Eating a Healthy Diabetic Diet – What Should You Do

eating a healthy diabetic dietIf you have learned that you are diabetic or perhaps borderline diabetic and the first words you heard from your physician were probably that you will need to go on a “Healthy Diabetic Diet”.

Your diet, the foods that you eat and the fluids you drink each day are now especially important to you and your health.  Most people have been on and off ‘diets’ of some sort, mostly for the purpose of weight loss.  Eating a healthy diabetic diet will be a new way of eating and a new lifestyle and not just a special diet plan for a couple weeks or so.

Diabetic Menu Planning

When you are diabetic the hormone produced by your pancreas called insulin is not sufficient enough to handle the glucose or sugar levels in the blood.  When this happens the metabolism of the body becomes unstable and needs help to be regulated.  The foods you eat are broken down in the digestive process into either amino acids from the proteins, or into sugar molecules which is glucose from the carbohydrates, or lipid from the fats you consume with each meal.

Whether you will need some type of medication to help stabilize your body’s insulin and metabolic functions or you will use diet alone, diabetic menu planning will be a big part of your life. The foods you eat need to be those that will help to control your blood sugar levels.

What are the guidelines for eating a healthy diabetic diet?

Obviously managing the carbohydrate intake is a big part of the diabetic diet plan.  The calories you take in each day are important so the food you do ingest needs to be high quality rather than quantity.  Foods that are rich in fiber, carbohydrates that are healthy like whole grains, dairy products that are low in fat, and fresh vegetables and fruits should be part of the daily menus.  Healthy fish like salmon, cod and halibut for example are high in omega-3 fatty acids so they should be a part of the meal plan at least two or three times a week.  Foods that contain fats that are good for your body, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats should be include in the menu plan.  These foods are canola oil, peanut oils, avocados, pecans, walnuts and almonds.  Foods like these will help to lower cholesterol but they do have a lot of calories so a small amount goes a long way.

Conversely, foods that should be limited in the daily menu plan will be those that will clog arteries and endanger the health of your heart.  These might be considered the deadly four; saturated fats, trans-fats, cholesterol and sodium.  Sodium should be keep to less than 2,000 mg daily.  Cholesterol found in dairy products with high fat content, proteins from animals that have a high fat content, the yokes of eggs, any organ meats and liver or shellfish are all major sources of cholesterol.  This should be limited to less than 200 mg daily.  Trans-fats show up in big quantities in foods like baked goods, margarine’s, shortening and processed snacks so these should be restricted in the diabetic diet menu to a minimal amount.  High levels of saturated fats are found in high-fat dairy products and meats like sausage, hot dogs, beef and bacon.  Only 7-10% percent of the daily menu plan should contain saturated fats.

Eating a healthy diabetic diet is about including the foods that will help restore healthy glucose levels and keep the calorie intake to a minimum.  A healthy diabetic diet takes some careful preparation and educated menu choices.  Variety is the spice of life so they say and is certainly true when it comes to the meals you eat.  If you try eating the same meals day in and day out you will become bored and wander from your healthy eating plan.  The best way to insure that you do have a wide variety of recipes that adhere to the diabetic guidelines is to follow a well constructed eating plan created by a nutrition expert.

About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at


  1. […] that you get a lot more accomplished the very next day.  Not only should you make a list about what foods you should eat and what exercise you should get, you should also plan for more than one day ahead when it comes to food so that you can make sure […]

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