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Meal Plans for Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

A healthy eating plan for Type 2 Diabetes is the same recommendation for most of us. There is no need to buy ‘special foods’ or cook separate meals. Your daily food intake should include the following foods:

  • 5-6 serves of breads and cereals and other starchy foods.
  • 2-3 serves fruit.
  • 5 or more serves of vegetables.
  • 2-3 serves of milk products or alternatives.
  • 1-2 serves meat or vegetarian alternatives.
  • 2-3 serves of fats and oils

This daily food guide is based on a 60 years plus overweight active individual.

How much is in a serve?

The following food groups provide a guide to a serving size of foods that are nutritionally similar (e.g. 1 slice of bread has similar carbohydrate amount to ⅓ cup of cooked rice). Foods can be swapped or exchanged for another within the same group.

Breads, cereals and other starchy foods:

  • 1 slice of whole grain bread (30 – 35 g)
  • ⅓ cup natural muesli (30 – 35g)
  • ¼ cup rolled oats (30 g)
  • 2 breakfast wheat biscuits (30 g)
  • ⅓ cup cooked rice (65g)
  • ½ cup cooked pasta or noodles (75g)
  • ⅓ cup pearl barley (65g)
  • ½ cup cooked kidney beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, borlotti beans etc (85g)
  • ¾ cup cooked lentils ( 145g)
  • 1 medium potato or 2 new/baby potatoes (such as GiLICIOUS) (125g)
  • ¾ cup diced sweet potato (110g)
  • ½ large ear of corn or ½ cup corn kernels (90g)


  • 1 medium piece of fruit (apple, orange, banana)
  • 2 small pieces of fruit (apricot, plum, kiwi fruit)
  • ½ cup canned fruit (120g)
  • 20 g dried fruit (6 apricot halves, 6 prunes or dates, 1 ½ Tbs sultanas)
  • ½ cup juice (150ml)


  • ½ cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup raw leafy salad greens
  • 1 cup of vegetable soup

Milk and dairy alternatives:

  • 1 cup of reduced fat milk (125ml)
  • 200g tub of reduced fat yoghurt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk (250ml)
  • 1 cup of calcium fortified soy drink
  • 40g reduced fat hard cheese

Meat and alternatives:

  • 100g (raw weight) of lean meat or chicken
  • 150g raw fish
  • 100g drained canned fish
  • 200g tofu
  • 1 cup cooked beans such as soybeans
  • 60g reduced fat cheese
  • 2 eggs

Fats and Oils:

  • 2 tsp mono or poly unsaturated oil
  • 2 tsp mono or polyunsaturated margarine
  • ¼ (50g) avocado
  • 20 g nuts
  • 3 tsp peanut spread
  • 1 Tbs oil based salad dressing

Some hints and tips to include high protein, low GI foods at each meal.


Kick start your day with a good breakfast to help sustain your energy levels and concentration throughout the morning. A healthy breakfast will prime your metabolism to start burning fat right away. A higher protein lower GI breakfast is an ideal food combo to get you off to a healthy start:

  • Smart Carbs – traditional oats, natural muesli, low GI breakfast cereals, toast made with grainy low GI breads or authentic sourdough, fruit loaf; baked beans or canned sweetcorn. 
  • Protein Power – reduced fat milk or yoghurt on their own or made into a fruit smoothie, eggs, ricotta or cottage cheese, tofu, nuts and nut spread, lean slices of ham or bacon and smoked salmon.
  • Fruit and Vegetables – fresh, frozen or canned fruit and vegetables, dried fruit, small amount of fresh fruit and vegetable juice, grilled tomatoes, or cooked spinach and mushrooms.

Go Low with simple swaps

Instead of


Flaked and puffed breakfast cereals

Natural muesli

Instant Oats/Porridge

Porridge or Bircher muesli made with traditional oats or steel cut oats

Muffin or Banana Bread

Toasted fruit breads

White or wholemeal toast

Dense grainy or authentic sourdough toast



You’ll have a more productive afternoon without cravings or feeling drowsy if you make time for lunch. Choose foods from each group. A serving of beans, lentils and yoghurt will also provide both carbs and protein for longer lasting energy.

  • Smart carbs – dense grain and seeded or authentic sourdough breads and rolls, bean salad or baked beans, lentil soups, ‘al dente’ pasta (with vegetable or tomato based sauce), noodles (not fried), low GI rice such as SunRice® Doongara™ or Basmati, corn on the cob, tub of yoghurt.
  • Protein Power – sandwich fillings such as canned salmon or tuna, lean ham or rare roast beef, egg/frittata slice, chargrilled chicken or beef skewers.
  • Fruit and Vegetables – add salad to sandwiches, rolls or wraps, tubs of garden, Greek or Asian salad, vegetable soup (not laksa), stir fry vegetables, fresh rice paper rolls, tubs of fruit salad, fruit smoothie or vegetable juice.

Go Low with some simple swaps

Instead of


White bread, rolls or hamburger buns

Dense grain and seeded or authentic sourdough breads and rolls

Filled bagels or baguettes

Mission™ white corn tortilla wraps with kebabs, tabbouli and hummus

Hot chips

Hot corn on the cob; baked GiLICIOUS potato


Sourdough bruschetta

Fried rice

Long or short soup with noodles or wontons



Taking time for dinner is an integral part of healthy eating. Turn off the TV – people who watch TV while eating tend to mindlessly eat more. If you are rushed after work with no time to cook, stock you fridge and cupboards on the weekend to whip up a meal. Choose foods from each of the food groups. Beans, split peas and lentils provide both carbs and protein.

  • Smart carbs – (¼ dinner plate) – lower GI potatoes such as GiLICIOUS or orange fleshed sweet potato, parsnips, butternut pumpkin; pasta or noodles; low GI rice such as SunRice® Doongara™ or  lower GI Basmati; quinoa, pearl barley, corn on the cob, beans, split peas and lentils.
  • Protein Power – (¼ dinner plate) – fish or seafood, fresh or canned, lean meat or poultry, eggs or tofu.
  • Fruit and Vegetables – (½ dinner plate) – plenty of salads and vegetables (it’s your best chance to get in your 5 serves of veggies). Still hungry? Round off with a piece of fruit.

Instead of

Serve Up


Lower GI potatoes such as GiLICIOUS or orange-fleshed sweet potato, butternut pumpkin.

Jasmine Rice

Low GI rice such as SunRice® Doongara™ or lower GI Basmati; quinoa; Blu™ gourmet pearl couscous.


Quantities have been included as a guide only. For individual advice on your own diet the services of an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) are recommended. In Australia contact Dietitians Australia to find your nearest APD.


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