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Diabetic Food

What kinds of foods can I eat?

In general, at each meal you may have 2 to 5 choices (or up to 60 grams) of carbohydrates, 1 choice of protein and a certain amount of fat. Talk to your doctor or dietitian for specific advice.

Starchy foods are part of a healthy meal plan. What is important is the portion size. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks. The key is portions. For most people with diabetes, having 3-4 servings of carbohydrate-containing foods is about right. Whole grain starchy foods are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep your gut healthy.

Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy foods and starchy foods such as breads. Try to have fresh fruits rather than canned fruits (unless they are packed in water or their own juice), fruit juices or dried fruit. You may eat fresh vegetables and frozen or canned vegetables. Condiments such as nonfat mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard are also carbohydrates.

Protein. Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, beans and some vegetables. Try to eat poultry and fish more often than red meat. Don't eat poultry skin, and trim extra fat from all meat. Choose nonfat or reduced-fat dairy products such as cheeses and yogurts.

Fat. Butter, margarine, lard and oils add fat to food. Fat is also in many dairy and meat products. Try to avoid fried foods, mayonnaise-based dishes (unless they are made with fat-free mayo), egg yolks, bacon and high-fat dairy products. Your doctor or dietitian will tell you how many grams of fat you may eat each day. When eating fat-free versions of foods (like mayonnaise and butter), check the label to see how many grams of carbohydrates they contain. Keep in mind that these products also often have added sugar.

Carbohydrates and Sugar!

Carbohydrate makes your blood glucose level go up. If you know how much carbohydrate you've eaten, you have a good idea what your blood glucose level is going to do. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar will go up.

Foods Containing Carbohydrates.

Most of the carbohydrate we eat comes from three food groups: starch, fruit and milk. Vegetables also contain some carbohydrates, but foods in the meat and fat groups contain very little carbohydrate. Sugars may be added or may be naturally present (such as in fruits). The nutrient term for sugars can also be identified by looking for those at the end of a word ( i.e. glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc. are all sugars). Look for these on food labels to help identify foods that contain sugar.

Food

Amount

Carb grams

Food

Amount

Carb grams

1 % fat milk

1 cup

12

yogurt fruited

1 cup

40

Bran Chex

2/3 cup

23

yogurt fruit

1 cup

19

Frosted Flakes

3/4 cup

26

Raisin Bran

3/4 cup

28

fruit juice

1/2 cup

15

bread/toast

1 slice

15

banana

1/2

15

sugar

1 tsp.

4

pancake syrup

2 Tbsp.

30

pancakes - 4

2

15

low-fat granola

1/2 cup

30

sugar-free syrup

2 Tbsp.

4

These are foods that you can eat without counting. A free food or drink is one that contains less than 20 calories and 5 grams or less of carbohydrate per serving. If your serving or a food contains more than 5 grams of carbohydrate, you should count it in your meal plan.

Examples of free foods:

Bouillon or broth
Carbonated or mineral water
Club soda
Coffee or tea
Diet soft drinks
Drink mixes, sugar-free
Tonic water, sugar free
Sugar-free hard candy
Sugar-free Jell-O
Sugar-free gum
Jam or jelly, light or low-sugar, 2 tsp.
Sugar free syrup, 2 tsp.

Quick breakfast ideas

  • low-fat yogurt sprinkled with low-fat granola
  • oatmeal with low-fat or fat-free milk, or soy-based beverage
  • whole wheat toast with thin spread of peanut butter
  • fruit smoothie made with frozen fruit, low-fat yogurt, and juice
  • low-sugar cereal with soy-based beverage

Easy snack ideas

  • low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • rice cakes
  • fresh or canned fruits
  • sliced vegetables or baby carrots
  • dried fruit and nut mix (no more than a small handful)
  • air-popped popcorn sprinkled with garlic powder or other spices
  • low-sugar cereal




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