The food plan of an 1,800-calorie diabetic diet involves breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks, including approximately eight servings of fruits or vegetables spread throughout the day, according to the American Diabetes Association. Appropriate calorie intake varies depending on age, weight, gender and level of activity.
An ideal diet for people with diabetes is not extremely restrictive, notes Mayo Clinic. It is important to eat a wide variety of healthy foods and follow a consistent eating schedule. People with diabetes should try to eat healthy carbohydrates such as legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Low-fat dairy products may be eaten as well. Because fiber can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, fiber-rich foods such as whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat bran, nuts and legumes should be eaten frequently. Some fruits and vegetables may also provide fiber.
Healthy fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines should be eaten twice per week, states Mayo Clinic. Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and olives should be eaten instead of unhealthy trans or saturated fats. Cholesterol intake should be kept below 300 milligrams daily. Sodium should be kept under 2,300 milligrams daily. If necessary, a physician or dietitian may recommend specific diet changes, eating habits or meal-planning guides.