1800 Calorie Diabetic Diet Meal Plan and Foods List

1800 Calorie Diabetic Diet

Calorie restrictive diets are challenging for anyone, and diabetics may struggle even more as their food selections can be even further limited. However, balancing lower caloric needs with a good diabetic diet can be simple and delicious. This is because the staples of a good diabetic diet are whole foods like fresh produce, lean meats and whole grains. These types of foods are easily incorporated into an 1800 calorie diabetic diet, making eating healthier much easier.

Special attention must still be given to low glycemic foods, however, which can be one challenge for people on an 1800 calorie diabetic diet. Just because calorie needs are being met does not mean that the need to monitor sugar intake no longer exists. Again, a balance is easy to strike here because foods that are considered low glycemic foods typically, although not always, have fewer calories than their carb laden counterparts. Hence, choosing foods for an 1800 calorie diabetic diet is likely to include many low glycemic options anyways.

Controlling diet is very important for diabetics; and, although it can be challenging at times, managing food intake is as important to successful disease management as diabetes medications are. In fact, regular physical activity and an appropriate diet are required in order for some diabetes medications to work properly. Solutions like an 1800 calorie diabetic diet are important for another reason – they help slow disease progression by contributing to better overall health. As diabetes worsens, so increases the risk of serious complications like blindness, diabetic neuropathy, and paralysis and heart problems, amongst others.

A sample diabetic diet for a person limited to 1800 calories daily may seem very challenging. However, a satisfying breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks are possible even with these caloric limits. Although less restrictive than a 1500 calorie diabetic diet, there are some limitations to cutting the average daily calorie intake by 200. But many people adjust easily and find that eating healthier foods make sticking to an 1800 calorie diabetic diet much easier. Our favorite sample diabetic diet for persons staying under 1800 calories a day follows, including meals and snacks, too!


Start the first meal of the day with one banana and 1.5 cups of bran cereal with one cup of 1% milk. The cereal provides energy and fiber that is the staple of many foods that lower blood sugar. Coffee can complement the meal but cream and sugar should be skipped unless calorie free options are selected.

Breakfast Food List Sample Choices:

  • Bran Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Fruit (one apple, one peach, one banana, half a grapefruit)
  • Skim or 1% milk
  • Whole wheat toast or bagels

Mid Morning Snack

Keep an energetic feeling all the way to lunchtime by enjoying 1.5 cups of cubed cantaloupe along with an ounce of healthy fat boasting walnuts.

Mid Morning Snack Food List Sample Choices:

  • One ounce of various nuts (almonds are another good choice)
  • Cut up fresh veggies
  • Cut up fresh fruit
  • Cereal or grain bars


One of the most important parts of an 1800 calorie diabetic diet is eating smaller meals regularly. This helps keep blood sugar on track throughout the day and can make medicine dosing much more accurate. Lunch is unfortunately a frequently skipped meal, but the mid day munch should not be missed. A fiber full lemon lentil salad topped with a small portion of salmon provides essential nutrients, including a few that might help regulate blood sugar levels. Paired with half a whole wheat pita and one cup of 1% milk or sparkling water, it’s a filling and satisfying meal to help get through the day.

Lunch Food List Sample Choices:

  • Tossed salads (with or without lean protein)
  • Half a lunch meat sandwich (on whole wheat)
  • Whole wheat pasta

Mid Afternoon Snack

It may be surprising that an afternoon snack can be squeezed in on an 1800 calorie diabetic diet, but there’s room for snacking when healthy choices are made throughout the day. Snacks also help maintain blood sugar levels in between meals, and are important to include because of this. Two tablespoons of store bought hummus and four ounces of fresh carrot sticks make an excellent afternoon snack, and nutrient benefits from the chickpeas and carrots far outweigh their low calorie count.


Sticking with lean meats accompanied by a healthy starch and nutrient packed veggies can make every night’s dinner a tasty event. Consider grilled steaks rubbed with chili paired with ¾ cup brown rice and a cup of steamed spinach. Even though dinner is often the most challenging meal on an 1800 calorie diabetic diet, cooking habits and preparation methods can help people make the most of their healthy ingredients.

Dinner Food List Sample Choices:

  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Grilled Salmon
  • Steamed Broccoli, carrots, mixed veggies
  • Brown rice, quinoa, couscous