A Delicious Low-Carb Meal Plan for Beginners

A Delicious Low-Carb Meal Plan for Beginners

Many people living with diabetes choose to eat low carb to stabilize blood sugar levels and promote weight loss. According to the American Diabetes Association, reducing overall carbohydrate intake for people with diabetes has been shown to lower blood sugar. 

If you’re new to this lifestyle, our low-carb meal plan for beginners is for you. It includes a range of delicious flavors, textures, and colors that will delight your palate and keep you full all day. 

These approachable recipes include readily available ingredients that you can find at any typical grocery store and require simple cooking techniques that any beginner can handle

By following the low-carb meal plan below, you’ll eat around 66 grams of carbs and spend less than $22 per day. We calculated the cost based on six servings and sourced ingredients on Amazon Fresh set for Brooklyn, New York. This means you can feed a family of six for one day or feed yourself for six days using this low-carb meal plan. 

The total cost includes every single ingredient you’ll need, though you might already have staples like olive oil or black pepper at home, which will bring your cost down even lower. With a few extra ingredients, you’ll be on your way to stocking a lower carb kitchen to support you on your health journey.

Check in with your One Drop coach for more low-carb meal ideas. All One Drop coaches are registered dietitians who love helping people discover a nutritious and delicious way of eating that works specifically for them.

Quick and Easy Breakfast

Eggs with Salsa + Raspberries (12 Carbs | $2.67)

Low carb breakfast for diabetes | Low carb salsa and eggs recipes | One Drop recipes

Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Serving size: Entire recipe

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Carbs: 12g
Fat: 9g
Protein: 15g
Fiber: 6g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Sodium: 230mg

Ingredients 

  • 2 eggs 
  • ¼ c salsa
  • ½ c raspberries
  • Avocado or vegetable cooking spray

Directions

  1. Spray a non-stick frying pan with avocado or vegetable cooking spray. 
  2. Allow the pan to heat to medium heat. If you prefer scrambled eggs, whisk eggs together with a fork in a bowl before adding to the pan. Or, add a whole egg to the pan for a fried egg. 
  3. Cook eggs and set on a plate. 
  4. To heat the salsa, add it to the already warm saute pan and heat for about one minute. Top the eggs with salsa or dish it on the side of your eggs.
  5. Enjoy with a half cup of raspberries on the side.

A Satisfying Lunch

Stuffed Tuna Peppers + Mixed Green Salad (15 Carbs | $10.15)

Low carb meal plan | Low carb lunch | Stuffed tuna peppers | One Drop recipes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Servings: 2
Serving size: 2 pepper halves and 1 ½ cups salad

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Carbs: 15g
Fat: 14g
Protein: 33g
Fiber: 5g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Sodium: 450mg

Ingredients 

  • 2 5-oz cans low-sodium albacore tuna in water
  • 2 small red bell peppers
  • ¼ cup celery, diced
  • ¼ cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • ⅓ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, divided
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Wash and prepare vegetables. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and white inner membrane. Dice the celery.
  2. Drain the liquid from the cans of tuna and add to a small bowl. Use a fork to flake the tuna. Add the celery, shredded carrot, pecans, Greek yogurt, mustard, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  3. Divide the tuna mixture to fill the four halves of the bell pepper. Then, garnish with the parsley.
  4. Add the mixed greens, olive oil, and remaining lemon juice to a medium sized bowl. Toss to combine. Serve alongside the stuffed peppers.

Protein-Packed Snack

Ham Roll-Up (15 Carbs | $3.22)

Low carb meal plan | Low carb snack | Ham roll-ups | One Drop recipes

Prep time: 5-10 mins
Cook time: 0 mins
Servings: 1
Serving size: Entire recipe

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving) 

Carbs: 15g
Fiber: 3g
Fat: 11g
Saturated Fat: 6g
Protein: 18g
Sodium: 660mg

Ingredients 

  • 2 slices reduced-sodium ham
  • 1 slice Swiss cheese
  • ¼ cup kale
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • ½ cup baby carrots
  • ½ cucumber, sliced

Directions

  1. Wash the produce and slice half of a cucumber. Keep its peel on.
  2. Lay the ham flat on a plate. Add 1 tsp of mustard to the front edge of each slice. Then, add kale and cheese.
  3. From the edge where the mustard is, roll the ham over the kale and cheese into a tight pencil-like roll up. Repeat with the second slice.
  4. Serve on a plate alongside baby carrots and cucumber slices.

