Managing diabetes can be daunting and expensive. On average, a person with type 2 diabetes spends a staggering $16,750 per year on medical costs.
No doubt, Type 2 Diabetes comes with lifestyle changes and new treatments that require time and money. These changes can leave you feeling overwhelmed.
But meal planning for type 2 diabetes doesn't have to break your bank.
The main goal of a diabetic diet is to control your blood sugar levels. How can you do that? One way is to choose healthy and affordable food alternatives that are rich in flavor.
Here are five delicious, healthy meal ideas that are also money-savers if you're on a Type 2 Diabetes diet.
Meal Idea #1: Stir-fried tofu with cauliflower rice
Tofu is a superfood, a great plant-based alternative and tasty addition to every type 2 diabetes menu. Aside from being packed with protein, tofu is also a great source of nutrients and fiber, which aren't present in meat products. Embrace stir-fry and throw in some stir-fry elements such as bell peppers, chives, and sesame oil. It's great when paired with cauliflower rice, which is lower in carbohydrates than regular white rice (and if you have leftover cauliflower rice, here's another healthy meal idea with cauliflower rice & peppers!).
Meal Idea #2: Mixed vegetable salad with grilled chicken
Imagine a fresh bowl of salad that's brimming with all the good stuff. Why not pair it with a big, juicy chicken leg that has been grilled to perfection? This combo is truly a match made in heaven for people with Type 2 Diabetes--and just trust us when we say that it's actually easy on the budget. Especially when you're pressed for time, it's an inexpensive, healthy meal you'll appreciate for its simplicity and convenience. You can drizzle some light vinaigrette on your choice of salad greens and throw in some pre-marinated chicken onto a portable grill. Now that's more like it!
Meal Idea #3: Whole-grain breakfast waffles with fruits
Jumpstart your mornings with some breakfast waffles and a bowl of fruit. When you're shopping for flour or pancake mixes, make sure that they are of the whole-grain variety. Pair it with a glass of water, and there you go! Truly a simple, no-frills combo that's sure to keep your blood glucose levels happy and balanced (of course, with other healthy and consistent exercise). And check out this article for more delicious dessert ideas on a diabetic diet!
Meal Idea #4: Aglio Olio with garlic shrimp
Yes, Type 2 Diabetes patients can have their pasta and eat it, too. If you're yearning to enjoy the goodness of noodles in every bite, then indulge yourself with some Aglio Olio topped with generous amounts of spinach, garlic bits, and shrimp. Keep in mind that extra virgin olive oil lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels, making the meal beneficial to people with heart conditions and diabetes. This meal idea is great if you're serious about losing weight, too.
Meal Idea #5: Vegetable bean soup
Hop on the bean train! Beans are one of nature's most revered superfoods, and for good reason. These nutritious superfoods help manage blood sugar levels due to their low ranking on the glycemic index. That means that beans are definitely a diabetic-friendly way to pack on your protein and nutrients. Whip up a hot, hearty pot of soup to give you energy to seize the lunch or dinner hour!
And there you have it! Five dishes that are all delicious, budget-friendly, and easy to prepare if you have Type 2 Diabetes. Though it can be difficult sometimes to stick to a diet when you have Type 2 Diabetes, adding this variety to your menu can help. Don't be afraid to try out new food alternatives, while paying attention to your nutritional needs, and if you want more advice on sticking to your Type 2 Diabetes diet plan, read here. Good luck, and manage diabetes like a champ!