There is no single 2000-calorie meal plan that is right for everyone with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends you meet with a registered dietitian to develop an individualized meal plan that meets your treatment goals and lifestyle. In following your meal plan, pay attention to portions of carbohydrate groups – these include starches, fruit and milk. These food groups have the biggest effect on your blood sugar. Individualize this menu by substituting one carbohydrate group for another. Keep the total carbohydrate servings to no more than four per meal.
Basic Portion Sizes
Memorize some basic portion sizes, especially for the carbohydrate groups. For example, one slice of bread; ½ c. cooked cereal or starchy vegetable; 1/3 c. rice or ¾ c. unsweetened ready-to-eat cereal counts as one serving from the starch group. For the fruit group, 1 medium fresh fruit; 1 c. chopped fresh fruit or berries; ½ c. unsweetened canned fruit or fruit juice or 2 tbsp. dried fruit counts as a serving. One cup of milk or plain or light yogurt counts as a milk serving.
A typical breakfast for a 2000 calorie meal plan includes 2 starches, 1 fruit, 1 milk, 1 oz. meat or meat substitute and 1 fat. For example, an English muffin with 1 tbsp. whipped margarine, 1 c. strawberries, 1 c. skim milk and ¼ c. egg substitute provides a balanced breakfast. Or, have ¾ c. unsweetened ready-to-eat cereal with 1 c. skim milk, 1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 tbsp. whipped margarine, 1 c. blueberries and ¼ c. nonfat cottage cheese.
For lunch, include 2 oz. meat or meat substitute, 2 starches, 2 vegetables, 1 fruit, 1 milk and 1 fat. Make a sandwich with 2 slices whole wheat bread, 2 oz. lean lunch meat, lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, 2 tbsp. avocado and 1 tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise. Add 1 c. baby carrots, 1 apple and 1 c. light yogurt to round it out. Or, make a chicken pasta salad with 2 oz. chicken, 1 c. whole wheat pasta, 1 c. chopped fresh vegetables, 1 c. fresh salad greens and 2 tbsp. low-fat salad dressing. Add 1 c. cubed melon and 1 c. skim milk or light yogurt.
For dinner, include 3 oz. meat or meat substitute, 2 starches, 2 vegetables, 1 fruit and 2 fats. For example, have 3 oz. grilled salmon, 2/3 c. brown rice pilaf, 1 c. cooked broccoli, 1 c. fresh salad greens, 8 large black olives, 1 tbsp. low-fat salad dressing and ¾ c. mandarin oranges. Or, have 3 oz. pork tenderloin, 1 c. baked sweet potato with 1 tbsp. whipped margarine, 1 c. roasted Brussel sprouts tossed with 1 tsp. olive oil and ½ of a large pear.
Include a mid-afternoon snack of 1 starch, such as 3 c. popcorn or ¾ oz. pretzels or two 4-in. rice cakes. Include an evening or bedtime snack of 1 starch, 1 milk and 1 fruit; for example, have 1 c. light yogurt with ¼ c. low-fat granola and ½ of a large banana.
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Diabetes Diet – Diabetic Exchange Lists; Harvey Simon, MD; May 2009
- Drugs.com; 2000 Calorie Diabetic Diet; June 2011
- NHLBI: Food Exchange Lists
- Novo Nordisk; “Carb Counting and Meal Planning”; April 2010
- Bristol-Myers Squibb Company: “The Type 2 Diabetes Meal Planner”