Healthy Eating | Diabetes Diet

What is a "Diabetes Diet?"

It would almost be easier if diabetes was more like a food allergy and you could completely avoid one type of food, stick to healthy eating, take your meds, and you'd be managing your health. Instead, diabetes means a 24-hour-a-day balancing act between blood sugar levels and an entire category of food (carbohydrates) that you can eat. Not surprisingly, one of the first questions newly diagnosed patients ask is: "What is this diabetes diet I have to follow?" Fortunately, they quickly find out that healthy eating with diabetes is not a life sentence to some rigid, deprivation-oriented menu plan -- and that the concept of a "diabetes diet" is mostly myth. Unlike a diet, nutritional management of diabetes usually involves dietary changes that balance moderation, carbohydrate control, and healthy eating choices.


food pic
Click here to check out the dLife Food Finder!


Healthy Eating Features

Vitamin D & Calcium for Better Blood Sugar  |  Ways to Eat Less   |  Flu Fighting Foods   |   How Well Do You Know Your Artificial Sweeteners? | 16 Non-Drug Ways To Lower Blood Pressure   |   Fiber Foods   |   The 25 Lowest-Carb Fruits   |   The 25 Lowest-Carb Veggies   |  The Upside of Protein   |   Red Wine's Magic Ingredient   |   Best Weight Loss Tips   |   A Spoonful of Vinegar Makes the Blood Sugar Go Down?   |   Food News: The Final Word on Cinnamon?   |   The Diabetes and Celiac Diet   |   10 Ways to Lower Cholesterol  |   Carbs & Cocktails | The Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods   |   Meet the New Generation of Fake Fats  |  Glycemic Index Table   |  Everyday Eating with the dLife Dietitian   |   Healthy Swaps: Great Food Substitutions   |   Food & Nutrition Tips    |   Take a Food & Nutrition Quiz    |   Healthy Up Your Kitchen!

For people with diabetes who need to take off some weight, those dietary changes typically involve both calorie and carbohydrate control (and should, of course, be combined with an appropriate exercise plan). A registered dietitian, preferably one who is also a certified diabetes educator (CDE) or is experienced in diabetes care, is an essential resource for learning more about individualized menu planning and good food choices to help you best manage your weight, if necessary, and your diabetes.

The good news is that the best diet for a person with diabetes is really the same kind of healthy eating that is best for everyone. Like the general population, people with diabetes need to focus on whole foods that are high in fiber and nutrient-dense — meaning, natural nourishment that gives you the most health and nutrition "bang" for your calories "buck." This includes virtually all plant foods, most dairy products, lean meat and poultry, and fish. Conversely, we all need to keep highly processed foods, which are often full of refined flour and sugar, to a minimum.

A diagnosis of diabetes presents a unique opportunity to shift your diet and lifestyle choices in a positive direction. Whether you're a regular Emeril-type wiz at the stove or a toast-burning, kitchen klutz, take a stab at preparing some diabetes-friendly dishes, and take the time to learn more about healthy eating. Your body will thank you every which way — how you look, how you test at home and in the doctor's office, and how you feel every day.

Reviewed by Susan Weiner, R.D., M.S., C.D.E., C.D.N. 3/08


Last Modified Date: March 01, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

Sign up for FREE dLife Newsletters

dLife Membership is FREE! Get exclusive access, free recipes, newsletters, savings, and much more! FPO

You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
29 Views 0 comments
by Lindsey Guerin
Last Saturday, I’d been struggling with an entire week above 200 that just didn’t seem to want to budge. So I decided that I couldn’t risk the Omnipod anymore and I had to pull it from my management routine, at least until things settled down. I started twice-daily Lantus injections on Saturday night and have been working out the kinks of being back on MDIs since then. The first three days of switching to MDIs were rough. Watching the Lantus take effect slowly was like waiting for...