Stuff like this just boils my blood.
Ok, I probably shouldn’t get so mad about it, but I do…
Especially since my mother battled Type 2 Diabetes for most of her adult life and received a lot of wrong information about nutrition along the way.
What am I so mad about?
Well, I came across a specific Type 2 Diabetes 7-day meal plan and here’s what it claimed:
These 7-day diabetes meal plans are designed by Eating Well’s nutrition and culinary experts to offer delicious, nutritionally balanced meals for a diabetic diet at five different daily calorie levels: 1,200, 1,400, 1,600, 1,800 and 2,000. These diabetic-diet meal plans avoid refined grains and limit added sugars. Each meal and snack is planned to help you keep your blood sugar in check.
These meal plans are offered free on Eating Well’s website, which at first glance, seems like a great idea for any diabetic who is looking to make a change in their blood sugar numbers, right?
Here’s the problem…
The meal plans are, in my opinion, completely incorrect, and I would argue, potentially dangerous.
If I had given my mother a similar meal plan during the time she was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, her blood sugar numbers may have even gone higher than they already were…
A scary thought to say the least.
Let’s take a look at what is so dangerous about this meal plan:
For starters, Eating Well’s breakfast contains a total of 30 grams of sugar.
Yes, some of that is naturally occurring sugar in the banana and the skim milk, but for a Diabetic this is a dangerous way to begin the day. Starting the day with an immediate sugar surge will start the up and down blood glucose rollercoaster that is the very thing diabetics are desperately trying to avoid.
My recommendation includes protein, which is the best way to keep blood sugar balanced, as well as toast that is much easier for the body to digest. And blueberries which are full of antioxidants and have a low glycemic load.
The Eating Well website does not specify exactly which Fruit and Nut Granola Bar to choose, but here are the ingredients in just one common brand that most people would consider healthy:
Whole Grain Oats, Corn Syrup, Almonds, Raisins, Sugar, Roasted Peanuts, Rice Flour, Vegetable glycerin, Cranberries, Canola Oil, Fructose, Corn Starch, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Barley Malt Extract, Baking Soda, natural flavor, Mixed Tocopherols.
The ingredients in bold are red flag foods for Diabetics and are foods that have the potential to send their blood sugar numbers soaring.
My recommendation is a much healthier version of a morning snack which includes protein and a fresh apple, both include ingredients that you know are good for you.
At first glance, Eating Well’s lunch does not appear to be too bad, but upon further investigation, I found there was added sugar in their recipe for the Greek Salad dressing and it could be just as delicious without it or using natural stevia instead.
There’s really no need for a Diabetic to start adding sugar to their healthy foods.
And their recipe for the freezer pops contains orange juice and added sugar, for a total of 9 grams of sugar for each pop. YIKES, over 2 full teaspoons of sugar in one small pop?
Not a good idea.
My recommendation includes a healthy protein, fruit, and grain. Be sure to include 4-5 ounces of chicken on the salad and omit the sugar in the salad dressing.
This one is not terrible from Eating Well, although I’m not sure why they made it a point to say the almonds should be salted. Any almonds that already come salted most likely contain highly refined salt. Instead, I would recommend finding unsalted almonds (or walnuts) and adding a pinch of unrefined sea salt.
Similar to lunch, this dinner does not appear to be all that terrible, except for, again, there is sugar added to the dressing, which is probably not necessary, and there are two very heavy carb foods included… the whole wheat roll and the couscous, totaling a whopping 42 grams of carbohydrates in just one meal… probably a lot more than most Diabetics can handle in one sitting.
Eating Well contained 65 grams of sugar, my alternative meal plan contained 24 grams of sugar. That is a huge, almost 40 grams, difference. That’s the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar.
Ten teaspoons of sugar per day could be the difference between seeing your blood sugar go down naturally versus battling this disease for the rest of your life.
I know for mom, I would have much preferred to see her blood sugar numbers stabilize using healthy, low sugar, low glycemic foods instead of being entirely dependent on medications and insulin to do it.
I think you will agree that the alternative meal plan I proposed is delicious and filling and will keep your blood sugar numbers stable all day long.
These are the exact diabetic meal plans I share in the very program I created specifically for my mom and her own battle with Type 2 Diabetes.
As you can see, the meal plans not only stabilized her blood sugar, but she was able to enjoy the added side effect of losing 40 pounds as well.