Sample Meal Plan for Diabetes Under 1,600 Calories

Health Professional

Following a healthy diet, and participating in a regular exercise program can make a huge difference in how your diabetes progresses long-term.

When you have diabetes you are also at an increased risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, and therefore you should try to avoid foods that are high in saturated and trans fat.

Aim to eat a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and try to keep it as low in fat as possible.

Below is a suggested meal plan containing roughly 1,600 calories and 220 grams of carbohydrate (which would be approximately 55 percent of your total calories coming from carbohydrates) to give you a few ideas of how to eat when living with diabetes.


1/2 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup reduced fat milk
1/2 cup raspberries
1 medium peach
1 cup of green tea

Nutritional info: calories 240, carbs 42.7g, fat 4.9g, protein 9.8g, fiber 8.4g.

Mid-morning snack

Water or tea/coffee
3 cups plain popcorn

Nutritional info: calories 91.7, carbs 18.7g, fat 1g, protein 2.9g, fiber 3.6g.


1/2 cup vegetable soup
1 tuna sandwich (2 slices 100 percent wholegrain bread, 2 ounces tuna, onion, peppers, 1 teaspoon light mayo)
1 large celery stalk, sliced
1 medium carrot, sliced
Fat free ranch dressing for dipping

Nutritional info: calories 425.9, carbs 62.6g, fat 10g, protein 26.8g, fiber 14.2g.

Mid-afternoon snack

4 wholegrain crackers
1/5 avocado, mashed
Water or tea/coffee

Nutritional info: calories 121, carbs 13.6g, fat 7.4g, protein 2g, fiber 3.7g.


Starter: 1 cup baby spinach leaf salad
5 cherry tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon low fat salad dressing

Main: 1/2 chicken breast stuffed with basil, reduced fat cheese (1 ounce)
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup lightly stir-fried vegetables
1 teaspoon peanut oil

Dessert: Low sugar lemon sorbet

Nutritional info: calories 545.7, carbs 67.9g, fat 12.8g, protein 38.2g, fiber 6g.

Evening snack

4 ounces low fat yogurt
15g pumpkin seeds
Water or tea/coffee

Nutritional info: calories 189.6, carbs 17.9g, fat 10.9g, protein 10g, fiber 0.3g.

Total day's nutritional intake: calories 1614, carbs 223.3g, fat 47g, saturated fat 11.3g, protein 89.6g, fiber 36.2g.

Percentage calorie intake from each food group:

  • 55 percent carbohydrate (between 45 and 55 percent of your daily calories can come from carbs)
  • 20 percent protein (between 15 and 25 percent of your daily calories can come from protein)
  • 25 percent fat (between 20 and 35 percent of your daily calories can come from fat - but limit saturated and trans fats)

If you need to increase the calorie content of this menu plan try to do so by adding more fruit and vegetables, or by slightly increasing the portion size of your evening protein.

To reduce the calorie content of this menu plan, remove a portion of bread at lunchtime, and skip the seeds for your evening snack.

Remember, this meal plan is merely a sample. You should talk to a registered dietitian for a personalized plan, suited to your individual needs.

See more helpful articles:

Keto Recipes for Diabetes

10 Low Carb Beverages to Drink When You Have Diabetes

10 Diabetes Management Tips to Improve Your A1C