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Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for approximately 90% of all cases. It’s a metabolic disorder, characterized by insulin resistance and fasting elevations in blood sugar levels, and if left untreated can result in a number of serious health complications.

The good news is that this form of diabetes can be prevented, managed, and (in many cases) reversed through the implementation of healthy diet and lifestyle modifications.

Delving deeper into the diet component of the equation, here are some diabetic-friendly food options, along with a 3-day sample meal plan to get you started.

But first – here are a few guiding principles to keep in mind as you go about your day-to-day.

1. Always opt for unprocessed foods in their whole form as often as possible, while limiting refined sugar in its many guises – especially those found in packaged foods, soda, and fruit juices.

2. Aim to get at least 30 grams of dietary fiber each day. If you make an effort to follow principle #1, it shouldn’t be much of an effort, and, in fact, you won’t even have to keep track.

3. Learn to cook and prepare as much of your own food as possible. When you take control of the ingredients going into your food (and mouth), you can still enjoy many of your favorites while controlling the sugar, fat, and salt content.

Diabetic-Friendly Grocery List

Vegetables

Opt for a wide variety of colorful vegetables and eat them raw, lightly steamed, roasted or sautéed.

Greens: kale, spinach, bok choy, collards, and chard

Broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, green beans, eggplant, mushrooms, cucumber, carrots, and celery

Garlic and onions

Tip: Treat vegetables like corn, peas, and potatoes like starches and eat them in smaller sized servings

Fruit

Whole, raw fruit

Lower sugar fruit like berries, grapefruit, and green apples

Unsweetened apple sauce

Tip: Pair fruit with some healthy fat such as a handful of pumpkin seeds or a tablespoon of almond butter to lower it’s glycemic-load (or effect on blood sugar)

Starches

Sweet potatoes and winter squashes

Legumes and beans such as lentils, chickpeas and black beans

Whole grains such as quinoa, millet, brown rice, and steel cut oats

Food items made from whole grains but with no (or very little) added sugars

Proteins

Plant-based proteins, such as beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, or tempeh

Fish and seafood

Poultry and grass-fed beef

Eggs and dairy coming from grass-fed animals

Plain, unsweetened yogurt

Quality protein powder

Fats and Oils

Avocados, raw nuts and seeds, ground flax and chia seeds

Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids: sardines, mackerel, salmon

Olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter

Condiments

Cinnamon (Tip: add it to your coffee, tea, and smoothies)

Fresh herbs and spices like turmeric and fenugreek

Apple cider vinegar, umeboshi plum vinegar

Sweeteners: small amounts of stevia and xylitol

Sauces with no (or little) added sugar

Beverages

Water

Sparkling water

Coffee or tea with no added sugar

Fresh vegetable juices

100% unsweetened fruit juice (Tip: cut juice with water to reduce natural sweetness)

3-Day Sample Meal Plan

Day 1

Breakfast: Blueberry Coconut Smoothie with ½ cup of frozen blueberries, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1 heaping tbsp. of ground flaxseeds, ½ cup coconut milk and  ½ cup water.

Lunch: Avocado & Black Bean Salad

Snack: Cucumber and Carrot Sticks w/ hummus

Dinner: Wild Salmon w/ steamed asparagus and brown rice

Day 2

Breakfast: Omelet Healthy Breakfast OptionBreakfast: Omelet with spinach, mushrooms, onion and Parmesan cheese

Lunch: Turkey Vegetable Chili

Snack: Apple slices with 1 tbsp. of almond butter

Dinner: Roasted Chicken w/ a small sweet potato and green beans

Day 3

Breakfast: Bowl of steel cut oats with chopped walnuts, grated apple, and a splash of coconut milk

Lunch: Spinach Salad with Chicken

Snack: Handful of raw almonds

Dinner: Vegetable Stir-fry with tempeh

Note: If you’re taking diabetic medication always consult your doctor before taking any nutritional supplements, or starting a new diet plan.

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Elaine Brisebois
About the Author

Elaine is a Certified Nutritionist and Women’s Health Coach. She works with clients across the globe to help them improve their health and relationship with food. Elaine believes in a real food approach to health that is rooted in optimizing digestion and includes ongoing and intelligent cleansing. You can download her FREE Hip, Healthy & Holistic Makeover Guide to learn 5 simple things you can do every day to lose weight, increase energy, kick cravings, and feel beautiful inside & out.