1600 Calorie Diabetic Diet – Sample Menu and Guidelines

Learning the ins-and-outs of a 1600 calorie diabetic diet can enable you to enjoy a wide variety of foods while at the same time provide you with the confidence of knowing you are managing your blood sugar levels.

"When you have diabetes, eating well takes practice and planning. A good balance of the right foods, along with regular exercise and your prescribed medications, can help you feel better and stay healthier"(1). Below you will find guidelines and a 1600 calorie diabetic diet sample meal plan to help you know you are on the right track.

Guidelines for following a 1600 calorie diabetic diet

You may be worried that you will have to stop enjoying your favorite foods when you follow a 1600 calorie diabetic diet plan but you do not have to deprive yourself of great foods. Follow these guidelines to keep your eating healthy and enjoyable.

  1. Break your meals into 4 to 6 smaller meals and space them out from morning until evening.
  2. Plan ahead. You may need to plan and prepare foods to take to the office or healthy snacks to carry with you.
  3. Keep it simple and sane. Do not try to change everything at once, begin by targeting 1600 calories per day and then build from there.
  4. Take your time and enjoy your meals and snacks. This will leave you feeling more satisfied and less prone to overeating.
  5. Make the healthy food choice. Follow the diabetes diet guidelines for your food choices by filling your diet with whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, fish, poultry, lean meats and low or no-fat dairy products.
  6. Limit foods that are high in saturated fats, calories and sugar.

A sample 1600 calorie diabetic diet menu

Below you will find a 1600 calorie diabetic diet menu that will build your understanding of what a good diet looks like. Feel free to use this diet or make equal substitutions to fit your taste.


80 calories - 1.5 cups whole grain cereal
90 calories – 1 cup non-fat milk
80 calories – 1 medium size piece of fruit
0 calories – coffee, black

Total calories from breakfast = 350

Morning Snack

80 calories – half cup cottage cheese
80 calories – one medium size piece of fruit

Total calories from morning snack = 160


180 calories – 2 slices whole wheat bread
20 calories – 1 Tablespoon light mayo
140 calories – 3 ounces chicken breast
50 calories – small side salad
10 calories – 1 Tablespoon fat free salad dressing
0 calories – unsweetened ice tea

Total calories from lunch = 400

Afternoon Snack

170 calories – 1 ounce almonds

Total calories from afternoon snack = 170


160 calories – 4 ounces of fish
150 calories – 1 cup brown rice
50 calories – 2 cups broccoli
50 calories – small side salad
10 calories – 1 Tablespoon fat free salad dressing
0 calories – diet soda
100 calories – pudding cup

Total calories from dinner = 520

It is important to remember that your body is unique and therefore you should consult with your doctor before starting this 1600 calorie diabetic diet or making any changes to your current eating habits.

(1) American Diabetes Association (2010). Planning Meals. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/


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