Diabetes: Basics of Healthy Eating
1. Eat regularly throughout the day.
It is important to eat several times throughout the day to help control your blood sugar and keep you energized. It may work best for you to eat 3 meals and 1-2 snacks per day, or you may choose to eat 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day. Aim for going no more than 4-5 hours between meals and snacks.
2. Eat about the same amount of food at each meal.
Try to eat 3 meals that are about the same size, rather than a single meal that is much bigger than the others. Also, try to keep your meals about the same size from day to day.
3. Include protein at each meal and snack.
Including a good source of protein with meals and snacks helps to better control your blood glucose levels, and helps you stay energized. Good sources of protein include nuts and nut butters, beans, lentils, eggs, dairy products (such as yogurt, cheese, or milk), meat, fish, and poultry.
4. Choose foods high in fiber.
Fiber helps to control your blood glucose levels after you eat a meal by helping to slow the effect that carbohydrates have. It also has been proven to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by helping to lower your total cholesterol. Gradually increase the amount of fiber you eat, and be sure to drink plenty of fluids. Aim for at least 25g of fiber per day.
Good Sources of Fiber: Whole-grain breads and cereals, fresh and frozen vegetables, beans and legumes, fresh fruit with skin.
5. Limit foods high in sugar.
Sugary foods and beverages should be limited because of the way they raise your blood glucose. Limit fruit juice to ½ cup (4 ounces) per day. Use diet soda or other calorie-free beverages instead of regular soda or other sweet drinks. Cut back on cookies, cakes, ice cream, and other desserts.
6. Limit foods high in fat.
Limiting the fat in your eating plan can help you reach your optimal cholesterol levels, reduce the number of calories you eat, and may help prevent complications of diabetes. Limit red meat, lunch meat, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs. Instead choose lean poultry like chicken or turkey without skin, fish, beans or lentils. Use fat free or low fat (1%) milk, or try soy milk, rice milk, or almond milk. Use reduced fat or fat free dairy products. Use less butter, margarine, oil, sour cream, mayonnaise, cream, and salad dressings.
7. Choose a variety of foods at each meal, and from day to day.
There are many nutrients that our bodies need to function at their best. Eating a variety of foods will help to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs. When choosing vegetables and fruit, think about eating across the rainbow—choosing fruits and veggies of all different colors throughout each day and week.
8. Create a healthy plate.
Instead of filling up on starchy foods, balance your plate with 3-4 ounces of protein and lots of vegetables, which tend to be low in carbohydrates and calories, and high in fiber and other nutrients.
Meal & Snack Ideas for Managing Diabetes
|Day 1||Day 2|
|Breakfast:|| 2 slices 100% whole wheat toast
1-2 tablespoon peanut butter
1 cup (8oz) skim milk
1 cup cooked oatmeal with
cinnamon, slivered almonds, and ½ cup blueberries
1/4 cup unsalted walnuts
5 dried apricot halves
|½ cup fat free cottage cheese
½ cup light canned peaches
|Lunch:||1 cup lentil soup
6 whole wheat crackers
1-2 cups salad with tomato, cucumber and carrots
1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette dressing
6oz plain low fat yogurt with berries
1 chicken breast (3oz) on 1 whole
wheat sandwich bun with lettuce, tomato and 1 tablespoon mustard
1 piece part skim mozzarella string cheese
|15 small grapes
¼ cup unsalted pistachios
|Dinner:|| 1 baked pork chop (3oz)
1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta, tossed with olive oil and garlic
1 cup cooked broccoli
1 whole grain roll
2 teaspoons margarine for broccoli/roll
| 2 whole wheat flour tortillas
½ cup black beans
Lettuce, tomato, and onion, as desired
¼ cup reduced-fat shredded cheese
¼ cup salsa or guacamole
½ cup corn
|Snack:||3 graham cracker squares
½ cup (4oz) skim milk
|½ cup high-fiber cereal
½ cup (4oz) plain or light soy milk
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition
|UW Digestive Health Center
Nutrition Clinic Room 012
750 University Row,
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 890-5000 appointments
|UW Health West Clinic
Nutrition Clinic Room 1296
451 Junction Road
Madison, WI 53717
(608) 262-9181 appointments
UW Health East Clinic
UW Medical Foundation
12 clinic locations
Spanish Version is #382
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 07/10/2013
Copyright © 01/15/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#262
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