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Balancing Your Diet

Eating and Diabetes

You can take good care of yourself and your diabetes by learning

  • what to eat
  • how much to eat
  • when to eat

Making wise food choices can help you

  • feel good every day
  • lose weight if you need to
  • lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other problems caused by diabetes

Healthful eating helps keep your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, in your target range. Physical activity and, if needed, diabetes medicines also help. The diabetes target range is the blood glucose level suggested by diabetes experts for good health. You can help prevent health problems by keeping your blood glucose levels on target.

How much should I eat each day?

Have about 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day if you are a

  • small woman who exercises
  • small or medium-sized woman who wants to lose weight
  • medium-sized woman who does not exercise much

Choose this many servings from these food groups to have 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day:

6 starches

2 milks

3 vegetables

4 to 6 ounces meat and meat substitutes

2 fruits

up to 3 fats

Talk with your diabetes teacher about how to make a meal plan that fits the way you usually eat, your daily routine, and your diabetes medicines. Then make your own plan.

Have about 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day if you are a

  • large woman who wants to lose weight
  • small man at a healthy weight
  • medium-sized man who does not exercise much
  • medium-sized or large man who wants to lose weight

Choose this many servings from these food groups to have 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day:

8 starches

2 milks

4 vegetables

4 to 6 ounces meat and meat substitutes

3 fruits

up to 4 fats

Talk with your diabetes teacher about how to make a meal plan that fits the way you usually eat, your daily routine, and your diabetes medicines. Then make your own plan.

Have about 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day if you are a

  • medium-sized or large man who exercises a lot or has a physically active job
  • large man at a healthy weight
  • medium-sized or large woman who exercises a lot or has a physically active job

Choose this many servings from these food groups to have 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day:

10 starches

2 milks

4 vegetables

5 to 7 ounces meat and meat substitutes

4 fruits

up to 5 fats

Talk with your diabetes teacher about how to make a meal plan that fits the way you usually eat, your daily routine, and your diabetes medicines. Then make your own plan.

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