November is American Diabetes Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing our best tips for meal planning with diabetes.
The key to maintaining a healthy diet and managing diabetes is to start with a plan. A meal plan helps you plan, shop for, and cook healthy meals that fit your lifestyle, schedule, tastes and health needs. The right meal plan can help people with diabetes improve their blood glucose, manage their weight, and even improve their cholesterol and blood pressure, reducing the risk of diabetes-related complications.
Beyond the many health benefits, meal planning can help you save time and money. By planning your meals for an entire week, you can make a master shopping list and save time by going to the grocery store just once. Making a list will help you avoid impulse buying, which can increase your total spending and fill your cart with no-so-healthy items. By planning ahead for healthy meals that fit your schedule, you’ll be able to cook at home more often and eliminate the stress of the daily “what’s for dinner” question.
Related Recipe: Sweet-and-Spicy Pork Tenderloin from the eMeals Diabetic Meal Plan
So how do you get started with meal planning?
Schedule a specific time when you will plan your meals each week. Set yourself up for success by choosing simple, practical meals that will fit into your schedule. Then make a grocery list, and do all of your shopping for the week in one trip.
People with diabetes must take special care to balance the amount of carbohydrate in the food they eat with insulin, medication and exercise to keep their blood glucose level in a healthy range. A doctor or dietitian can help you determine the right amount of carbohydrate for you.
Meal planning for diabetes can be a challenge. Beyond the task of choosing recipes and building a shopping list, it’s also important to know the amount of carbohydrate in the meals you plan. The eMeals Diabetic Meal Plan simplifies your meal planning process by providing seven new dinner recipes each week with a coordinating shopping list. Each meal includes calories, grams of carbohydrate and grams of fiber to help you match your meals to the eating plan you developed with your doctor or dietitian. Five of the meals each week contain between 50 and 60 grams of total carbohydrate (about 4 Carb Exchanges), while the other two meals are lower in carbs, each with 30 to 40 grams of total carbohydrate (about 2 Carb Exchanges). All of the meals are heart-healthy and suitable for your entire family.
Check out the eMeals Diabetic Meal Plan and let us help simplify your meal planning process.
Below we’ve included an Alternate Carbohydrate List for you to download. These items all contain about 15 grams of carbohydrate and can be used to supplement your meal plan if needed to reach your carbohydrate intake goals, or reference this list for snacks throughout the day. To download the printable, click the thumbnail below.
-Text by Jessica Cox, RD