The Diabetes Diet

What I need to know about Eating and Diabetes

Diabetes diet facts*

*Diabetes diet facts by

  • Healthful eating helps keep your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, in your target range. Physical activity and, if needed, diabetes medicines also help.
  • Before meals blood glucose levels should be 90 to 130. 1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal levels should be less than 180.
  • What you eat and when you eat affect how your diabetes medicines work. Talk with your doctor about when to take your diabetes medicines.
  • Physical activity is an important part of staying healthy and controlling your blood glucose. Talk with your doctor about what types of exercise are safe for you.
  • Low blood glucose can make you feel shaky, weak, confused, irritable, hungry, or tired. You may sweat a lot or get a headache.
  • Use the food pyramid to make healthy eating choices and aim for about 1,200 to 1,600 calories daily for women, and 1,600 to 2,000 calories daily for men.
  • Whole grain starches provide carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Vegetables give you vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are low in carbohydrates. Fruit gives you energy, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Milk provides carbohydrates, protein, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. Meat and meat substitutes provide protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Limit the amount of fats and sweets you eat. Try having sugar-free popsicles, diet soda, fat-free ice cream or frozen yogurt, or sugar-free hot cocoa mix.
  • Alcohol has calories but no nutrients. If you drink alcohol on an empty stomach, it can make your blood glucose level too low. Alcohol also can raise your blood fats.
  • Weigh or measure foods to make sure you eat the right amounts.
  • Take care of yourself when you're sick. Being sick can make your blood glucose go too high.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/18/2014

Patient Comments

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Diabetic Diet - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with a diabetic diet.
Diabetic Diet - Medicines Question: As a patient with diabetes, how do you manage your diet and taking medications?
Diabetic Diet - Exercise Question: Describe your exercise regime, how you work it into your schedule, and when you eat.
Diabetic Diet - Fruit and Vegetables Question: Incorporating fruits and vegetables into a diabetic diet is important. How do you make it work?
Diabetic Diet - Meat and Protein Question: Describe how you add meat and other proteins into your diet to manage diabetes.
Diabetes testing

Diabetes

What are diabetes symptoms?

  • The early symptoms of untreated diabetes are related to elevated blood sugar levels, and loss of glucose in the urine. High amounts of glucose in the urine can cause increased urine output and lead to dehydration. Dehydration causes increased thirst and water consumption.
  • The inability of insulin to perform normally has effects on protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Insulin is an anabolic hormone, that is, one that encourages storage of fat and protein.

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