The Benefits of Diabetic Meal Prep

Whether you like it or not, if you are somebody who suffers from diabetes, then your daily diet and every single one of the food choices that you make on a regular basis is something that takes up a considerable amount of time in your life.

Supriya Lal

2022 Jun 27

10 min read

Whether you like it or not, if you are somebody who suffers from diabetes, then your daily diet and every single one of the food choices that you make on a regular basis is something that takes up a considerable amount of time in your life.

Whilst some people like to focus on healthy eating and healthy meals simply as a lifestyle choice to help them maintain a good weight and a good figure, people with diabetes, have no choice but to be very strict with themselves and what foods they eat to prevent things like dreaded blood sugar spikes.

It is so important to maintain good blood sugar.

Keeping your blood sugar balanced is the most essential part of a healthy diabetes meal plan, but you would be surprised by just how easy it can be to make all of the wrong decisions for your diet and health goals when you don’t have any kind of clear structure or regime in your meals or day to day food choices.

To help with keeping on top of your diabetes management and therefore keeping on top of your blood sugar and overall healthy nutrition, one of the best things you can do is to meal prep (i.e., the process of meal preparation ahead of time).

What Is Meal Prepping?

What Is Meal Prepping

Meal prepping is the term used for when a person plans their meals ahead of time, generally planning ahead for a week.

There are plenty of people who choose to meal prep who don’t have diabetes but rather who just want to make sure that the meals they are eating for lunch or every night after a hard day at work are healthy meals filled with great ingredients like brown rice, starchy vegetables or non-starchy vegetables, greek yogurt, chicken, lean proteins, whole grains and more.

Meal prepping is ideal for diabetes sufferers.

The key is to achieve a diet of well-balanced meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks that are filled with healthy fats and are preferably low carb and low calorie to stick to the eating healthy ethos.

Meal planning is the perfect food tool to both help manage your diabetes and encourage you to eat more healthy fats and maybe even lose weight if you are in the overweight or obese categories (which you typically will be if you have type 2 diabetes).

What Are The Benefits Of Meal Prep For People With Diabetes?

What Are The Benefits Of Meal Prep For Diabetic People

So, now that you know what meal prep is, let’s take a closer look at why meal prepping has been identified as a great tool for a diabetes meal plan. Some of the biggest benefits of meal planning for people with diabetes include:

Better Portion Control

According to the American Diabetes Association, one of the main factors that can lead to the developing and/or worsening of diabetes is portion size.

Portion sizes might not be something you have ever paid much attention to before, but when planning a week ahead and separating all of your food into individual Tupperware boxes, you have no choice but to be precise.

On average, people eat 45 percent more food than they should per meal.

Eating smaller and better serving sizes will help with your blood glucose/blood sugars, but it can also positively impact healthy weight loss.

When people lose weight, they reduce some of the most severe risks of diabetes, so it makes sense that mastering this side of your diet can be a very diabetes-friendly thing to do.

If you are unsure about portion sizes, look up images of a healthy plate. This will give a great picture of what a well-balanced meal of proper portion size should look like. It will help with decisions like how much chicken and vegetables to include in your meal.

If you like to follow recipes, always look at how many the recipe serves and either adjust according to how many people you feed or freeze the excess.

It Helps To Save Time

Some people seriously underestimate just how long it can take to put together a healthy main meal after a hard day at work, and if you are tired when you get home, you are much more likely to make bad decisions with different foods that aren’t very good for you.

If you sacrifice some time on your Sunday to meal plan and meal prep for an hour or two, you will save much more time over the week ahead.

Modern workers don’t always have time at the end of the day.

Coming home and putting something in the oven or microwave that you know has enough calories, enough vegetables, carbohydrates, etc., can make a difference in healthy eating.

Instead of being lazy and choosing to order takeout, you will have a week’s worth of meals and recipes that you can enjoy without worrying about poor nutrition. It makes life easier.

You Can Control Your Nutrition

Thanks to meal plans, you can make sure you know absolutely everything about your lunch and dinner daily.

When you pick something up from a takeaway or go out to eat at a restaurant, you can’t be 100 percent on top of things like carb counting, and carbohydrate intake is something that you need to be very aware of as a person with diabetes.

The power of putting together a healthy grocery list and making a week’s worth of meals from recipes that you know are low-carb meals and meals full of healthy fats from good food is something that will make your blood glucose a world of good.

Good nutrition is the key to good diabetes management.

