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Five healthy meal plans for diabetics

We get one question on Diabetic South Africans over and over again: do you have a meal plan? Yes, we do – here it is. But one meal plan doesn’t necessarily make sense because we all have such different diets. Some of us are vegetarian, eat a traditional menu, eat mainly Indian food or need to eat on a budget.

That’s why we were so excited to find these five meal plans from Sanofi, with ideas for everything from a Western diet to a budget diet, Indian diet, vegetarian diet and traditional diet. Take a look at the meal plans below, and download them to see the information in full detail.

the plate model for healthy eating

The plate model

These meal plans all use the plate model to help with portions. The idea is that you divide a plate into four parts.

  1. Fill half of the plate with a variety of vegetables.
    Spinach, carrots, lettuce, gem squash, carrots, peas, butternut, beetroot, cabbage, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, cucumber, mushrooms, peppers, asparagus, eggplant and baby marrow are all good choices.
  2. Fill one of the quarter sections with whole grain, high fibre, low GI starches.
    Corn, rolled oats, high fibre breakfast cereals, bulgar wheat, “Stampkoring”, wild brown rice, sweet potato, baby potato, heavy seed/rye breads and whole grain crackers are all healthy choices.
  3. Fill the last quarter of the plate with protein foods.
    Skinless chicken and turkey, fish and other seafood, lean cuts of beef and pork (sirloin, fillet or pork loin), tofu, soya, eggs and legumes (lentils, dry beans and chickpeas). Avoid processed meats (salami, vienna sausages and polony), which are high in saturated fat and salt

Fruit and dairy

These meal plans suggest a variety of fruits in controlled portions.
One serving is a medium portion of fruit (oranges, apples, pears or small bananas), or two small fruit (plums), or one cup of fresh fruit salad. Always eat some protein (nuts, cheese, peanut butter) with a fruit to prevent a blood sugar spike.

You can also add 2 servings of dairy per day: a glass (240 ml) of low-fat milk, or 180 ml of plain, unsweetened yoghurt.

Western meal plan

Western meal plan for diabetes

Budget meal plan

Budget meal plan for diabetics

Vegetarian meal plan

Indian meal plan for diabetics

Traditional meal plan

Traditional meal plan for diabetics

Indian meal plan

Indian meal plan for diabetics

Let us know which of these meal plans you’re most excited to try, or what helpful tips you have to share about meal plans and diabetes.

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  4. […] The carbohydrate and protein combination will keep your glucose stable and avoid hunger and cravings. There is a wonderful variety of tasty foods that are on a healthy meal plan. […]

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.