1200 Calorie Diabetic Diet Meal Plan and Foods List

1200 Calorie Diabetic Diet Meal Plan and Foods List

At nearly half the calories of the average daily intake, a 1200 calorie diabetic diet can seem like an impossibly huge challenge to stick to day in and day out. However, it’s sometimes recommended as the best diabetic diet to individuals, most of the time in cases where a person is very overweight or obese. The reason a 1200 calorie plan might be the best diabetic diet for some people is because being overweight can significantly increase the risk of health conditions, like those related to the heart. In addition, excess weight can make managing blood sugar more difficult.

Most diets that are recommended for diabetes focus on the way in which foods affect blood sugar levels. As a result of this, diabetics oftentimes select low glycemic foods, because they are considered “carbless” and therefore less likely to affect blood sugar levels. While this is fine for people who are on a low carb diabetic diet, there are many foods that have few if any carbs that might not affect blood sugar levels at all, but are still not appropriate for a 1200 calorie diabetic diet because their fat content is too high. Some examples of low glycemic foods that would fall into this category would be oils and fats, many nuts, cheese, eggs and certain cuts of meat.

Finding the right balance between a food’s calorie content and the amount of carbs it contains can be a bit of a struggle, as many high cal foods provide low carb options. However, there are some ways for people on a 1200 calorie diabetic diet to continue to enjoy flavorful foods, without the fat and without the excessive bad carbohydrates too. One method is to consider herbs for diabetes. There are multiple benefits to explore here, but medicinal uses as well as providing an opportunity for substitution are both key reasons why herbs might be an integral part of a 1200 calorie diabetic diet. For instance, cinnamon is considered one of the best herbs for diabetes, and studies have shown it to be very effective at lowering blood sugar levels over time. To a person on a 1200 calorie diabetic diet, benefits are furthered when cinnamon is used in place of refined white sugar in beverages and cooking, which can dramatically reduce daily caloric intake.

But, perhaps the best way to demonstrate how delicious and filling a 1200 calorie diet can be is to provide a diabetic diet menu that includes all three meals plus two daily snacks. This sample diabetic diet is easily modified, sure to provide enough to eat to keep tummies from grumbling, as well as a balanced and diverse blend of foods to gain as much necessary nutrition as possible. The point of a 1200 calorie diabetic diet is to encourage healthy weight loss in order to greatly reduce the risk of complications down the road that can be significantly impacted by weight – and when that can be done without sacrificing many delicious meal time staples, it’s sure to be a win-win situation. Our sample diabetic diet follows, walking through an entire day that is short on calories, but big on flavor.

Breakfast: Start the day off right with a cup of cheerios and a cup of skim milk. Get an energy boost from a medium orange.

Food List Sample Choices:
½ cup blueberries
½ a banana
1 cup bran flakes
1 whole wheat English muffin

Morning Snack: fresh fruit like one apple, one kiwi or half a cup of cantaloupe is an ideal morning snack and will prevent feelings of tiredness and grogginess until the next meal.

Lunch: Skipping lunch may seem like a requirement of a 1200 calorie diabetic diet, but it doesn’t have to be with healthy food choices. Pick tossed salad with low cal dressing or a low fat and low calorie soup, and pair either with a slice of reduced calorie bread such as oatmeal bran. Choose fresh fruit for a sweet treat afterwards, such as a cup of delicious honeydew melon.

Food List Sample Choices:
Manhattan crab chowder (a cup)
Applesauce (unsweetened)
Veggie Burgers
Whole Wheat Pitas
Fresh fruits
Mixed Salads

Afternoon Snack: Go savory in the afternoon and stick with fresh vegetable and satisfying yet healthy dips. Carrot sticks and chunky salsa provide a tasty afternoon treat. Or, pick hummus for a heart healthy afternoon pick me up.

Dinner: After a whole day of eating, it can seem like there is nothing left on a 1200 calorie diabetic diet to truly enjoy dinner. But, healthy choices throughout the day make dinner a satisfying and exciting meal that is sure to prevent caloric guilt. Lean meats, whole grains and decadent veggies are the hallmarks of a low cal diabetic dinner. Choices like brown rice and quinoa can nicely compliment skinless chicken or even lean cuts of meat, so long as portion size is controlled (around 3-4 ounces). Steamed spinach or broccoli is a perfect accompaniment, as are carrots, Brussels sprouts and more. Baking proteins instead of searing or frying eliminates excess fat and calories, allowing for a hearty and satisfying plate.

Food List Sample Choices:
Whole fruits like peaches or apples
Brown rice, quinoa, couscous, whole wheat pastas
Boneless chicken, turkey, lean pork loin or choice cuts of red meat, fish
Steamed green vegetables like green beans, broccoli or spinach or a mix

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