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Nutrition for Diabetes Patients

  • Controlling your blood sugars is the main goal. The St. Luke’s Diabetes Zone patient education recommends 90-130 mg/dl.
  • Do not skip meals. Eat three meals daily around the same time to be consistent.
  • Build your plate with a variety of foods that include: 
    • A protein food with each meal – eggs, lean meats, fish or plant-based proteins such as soy.
    • Non-starchy vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and greens that fill half of your plate. 
    • Fat-free or 1% milk, and fat-free or low-fat yogurt. Limit high fat dairy foods such as butter, cream cheese and soft cheeses.
    • Fresh fruit, fruit canned in its own juice or light syrup in your snacks or meal.
  • Choose water, sugar free sodas, plain coffee or tea or artificially sweetened beverages in place of regular soda, energy drinks and other sugary drinks. Be sure to read labels on diet drinks because some may contain carbohydrates that can raise your blood sugar. 
  • Limit fat and use a sparing amount of salt when cooking.
  • Avoid regular sugar, honey and syrup.
  • Limit regular desserts such as pie, cake and cookies to no more than two times a week.
  • Try not to eat double portions. 
  • Aim for 25-30 grams of fiber a day. Gradually increase dietary fiber and include 6-8 glasses of water/fluids daily. Fiber helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol and can improve your bowel function. 
  • Do not use added salt on foods. Leave salt out of recipes for pasta, casseroles and soups.  
  • Try salt-free seasonings such as garlic or onion powder or salt free seasonings to flavor food.

  • Limit alcohol consumption. A serving of alcohol is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits. Women should not consume more than 1 drink per day and men no more than 2 per day.

Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for more information on nutrition for diabetes.

Contact your doctor before making any diet changes as related to your medical condition(s).

To make an appointment for nutrition counseling:

Outpatient diet counseling — 484-526-1000

Diabetes Center484-526-3025

Diabetes & Endocrinology services — 484-526-7300