What you eat every day plays a large role in managing diabetes and the symptoms and complications that might arise from the disease. Because most of the effects of diabetes stem from the rise and fall of blood sugar, it makes sense that what you put in your body is a critical part of that equation. That’s why if you have diabetes, or if you’re trying to prevent it, diet is an important component of your diabetes management plan.
Diabetes Diet Basics
When you have diabetes, it's helpful to work with a professional, like a registered dietitian or a nutritionist, when planning your diet. People with diabetes often need to count carbohydrates at every meal in order to manage their blood sugar levels. Usually, this comes down to portion control. It’s often a good idea to choose low-starch foods, like healthy vegetables, over high-starch choices like pasta. People with diabetes also need to stick to a regular schedule for their meals and snacks to avoid large fluctuations in their blood sugar levels.
Diet as Part of Diabetes Management
A diet for diabetes, however, is really not much different from what everyone should be eating for healthy living. As a result, you should be able to enjoy the same meals that your family enjoys each day. The key is to choose the right balance of foods from each level of the Food Pyramid and to strive for choices that provide a high level of fiber and nutrients like vitamins and minerals. For example, it would be wise to choose lots of vegetables and healthy fruits as well as whole-grain breads rather than the more refined white breads. Non-fat dairy products, beans and lean meats are also excellent choices.
Along with exercise and medication, a healthy diet is one of the most important ways to manage diabetes. However, anyone whose blood sugar level remains high or who has other persistent symptoms, despite an adherence to a healthy diabetes diet, should be checked by their doctor.
SOURCES: U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; American Diabetes Association
Sugar-sweetened beverages linked to diabetes and heart disease in new study
More Americans than thought getting second test to confirm diagnosis, study shows
Start by setting the same rules for everyone in the family, specialist says
Odds of both type 2 and latent autoimmune diabetes rose when adults consumed more salt, study shows
Untreated type 2 disease can lead to serious complications, diabetes experts say
Daily drink or two may provide a bit of protection, study suggests, but one expert skeptical
Fewer than 1 in 10 surveyed named all risk factors identified by the American Diabetes Association
But supplement only seems to help a certain group of people with the disease
Up to 40 percent experienced temporary remission, small study finds
Study also found a jump in heart disease and stroke odds
The American Medical Association offers seven goals to get you started
Specialists recommend low-carb energy sources between meals
Drinking coffee may help prevent Metabolic Syndrome in women, study finds.
Vascular expert urges regular doctor visits, eye exams, healthy lifestyle
Diet sodas do not appear to pose the same danger, researcher says
Researchers don't know if beverages keep you awake or lack of sleep prompts cravings
What experts suggest
How much and when you exercise may affect your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, studies find.
Study also found it lowered chances of risk factors for heart disease among men, but not women
But they must check blood sugar before and during flights, regulations say
Researchers also found lower risk of complications such as heart and kidney disease, vision problems
Those who ate 2 servings a week were 48 percent less likely to develop diabetic retinopathy
A diet rich in nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils could lower blood sugar levels, researchers say
Here are possible reasons why
A mostly plant-based diet may help lower risk of the blood sugar disease, study suggests
They seemed to help, but researchers say more information needed
Eating nutritious foods seems to counter higher risk, researchers find
Here's what to include
When should you eat your largest meal of the day?
Flowers, jewelry or an outdoor excursion can make the holiday romantic, expert says
A diet filled with potatoes may increase woman's risk of gestational diabetes, new study finds
Small study reports good results after weight-loss surgery
How the blood sugar condition constantly affects daily living
Eating more homemade meals may lower your risk of developing diabetes, new study finds.
Study finds benefit for those with gene variant related to vitamin D metabolism
Researchers note higher dosage used in study isn't approved for treatment of blood sugar disease
Missing morning meal could raise blood sugar levels the rest of the day, study says
Blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels key to managing disease, experts say
Why many parents of children with type 1 diabetes struggle to provide better food choices
Study suggests making these resources easily accessible, affordable might cut odds of disease
Eating protein, vegetables and fat before carbohydrates might help, study says
Study finds worse blood sugar control in those who worry about having enough to eat
Study found those who followed it lost average of 15 pounds, had improved blood flow to feet
Drinking water, unsweetened tea or coffee instead lowered chances of blood sugar disease by 25 percent
Preliminary study found larger morning meals lowered blood sugar levels
Focus should be on eating healthy foods rather than glycemic index, experts say
Carbohydrate-heavy meals can send blood sugar levels soaring, expert warns
Plan ahead and make exercise a part of your tradition, expert advises