Eating healthy foods is one of the basic tools of diabetes care.
Eating right helps keep blood sugar under control, and that protects
you from the long-term health problems that diabetes can cause.
||Serving per day
|Bread, Cereal, Rice, Dry Beans, and Pasta
|Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese
|Meat, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, and Nuts
|Fats, Oils and Sweets
When choosing foods from these groups, remember: usually, the closer
to nature a food is, the better it is for you!
Eat a variety of foods.If you vary the foods you eat, you will have
a better chance of getting all the vitamins and minerals you need.
This means you should eat from all the food groups every day AND
choose different foods. For best blood sugar control, keep the amounts
that you eat from the Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group, the
Fruit Group, and the Milk Group about the same from day to day.
These are the high carbohydrate foods that have the most effect
on your blood sugar. They are high in nutrition and important to
eat, but keeping amounts about the same from day to day will make
diabetes control easier.The more processed a food is, the less it
benefits you. Before you buy or eat a food, ask yourself, "Is
there a better choice?"
(Closest to Nature)
|Fruit "leather" and fruit drinks
||Unsweetened fruit juice
||Whole fresh fruit
||Packet of instant oatmeal
||Cooked whole oats
|Canned vegetables (salty)
Frozen vegetables with sauce (high fat)
||Fresh vegetables, raw or steamed
|Frozen yogurt with syrupy fruit topping
||Fruit flavored yogurt
||Plain yogurt with fresh fruit
Staying at a healthy weight is important for all people with diabetes.
Extra body fat makes it harder for people with type II diabetes
to make and use their own insulin. For these people, losing some
extra pounds can be a powerful tool for diabetes control, especially
in the first few years after their diabetes is diagnosed. People
with type I diabetes may have trouble keeping their weight up to
a high enough level if their blood sugars are too high.
Pure fats like oil, margarine, and butter give you very few vitamins
and minerals. For best health, they should be only a small part
of your overall nutrition. Fats that are solid at room temperature
(animal fats and shortening, for example) should be a very small
part of your diet because they are bad for the health of your heart.
Choose a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and grain products.
By choosing the high carbohydrate plant foods you can increase your
intake of important vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. Certain
fiber may help lower blood fats, promote regular bowel movements,
and slow the absorption of sugars after a meal. To get the most
fiber in your diet:
- eat fresh fruits and vegetables
- eat the skins and peelings, if edible
- choose whole grain breads and cereals
- at at least one meatless main dish that includes dried beans,
peas, or lentils each week
Remember, that starches, fruit, and milk raise blood sugar. The
amounts of these foods you eat each day must be kept in balance
with your insulin supply. This is true whether you rely on your
own insulin or whether you take insulin shots.
High sugar foods, like desserts and regular soft drinks, give you
very little nutritional value. For best health, they should be only
a small part of your overall food intake.
Most Americans eat more salt than they really need. For some people,
extra salt adds to their risk for high blood pressure. High blood
pressure is more common in people with diabetes. And uncontrolled
high blood pressure greatly increases the risk for many health
problems related to diabetes. To make sure you do not get too
- use little or no salt at the table or in cooking
- avoid foods canned, boxed or frozen with extra salt
- use herbs, spices and salt-free seasoning mixes instead of salt
- use black, white or red pepper to season food
- remember to choose food "close to nature". Less processed
foods have less salt.
If you drink alcohol, keep your intake "moderate", and
include it in your meal plan as extra calories. Here is a rule of
thumb for what constitutes "moderate" alcohol intake:
1 drink a day or less for women and small men
2 drinks a day or less for men and large women
Twelve ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 1/2 ounces of hard
liquor count as one drink. It is best to choose lower calorie drinks,
such as lite beers and white wines.