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How Much Should I Eat If I Have Diabetes?
eat healthy with diabetesEat a small meal
  • Use teaspoons, salad forks, or child-size utensils to help you take smaller bites and eat less.
  • Make less food look like more by serving your meal on a salad or breakfast plate.
  • Eat slowly. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that you are full.
  • Listen to music while you eat instead of watching TV (people tend to eat more while watching TV).

    Try filling your plate like this:
    1/4 protein
    1/4 grains
    1/2 vegetables and fruit
    dairy (low-fat or skim milk)

Eating Healthy with Diabetes

eating healthy with diabetesEat Smart

  • Make at least half of your grains whole grains, such as whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, and quinoa.
  • Keep a healthy snack with you, such as fresh fruit, a handful of nuts, and whole grain crackers.
  • Slow down at snack time. Eating a bag of low-fat popcorn takes longer than eating a candy bar.
  • Share a bowl of fruit with family and friends.
  • Eat a healthy snack or meal before shopping for food. Do not shop on an empty stomach.
  • Shop at your local farmer's market for fresh, local food.


    Cooking Hints for Diabetes

  • Stir fry, broil, or bake with non-stick spray or low-salt broth. Cook with less oil and butter.

  • Try not to snack while cooking or cleaning the kitchen.
  • Cook with smaller amounts of cured meats (smoked turkey and turkey bacon) as they have high sodium contents.
  • Cook with a mix of spices instead of using salt.
  • Try different recipes for baking or broiling meat, chicken, and fish.
  • Choose foods with little or no added sugar to reduce calories and carbohydrate count.
  • Choose brown rice instead of white rice.


    Snack Choices for Diabetes
  • Buy a mix of vegetables when you go food shopping.
  • Choose veggie toppings like spinach, broccoli, and peppers for your pizza.
  • Try eating foods from other countries. Many of these dishes have more vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
  • Buy frozen and low-salt (sodium) canned vegetables. They may cost less and keep longer than fresh ones.
  • Serve your favorite vegetable and a salad with low-fat macaroni and cheese.


    Eat healthy on the go
  • Have a big vegetable salad with low-calorie salad dressing when eating out. Share your main dish with a friend or have the other half wrapped to go.
  • Make healthy choices at fast food restaurants. Try grilled chicken (with skin removed) instead of a cheeseburger.
  • Skip the fries and chips and choose a salad.
  • Order a fruit salad instead of ice cream or cake.


    Rethink your drink with Diabetes
  • Find a water bottle you really like (from a church or club event, favorite sports team, etc.) and drink water from it every day.
  • Peel and eat an orange instead of drinking orange juice.
  • If you drink whole milk, try changing to 2% milk. It has less fat than whole milk. Once you get used to 2% milk, try 1% or fat-free (skim) milk. This will help you reduce the amount of fat and calories you take in each day.
  • Drink water instead of juice and regular soda.


    Keep on Track by Being in the Know
  • Make a list of food you need to buy before you go to the store.
  • Keep a written record of what you eat for a week. It can help you see when you tend to overeat or eat foods high in fat or calories.
  • Compare food labels on packages.
  • Choose foods lower in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol (ko-LESS-tuh-ruhl), calories, salt, and added sugars.


    Don’t Forget to Relax
  • Take time to change the way you eat and get active. Try one new food or activity a week.
  • Find ways to relax. Try deep breathing, taking a walk, or listening to your favorite music.
  • Pamper yourself. Read a book, take a long bath, or meditate.
  • Think before you eat. Try not to eat when you are bored, upset, or unhappy.

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