The Mediterranean Diet and Diabetes

If you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, a diabetic eating plan is very important to maintain a healthy life. The recommended diet plan below is nutrient rich and low in fat and calories. A common eating mistake many diabetics make is skipping meals then overeating.

A Sample Diet Plan

A diabetic eating schedule may be four to six small meals over the course of a day. Eating small portions, many times over the day could be easier for the body to metabolize the vitamins, minerals and sugars.

Breakfast: (360 calories, 52.5 grams carbohydrate)

  • 1 slice toasted whole wheat bread with 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute or cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 small banana

Lunch: (535 calories, 75 grams carbohydrate)

  • 1 cup vegetable soup with 4-6 crackers
  • 1 turkey sandwich (2 slices whole wheat bread, 1 ounce turkey and 1 ounce low-fat cheese, 1 teaspoon mayonnaise)
  • 1 small apple

Dinner: (635 calories, 65 grams carbohydrate)

  • 4 ounces broiled chicken breast with basil and oregano sprinkled on top
  • 2/3 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked carrots
  • 1 small whole grain dinner roll with 1 teaspoon margarine
  • Tossed salad with 2 tablespoons low-fat salad dressing
  • 4 unsweetened canned apricot halves or 1 small slice of angel food cake

Snacks: (Each has 60 calories or 15 grams carbohydrate. Pick two per day.)

  • 16 fat-free tortilla chips with salsa
  • 1/2 cup artificially sweetened chocolate pudding
  • 1 ounce string cheese plus one small piece of fruit
  • 3 cups lite popcorn

Best Foods to Eat

Grains and Starchy Vegetables

Foods with a glycemic index lower than 55 are considered low glycemic foods, and are usually excellent choices. You may be surprised to hear that whole grains like brown rice are ideal starchy food choices, whereas beets, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and white potatoes are not.

Glycemic Index of Cereals

  • Kellogg’s All Bran 51
  • Kellogg’s Bran Buds 45
  • Kellogg’s Cornflakes 84
  • Kellogg’s Rice Krispies 82
  • Kellogg’s Special K 54
  • Oatmeal 49
  • Shredded Wheat 67
  • Quaker Puffed Wheat 67

Glycemic Index of Pasta

  • Spaghetti 43
  • Ravioli (meat) 39
  • Fettuccini (egg) 32
  • Spiral Pasta 43
  • Capellini 45
  • Linguine 46
  • Macaroni 47
  • Rice vermicelli 58

Glycemic Index of Grains

  • Buckwheat 54
  • Bulgur 48
  • Basmati Rice 58
  • Brown Rice 55
  • Long grain White Rice 56
  • Short grain White Rice 72
  • Uncle Ben’s Converted 44
  • Noodles (instant) 46
  • Taco Shells 68

Glycemic Index of Breads inc. Muffins & Cakes

  • Bagel 72
  • Blueberry Muffin 59
  • Croissant 67
  • Donut 76
  • Pita Bread 57
  • Pumpernickel Bread 51
  • Rye Bread 76
  • Sour Dough Bread 52
  • Sponge Cake 46
  • Stone Ground Whole wheat bread 53
  • Waffles 76
  • White Bread 70
  • Whole Wheat Bread 69

Fruits and Veggies

Strive to consume 3-5 servings of vegetable and 2-3 servings of fruit. These two food groups can supply you with most of the mineral, vitamins, and in the case of leafy greens, even protein that you need.

Glycemic Index of Fruit

  • Apple 38
  • Banana 55
  • Cantaloupe 65
  • Cherries 22
  • Grapefruit 25
  • Grapes 46
  • Kiwi 52
  • Mango 55
  • Orange 44
  • Papaya 58
  • Pear 38
  • Pineapple 66
  • Plum 39
  • Watermelon 103

Glycemic Index of Vegetables

  • Beets 69
  • Broccoli 10
  • Cabbage 10
  • Carrots 49
  • Corn 55
  • Green Peas 48
  • Lettuce 10
  • Mushrooms 10
  • Onions 10
  • Parsnips 97
  • Potato (baked) 93
  • Potato (mashed, instant) 86
  • Potato (new) 62
  • Potato (french fries) 75
  • Red Peppers 10
  • Pumpkin 75
  • Sweet Potato 54

Fats, Sweets and Alcohol

Foods that are high in fat and sugars should be used in extreme moderation. They exert a tremendous effect on blood sugar and your metabolism’s ability to function properly. Moreover, as a diabetic, calorie count is important.