Comfort Food Dinner

Artichoke Chicken (15 Carbs | $4.91)

Low carb meal plan | Low carb dinner | Artichoke chicken | One Drop recipes

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 2-4 hrs
Servings: 2
Serving size: 1 cup

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving) 

Carbs: 15g 
Fiber: 5g 
Fat: 12g 
Saturated Fat: 5g 
Protein: 29g 
Sodium: 270mg

Ingredients

  • 2- 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup jarred artichokes with juices
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 oz Neufchatel or reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped or 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except for the cheese and spinach to the slow cooker/crock pot. Cook for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low setting. 

    If you don’t have a slow cooker, this recipe can be done in a Dutch oven or pot with a tight-fitting lid. If you use this cooking method, sear the chicken for 3 minutes on each side in a drizzle of oil, then follow the remaining instructions. With this method, it’s recommended that you cook slowly on a low heat for 2-3 hours or until the chickens’ internal temperature reaches 165 F.
  2. Turn off heat. Add spinach and cheese and stir well until the spinach is wilted and cheese is melted.

Refreshing Dessert

Frozen Yogurt Bar (9 Carbs | $1.00)

Low carb meal plan | Low carb dessert | Yogurt popsicles | One Drop recipes

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 2-3 hours
Servings: 1
Serving size: 6 oz. popsicle

Estimated Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Carbs: 9g
Fiber: 1g
Fat: 1.5g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Protein: 5g
Sodium: 25mg

Ingredients

  • 4 oz low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen mixed berries

Directions

  1. Layer yogurt and berries with a spoon into the popsicle mold.
  2. Make sure contents are evenly distributed and freeze for at least two to three hours. Freeze time will depend on the temperature of the freezer as well as the popsicle tray used.

Low-Carb Meal Plan Shopping List

Produce

6 oz. raspberries
2 small red bell peppers
3 stalks celery
3 carrots
1 bunch parsley
5 oz. mixed salad greens
1 bunch kale
16 oz. baby carrots
3 cucumbers
5 oz. fresh spinach
3 onions

Dairy

1 dozen eggs
32 oz. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
12 slices Swiss cheese
8 oz. Neufchatel or reduced fat cream cheese

Meat

7 oz. reduced-sodium ham
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Dry Goods

6 5-oz. cans low-sodium Albacore tuna
3.9 oz. jar of garlic
6.5 oz. jarred artichokes with juices
32 oz. lemon juice
24 oz. pecans

Frozen Food

12 oz. frozen berries

Condiments and Spices

16 oz. salsa
Dijon mustard
Olive oil
Avocado or vegetable cooking spray
Black pepper
Dried rosemary

This article has been clinically reviewed by Hanna Rifkin, RD, CDCES, clinical health coach at One Drop.

Link copied to the clipboard. ×
Sara Huneke
Jan 10, 2023

Additional Reading

Ozempic for Weight Loss - How to Lose Weight - Injection for Weight Loss - Wegovy - GLP-1 Agonist - One Drop

Which GLP-1 is Right For You?

Historically prescribed for type 2 diabetes, GLP-1 agonists are now widely considered breakthrough weight loss medications.

Read more >
Diabetes Resources for Healthy Living - Blood Sugar Management - Diabetes Tools - One Drop

Diabetes Resources for Healthy Living

With articles on everything from A1C to TZD, our diabetes resource hub covers what you need to know to live—and thrive—with diabetes.

Read more >
Start your free 14-day trial

Get delicious recipes, health tips, meal plans, exercise routines, data tracking, and more in the best all-in-one app for improving diabetes.

Download Now