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The Ultimate 30-Day Diabetic Meal Plan (with a Free PDF!) 

This meal plan is packed with carb-conscious dinners to make eating with diabetes easy.

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30 day diabetic meal plan_slideSydney Watson/Taste of Home

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Baked Chicken Chalupas

I wanted an easy alternative to deep-fried chalupas, so I bake them with filling on top. —Magdalena Flores, Abilene, Texas
Nutrition Facts

1 chalupa: 206 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 400mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 19g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

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Ginger Halibut with Brussels Sprouts

I moved to the United States from Russia and love cooking Russian food for family and friends. Halibut with soy sauce, ginger and pepper is a favorite. —Margarita Parker, New Bern, North Carolina
Nutrition Facts

1 fillet with brussels sprouts: 234 calories, 12g fat (2g saturated fat), 56mg cholesterol, 701mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 3g fiber), 24g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 fat, 1 vegetable.

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Day 3: Chipotle Shredded Beef

This beef is delicious whether you serve it all rolled up in a tortilla, with corn salsa in a burrito, in a bun or over rice or mashed potatoes. So many options! —Darcy Williams, Omaha, Nebraska
Nutrition Facts

2/3 cup beef mixture with 1/2 cup cooked rice (calculated without optional ingredients): 345 calories, 13g fat (4g saturated fat), 74mg cholesterol, 194mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 26g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch.

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Day 4: Cinnamon-Apple Pork Chops

The cinnamon that zests up this main dish has a stabilizing impact on blood sugar as well as a cholesterol-lowering effect, two benefits people with diabetes can appreciate. Pair it with this cauliflower mash, which is similar to mashed potatoes but without the same calories, carb content or blood sugar-spiking impact.
Nutrition Facts

1 pork chop with 2/3 cup apple mixture: 316 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 232mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 4g fiber), 22g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1 fat.

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Day 5: Mushroom Turkey Tetrazzini

This creamy, comforting casserole makes a fantastic way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey. And it’s a real family-pleaser! —Linda Howe, Lisle, Illinois.
Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 357 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 717mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 34g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 starch, 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat.

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Rosemary Chicken with Spinach & Beans

With two young boys constantly on-the-go, I’m always looking for ways to simplify meals. This recipe uses just one skillet, making it a cinch to prepare dinner for a hungry family in half an hour. —Sara Richardson, Littleton, Colorado
Nutrition Facts

1 chicken breast half with 3/4 cup sauce: 348 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 729mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 6g fiber), 41g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1 starch, 1 fat.

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Day 7: Turkey-Stuffed Bell Peppers

These well-seasoned ground-turkey-stuffed peppers are so tasty, you won’t even miss having real cheddar cheese. Round out the meal with a salad or a side of rice. —Judy Hand-Truitt, Birmingham, Alabama
Nutrition Facts

2 stuffed pepper halves: 323 calories, 10g fat (0 saturated fat), 45mg cholesterol, 771mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 40g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

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Bow Ties with Sausage & Asparagus

We love asparagus, so I look for ways to go green. This pasta dish comes together fast on hectic nights and makes wonderful leftovers. —Carol Suto, Liverpool, New York
Nutrition Facts

1-1/3 cups: 247 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 441mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 4g fiber), 17g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable.

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Tuscan Fish Packets

My husband does a lot of fishing, so I'm always looking for different ways to serve his catches. A professional chef was kind enough to share this recipe with me, and I played around with some different veggie combinations until I found the one my family liked best. —Kathy Morrow, Hubbard, Ohio
Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 270 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 83mg cholesterol, 658mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 7g fiber), 38g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable.

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Day 10: Rosemary Pork Medallions with Peas

It's nice to have a quick meal to fix after coming home from work. It's simple to prepare and doesn't use a lot of ingredients, so it's great for beginner cooks. —Laura McAllister, Morganton, North Carolina
Nutrition Facts

3 ounces cooked pork with 1/3 cup peas: 260 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 69mg cholesterol, 571mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

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Chicken Ole Foil Supper

These Tex Mex–style chicken packets can be assembled ahead and frozen if you like. Just thaw them overnight in the fridge, then grill as directed. I like to serve them with warm tortillas and fresh fruit on the side. —Mary Peck, Salina, Kansas
Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 405 calories, 13g fat (6g saturated fat), 91mg cholesterol, 766mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 6g fiber), 37g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 fat.

