Making Choices about Food
WHY LEARN ABOUT MAKING CHOICES?
- Knowing how to make food choices can help you control your diabetes, rather than letting your diabetes control you.
- Knowing how to fit fast food and snack foods into your food plan can give you more freedom.
- You will have more energy, fewer problems with high and low blood glucose, and fewer long-term problems.
GET BETTER DIABETES CONTROL
- Try out different foods at different times and check your blood glucose level.
- Think ahead and plan how to manage parties, sports practices and events, snacks, and fast food.
- Learn to make tradeoffs - for example, eat a low-fat breakfast and lunch so you can eat fast food in the evening without having too many calories.
- Be honest and assertive with friends.
MAKE YOUR FOOD PLAN WORK
- Try to eat meals and snacks at the same time each day. Your dietitian can help you develop a meal plan.
- Learn how to substitute sweet foods for other foods in your meal plan. Try to have sweet foods with a meal, not by themselves.
- Get nutrition information from your favorite fast-food restaurants - often available on-line. Use the grams of carbohydrate, calories, and/or exchanges to work out how fast foods can fit into your food plan.
- Find out how you can use more insulin or exercise when you eat more than usual.
- Set an alarm on your watch if you think you may forget to eat a meal or snack or take an insulin dose.
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?
If you want to eat more food than usual at a meal or snack, eat at an unusual time, or eat something sweet:
- Choose a free food (such as a sugar-free Popsicle) or a food that is mostly protein (such as a boiled egg).
- Find out how to switch sweet foods or snack foods for other foods in your meal plan.
- Exercise after eating food with extra carbohydrate to use up some of the glucose. Check your blood glucose after you exercise to see if this works for you.
- Ask your health care team if you can use extra insulin.
If you want to exercise or be more active than usual:
- Eat a snack with about 15 grams of carbohydrates before or after you exercise.
- Check your blood glucose before and after exercise to find out how exercise and extra snacks affect you.
- Ask your health care team if you can use less insulin when you exercise a lot.
To make sure you don't gain weight:
- Choose low-fat foods to avoid extra calories.
- Order hamburgers and sandwiches without cheese, bacon, mayonnaise, or special sauces.
- Munch on fat-free chips, pretzels, or low-fat microwave popcorn.
- Choose Mexican foods made with plain tortillas (not fried) and topped with salsa.
- Take the skin off fried chicken and choose corn on the cob and mashed potatoes on the side.
- Order pizza with vegetable toppings.
- Look at the situation.
- Think about your options: change in food plan, change in exercise plan, and change in insulin schedule
- Monitor the results.
- Decide if next time you would do the same thing or something different.
HERE'S HOW IT WORKS
The situation: You're going with friends to get fast food after school or work. Your usual afternoon snack is 1/2 sandwich and a piece of fruit.
- Choose a similar snack, such as fries OR a small hamburger and diet soda.
- Eat more, such as a large hamburger and fries, AND get extra exercise.
- Eat more than usual AND take extra insulin.
- Try to get your friends to do something else or go for dinner instead.
- Just overeat.
What You Need to Know
- Which fast foods have the same amount of carbohydrate as your usual snack.
- How much exercise you will need for the extra food and whether you will do it.
- How much extra insulin you would need for the extra food.
- How your choices will affect the rest of the day.
- Whether your friends will listen to what you want to do. * The consequences if you overeat.
Monitoring: Check your blood glucose two hours later to see if it is in your target range.
Did your choice work? If not, what could you try next time?
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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