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Low carb meal plan

Your 7-day low carb meal plan

Before starting any healthy eating programme, please read how to choose your meal plan to make sure you follow the plan that's right for you. 

This nutritionally balanced meal plan is suitable for those wishing to closely manage their carbohydrate intake. It's also calorie counted for your convenience, and contains at least five portions of fruit and veg per day.

Please note that the full nutritional information and exact specifications for all meals and snacks is available in the PDF only, and not listed below. 

>Further information on how to follow the low carb plan safely

The weekly overview

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Monday

Breakfast: Wholemeal toast with scrambled eggs

 

Lunch:Cauliflower and leek soup

 

Dinner:Lower-fat cauliflower and broccoli cheesewith a medium grilled salmon fillet

 

Pudding: Greek yogurt with raspberries

 

Choose from snacks including fruit, nuts and rye crackers with avocado.

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Tuesday

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with raspberries and pumpkin seeds

 

Lunch:Chickpea and tuna saladand strawberries

 

Dinner:Beef goulash

 

Pudding:Rhubarb fool

 

Choose from snacks including granary bread with peanut butter, avocado, Greek yogurt, crudites and nuts.

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Wednesday

Breakfast: Porridge with almonds, blueberries and pumpkin seeds

 

Lunch:Mackerel salsa wrap

 

Dinner:Chicken casserolewith broccoli

 

Pudding: Greek yogurt with strawberries and blueberries

 

Choose from snacks including nuts, wholemeal rice cakes with peanut butter and crudites with guacamole.

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Thursday

Breakfast: Mushroom omelette with mushrooms and grilled tomato

 

Lunch:Creamy chicken and mushroom soupand Greek yogurt with raspberries

 

Dinner:Beefburgerwith green salad

 

Pudding:Summer berry posset

 

Choose from snacks including oatcakes with light cream cheese, nuts and avocado.

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Friday

Breakfast: Scrambled egg on granary toast with mushrooms

 

Lunch:Beef and barley soupand Greek yogurt

 

Dinner:Italian-style braised lamb steakswith brown rice and broccoli

 

Pudding:Microwave mug: Chocolate, banana and almond cup with half-fat creme fraiche

 

Choose from snacks including nuts, cheese and guacamole with crudites.

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Saturday

Breakfast: Wholemeal toast with grilled bacon and mushrooms

 

Lunch:Bang bang chicken salad

 

Dinner:Coq au vinwith broccoli

 

Pudding: Hot chocolate

 

Choose from snacks including raspberry smoothie and nuts.

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Sunday

Breakfast: Scrambled egg with smoked salmon on granary toast

 

Lunch:Ham, leek and Parmesan frittatawith avocado, celery, cucumber and lettuce

 

Dinner:Roast chicken, roast potatoes, green beans and gravy

 

Pudding: Greek yogurt with rapsberries

 

Choose from snacks including olives, nuts, dried fruit and oatcakes with light cream cheese.

Low carb plan information

The low carb meal plan aims to help you maintain a healthy, balanced diet while reducing the amount of carbs you eat. Varying amounts of carbohydrate are shown each day to help you choose which works best for you. 

The amount and type of carbohydrates people with diabetes should consume each day has been widely debated recently. Most carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and therefore provide an important source of fuel for our bodies. Because total carbohydrate intake has the greatest effect on blood glucose levels, some question whether people with diabetes should reduce their intake of carbohydrates to improve blood glucose control.

Low carb diets and Type 1 diabetes

If you have Type 1 diabetes and are a healthy weight and have good blood glucose control, you do not need to reduce your carbohydrate intake. If you have Type 1 diabetes and are either overweight or trying to lose weight, then reducing overall energy intake including calories from carbohydrates, fats, proteins and alcohol will help. It's important to speak to your healthcare team for specific advice, as you might need to adjust the amount of insulin you take to reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia.

Some people with Type 1 diabetes may choose to reduce their carbohydrate intake in order to manage their blood glucose levels and therefore reduce the amount of insulin they require. However, there is no research to confirm a benefit to blood glucose control if people with Type 1 diabetes reduce their carbohydrate intake. The most effective way to improve blood glucose levels in Type 1 diabetes is to match insulin with carbohydrate (carbohydrate counting).

Low carb diets and Type 2 diabetes

Evidence suggests that low carb diets are safe and can improve blood glucose levels in the short term, as well as helping to achieve weight loss and reducing the risk of heart disease in people with Type 2 diabetes. However, in the long term, low carb diets are not more effective than other types of diet. Research suggests that the best type of diet is one that you can maintain in the long term, so it's important to talk to your healthcare professional about what you think will work for you.

If you treat your diabetes with insulin or any other medication that puts you at risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels), following a low-carb diet may increase this risk. However, your healthcare  team can help you adjust your medications to reduce your risk of hypos.

What is a low carb diet?

Currently, there is no agreement about the definition of a low carb diet - but, anything providing less than 130g/day of a 2000kcal diet (26% of energy) is considered 'low carb'. Anything less than 30g/day of 2000kcal diet (6% energy) is considered very low carbohydrate ketogenic and is not recommended as research suggests this is not sustainable even in the medium term.

If you decide to follow a low carb diet, it's important that the carbohydrates you do choose support a healthy, balanced diet. You should include fruits and vegetables, beans and pulses, dairy and wholegrains. Cutting down on refined carbohydrates, added sugar, cakes, biscuits and sugary drinks etc is a good way to reduce your carbohydrate intake. Some people suggest replacing carbohydrates with fats (and particularly saturated fat), however this will increase your risk of heart disease and may make it more difficult to lose weight as fat is high in calories.

General healthy eating information

To help us manage our weight and choose a healthier diet, reference intakes (RIs) have been devised and give a useful indication of how much energy the average person needs and how a particular nutrient fits into your daily diet.

RIs are not intended as targets, as energy and nutrient requirements are different for all people depending on your age, sex and activity levels. The term ‘reference intakes’ has replaced ‘guideline daily amounts’ (GDAs), which used to appear on food labels. But, the basic principle behind these two terms is the same.

RIs values are based on an average-sized woman doing an average amount of physical activity. This is to reduce the risk of people with lower energy requirements eating too much, as well as to provide clear and consistent information on labels.

As part of a healthy balanced diet, an adult's reference intakes for energy and carbohydrate in a day is 2000 kcal and 260g, respectively. Although this figure exists for the general population, there is limited evidence for the exact amount of carbohydrate people with diabetes should consume on a daily basis and a lower intake may be appropriate for some people.   

The ‘low carb' meal plan should be adjusted according to your needs. Remember, we don't all need to eat the same amount of calories. Men, who are generally heavier and have more muscle compared to women, require more calories. Young children also need fewer calories than adults. In contrast, older boys from 11 years and girls from 15 years and above, are likely to need more calories. So, adjust portion sizes accordingly to meet your needs.

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