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Quinoa Unstuffed Peppers

This deconstructed stuffed pepper dish packs a wallop of flavor. I truly make it all the time, and I make sure my freezer is stocked with single-serve portions to take to work. —Rebecca Ende, Phoenix, New York
Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 261 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 760mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 4g fiber), 17g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 medium-fat meat.

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Cedar Plank Salmon with Blackberry Sauce

Here's my go-to entree for a warm-weather cookout. The salmon has a rich, grilled taste that's enhanced by the savory blackberry sauce. It's a nice balance of sweet, smoky and spicy. —Stephanie Matthews, Tempe, AZ
Nutrition Facts

1 fillet with 2 tablespoons sauce: 304 calories, 16g fat (3g saturated fat), 84mg cholesterol, 186mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 29g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1/2 starch.

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Artichoke Ratatouille Chicken

I loaded all the fresh produce I could find into this speedy chicken dinner. Serve it on its own or over pasta. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana
Nutrition Facts

1-2/3 cups: 252 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 468mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 4g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 fat.

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Spicy Roasted Sausage, Potatoes and Peppers

I love to share my cooking, and this hearty sheet-pan dinner has built a reputation for being tasty. People have actually approached me in public to ask for the recipe. —Laurie Sledge, Brandon, Mississippi
Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 257 calories, 11g fat (3g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 759mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 17g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

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Wild Mushroom Pizza

What's great about this wild mushroom pizza is you don't need to worry about finding the right toppings. Whatever wild mushrooms are in season or at your market will work beautifully. I like to get as many different ones as possible. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 284 calories, 10g fat (5g saturated fat), 22mg cholesterol, 357mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 12g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 2 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat.

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Day 17: Chicken with Peach-Avocado Salsa

If you love fruit but fear its high sugar content, this recipe is a perfectly balanced way to bring it back into your diet. By pairing this sweet stone fruit with the glucose-steadying chicken, you can enjoy this dish without worrying about sugar spikes. Peaches also contain plant compounds called phenols that the body uses to take down disease-causing inflammation.
Nutrition Facts

1 chicken breast half with 1/2 cup salsa: 265 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated fat), 94mg cholesterol, 536mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 36g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1 fat, 1/2 starch.

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Mediterranean Pot Roast Dinner

I first made this recipe one cold winter day. My family (adults, kids and dogs) were having a blast sledding and playing in the snow all day, and when we came inside supper was ready! This pot roast is perfect served with mashed potatoes, rice or dinner rolls. —Holly Battiste, Barrington, New Jersey
Nutrition Facts

5 ounces cooked beef with 1 cup vegetables: 422 calories, 18g fat (6g saturated fat), 111mg cholesterol, 538mg sodium, 28g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 37g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

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Cod with Hearty Tomato Sauce

My father made up this sweet, flavorful recipe for my mother when he took over the cooking. We serve it with whole wheat pasta or brown rice. —Ann Marie Eberhart, Gig Harbor, Washington
Nutrition Facts

1 fillet with 3/4 cup sauce: 271 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 746mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 4g fiber), 29g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1-1/2 fat.

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Kimchi Cauliflower Fried Rice

This healthier take on kimchi fried rice is one of my favorite recipes because it's customizable. If there's a vegetarian in the family, leave out the bacon and add your favorite veggies. —Stefanie Schaldenbrand, Los Angeles, California
Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 254 calories, 17g fat (5g saturated fat), 204mg cholesterol, 715mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 6g fiber), 15g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 high-fat meat, 2 vegetable.

