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Mediterranean Diet Plan for Diabetes

The prediabetes Mediterranean diet is best for people with diabetes because of its high fibre, antioxidants, and healthy fats. It is also low in saturated fats and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. 

The Mediterranean diet is renowned for its heart-healthy benefits, but a recent study has shown that the Mediterranean diet for type 2 diabetes is very beneficial. In this blog, we will look at the approach in detail. Read more to know about diet for diabetes.

How Mediterranean Diet helps manage Diabetes?

Let's talk about something important- it's the Mediterranean diet. You've heard of it many times before, by those who rave about its benefits, those who mock it, and others who welcome its many tasty flavours. 

  • This diet uses olive oil rather than butter, and sugar-based foods are specifically cut out because they're said to be unnecessary to a well-rounded person's diet. 
  • The diet includes more fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, whole grains, and nuts, with lean meats, cereals, and dairy for protein.
  • In addition, research has shown that those who implement a Mediterranean-style diet into their lives see an improvement in their overall well-being by realising lower and more controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Also know about prediabetes diet.

How a Mediterranean Style of Eating May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes?

  • The Mediterranean diet plan for diabetes has been around for some time now and famously consists of various plant-based foods and fish. 
  • The misconception here is that one will be on a diet, a period of restriction for a particular reason or purpose. This isn't just about food, and it's much more than that!

Diabetes-Friendly Mediterranean Diet Foods to Eat and Avoid

To make a move easier, stock your kitchen with a few essentials.

1. Foods to Eat on the Mediterranean Diet

a) Whole grains 

  • Brown rice
  • Barley
  • Whole-grain bread, rolls, tortillas, and pasta

b) Nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Beans 
  • Chickpeas
  • Peas
  • Peanuts

c) Vegetables 

  • Tomatoes
  • Leafy greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Onions

d) Fruits 

  • Dates
  • Pomegranates
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Apples

e) Healthy fats

  • Olives
  • Olive oil

f) Drinks

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

g) Fresh fish and seafood 

  • Salmon
  • Healthy dairy, eggs, and poultry
  • Low-fat or nonfat milk

h) Herbs and spices 

  • Saffron
  • Mint
  • Ginger

2. Foods to Limit on the Mediterranean Diet

  • Beef
  • Burgers
  • Butter
  • Sweets

3. Foods to Avoid on the Mediterranean Diet

  • Processed meats 
  • Ultra-processed foods 
  • Fast food
  • Soda and other sweetened drinks
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7-Day Meal Plan for a Diabetes-Friendly Mediterranean Diet

Monday Mediterranean diet plan for diabetics

Meal of the day Food Items                                                                                                                       Total Carbs  
Breakfast       One boiled egg, a ½ avocado on Ezekiel bread, and 1 orange.                                                                       39 g approx.
Lunch           2/3 cup of low-sodium pinto beans, 1 (One) cup of diced spinach, 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes and bell peppers, one ounce of cheese 30 g approx.
Snacks           2 tablespoon hummus and 20 baby carrots of 1 gram each                                                                           21 g approx.
Dinner           2 oz turkey,1 (one) cup cooked penne pasta                                                                                       35 g approx.
Total Carbs                                                                                                                                       125g approx  

Tuesday Mediterranean diet plan for diabetics

Meal of the day Food Items                                                                                                       Total Carbs  
Breakfast       100g cooked oats, 3/4 cup blueberries, one oz almonds, 1 tablespoon chia seeds.                                   34 g approx.
Lunch           Two cups spinach, 2 oz chicken breast grilled, 1/2 cup chickpeas, 1/2 cup chopped strawberries, 1/4 cup carrots. 52 g approx.
Snacks           1 peach                                                                                                           16 g approx.
Dinner           2/3 cup whole wheat cooked couscous, ½ cup sautéed eggplant, 4 tomatoes, 5 diced olives, ½ cucumber               38 g approx.
Total Carbs                                                                                                                       140g approx  

Wednesday Mediterranean diet plan for diabetics

Meal of the day Food Items                                                                                                                             Total Carbs  
Breakfast       Two egg veggies omelette with ½ cup black beans and ¾ cup blueberries.                                                                 34 g approx.
Lunch           2 oz tuna in water which is mixed with a ¼ cup shredded carrots, one tablespoon dill relish, one cup chopped tomato, ½ apple, sandwich 40 g approx.
Snacks           1 cup kefir                                                                                                                             12 g approx.
Dinner           One tablespoon butter, 2 oz pork tenderloin, 1 (one) cup cooked asparagus, and ½ cup pineapple.                                         34 g approx.
Total Carbs                                                                                                                                             120 g approx

