How should someone with diabetes structure their meals?

Meal planning for diabetes is more than just cutting back on starch or sugar. There are many options that people with diabetes use to help them plan their meals.

Having diabetes doesn't have to mean eating the same foods day after day. By choosing the right meal planning tool for you, you'll be able to try new foods and enjoy your favorites. You may want to try them all or use a combination to find out which you like the most.
  • Plate Method: It's simple! Include more non-starchy vegetables and smaller portions of everything else -- no special tools and nothing to count or read.
  • Carbohydrate Counting: Carbohydrate-containing foods raise blood glucose levels. By keeping track of how many carbohydrates you eat and setting a limit for your maximum amount to eat, you can help to keep your blood glucose levels on track.
  • Glycemic Index: The amount and type of carbohydrate affects blood glucose levels. Choose most of your foods with a lower glycemic response as a way to fine-tune your carb counting.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Someone with diabetes should structure their meals by eating regularly throughout the day: 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks a day. Think of snacking as an opportunity to eat mini-meals. Just as your meals should be healthy and filling, your mini-meals should be too. Don't skimp on nutrients. Make sure to eat snacks that have protein or fiber to keep you fuller longer and keep your blood sugar stable.

Here are some no-skimping snacks:

  • One piece of whole-wheat raisin toast with 1 tsp of peanut butter and a handful of almonds
  • A slice or two of lean turkey breast with some whole-grain crackers
  • Red peppers and hummus

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.