Diabetic Diet (cont.)

Diabetes and Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)

Low blood glucose can make you feel shaky, weak, confused, irritable, hungry, or tired. You may sweat a lot or get a headache. If you have these symptoms, check your blood glucose. If it is below 70, have one of the following right away:

  • 3 or 3 glucose tablets
  • 1 serving of glucose gel-the amount equal to 15 grams of carbohydrate
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of a regular (not diet) soft drink
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of milk
  • 5 or 6 pieces of hard candy
  • 1 teaspoons of sugar or honey

After 15 minutes, check your blood glucose again. If it's still too low, have another serving. Repeat these steps until your blood glucose level is 70 or higher. If it will be an hour or more before your next meal, have a snack as well.

Diabetes and the Food Pyramid

The Food Pyramid with 6 food group sections.

The food pyramid can help you make wise food choices. It divides foods into groups, based on what they contain. Eat more from the groups at the bottom of the pyramid, and less from the groups at the top. Foods from the starches, fruits, vegetables, and milk groups are highest in carbohydrate. They affect your blood glucose levels the most.

How much should I eat each day?

Have about 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day if you are

  • a small woman who exercises
  • a small or medium-sized woman who wants to lose weight
  • a medium-sized woman who does not exercise much
Choose this many servings from these food groups to have 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day
6 starches 2 milk and yogurt
3 vegetables 2 meat or meat substitute
2 fruit up to 3 fats

Talk with your diabetes teacher about how to make a meal plan that fits the way you usually eat, your daily routine, and your diabetes medicines. Then make your own plan.

Have about 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day if you are

  • a large woman who wants to lose weight
  • a small man at a healthy weight
  • a medium-sized man who does not exercise much
  • a medium-sized to large man who wants to lose weight
Choose this many servings from these food groups to have 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day
8 starches 2 milk and yogurt
4 vegetables 2 meat or meat substitute
3 fruit up to 4 fats

Talk with your diabetes teacher about how to make a meal plan that fits the way you usually eat, your daily routine, and your diabetes medicines. Then make your own plan.

Have about 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day if you are

  • a medium-sized or large man who does a lot of exercise or has a physically active job
  • a large man at a healthy weight
  • a medium-sized or large woman who exercises a lot or has a physically active job
Choose this many servings from these food groups to have 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day
11 starches 2 milk and yogurt
4 vegetables 2 meat or meat substitute
3 fruit up to 5 fats

Talk with your diabetes teacher about how to make a meal plan that fits the way you usually eat, your daily routine, and your diabetes medicines. Then make your own plan.

Make Your Own Food Pyramid

Print out this pyramid and fill in the numbers of servings next to the name of each food group.

Each day, I need

The Food Pyramid, with a space to fill in the number of servings next to the name of each food group.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/7/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

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.

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