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Curried Chicken Skillet

Warm and aromatic, curry powder is a blend of spices—including cardamom, cinnamon, coriander and turmeric—which adds pungent flavor to chicken as well as supplies the body with increased protection against diabetic vascular disease.
Nutrition Facts

2 cups: 367 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 6g fiber), 29g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

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Lentil Loaf

This modern take on an American classic is hearty, yet it’s healthier than the traditional beef-based version because it’s low in saturated fat. Plus, people with diabetes who regularly eat legumes have been found to have lower blood pressure and better blood sugar control compared to those who don’t.
Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 213 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 580mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 5g fiber), 14g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

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Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa

I've made quite a few tacos in my day, but you can't beat the tender filling made in a slow cooker. These are by far the best pork tacos we've had—and we've tried plenty. Make the mango salsa from scratch if you have time! Yum. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
Nutrition Facts

2 tacos: 282 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 64mg cholesterol, 678mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 5g fiber), 26g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch.

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Sweet-and-Sour Beef Stew

This chunky meal in a bowl makes terrific use of nutrient-packed vegetables. It has a deliciously sweet and tangy taste. —Frances Conklin, Cottonwood, Idaho
Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 290 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 64mg cholesterol, 465mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 3g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1 starch, 1/2 fat.

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Crispy Almond Tilapia

Since changing to a healthier style of cooking, I’ve come up with new coatings for baked fish. I use almonds, panko bread crumbs and a smidge of hot sauce to add crunchy texture with nice heat. —Amanda Flinner, Beaver, Pennsylvania
Nutrition Facts

2 fillet pieces: 251 calories, 13g fat (2g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 537mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 3g fiber), 28g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2 fat.

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Southwest Vegetarian Bake

This veggie-packed casserole hits the spot on chilly nights. It's a healthy canned vegetable recipe that's perfect anytime I have a taste for Mexican food with all the fixings. —Patricia Gale, Monticello, Illinois
Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 285 calories, 10g fat (5g saturated fat), 21mg cholesterol, 759mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 15g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat.

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Goat Cheese And Spinach Stuffed Chicken Exps Toham20 198868 E10 30 3b 2

Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken

This spinach-stuffed chicken breast recipe is special to me because it has so much flavor, yet not too many calories. I love Italian food, but most of the time it is too heavy. This is a healthy twist on an Italian dish! —Nicole Stevens, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Nutrition Facts

1 stuffed chicken breast: 347 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 111mg cholesterol, 532mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 5g fiber), 39g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 7 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

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Mushroom and Brown Rice Hash with Poached Eggs

I made my mother's famous roast beef hash healthier by using cremini mushrooms instead of beef and brown rice instead of potatoes. It's ideal for a light main dish. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 282 calories, 13g fat (3g saturated fat), 186mg cholesterol, 393mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 13g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1-1/2 fat, 1 medium-fat meat.

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Salmon with Mango-Citrus Salsa

My mother would make this for us on weeknights in summer—this was the only way we would eat fish. You can make the salsa a day ahead of time. Just keep it in the refrigerator in a covered container until ready to use. —Najmussahar Ahmed, Canton, Michigan
Nutrition Facts

1 fillet with 1/2 cup salsa: 433 calories, 26g fat (4g saturated fat), 85mg cholesterol, 516mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 3g fiber), 30g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 5 lean meat, 1-1/2 fat, 1 fruit.

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Moroccan Vegetarian Stew

Good news: 25% of the carbohydrates in this steamy North African stew come from fiber, an undigestable saccharide that doesn’t raise blood sugar at all! Plus, unlike other soups and stews, it’s a blessing to blood pressure because it is unusually low in sodium.
Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 180 calories, 3g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 174mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 9g fiber), 5g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable.

Amelia Sherry, MPH, RD, CDN, CDCES
Amelia Sherry, MPH, RD, CDCES, provides nutrition therapy via a New York-based private practice. She is also the founder of NourishHer, which supports mothers and daughters who want to have happy, healthy relationships with food and body. Amelia has written for publications including Reader's Digest, Family Circle, Fitness, SELF, Redbook, Latina, Today's Dietitian and Woman's World. She is also the author of 'Diet-Proof Your Daughter,' which you can find on Amazon.