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Diabetes Health Center

Your Diabetes Menu Plan

Tips and recipes to help you keep your diet on track.
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By Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD
WebMD Magazine - Feature

How do you get all the nutrition you need in a day while still being mindful of calories and carbs? The secret is to plan ahead.

Meal planning depends on lots of things, like your taste preferences, medications, and activity level, says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, CDE, author of Diabetes Weight Loss -- Week by Week.

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But good general advice to follow is to keep your carbs consistent -- eat the same amount at breakfast, lunch, and dinner to keep blood sugar from spiking or dipping too low. Weisenberger recommends 45 grams as a target for the three main meals of the day. "If you go lower than 30 grams at a meal, it's going to be really hard to get all the nutrients you need, such as fiber and phytochemicals," the health-boosting nutrients in fruits and vegetables.

This sample meal plan provides 1,400 calories. Supplement with healthy snacks to reach your personal calorie goals.

Breakfast

If you're rushed in the mornings, make breakfast a snap with mix-and-match prepared items such as hardboiled eggs, nuts or seeds, a part-skim cheese stick, peanut butter, or yogurt for protein; toast, crispbread, or unsweetened instant oatmeal for whole grains; plus any kind of fruit -- dried fruit, a banana, an apple.

Menu

Avocado Toast and Egg

Café au lait made with a half cup 1% milk

Medium orange

Avocado Toast and Egg

This has to be one of the most satisfying, easy breakfasts around, thanks to a helping of fiber from the avocado and whole-grain bread. For an extra flavor kick, sprinkle with Cajun seasoning or smoked paprika.

Makes 1 serving.

Ingredients:

1 slice 100% whole grain bread

1/5 avocado

1 egg

salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Toast bread. Scoop out avocado and mash onto toast. Top with a poached or soft-boiled egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Per serving: 235 calories, 10 g protein, 19 g carbohydrate, 14 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 164 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 194 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 52%

Lunch

Getting out of the two-slices-of-bread sandwich rut can be an easy way to control carbs. Stick to a small whole wheat pita or enjoy some rye crispbreads alongside a protein- and veggie-loaded salad or soup for a satisfying midday meal.

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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