side. Fish and shellfish make excellent dinner menu choices that are quick and easy to prepare. Skewered shrimp is a delight on the grill, or even quick baked in an oven. Pair the shrimp with brown rice and broccoli coated with sesame seeds. Halibut and salmon are additional healthy fish entrees. Steamed fresh vegetables pair well with either fish choice. Add a green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing to create a perfect diabetic dinner menu.
- "The EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook"; Joyce Hendley, et al.; 2005
- MayoClinic.com: Diabetes Meal Plan Recipes