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Ask your healthcare team to help you make a meal plan that fits your needs. Your meal plan tells you when to eat your meals and snacks, what kinds of foods to eat, and how much of each food to eat. You don’t have to give up all the foods you like. But you do need to follow some guidelines.
Fiber is a carbohydrate that breaks down slowly. Fiber is also healthy for your heart. Fiber-rich foods include:
Whole-grain breads and cereals
Fruits and vegetables
Dry beans, and peas
Eating protein that is low in fat can help you control your weight. It also helps keep your heart healthy. Low-fat protein foods include:
Plant proteins, such as dry beans and peas, nuts, and soy products like tofu and soymilk
Lean meat with all visible fat removed
Poultry with the skin removed
Low-fat or nonfat milk, cheese, and yogurt
Saturated and trans fats are unhealthy for your heart. They raise LDL (bad) cholesterol. Fat is also high in calories, so it can make you gain weight. To cut down on unhealthy fats, limit these foods:
Butter or margarine
Palm and palm kernel oils and coconut oil
Sweet bakery goods such as pies, muffins, and donuts
Jams and jellies
The amount of food you eat affects your blood sugar. It also affects your weight. Your healthcare team will tell you how much of each type of food you should eat.
Use measuring cups and spoons and a food scale to measure serving sizes.
Learn what a correct serving size looks like on your plate. This will help when you are away from home and can’t measure your servings.
Eat only the number of servings given on your meal pan for each food. Don’t take seconds.
Your meal plan will likely include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and some snacks.
Try to eat your meals and snacks at about the same times each day.
Eat all your meals and snacks. Skipping a meal or snack can make your blood sugar drop too low. It can also cause you to eat too much at the next meal or snack. Then your blood sugar could get too high.