Vegetarian Meal Plan for Diabetes – EatingWell

In this vegetarian plan for diabetes, we include plenty of plant-based proteins, plus fiber-packed nutrients (think legumes, fruits and vegetables and whole grains) to keep you feeling satisfied and your blood sugars—and energy levels—balanced all day long. The key to good blood sugar balance is to eat quality high-fiber carbohydrate choices (whole grains, legumes, fruit and starchy vegetables), while including a solid protein source at each meal. This combination of fiber and protein at each meal helps slow down digestion, which also slows the rate at which glucose enters your blood stream. As a result, you're less likely to experience drastic blood sugar spikes and energy swings in the short run, which has positive effects on your overall health in the long run.
Learn More: 12 Healthy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar
Because weight loss can play a role in improving blood sugars, we set this plan at 1,500 calories per day, which is a level where most people will lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you have other calorie needs, we included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day.
Eating a balanced vegetarian diet has its share of health benefits. People who eat more plant-based foods are more likely to hit their daily fiber goals, which is a powerhouse nutrient that most of us are skimping out on. Likely related to increased fiber intake, people who focus on plant-based proteins tend to have better blood sugars, lower body weights, improved heart health and even a lower risk of certain cancers. Interested in eating more plant-based foods but unsure if you want to take the vegetarian plunge? The flexitarian diet is a great option and you'll still reap the health benefits by increasing plant-based foods.
Include plenty of protein, high fiber foods and healthy fats to maximize your health and stabilize blood sugars
Daily Totals: 1,502 calories, 80g protein, 137g carbohydrate, 34g fiber, 77g fat, 1,386mg sodium
To Make it 1,200 Calories: Change A.M. snack to 1/4 cup blueberries and omit the walnuts at P.M. snack.
To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 medium apple with 1 1/2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to lunch, increase to 15 dried walnut halves at P.M. snack plus add 1/2 an avocado, sliced, to dinner.
Daily Totals: 1,512 calories, 84g protein, 125g carbohydrate, 39g fiber, 80g fat, 1,571mg sodium
To Make it 1,200 Calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 peach and omit yogurt at P.M. snack.
To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 medium apple with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to lunch and add 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to P.M. snack.
Daily Totals: 1,484 calories, 76g protein, 136g carbohydrate, 40g fiber, 75g fat, 1,769mg sodium
To Make it 1,200 Calories: Reduce to 1/3 cup edamame in pods at P.M. snack and omit mixed greens with Citrus Vinaigrette at dinner.
To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to A.M. snack and add 1 medium apple with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to lunch.
Daily Totals: 1,510 calories, 77g protein, 114g carbohydrate, 34g fiber, 86g fat, 1,423mg sodium
To Make it 1,200 Calories: Change A.M. snack to 1 plum and omit baguette at dinner.
To Make it 2,000 Calories: Increase to 3 stalks celery and 2 1/2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter at A.M. snack, add 1 large pear to lunch, increase to 20 dried walnut halves at P.M. snack plus swap 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast for the baguette at dinner.
Meal-Prep Tip: reserve two servings Quinoa-Black Bean Salad to have for lunch on days 6 & 7
Daily Totals: 1,500 calories, 76g protein, 146g carbohydrate, 37g fiber, 72g fat, 1,393mg sodium
To Make it 1,200 Calories: change A.M. snack to 1 plum and omit kefir at P.M. snack
To Make it 2,000 Calories: add 1 medium apple with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to lunch and add 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to P.M. snack
Daily Totals: 1,512 calories, 70g protein, 147g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 78g fat, 1,140mg sodium
To Make it 1,200 Calories: Omit pear at breakfast, omit yogurt at A.M. snack and change P.M. snack to 1 plum.
To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to A.M. snack and add 1 medium apple with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to lunch.
Daily Totals: 1,503 calories, 74g protein, 139g carbohydrate, 34g fiber, 75g fat, 1,025mg sodium
To Make it 1,200 Calories: Change A.M. snack to 1/4 cup blueberries and change P.M. snack to 1 plum.
To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 medium apple with 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to lunch and add 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast to dinner.

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