What to Eat with Diabetes


Food is made of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates increase your blood glucose (sugar) the most. Carbohydrate includes all starches and sugar and is your body’s main source of energy.


If you know how much carbohydrate you are eating, you can have better blood sugar control. This does not mean carbohydrate-containing foods are “bad” for you; in fact your body needs them. Portions need to be controlled and evenly distributed throughout the day.


What foods are high in carbohydrates?

(Choose whole grains when possible.)

Carbohydrate is measured in grams. Limit these above foods to 3 total servings/choices (45 grams) at each meal and 1 total serving/choice (15 grams) at each snack. This is an approximation. For your individual needs contact a dietitian.


1 carb serving = 15 grams    =    1 starch    =     1 fruit      =    1 milk

 /choice           carbohydrate   (1 slice bread)  (1/2 c fresh,     (1 cup)

                                                                        canned, juice)             


To determine the amount of carbohydrate in a food use a nutrition label found on most food items. Look at total carbohydrates (not sugar). The Internet site www.calorieking.com includes a database of food items and nutrient breakdown. Talk to a dietitian for more help.


Can I eat sweets or sugar?

You can eat sweets and sugar, if you have an appropriate serving. A small cookie will raise your blood sugar about the same as an apple. However, the cookie does not contain vitamins or minerals, and is high in calories making weight control difficult.


What foods are low in carbohydrates?


What about fat?

A high fat diet increases your risk of heart disease and makes weight control difficult. Cut back on high fat foods like desserts, butter, margarine, cream, and whole milk. Use fat free or low fat versions where possible, but check carbohydrate content. Limit saturated and trans fats. Good butters/margarines to choose are:


What about protein?

Most people need about 6 oz meat per day. 3 oz is a serving the size of a deck of cards. Choose low fat meats, trim visible fat, and remove skin. Bake, broil, and grill meats. Do not deep fry.


What are some healthy changes I can make right away?


Contact Brenna Swanson, Registered Dietitian (701) 256-6208 for more information or to set up an appointment. bswanson@utma.com


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