The Diabetes Diet

Quick GuideDiabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating

Diabetes Diet: Healthy Meal Plans for Diabetes-Friendly Eating


Starches are bread, grains, cereal, pasta, and starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes. They provide carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Whole grain starches are healthier because they have more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Eat some starches at each meal. Eating starches is healthy for everyone, including people with diabetes.

Examples of starches include:

  • Bread
  • Potatoes
  • Tortillas
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Crackers
  • Lentils
  • Pretzels
  • Cereal

How much is a serving of starch?

Examples of 1 serving
Examples of 2 servings
Examples of 3 servings

If you have more than one serving at a meal, you can choose several different starches or have two or three servings of one starch.

Print out this chart. Then fill in the blanks with how many servings of starch to have at meals and snacks.

1. How many servings of grains, cereals, pasta, and starchy vegetables (starches) do you now eat each day?
I eat _____ starch servings each day. 2. Check how many servings of starches to have each day in the section on "How much should I eat each day.
I will eat _____ starch servings each day. 3. I will eat this many servings of starches at
Breakfast______Snack ______
Lunch______Snack ______
Dinner______Snack ______
A diabetes teacher can help you with your meal plan.

What are healthy ways to eat starches?

  • Buy whole grain breads and cereals.
  • Eat fewer fried and high-fat starches such as regular tortilla chips and potato chips, french fries, pastries, or biscuits. Try pretzels, fat-free popcorn, baked tortilla or potato chips, baked potatoes, or low-fat muffins.
  • Use low-fat or fat-free yogurt or fat-free sour cream instead of regular sour cream on a baked potato.
  • Use mustard instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich.
  • Use the low-fat or fat-free substitutes such as low-fat mayonnaise or light margarine on bread, rolls, or toast.
  • Eat cereal with fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/23/2016

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