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It All Comes Down to Diet
Food Chart
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Meal Planning

A balanced diet means you eat the right amounts of food from each of the six food groups. This is true for everyone, but is a particular concern for diabetics. Diabetics need enough glucose to meet their energy needs every day. What and how much one eats affects blood glucose levels. This does not mean that a diabetic needs special foods. What is good for a diabetic is proper eating for the whole family. For diabetics to have the best control of their diet, they need to eat full meals and snacks at about the same time every day. They also need to make sure each meal is approximately the same amount of calories. It is of particular concern that Diabetics do not skip meals. This can result in low blood sugar levels causing major short and long term problems.

Below is a table illustrating the six major food groups and the amount of servings per day.

Daily Food Intake
One serving: A serving of fats can be:
  • 1/8 avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. salad dressing
  • 1 tsp. butter, or mayonnaise
  • 10 Peanuts
One serving: A serving of sweets can be:
  • 2 cookies
  • 1 cupcake or muffin
  • 1 Hershy's kiss
Milk Products MILK
2-3 Servings: A serving can be:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup yogurt
2-3 Servings: A serving can be:
  • 2-3 oz cooked lean meat
  • 1/2-3/4 cup tuna
  • 2-3 oz cheese
  • one egg
vegetables VEGETABLES
3-5 Servings: A serving can be:
  • 1 cup raw vegetables
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1/2 cup tomato or vegetable juice
3-4 Servings: A serving can be:
  • 1 fresh fruit
  • 1/2 cup canned fruit
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup fruit juice
6 Or More Servings: A serving can be:
  • 1 slice bread
  • 1/2 bagel or English muffin
  • 1 six inch tortilla
  • 4-6 crackers
  • 1/3 cup sweet potato or yam
6 Or More Servings: A serving can be:
  • 1/2 cup cooked cereal
  • 3/4 cup dry cereal
  • 1/2 cooked beans
  • 1 potato
  • 1 cup winter squash

Counting Calories and Carbos

Counting calories tells you how much energy you are getting from the food you eat, so you can match your energy input (food) with your energy output (activity). Counting carbohydrates is important for people with diabetes because they have to think about keeping their blood glucose levels from going to high or too low. In addition to counting calories to keep the energy balance, they look at the amount of carbohydrate in food because carbos affect the blood glucose level more than protein or fat.

For calories the rule of thumb is ten calories a day for every pound you weigh.
If you weigh 120 lbs, you should eat about 1200 calories a day

About half of your calorie intake should be carbos. There are about 4 calories in every gram of carbohydrate
If you eat 1200 calories a day, about 600 calories should be from carbohydrates. 600 divided by 4 equals 150 grams each day.

It is not likely that anyone can live by a rigid schedule when it comes to eating. Diabetics need to be flexible by adjusting their insulin intake and measuring their blood glucose levels. Monitoring is the best way to keep one's blood sugar levels from reaching extreme highs or lows

For a list of foods with their weights, calories, and carbohydrate content, click here

For more information about the best meal plan for you:
The American Diabetic Association/National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics Hot Line, 800-366-1655, or the American Diabetes Association, 800-232-3472.

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