Making healthy food choices, understanding portion sizes and learning the best times to eat are
central to managing diabetes. By making appropriate food selections, children and teenagers grow
and develop as they would if they didn’t have diabetes. And, by controlling their weight, many
adults may be able to manage their condition for a time without medications.
Diabetes education classes can assist people with diabetes in gaining knowledge about the effect of food on blood glucose, sources of carbohydrates and fat, appropriate meal planning and resources to assist in making food choices. Skills taught include reading labels, planning and preparing meals, measuring foods for portion control, fat control and carbohydrate counting. Barriers, such as environmental triggers and emotional, financial, and cultural factors, are also addressed.
Making healthy choices
Get the nutrition facts: Learn about carbohydrates and fats so you can be comfortable reading nutrition labels and knowing what they mean.
Eat the right foods: Choose healthy foods at the dinner table and grocery store. A healthy diet should include:
- Complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, rice and pasta
- Fiber, such as pinto, navy and black beans
- Lean protein, such as chicken (without the skin) or fish
- Lots of vegetables, especially the green, leafy ones
- A limited amount of starchy vegetables such as corn and potatoes
Watch portion sizes: Nutrition labels offer examples of healthy portion sizes. Be prepared for a wake-up call - most people eat much more than a healthy serving!
Keep a diary: Make notes of what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat and how it makes you feel. Share this diary with a dietitian or diabetes educator, so you can work together to make a plan for improvement.