Diabetic Diet Management Advice
Information for Diabetics About Glucose Control, Blood Fats/Lipids, Calories and Eating Habits

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Diabetes - Diet and Weight Management

Effective diabetic-management requires a healthy regular lifestyle which should include a regular balanced diet, regular exercise and sensible weight control.

Despite diabetes being a condition of sugar regulation, specific restriction of sugars is not necessary, except as part of ensuring a balanced diet overall.

How to Reduce Complications of Diabetes

Glucose Control
Research studies in the United States and abroad have found that improved glycemic control benefits people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In general, for every 1 percent reduction in results of A1C blood tests, the risk of developing microvascular diabetic complications (eye, kidney, and nerve disease) is reduced by 40 percent. Choosing a healthy diet with the right mixture of low and high glycemic index foods, and exercising regularly, is a good way to maintain glucose control.

Control of Blood Fats/Lipids - Lower Fat Diet
Improved control of cholesterol and lipids (for example, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) can reduce cardiovascular complications by 20 to 50 percent. Choosing a lower fat, low-cholesterol diet, combined with regular exercise makes fat control more effective.

Diabetic Diet Advice - Points to Remember

What, when, and how much you eat all affect your blood glucose level. You can keep your blood glucose at a healthy level if you:

  • Eat about the same amount of food each day.
  • Eat at about the same times each day.
  • Take your medicines at the same times each day.
  • Exercise at the same times each day.
  • Every day, choose foods from these food groups: starches, vegetables, fruit, meat and meat substitutes, and milk and yogurt. How much of each depends on how many calories you need a day.
  • Limit the amounts of fats and sweets you eat each day.

Diabetic Diet and Calories

- How Many Calories Should I Eat Each Day?
- What Foods?
- How many Food Servings?

(1) Diabetic Diet Plan With About 1200-1600 CALORIES

Have about 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day if you are:

- a small woman who exercises
- a small or medium woman who wants to lose weight
- a medium woman who does not exercise much

Choose this many servings from these food groups to have 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day:

6 starches
2 milk and yogurt
3 vegetables
2 meat or meat substitute
2 fruit
Up to 3 fats

Talk with your diabetes teacher to make a meal plan that fits the way you usually eat, your daily routine, and your diabetes medicines. Then make your own plan.

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(2) Diabetic Diet Plan With About 1600-2000 CALORIES

Have about 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day if you are:

- a large woman who wants to lose weight
- a small man at a healthy weight
- a medium man who does not exercise much
- a medium to large man who wants to lose weight

Choose this many servings from these food groups to have 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day:

8 starches
2 milk and yogurt
4 vegetables
2 meat or meat substitute
3 fruit
Up to 4 fats

Talk with your diabetes teacher to make a meal plan that fits the way you usually eat, your daily routine, and your diabetes medicines. Then make your own plan.

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(3) Diabetic Diet Plan With About 2000-2400 CALORIES

Have about 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day if you are

- a medium/large man who does a lot of exercise or has a physically active job
- a large man at a healthy weight
- a large woman who exercises a lot or has a physically active job

Choose this many servings from these food groups to have 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day:

11 starches
2 milk and yogurt
4 vegetables
2 meat or meat substitute
3 fruit
Up to 5 fats

Talk with your diabetes teacher to make a meal plan that fits the way you usually eat, your daily routine, and your diabetes medicines. Then make your own plan.

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How Food in Your Diet Affects Your Blood Glucose

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, what, when, and how much you eat all affect your blood glucose. Blood glucose is the main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy.

If you have diabetes (or impaired glucose tolerance), your blood glucose can go too high if you eat too much. If your blood glucose goes too high, you can get sick.

Your blood glucose can also go too high or drop too low if you don't take the right amount of diabetes medicine.

If your blood glucose stays high too much of the time, you can get heart, eye, foot, kidney, and other problems. You can also have problems if your blood glucose gets too low (hypoglycemia).

Keeping your blood glucose at a healthy level will prevent or slow down diabetes problems. Ask your doctor or diabetes teacher what a healthy blood glucose level is for you.

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Blood Glucose Levels: What Should My Blood Glucose Levels Be?

For most people, target blood glucose levels are:

Before meals - 90 to 130
1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal - less than 180


Ask your doctor how often you should check your blood glucose. The results from your blood glucose checks will tell you if your diabetes care plan is working. Also ask your doctor for an A1C test at least twice a year. Your A1C number gives your average blood glucose for the past 3 months.

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How Can I Keep My 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.

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Why Should I Eat About the Same Amount at the Same Times Each Day?

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.

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. Starches, fruits, milk, starchy vegetables such as corn, and sweets are all carbohydrate foods.

Talk with your doctor or diabetes teacher about how many meals and snacks to eat each day.

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Diabetes and Diabetic Diet - How to Find More Help

To find a diabetes teacher near you, call the American Association of Diabetes Educators toll-free at 1-800-TEAMUP4 (1-800-832-6874) or see www.diabeteseducator.org and click on "Find a Diabetes Educator."

For UK Diabetic Help, see the British Diabetic Association website:
www.diabetes.org.uk/home.htm

Recognized Diabetes Education Programs
Teaching programs approved by the American Diabetes Association

To find a program near you, call toll-free 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or see www.diabetes.org and click on "Diabetes Info."

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SOURCE: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, 2002. Website: www.niddk.nih.gov/
Diabetes & Carbs Information

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