Living with diabetes can be a challenge, especially when it comes to what you eat. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level takes discipline, food portions that are just right, and detailed planning of every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meal delivery kits take the guesswork out of all of this. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best diabetic meal delivery services for weight loss — to make it easier for you to plan a healthy, diabetes-friendly diet without hassle.
What kind of meals can diabetics eat?
Ever hear of the glycemic index (GI)? If you have prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, the GI is a great guide to help determine if the food you plan on eating has a high or low risk of raising your blood glucose levels. High-carbohydrate foods like white rice — a food with a high GI rating of 73 — has almost the same effect on your body as eating pure sugar, and will produce a quick, high spike in your blood sugar.
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Which meal delivery service is best for diabetics?
Below, we reviewed the best diabetes-friendly meal delivery services for weight loss and all your healthy lifestyle needs.
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By avoiding high-carb foods that have GI levels of 70+ like white bread, processed cereals, snack foods, potatoes, honey, watermelon, and pineapple (to name a few), you can maintain better control of your blood sugar levels and avoid complications from diabetes such as ketoacidosis, neuropathy, kidney disease, and high blood pressure.
The good news? Those with pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes can load up on veggies and many fruits, as most tend to be low-to-moderate on the GI scale. Here are some more foods diabetics can enjoy with 55 or less GI levels:
- Bulgar, barley
- Pasta, parboiled (converted) rice
- High-fiber bran cereal
- Oatmeal, steel-cut or rolled
- Carrots, non-starchy vegetables, greens
- Apples, oranges, grapefruit, and other fruits like berries
- Most nuts, legumes, and beans
- Milk and yogurt
And if you’re looking for diabetic-friendly food swaps, Harvard Medical School made this handy chart to help you choose foods that won’t spike your blood sugar:
For more information on the foods diabetics can and cannot eat, the American Diabetes Association is a great resource.
What is a good daily menu for a diabetic?
The below diabetes-friendly sample meal plan, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic, has shared a low carb, sample meal plan for diabetics that is low on the glycemic index and accounts for 1200-1600 calories per day.
- Breakfast. Whole-wheat bread (1 medium slice) with 2 teaspoons jelly, 1/2 cup shredded wheat cereal with a cup of 1 percent low-fat milk, a piece of fruit, coffee
- Lunch. Roast beef sandwich on wheat bread with lettuce, low-fat American cheese, tomato and mayonnaise, medium apple, water
- Dinner. Salmon, 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil, small baked potato, 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2 cup green beans, medium white dinner roll, unsweetened iced tea, milk
- Snack. 2 1/2 cups popcorn with 1 1/2 teaspoons margarine
Are diabetic meal kits worth the money?
When you consider how much money and time you invest in grocery shopping, ingredient prep, and cooking each week, pre-packaged and prepared meal kits are well worth it. The cheapest meal delivery services for weight loss (like Nutrisystem) start at around $8 per meal, and allow you to choose from more than 150 pre-packaged meals and snacks, all portioned and packed with the nutrition you need to lose weight in a healthy way.
If you’re worried about cost, one way to save money on the best meal delivery services for weight loss is to order more meals — the price-per-meal is generally lower when you order more meals per week. Most services don’t make you commit to more than a week at a time (and a “week” can be as few as four meals), so you can cancel your plan — or restart it — at any time and not lose money.
What to look for in a diabetic meal delivery service:
When choosing a diabetic meal delivery service, you should consider your needs and lifestyle. Here are four questions to ask yourself:
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- How frequently do I plan to eat my meals? Some meal delivery services provide frozen meals that you can keep in your freezer for weeks, while others are “fresh,” meaning they are prepared by chefs, refrigerated, and should be eaten within days of receiving. If you’re goal is to get your blood glucose levels under control and lose weight fast, you’ll likely want to eat the meals regularly (at least for the first two weeks), so both frozen and fresh options should work just fine.
- Do I prefer to microwave my meals or cook them myself? If prepared meals aren’t your thing and you’d rather cook yourself, meal delivery services like HelloFresh, Green Chef, and Marley Spoon will provide you with fresh, prepped ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes. Some services, like Sun Basket, allow you to fill your “basket” with both pre-packed meals and meal kits filled with measured ingredients for quick cooking.
- Do I want to supplement my regular meals, or replace them completely? You don’t have to replace everything you eat with foods from meal delivery services. You have the option to choose the number of meals you want shipped each week, so you can gradually work these foods into your lifestyle. Keep in mind, though, that the more meals you buy for the week, the more money you save.
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