1200 Calorie Diabetic Diet

The 1200 calorie diabetic diet limits calories to 1200 each day. Following this diet and making healthy meal choices can help improve overall health. It controls blood glucose (sugar) levels and can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

SERVING SIZES

Measuring foods and serving sizes helps to make sure you are getting the right amount of food. The list below tells how big or small some common serving sizes are.

  • 1 oz.........4 stacked dice.

  • 3 oz.........Deck of cards.

  • 1 tsp........Tip of little finger.

  • 1 tbs........Thumb.

  • 2 tbs........Golf ball.

  • ½ cup.......Half of a fist.

  • 1 cup........A fist.

GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING FOODS

The goal of this diet is to eat a variety of foods and limit calories to 1200 each day. This can be done by choosing foods that are low in calories and fat. The diet also suggests eating small amounts of food frequently. Doing this helps control your blood glucose levels, so they do not get too high or too low. Each meal or snack may include a protein food source to help you feel more satisfied. Try to eat about the same amount of food around the same time each day. This includes weekend days, travel days, and days off work. Space your meals about 4 to 5 hours apart, and add a snack between them, if you wish.

For example, a daily food plan could include breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, dinner, and an evening snack. Healthy meals and snacks have different types of foods, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products. As you plan your meals, select a variety of foods. Choose from the bread and starch, vegetable, fruit, dairy, and meat/protein groups. Examples of foods from each group are listed below, with their suggested serving sizes. Use measuring cups and spoons to become familiar with what a healthy portion looks like.

Bread and Starch

Each serving equals 15 grams of carbohydrate.

  • 1 slice bread.

  • ¼ bagel.

  • ¾ cup cold cereal (unsweetened).

  • ½ cup hot cereal or mashed potatoes.

  • 1 small potato (size of a computer mouse).

  • ⅓ cup cooked pasta or rice.

  • ½ English muffin.

  • 1 cup broth-based soup.

  • 3 cups of popcorn.

  • 4 to 6 whole-wheat crackers.

  • ½ cup cooked beans, peas, or corn.

Vegetables

Each serving equals 5 grams of carbohydrate.

  • ½ cup cooked vegetables.

  • 1 cup raw vegetables.

  • ½ cup tomato or vegetable juice.

Fruit

Each serving equals 15 grams of carbohydrate.

  • 1 small apple or orange.

  • 1 ¼ cup watermelon or strawberries.

  • ½ cup applesauce (no sugar added).

  • 2 tbs raisins.

  • ½ banana.

  • ½ cup canned fruit, packed in water or in its own juice.

  • ½ cup unsweetened fruit juice.

Dairy

Each serving equals 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrate.

  • 1 cup fat-free milk.

  • 6 oz artificially sweetened yogurt or plain yogurt.

  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk.

  • 1 cup soy milk.

  • 1 cup almond milk.

Meat/Protein

  • 1 large egg.

  • 2 to 3 oz meat, poultry, or fish.

  • ¼ cup low-fat cottage cheese.

  • 1 tbs peanut butter.

  • 1 oz low-fat cheese.

  • ¼ cup tuna, packed in water.

  • ½ cup tofu.

Fat

  • 1 tsp oil.

  • 1 tsp trans-fat-free margarine.

  • 1 tsp butter.

  • 1 tsp mayonnaise.

  • 2 tbs avocado.

  • 1 tbs salad dressing.

  • 1 tbs cream cheese.

  • 2 tbs sour cream.

SAMPLE 1200 CALORIE DIET PLAN

Breakfast

  • 1 cup fat-free milk (1 carb serving).

  • 1 small orange (1 carb serving).

  • 1 scrambled egg.

  • 1 slice whole-wheat toast (1 carb serving).

Lunch

  • Sandwich

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread (2 carb servings).

  • 2 oz lean meat.

  • 2 tsp reduced fat mayonnaise.

  • 1 lettuce leaf.

  • 2 slices tomato.

  • 1 cup carrot sticks.

Afternoon Snack

  • 1 small apple (1 carb serving).

  • 1 string cheese.

Dinner

  • 2 oz meat.

  • 1 small baked potato (1 carb serving).

  • 1 tsp trans-fat-free margarine.

  • 1 cup steamed broccoli.

  • 1 cup fat-free milk (1 carb serving).

Evening Snack

  • ½ small banana (1 carb serving).

  • 6 vanilla wafers (1 carb serving).

MEAL PLAN

You can use this worksheet to help you make a daily meal plan based on the 1200 calorie diabetic diet suggestions. If you are using this plan to help you control your blood glucose, you may interchange carbohydrate containing foods (dairy, starches, and fruits). Select a variety of fresh foods of varying colors and flavors. The total amount of carbohydrate in your meals or snacks is more important than making sure you include all of the food groups every time you eat. You can choose from approximately this many of the following foods to build your day's meals:

  • 6 Starches.

  • 3 Vegetables.

  • 2 Fruits.

  • 2 Dairy.

  • 4 to 6 oz Meat/Protein.

  • Up to 3 Fats.

Your dietician can use this worksheet to help you decide how many servings and which types of foods are right for you.

BREAKFAST

Food Group and Servings / Food Choice

Starch _________________________________________________________

Dairy __________________________________________________________

Fruit ___________________________________________________________

Meat/Protein____________________________________________________

Fat ____________________________________________________________

LUNCH

Food Group and Servings / Food Choice

Starch _________________________________________________________

Meat/Protein ___________________________________________________

Vegetables _____________________________________________________

Fruit __________________________________________________________

Dairy __________________________________________________________

Fat ____________________________________________________________

AFTERNOON SNACK

Food Group and Servings / Food Choice

Dairy __________________________________________________________

Fruit ___________________________________________________________

Starch __________________________________________________________

Meat/Protein____________________________________________________

DINNER

Food Group and Servings / Food Choice

Starch _________________________________________________________

Meat/Protein ___________________________________________________

Dairy __________________________________________________________

Vegetables _____________________________________________________

Fruit __________________________________________________________

Fat ____________________________________________________________

EVENING SNACK

Food Group and Servings / Food Choice

Fruit ___________________________________________________________

Meat/Protein ____________________________________________________

Dairy __________________________________________________________

Starch __________________________________________________________

DAILY TOTALS

Starches _________________________

Vegetables _______________________

Fruits ____________________________

Dairy ____________________________

Meat/Protein______________________

Fats _____________________________