Thursday Mediterranean diet plan for diabetics

Meal of the day Food Items                                                                                                                     Total Carbs  
Breakfast       Sweet potatoes toast                                                                                                           44 g approx.
Lunch           1 cup strawberries, 2 oz roasted chicken, one cup raw cauliflower                                                               23 g approx.
Snacks           1 cup plain low-fat Greek yoghurt and 1 banana                                                                                 15 g approx.
Dinner           2/3 cup quinoa, eight oz tofu, 1 (one) cup cooked bok choy, one cup steamed broccoli, two tablespoons olive oil, and one kiwi. 44 g approx.
Total Carbs                                                                                                                                     126g approx  

Friday Mediterranean diet plan for diabetics

<!--/markdown>

| Meal of the day | Food Items                                                                                                                                                                                    | Total Carbs  |

|-----------------|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|--------------|

| Breakfast       | One cup almond milk, 1/3 cup Grape-Nut, 1/2 cup blueberries.                                                                                                                                  | 41 g approx. |

| Lunch           | Two cups spinach, 1/4 cup tomatoes, one oz cheddar cheese, one cooked diced egg, two tablespoons yoghurt dressing, 1/4 cup grapes, one tablespoon pumpkin seeds and two oz roasted chickpeas. | 47 g approx. |

| Snacks          | 1 tablespoon peanut butter + 1 cup celery                                                                                                                                                     | 6 g approx.  |

| Dinner          | 1.5 cups steamed asparagus, 2 oz salmon fillet, 1 baked potato, and one tablespoon butter.                                                                                                    | 39 g approx. |

| Total Carbs     |                                                                                                                                                                                               | 133g approx  |

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Saturday Mediterranean diet plan for diabetics

Meal of the day Food Items                                                                                                     Total Carbs  
Breakfast       One cup Greek yoghurt, 1/2 mashed banana, one cup strawberries, one tablespoon chia seeds                     32 g approx.
Lunch           2 corn tortillas, ⅓ cup black beans which are cooked, one oz cheese, one cup coleslaw                         70 g approx.
Snacks           2 tablespoon hummus, 1 cherry tomato, & 10 tiny carrots                                                       14 g approx.
Dinner           1.5 cups steamed broccoli, ¾ cup strawberries, ½ baked potato, two oz broiled steak, and 1 tablespoon butter. 41 g approx.
Total Carbs                                                                                                                   157g approx  

Sunday Mediterranean diet plan for diabetics

Meal of the day Food Items                                                                                                                                                   Total Carbs  
Breakfast       One cup of cooked oatmeal, One scoop of chocolate protein powder, one teaspoon of peanut butter, and 1 teaspoon of chia seeds make chocolate peanut oatmeal. 21 g approx.
Lunch           One whole-wheat pita pocket, 1/4 cup cucumber, 1/4 cup tomato, 1/4 cup lentils, & 2 tablespoons salad dressing.                                               30 g approx.
Snacks           1 oz almonds and grapefruit.                                                                                                                                 26 g approx.
Dinner           One tablespoon butter, ½ cup boiled beets, one cup sauteed Swiss chard, and 2 oz boiled shrimp.                                                               39 g approx.
Total Carbs                                                                                                                                                                   116g approx  

Expert Tips for Maintaining a Mediterranean Diet While Managing Diabetes

1. Keep an eye on the legumes.

The carb-to-fibre ratio of legumes is generally low, so they're great when you need a long-lasting gluten-free source of protein. 

2. Consult your physician about alcohol

It's simply a template for those who want to make swaps for their preferred foods. You should consult your physician first. Also read about pineapple for diabetes.

3. Make a few little adjustments to your plate.

A registered dietician or CDCES can help you create an appropriate Mediterranean eating plan for your preferences and lifestyle. Also know more about diabetes diet chart.

Bottomline

The Mediterranean diet has long been heralded to improve your overall health. Follow our tips to use the Mediterranean diet for diabetes book to manage your type 2 diabetes, and you may be surprised at just how well it works! Also read about benefits of dates for diabetes

References

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7468821/

Disclaimer

This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.