Avoiding these calorie-dense foods is strictly endorsed by health care professionals. Unfortunately, these foods are often the very ones we turn to when looking for comfort on a plate or in a glass. Because over-consumption so often can be traced to emotional eating, you should include a record of your thoughts and feelings about food in your diabetic food journal.

Glycemic Index of Dairy

  • Milk (whole) 22
  • Milk (skimmed) 32
  • Milk (chocolate flavored) 34
  • Ice Cream (whole) 61
  • Ice cream (low-fat) 50
  • Yogurt (low-fat) 33

Glycemic Index of Beans

  • Baked Beans 48
  • Broad Beans 79
  • Cannellini Beans 31
  • Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) 33
  • Lentils 30
  • Lima Beans 32
  • Navy Beans 38
  • Pinto Beans 39
  • Red Kidney Beans 27
  • Soy Beans 18
  • White Beans 31

Glycemic Index of Snacks

  • Cashews 22
  • Chocolate Bar 49
  • Corn Chips 72
  • Jelly Beans 80
  • Peanuts 14
  • Popcorn 55
  • Potato Chips 55
  • Pretzels 83
  • Snickers Bar 41
  • Walnuts 15

Glycemic Index of Cookies

  • Graham Crackers 74
  • Kavli Crispbread 71
  • Melba Toast 70
  • Oatmeal Cookies 55
  • Rice Cakes 82
  • Rice Crackers 91
  • Ryvita Crispbread 69
  • Soda Crackers 74
  • Shortbread Cookies 64
  • Stoned Wheat Thins 67
  • Vanilla Wafers
  • Water crackers 78

Glycemic Index of Sugars

  • Fructose 23
  • Glucose 100
  • Honey 58
  • Lactose 46
  • Maltose 105
  • Sucrose 65

Most Common Questions About Diabetes

Eating out can be really fun if you go out with friends and share. Three ways to cut your portions at restaurants are: Order one dish from the menu, an extra plate and split the food between friends. Order from the side dish menu; sample this, sample that. Or cut whole orders in half by asking the wait staff to place half the portion in a take-out container for later.

A fabulous breakfast consists of fresh fruit in tasty combination. Try bananas and melons with a small piece of whole grain bread. Shop the fresh produce section of your market for seasonal selections.

Eat lunch with a relaxed attitude. Enjoy a variety of raw or lightly cooked vegetables. Remember to add flavor with different spices, just make sure you limit the salt.

Start the evening meal with salad, followed by a hot course which might be stuffed eggplant or zucchini.

Comments

  1. Rob Cantin says:

    Can Diabetics drink alcohol

  2. Paula Hester says:

    Need to desperately lose weight and get diabetes in check. Hope this does the trick.

  3. Hi, Just general questions. When I look at a carb book fruits are high in carbs/ tomato and onions are high. Meats seem to be nothing. Milk/juices are high. I’m told not to use fake sweetner or drink diet soda because of fake sweetners. How do I know good carbs from bad ones and which will hurt me.

  4. Hello Rick,

    you should look to glycemic index and glycemic load, please mail me at http://www.mediterraneanbook.com/contact-us/
    I’ll be happy to help you
    Ciao!

  5. i just downloaded the mediterranean book and i am so excited to begin the journey. I scanned quickly trhough the book just to get an overview and i am glad i did. the quote about getting to the top of the oak tree nailed me!!!!! thank you. if no one comes alongside me, still i will follow this lifestyle change. i think it is going to be great!

  6. Mike Timbers says:

    I have type 2 diabetes and have been advised not to eat parsnips.

    I have also been told that drinking spanish red wine made with the tempranillo grape 9i.e. rioja) is very good for controlling my sugar levels. Obviously I mean in moderation as advised to me by a doctor in Spain.

    Your comments please.

  7. Hi, my grandmother has diabetes and I wish to prepare a dish for her. May I know, can one with diabetes eat avocado and shredded chicken breast? If you have any great reciepes and willing to share them please tell me too. Thank you. :)

  8. Karen, I do have a great baked chicken recipe with Rosemary….easy and fast.
    But, I don’t see chicken on the list of low glycemic levels.

  9. Hi, I was wondering if a diabetic type 2 can eat smoked salmon and prawns with Maryrose sauce as a Christmas starter?

  10. i’m a type 2 diabetic person ad i’m losing weight a lot how do i gain a little bit of it

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