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Diabetic Diet

Blood Glucose Levels and the Diabetic Diet

For most people, target blood glucose levels should be:
  • 90 to 130 before meals
  • Less than 180 one to two hours after the start of a meal.
To keep your blood glucose at a healthy level:
  • Eat about the same amount of food each day.
  • Eat your meals and snacks at about the same times each day.
  • Do not skip meals or snacks.
  • Take your medicines at the same times each day.
  • Exercise at about the same times each day.
Eating the same amount at the same time each day is important because your blood glucose goes up after you eat. If you eat a big lunch one day and a small lunch the next day, your blood glucose levels will change too much.
Also, keep your blood glucose at a healthy level by eating about the same amount of carbohydrate foods at about the same times each day. Carbohydrate foods, also called carbs, provide glucose for energy. Examples of carbohydrate foods include:
  • Starches
  • Fruits
  • Milk
  • Starchy vegetables (such as corn)
  • Sweets.

Measuring Your Food

To make sure your food servings are the right size for your diabetic diet, use:
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • A food scale.
Also, the Nutrition Facts label on food packages tells you how much of that food makes up one serving.
Weigh or measure foods to make sure you eat the right amounts.
These tips will help you choose the right serving sizes as part of your diabetic diet:
  • Measure a serving size of dry cereal or hot cereal, pasta, or rice and pour it into a bowl or plate. The next time you eat that food, use the same bowl or plate and fill it to the same level.
  • For one serving of milk, measure 1 cup and pour it into a glass. See how high it fills the glass. Always drink milk out of that size glass.
  • Meat weighs more before it is cooked. For example, 4 ounces of raw meat will weigh about 3 ounces after cooking. For meat with a bone, like a pork chop or chicken leg, cook 5 ounces raw to get 3 ounces cooked.
  • One serving of meat or meat substitute is about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards.
  • A small fist is equal to about 1/2 cup of fruit, vegetables, or starches like rice.
  • A small fist is equal to 1 small piece of fresh fruit.
  • A thumb is equal to about 1 ounce of meat or cheese.
  • The tip of a thumb is equal to about 1 teaspoon.
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