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For diabetics, healthy eating is a key to minimizing possible complications resulting from the disease. In general, this means eating more grains, fruits, and vegetables, while eating less meat, sweets, and fats. While this article provides meal planning advice to encourage a nutritious lifestyle for people with diabetes, be sure to talk to your doctor before making any changes.

Healthy Eating for Diabetics: An Overview

For people with diabetes, a lifestyle that helps control and manage the disease, which includes healthy eating, is vital to minimizing possible complications that can occur as a result.
 
Healthy eating for diabetics begins with a balanced diet. This means eating more grains, fruits, and vegetables and eating less meat, sweets, and fats.
 

Creating a Healthy Meal Plan

As a diabetic, a healthy eating plan does not need to be difficult. Tips include the following:
 
  • Eat a variety of foods, as recommended in the Diabetes Food Pyramid, to get a balanced intake of the nutrients your body needs -- carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
     
  • Make changes gradually. It takes time to achieve long-term goals.
     
  • Reduce the amount of fat you eat by choosing fewer high-fat foods and cooking with less fat.
     
  • Eat more fiber by eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
     
  • Eat fewer foods that are high in sugar, like fruit juices, fruit-flavored drinks, sodas, and tea or coffee sweetened with sugar.
     
  • Use less salt in cooking and at the table. Eat fewer foods that are high in salt, like canned and packaged soups, pickles, and processed meats.
     
  • Eat smaller portions and never skip meals.
     
  • Learn how to determine the right serving sizes for you.
     
  • Learn how to read food labels.
     
  • Limit use of alcohol.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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