Diabetic Diet


Eating Healthy and Staying Fit to Control and Manage Diabetes
What is diabetes and are you at risk?
Diabetes is a disease that results in too much sugar (glucose) in the blood. Your body does not have enough insulin available to turn food into energy. High levels of glucose slowly damage your eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves, legs, and feet. Diabetes is a serious disease affecting 20.8 million people in this country, and you may be at risk if you are Hispanic, overweight, or do not exercise regularly. Hispanics are nearly twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to develop this disease.
Steps to healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle to control and manage diabetes:
Begin with a healthy eating plan. Healthy eating means eating more grains, fruits, and vegetables, and less meat, sweets, and fats every day. “Let the Food be the Medicine and Medicine be the Food” (Hippocrates).
Be physically active every day to help prevent weight gain and improve blood sugar control.
Check the sugar in your blood and take your medication every day if needed.
How to create a healthy meal plan:
To create a healthy meal plan you should do the following:
Eat a variety of foods as recommended in the Diabetes Food Pyramid to get a balanced intake of the nutrients your body needs – carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Make changes gradually because it takes time to accomplish lasting goals.
Reduce the amount of fat you eat by choosing fewer high-fat foods and cooking with less fat.
Eat more fiber by eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Eat fewer foods that are high in sugar like fruit juices, fruit-flavored drinks, sodas, and tea or coffee sweetened with sugar.
Use less salt in cooking and at the table. Eat fewer foods that are high in salt, like canned and packaged soups, pickles, and processed meats.
Eat smaller portions and never skip meals.
Learn about the right serving sizes for you.
Learn how to read food labels.
Limit use of alcohol.
What is the Diabetes Food Pyramid?
The Diabetes Food Pyramid is a general guide of what and how much to eat each day. It is similar to the Food Pyramid you see on many food packages. The pyramid is divided into six groups. You should eat more foods from the largest group at the base of the pyramid and less from the smaller groups at the top of the pyramid. The number of servings needed every day is not the same for everyone, so a range of servings is given to ensure you get the foods you need for good health. The food groups and suggested servings per day are listed below.
Grains, Beans, and Starchy Vegetables: (good source of B vitamins and fiber) 6 or more servings/day
Fruits: (contain vitamins C, A, potassium, folate, and fiber) 3-4 servings/day
Vegetables: (provide vitamins A, C, folate, and fiber) 3-5 servings/day
Milk: (source of calcium, protein, vitamins A and D) 2-3 servings/day
Meats and Others: (good source of iron, zinc, B vitamins, and protein) 2-3 servings/day
Fats, Sweets, and Alcohol: The foods at the tip of the pyramid should be eaten in small amounts. Fats and oils should be limited because they are high in calories. Sweets are high in sugar and should only be Meat, 1 Fat
Rice with Chicken, Spanish Style
1 1/2 Grains/Beans/Starchy Vegetables, 1 Vegetable, 1 Meat, 1 Fat
Seafood Stew
2 Meat, 1/2 Fat
This is just an example. If you have diabetes, consult a registered dietitian to help you make your own meal plan. Your meal plan will be based on many factors, including your weight goal, height, age, and physical activity. The following Sample Meal Plan includes 3 meals and 2 snacks, with suggested servings.
Sample meal plan for a day
Fresh orange, 1 medium
Grains/Beans/Starchy Veg.
Baked plantain, 1 medium
Milk, 1% low fat, 1 cup
Oil, 1 teaspoon
Two Cheese Pizza
Grains/Beans/Starchy Veg.
slices (see recipe)
Melon, 1 cup/cubes
Mixed green salad
Afternoon Snack
Apple, 1 medium
Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons
Grains/Beans/Starchy Veg.
Whole wheat crackers, 5
Grains/Beans/Starchy Veg.
Rice with Chicken Spanish Style
cup (see recipe)
Pineapple rings, 1/2 cup
Spinach, 1 cup raw
Vinaigrette, 1 tablespoon
Evening Snack
Yogurt, low fat, 1 cup
Grains/Beans/Starchy Veg.
Bread sticks, 2