Eating Basics


Everyone is different
There is no such thing as a “diabetic diet”. No single eating plan will work the same for everyone. Some people will be able to eat more carbohydrates and still achieve good blood sugar control. Others may require a higher protein intake, with a reasonable balance between plant and animal protein sources. The key is to monitor blood sugar levels carefully to determine which foods work best.

Balanced meals
In general, the ideal meal might consist of the following proportions: 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 complex carbohydrate foods, and 1/4 or less of protein foods. A small amount of healthy fat with each meal can also help control blood sugar levels.

Small meals every 4-5 hours
The body does not make enough insulin to handle a large meal. A person with diabetes who is dependent on injections may require extra insulin if eating a large meal. In addition, small, frequent meals prevent hypoglycemic episodes.

No Starving!
Skipping meals is a set-up for a food binge.

Complex carbohydrates
Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are the most efficient sources. The body not only burns more calories while digesting them, but also gets fiber and more nutrients from these foods than from other food sources.

For most individuals, a minimum of six to eight glasses of water per day — preferably spring water — is required. The body becomes dehydrated before one feels thirst. Those with high blood sugars levels require large amounts of water in order to pass the sugar out in the urine.

Carbs, Proteins, Fats
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are each turned into blood sugar at different rates. Eating a combination of foods will help keep blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day.

How Food Impacts Blood Sugar



Have the greatest and fastest impact on blood sugar
100% of carbohydrates are turned to blood sugar 15 minutes to 2 hours after eating.


Has a medium and slower impact on blood sugar
60% of protein is turned to blood sugar 2 - 3 hours after eating.


Has the smallest and slowest impact on blood sugar
10% of fat is turned to blood sugar 3 - 4 hours after eating.




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