Printable Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan (Printable) – Overview

This article and printable meal plan offer general advice for managing diabetes. Consult your healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet.

Without treatment, diabetes may lead to several potentially life-threatening consequences, including nerve and kidney damage, high cholesterol levels, and even cardiac problems, among others.

In addition to taking medication, the only other method of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is following a well-balanced, nutritious diet created explicitly for diabetes.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes develops over time, and the leading cause is difficulties in delivering adequate sugar (glucose) to the body cells.

For muscle and brain cells to function correctly, they must get glucose transported via insulin.

Increased blood sugar levels occur when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin or when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, leading to sugar accumulation in the bloodstream.

The body’s cells become resistant to insulin over time, reducing their ability to take up glucose from the blood, even in the presence of normal or increased levels of insulin. However, there is still a significant amount of sugar in the blood.

It is possible that the pancreas may ultimately “wear out” and can no longer generate enough insulin to transfer the glucose into the body cells for energy production.

An effective type 2 diabetes diet plan helps you maintain a healthy body weight while keeping your blood sugar levels within the target range.

Still, it also helps lower your risk for health complications like nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease.

Continue reading to learn more about how various foods and dietary habits might influence your health and your ability to control type 2 diabetes effectively.

Foods To Eat With Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan

Foods To Eat With Type 2 Diabetes

You can adopt numerous dietary habits and regimens to meet your health requirements.

If you have type 2 diabetes, ensure you choose a diet high in nutrient-rich foods that assist in supplying the body with the fiber, vitamins, and minerals required.

Consuming a range of heart-healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, is essential to keep your heart strong.

Moreover, consuming fiber-rich foods helps improve blood sugar regulation and makes you feel satiated for extended periods, which can help you avoid binging on foods between meals.

In addition, your diet should be both realistic and simple to follow. Below are a few type 2 diet foods you can eat without restrictions.

Vegetables (two and a half to three cups a day)

  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach

Fruits (1.5 to 2 cups a day)

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan


  • Melons
  • Pears
  • Pineapples (should be consumed in moderation due to their high sugar content)
  • Peaches
  • Oranges
  • Apples

Whole Grains, Cereals, and Pseudocereals (85 to 115 grams a day)

  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Faro
  • Brown rice
  • Millet

Protein-rich foods intake should be tailored to individual dietary needs, typically ranging from 1.0 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day for people with diabetes, depending on activity level and kidney function.

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan

Protein-Rich Foods

  • Lean cuts of beef
  • Skinless poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Peas

Nuts and Seeds (approximately 1 ounce or a small handful per day)

  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Cashew nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flax seeds

Healthy Fats and Oils (do not exceed seven spoons or 35 milliliters a day)

  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame oil


Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan


  • Vegetable juice
  • Black coffee
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Water

Foods To Avoid With Type 2 Diabetes

Preventing diabetes-related health issues is possible by restricting the intake of foods rich in saturated fat, trans fat, and added sugars. Patients with Type 2 diabetes should avoid or restrict the following foods:

  • Baked goods
  • Full-fat dairy
  • Processed carbohydrates
  • High-fat meat
  • Highly processed foods
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Sweets and candies
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Trans fats

Which Are The Best Diets Plans For Type 2 Diabetes?      

People with diabetes try different diets to manage their blood sugar levels while maintaining good health. However, no one diet fits all for type 2 diabetes, explaining the available varieties.

Some people want to manage their type 2 diabetes as they lose weight, others want a diet that will address their diabetes and maintain a healthy heart, while some want diets that will manage their diabetes and help keep their blood pressure at standard rates time.

The following is a list of diets that provide a wide range of nutrients.  

1. DASH Diet

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan


The DASH diet for type 2 diabetes may benefit people with diabetes. DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is a nutrient-dense and practical dietary pattern created for people with high blood pressure.

The DASH diet encourages the consumption of plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, dried legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, fish, poultry, and low-fat dairy products. 

