The Diabetes-Friendly Meal Plan
- Phenomenal Flavor
Delicious meals designed to help you manage diabetes
- Clean Ingredients
Organic produce and lean meats & seafood
- Skip the Legwork
No research, no planning, just cooking
Diabetes Management Done Deliciously
High-quality carbs from whole foods like whole grains, beans, and lentils
Feel Healthy, Not Hungry
15 grams of protein or more per serving from lean meats and seafood
High in Fiber
At least 5 grams of fiber per serving
No research, no planning, just healthy eating
Diabetes-Friendly Nutritional Info
Includes recipes approved by the American Diabetes Association®
- Calorie-Conscious: 700 calories or less per serving
- Plenty of Protein: At least 15 grams per serving
- High in Fiber: At least 5 grams per serving
- Carb Smart: 20-100 grams or less per serving, and less than 10% of calories from added sugar
- Good Fats: Saturated fat less than 10% of total calories
- Sensible Sodium: 700 mg or less per serving
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn More About The Diabetes-Friendly Diet
What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a much less common form of diabetes, and is actually an autoimmune disease2. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the cells of the pancreas,
which is responsible for producing insulin, the key blood–sugar managing hormone. This is why people with type 1 diabetes are often prescribed insulin to help
keep their blood sugar in check.
Alternatively, people with type 2 diabetes can produce insulin, but their cells become unresponsive to it, often called "insulin resistance." This simply means that even though the pancreas can produce and release insulin, the cells in your body are not responsive to it, and thus, sugar cannot be absorbed from the bloodstream and into the cell. In response to accumulating sugar in the blood stream, the pancreas goes into overdrive, producing even more insulin to help bring blood sugar to normal levels. Over time, the pancreas wears out and can't keep up with the body's increased demand for insulin. This leads to chronically high blood glucose levels, which can cause several health complications.
Is there a single diet to manage diabetes?
No. Sun Basket's Diabetes–Friendly Meal Plan is designed to meet the most current dietary guidelines for people with diabetes or prediabetes, with a focus on nutrient–rich, whole ingredients, but everyone's system is different. One person may tolerate some ingredients just fine, while others may not. Consult your doctor to determine what diet works best for you.
Should I consult my doctor if I think I have diabetes?
Yes. While type 2 diabetes can be managed through a nutrient–rich and wholesome diet, and regular exercise, in some cases it may require medication. If diabetes or prediabetes is left unaddressed, further complications can arise, including cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, neuropathy, compromised vision, and more.
What causes type 2 diabetes?
- Genetics: Type 2 diabetes tends to run in the family. It is still unclear which gene(s) are responsible for insulin resistance, however. Just because a family member has diabetes does not guarantee that you will too, especially if you eat a nutrient–rich, wholesome diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Ethnicity: Certain backgrounds tend to be at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes than others.
- Lifestyle: The most important factor of all is your lifestyle. You may not be able to control your genetics or your ethnicity, but you can control your lifestyle, including focusing on a nourishing diet and regular physical activity.
What other factors increase my risk of developing type 2 diabetes?
- Other Health Conditions: Conditions such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), heart disease, and stroke, as well as gestational diabetes (diabetes developed during a woman's pregnancy) all increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Prediabetes: Prediabetes is a fancy word used to describe the early stages of the disease, before it fully develops into diabetes. Prediabetes is diagnosed by detecting above–normal blood glucose levels. If prediabetes continues to go undercontrolled, it eventually develops into full-onset diabetes. This is why a prediabetes diagnosis is a crucial cue to take action, and so you can give your diet and lifestyle a wellness upgrade.
What are the signs and symptoms of diabetes?
Some of the early signs of diabetes includes frequent trips to the bathroom, increased thirst, heightened appetite, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, uncharacterized fatigue, and dry, itchy skin.
Good carbs versus bad carbs
Recent research shows that the quality of the carbohydrate is what counts, which means the closer the food is to its natural state,
the better. Some great examples of high-quality carbohydrates are unprocessed, whole food sources such as vegetables, whole grains,
beans and lentils. Low-quality carbohydrates include refined sugars and flours.
