A Diabetic Diet Checklist

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Diabetes, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 04/15/2014

If you’ve just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your head is probably swimming with information a dietary checklist for people with diabetesabout the lifestyle changes you’ll need to make, including how to create and stay on a diabetic diet. Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, and to successfully manage blood sugar levels requires significant modifications to the way you live and eat.

Maintaining a proper diabetic diet is one of the trickiest areas, so to help keep you on the right track as you adjust your habits, follow these simple Do’s and Don’ts:

The "Do's" of a Diabetic Diet

  • Eat plenty of vegetables and legumes (beans)
  • Eat adequate amounts of lean protein, such as fish, poultry, or tofu
  • Eat healthful fats, which can be found in cold-water fish, raw nuts and seeds, and extra-virgin olive oil
  • Eat modest amounts of fruit (one to two servings per day)
  • Replace sugar with sugar alternatives like xylitol or stevia

Diabetic Diet "Don’ts"

  • Eat carbohydrate-dense, starchy foods such as pasta, cereals, and other grain-based foods
  • Eat too many processed foods
  • Eat a lot of red meat (limit to one serving per week)
  • Eat desserts
  • Use sugar or artificial sweeteners to enhance the flavor of food, or consume products that contain these ingredients

Exercise also plays a big role in blood sugar control. You’ll need to commit to at least 30-45 minutes of moderately intense physical activity four or more days a week. Additionally, I recommend taking a brisk 10-minute walk after meals as this helps clear glucose out of the bloodstream, and helps maintain blood sugar levels.

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