DASH diet restricts the consumption of red meat, sugary meals, and food rich in saturated fat, high sodium foods, processed foods, and foods with added sugar.

In addition to helping lower blood pressure, the DASH diet helps with insulin resistance and weight loss, making it an excellent choice for type 2 diabetes patients.

2. KETO Diet

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan


Caution: Consult your healthcare professional before switching to a ketogenic diet plan. The ketogenic diet may not be suitable, especially for those taking specific diabetic medications or with certain health conditions. (1)

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate regimen that promotes the consumption of high-protein and high-fat foods such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, and seeds, among others.

Non-starchy veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, sauerkraut, spinach, kale, and other leafy greens, also make the diet plan.

The KETO diet for diabetics restricts foods heavy in carbs, such as grains, dry beans and lentils, root vegetables, fruits, and sweets, among other things.

Ketogenic diets are typically low in carbs, with just 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates daily.  

Low-carbohydrate diets may assist persons with type 2 diabetes in effectively regulating their blood sugar levels while lowering their triglyceride and HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Conversely, the keto diet may contain a high concentration of saturated fats, depending on the protein-dense foods you consume.

It can be challenging to get enough fiber from the limited food choices in a keto diet. However, you can avoid this by consuming various low-carb meals high in fiber, such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.

3. Mediterranean Diet

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan

Mediterranean Diet

Dietary factors of the Mediterranean diet include a diverse range of plant-based foods such as fruits, veggies, dried legumes, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, among others.

In addition, the diet restricts red meat but supports a small portion of fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.

Healthy fats and fiber are essential components of the Mediterranean diet. The diet restricts the consumption of saturated fats and sugars because of their high cholesterol levels.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes who adopt a Mediterranean diet exhibit lower blood sugar levels than those who follow a standard American diet.

Long-term adherents of the Mediterranean diet have a 20%–23% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a 28%–30% lower risk of heart disease.

The Mediterranean diet also helps with weight loss, lower cholesterol, and lower blood pressure levels.

4. Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarian Diet for Type 2 Diabetes

Vegetarian Diet for Type 2 Diabetes

Vegetarian diets exclude meat, poultry, and fish. Lacto-ovo vegetarian diets include eggs and dairy. Instead, the diet places a strong emphasis on plant-based protein sources.

The vegetarian diet also includes a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Consuming more plant-based meals and fewer animal products may help lower the risk of insulin resistance, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes.

Research findings also show that a vegan diet for diabetics provides better blood sugar control in the long term by fasting blood sugar levels.

Although it is feasible to maintain a vegetarian or vegan diet while fulfilling your nutritional requirements with type 2 diabetes, not all vegetarian and vegan diets are the same.

For best health, consume a broad range of meals, ensuring you get the critical nutrients you require.

5. Paleo Diet

Paleo Diet for Type 2 Diabetes

Paleo Diet for Type 2 Diabetes

Paleolithic diets are gaining popularity with many people all over the world.

The diet, which provides modest protein quantity, bases its principles on the fact that our genetic makeup is not fully developed to keep up with our current lifestyle of high-calorie convenience foods and little physical exercise.

The diet emphasizes reverting to a hunter-gatherer diet, which better suits our physiology. People with type 2 diabetes seem to benefit from a paleo diet.

You can consume fruits, veggies, nuts, and fish in the paleo diet. The diet discourages dairy products, refined fats, all grains, alcohol, foods with added sugar or salt, candy, beans, lentils, and soft drinks.

Calorie Counting Diets For People With Type 2 Diabetes

Calorie counting is one method to control your blood sugar levels. A calorie-counting diet involves adding up the total calories you consume daily, not to exceed your limit.

A daily calorie intake of 1,500 to 1,800 calories is advisable for patients with type 2 diabetes to encourage weight reduction and, after that, the retention of an appropriate body mass.

However, this could differ according to age, gender, exercise level, optimal weight, and body type.

Calorie counting diets are highly restrictive diets that you need to take with assistance from your doctor, nutritionist, or dietician.

