Simple Guidelines for a Diabetes Diet
WHAT IS A CARBOHYDRATE?
- Carbohydrates from food break down during digestion to form sugar, which affects blood sugar levels.
- Carbohydrates are needed in moderation.
WHAT FOODS ARE CARBOHYDRATES?
- Starches (bread, crackers, cereal, rice, tortillas, and pasta)
- Fruit and Fruit Juices
- Milk and Yogurt
- Starchy Vegetables (peas, corns, potatoes and squash)
- Sugar and Sweets (soda pop, candy, cookies, cake, fruit “drinks”, sweets, etc.)
WHAT IS A SERVING OF CARBOHYDRATE?
- One serving of carbohydrate = 15 grams of Total Carbohydrate.
- Read the actual food label to check how much Total Carbohydrate the food contains.
ONE SERVING OF CARBOHYDRATE IS
- 1 slice bread
- ½ small bagel
- ½ English muffin, buns
- ¾ c dry cereal, unsweetened
- ½ cup cooked cereal, plain
- 1/3 cup rice
- 1 small tortilla, waffle, or pancake
- ½ cup beans and pasta
- ½ cup corn, peas, potatoes
- ½ banana, grapefruit
- ½ cup canned fruit-lite
- 17 small grapes or cherries
- 1-cup berries or melon
- 1 small fresh fruit (apple, orange)
- ¼ cup dried fruit
- ½ cup fruit juice
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup plain, light yogurt
- ½ cup ice cream
- ½ cup frozen yogurt
- ¼ cup sherbet
- 2 small cookies
CAN I HAVE SWEETS?
- Concentrated sweets (candy, cookies, soda) contain a lot of carbohydrate, and are also generally high in fat and calories. For this reason, concentrated sweets should be limited.
- Carefully monitor portion sizes when consuming concentrated sweets.
- When reading a food label, look at the Total Carbohydrate. (Don’t worry about sugar. It is already accounted for in the Total Carbohydrate.)
HOW DOES WEIGHT AFFECT BLOOD SUGAR?
- For overweight persons, weight loss helps increase the body’s ability to use insulin. When the body is better able to use insulin, it is better able to control blood sugar.
- Weight control can also decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease, a complication of diabetes.
- Regular exercise will also help to control diabetes. Please consult your physician before starting an exercise program.
WHICH FOODS HAVE A LIMITED AFFECT ON BLOOD SUGAR?
- Protein (lean meat, poultry, fish, tuna, cheese, egg, peanut butter, tofu)
- Fats (nuts, oils, salad dressing, margarine, butter, mayonnaise)
- Protein and Fat also slow down the absorption of glucose in the blood. It is important to have mixed meals that include carbs, protein, and fat along with fruits and vegetables.
- Vegetables - raw, cooked, and juices (serving size- ½ cup cooked, 1 cup raw)
- Be careful of breaded meat and vegetables - these have carbohydrates so please count them!
- Eat meals and snacks at regular times every day.
- Do not skip meals.
- Spread carbohydrate intake evenly throughout the day.
- Include protein choices at every meal (milk, meat, cheese, peanut butter).
- All foods can fit into a meal plan for diabetes.
- Higher fiber foods help with blood sugar control and increase satiety.
Talk to your Registered Dietitian for a personalized meal plan!
Grams of Carbohydrates and Servings per Meal
Calories Breakfast Grams/servings Lunch Grams/servings Dinner Grams/servings AM Snacks Grams/servings PM Snacks Grams/servings After dinner Grams/servings 1200 45 gm / 3 45 gm / 3 45 gm / 3 15 gm / 1 1400 45 gm / 3 45 gm / 3 45 gm / 3 30 gm / 2 1500 60 gm / 4 45 gm / 3 45 gm / 3 30 gm / 2 1600 60 gm / 4 45 gm / 3 60 gm / 4 30 gm / 2 1800 60 gm / 4 60 gm / 4 75 gm / 5 30 gm / 2 2000 60 gm / 4 60 gm / 4 60 gm / 4 30 gm / 2 30 gm / 2 2200 60 gm / 4 60 gm / 4 60 gm / 4 30 gm / 2 30 gm / 2 30 gm / 2 2400 75 gm / 5 75 gm / 5 75 gm / 5 15 gm / 1 30 gm / 2 30 gm / 2
GRAMS PER CARB CHOICE - Every 15 grams is equal to 1 carb choice
Grams Carb Choice 6-10 ½ 11-20 1 21-25 1.5 26-35 2 36-40 2.5 41-50 3 51-55 3.5 55-65 4 66-70 4.5 71-80 5
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Sportwell Center at 244-0261
- Health Education at 333-2714
- The American Diabetes Association at (217) 875-9011
- National Diabetes Education Program Web site
- American Dietetic Association Web site
- American Association of Diabetes Educators Web site
you are a registered University
of Illinois student and you have questions or concerns,
If you are concerned about any difference in your treatment plan and the information in this handout,
you are advised to contact your health care provider.
Visit the McKinley Health Center Web site at: http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu
© The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 2007.
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