The quality of the carbohydrate matters because this is what determines the impact a food has on your blood sugar, insulin levels, and overall health. High–quality carbohydrates are perfectly packaged with more fiber and nutrients per calorie. When we consume high–quality carbs like sweet potatoes or brown rice, these fiber–rich foods require ample chewing and a good amount of mechanical churning by the stomach before we can digest, process, and absorb their sugars. This leads to a very slow digestion process, translating to a slow and steady rise in blood sugar, and in turn, a less dramatic rise in insulin. Alternatively, low–quality carbohydrates, like white rice or white bread, which are stripped of their nutrients and fiber, are quickly digested, leading to a spike in blood sugar, and in turn, a dramatic surge of insulin, as well as short–lived energy and little–to–no nourishment.
Glycemic index is a measure used to describe the impact a particular food has on your blood sugar levels. A food with a high glycemic index is associated with a high spike in blood sugar, while a food with a low glycemic index is associated with a lower rise in blood sugar levels. One reason why high–quality carbohydrates are recommended for people with diabetes is because they tend to have a lower glycemic index than their refined or processed counterparts. For example, whole grains like whole wheat, quinoa, or brown rice tend to have a lower glycemic index than refined wheat (white flour products like bread, crackers, pretzels, pasta) and white rice.
What is glycemic load?
The glycemic load is arguably more important than the glycemic index, and this is because the glycemic load takes into account the quantity of the food. This means, that even if a food has a high glycemic index, if you are only eating a small portion of it, it may actually have a less dramatic effect on your blood sugar than a food with a lower Glycemic Index consumed in a larger quantity. Another factor that contributes to glycemic load is the other meal components. For example, consuming a banana alone may cause a high rise in blood sugar, but eating that same banana with almond butter may have a less dramatic spike in blood sugar. Adding protein, good fat, and fiber is a great strategy to balance out carbohydrates and reduce the overall glycemic load, with the goal of keeping blood sugar levels within a normal range.
What are hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia means low there is a low level of glucose (sugar) in the blood (hypo = low, glyc = sugar, emia = blood). This usually occurs during times of fasting. Hyperglycemia means high blood sugar, which can occur after a meal rich in carbohydrates (particularly low–quality carbohydrates), when your body is unable to produce enough insulin for your cells to process blood sugar, or when your cells become insulin resistant, leading to high accumulations of sugar in your blood. When we have a high level of blood sugar (hyperglycemia), our pancreas may compensate by releasing too much insulin. This excess amount of insulin can sometimes be overkill, going from hyperglycemia, to a dramatic crash of hypoglycemia.
What is insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance is when our body's cells become unresponsive to insulin. When insulin resistance occurs, cells are unresponsive to insulin, and cannot accept glucose from our blood to be converted to energy or stored as future fuel. This means glucose begins to accumulate in our blood, creating high blood sugar levels, which creates a slew of health complications. Our kidneys have to work extra hard to filter out glucose, potentially causing long–term damage that could develop into chronic kidney disease. The tiny capillaries in our eyes become filled with thick and syrupy blood, which can cause blurred vision or even blindness. The thick syrupy blood can also cause damage to our arterial walls, leading to hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. It can also interfere with proper blood flow to our skin and extremities, which can cause skin ulcers, and in extreme cases, making amputations necessary. Nerve damage, called neuropathy, can also occur, due to blood sugar levels interfering with nerve cells.
What is insulin sensitivity?
Insulin sensitivity is the other side of the coin to insulin resistance. Insulin sensitivity simply refers to our cells' response to insulin. A well–behaved, highly sensitive cell will open its door to insulin, allowing glucose to be transported from the blood and into the cell to be converted for energy or stored for later fuel use. Low insulin sensitivity, also called insulin resistance, is when the cell does not respond well to insulin, leading to high blood glucose levels. Insulin sensitivity can be managed by following a diabetes–friendly diet, regular physical activity, and if necessary, diabetes medication.