If you have type 2 diabetes and try to cut down weight simultaneously, you should avoid high carb foods and maintain your calorie intake to what your body needs for optimal health.

6. 800 Calorie Diet

Before deciding to follow a calorie-deficient diet, consult your healthcare professional. Extremely low-calorie diets can pose risks for people with diabetes, such as hypoglycemia, nutrient deficiencies, and rapid changes in blood sugar levels. (2) An 800 calorie type 2 diabetes diet plan entails consuming no more than 800 calories daily.

A more restrictive variation of the 5:2 diet may help decrease blood sugar levels and reverse type 2 diabetes.

You should consume less processed foods and more home-cooked meals throughout this portion of the diet, including plenty of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, beans, and lentils (for added fiber), nuts (in large quantities), full-fat dairy products, and oily fish (in small amounts)

The 800 calorie diet should be considered only under medical supervision for short-term use in specific conditions due to potential risks, including nutrient deficiencies and is not universally recommended for diabetes management.

It is not ideal for underweight persons or anyone with an eating disorder. The diet is also not suitable for people with type 1 diabetes, cardiac ailment, or recuperating from surgery.

Individuals engaged in endurance training should also avoid the 800 calorie limit.

7. 1400 Calorie Diet

Another restrictive diet recommended for type 2 diabetic patients who want to lose weight is the 1400 Calorie Meal Plan for Type 2 Diabetes.

The diet falls short of the recommended regular calories an individual should take in a day, which is why it is advisable to follow up under the supervision of a physician or dietician.

Besides the above two calorie counting type 2 diabetes diet plans, you can choose from several others, such as 1500, 1600, and 2000 Calorie Diet Plans.

Simple 7-Day Diet Plan For Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan

Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan – Simple 7-Day Diet Plan For Type 2 Diabetes

Final Thoughts

Nutritional-rich meals and portion control are essential for every diet or eating pattern for type 2 diabetes.

Try to restrict your intake of foods heavy in saturated fats, trans fats, high sodium foods, and added sugars.

Additionally, if you choose a calorie-restricted diet to help you lose weight, your physician or dietitian may assist you in devising a long-term meal planning strategy.

Ensure that your diet suits your specific health requirements and daily routine.

DayBreakfastLunchDinnerSnacks (to take in between meals)
1Banana-carrot and Pecan MuffinsVeggie and chicken pasta saladApple mustard pork chops with a side saladChocolate Chia Pudding
2Oatmeal with strawberries and almondsBlack bean quinoa burger with roasted veggiesBeef broccoli with zucchini noodlesEgg and Veggie Muffins
3Egg and avocado toast with veggie saladTurkey cranberry wrapsSalmon with mango peach salsa, roasted cauliflower, and cilantro lime quinoaHummus with celery and broccoli florets
4Oatmeal pecan pancakes with turkey sausages and blueberry sauceCrab cake with watermelon arugula and feta saladGrilled Turkey burgers with oven roasted sweet potatoesTuna-Stuffed Avocado Half
5Cream-cheese stuffed French toast with scrambled egg whitesChicken Caesar salad wrap with crispy baked broccoliSheet pan roasted turkey and veggiesCottage Cheese Snack Parfait
6Smoothie breakfast bowlBroccoli cheddar soup with BBQ chicken slidersCilantro line tilapia with tomatoes and spinachPeanut Butter Apple Rings
7Apple pie oatmeal with Greek yogurtChopped Mexican salad with pineapple mint waterLow carb veggie fried rice bowl with watermelon mint slushieNuts and Seeds Trail Mix

See Also

Cardiac Diabetic Diet Plan

Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan

21 Day Anti Inflammatory Diet

21 Day Smoothie Diet

Printable 1200 Calorie Meal Plan

Vegetarian Protein Sources

South Beach Diet Phase 1

500 Calorie Diet

Pre-Diabetic Meal Plan

Current Version
February 15, 2022
Written By
Damla Sengul
January 14, 2024
Updated By
Guido Forti
March 20, 2024
Updated By
Guido Forti