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By making meal plans, you can prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even other recipes such as snacks for the entire week all in one go.

And the best part of doing it all for yourself is that you have the ultimate knowledge of the recipes you are making and the meals you are eating from your meal plan, which are all diabetes-friendly and might even aid in weight loss.

You Learn a Valuable Life Skill for Living With Diabetes

Part of living with diabetes is knowing what is best for you at all times, particularly your diet. This includes learning to cook a meal with foods that are not too heavy on carbohydrates and packed with healthy ingredients like vegetables, lean proteins like chicken and turkey, and making clever switches from butter to something like olive oil.

Olive oil spreads are also a great substitute that can be incorporated into many different carb-counting meal plan meals.

Nutrition experts recommend learning how to cook at home.

A registered dietitian or professional diabetes educator will tell you that one of the most important things in managing your diabetes is being able to prepare recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are as diabetes-friendly as possible.

Carb counting is a big part of the process, but having a good meal plan is more than just packing the most vegetables you can into meals.

It is important to understand how to cook food that will be kind to your body. Knowing how many carbs are in a low-carb lunch or dinner is a good start, but diabetes is much more than just paying attention to carbohydrates.

Take healthy cooking as a weekly prep challenge to master.

The healthier you can be in your food choices and recipes, the more in control of your diabetes you will be.

If you can learn to meal plan with a healthy grocery list and prepare amazing meals that focus on classic ingredients like vegetables, chicken, and other diabetes-recommended foods, then you will be living a much better life week to week.

It Can Lead to Bonus Weight Loss

It makes sense that if you are following a low carb, low sugar, low-fat diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association, you will end up losing some extra pounds that could be contributing to your diabetes symptoms.

Peer-reviewed for success.

Numerous peer-reviewed studies have established the connection between obesity and diabetes; therefore, if you can alter your eating habits to prepare lunch and dinner recipes that are good for your overall health, you will be putting your body in a better position to handle the challenges that diabetes presents week after week after week.

How to Make Meal Prep Easier

How to Make Meal Prep Easier

Have the Right Equipment

You don’t need to buy anything special to meal prep. Any average kitchen should typically contain everything you need. This includes a selection of knives, pots, pans, and storage containers.

Storage containers are essential. Not only are they needed to hold the meals and recipes you produce in advance, but they can also be used in the freezer. They are also the most convenient way to take your lunch to work. On the same subject, storage of your well-prepped food is important. For example, if you are making a chicken recipe for lunch, it is best to have ice packs on hand to help keep the container cool and the food fresh. Equally, if you want to make a hot recipe for lunch, there are thermos containers you can buy.

Follow Recipes

Recipes can be an essential part of your diet because whether you are diabetic or not, a boring diet can lead to poor choices when you feel like you are always eating the same thing.

Experiment with recipes using ingredients that you like and know are good for you. You don’t always have to eat chicken!

Look for recipes that are headed up as diabetes-friendly – you’ll find plenty online, or you can invest in a diabetic cookbook (or two). If you choose regular recipes, select those that give the nutritional breakdown, so you know exactly what you are eating.

Do Batch Cooking

Some would say that batch cooking is the preparation of all or most of your meals and snacks for the entire week on just one day of the week.

That’s just another definition of meal prep. For most, it has become either or both:

  • cooking larger portions of food so you can store some for later, or
  • making one base recipe that can be adapted into different dishes

Adding these principles to your meal prep will only enhance the abovementioned benefits.

Use a Handy App To Help You Plan Your Meals

Use A Handy App To Help You Plan Your Meals

If you think you might require assistance keeping on track with your meals and meal prep activity, then the Klinio app is perfect for you.

What Is the Klinio App?

Klinio is an ‘all-in-one’ diabetes management app that can be personalized to cover everything you need to keep track of in your everyday life.

The app offers a personalized meal plan for meals that can cover your calorie intake, sugar and cholesterol requirements, macronutrient quotas, and carbohydrates.

How Does the App Work?

Once you have added all your details and preferences, the app will start with meals that slowly reduce your carb intake, eventually getting you to a place where you have a customized and specialized meal plan that adapts with time.

It is a system that any registered dietitian would be proud of!

Written by

Supriya Lal

Supriya Lal is a Registered Dietitian based in New York City. She completed her training at Duke University Hospital System and has specific interests in personalised nutrition therapy, nutritional counseling, and sustainability related to food and nutrition. She is currently completing her Master's in Public Health at New York University.

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