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Diet and Diabetes

Diet-Portion-Control-PlateFor people with diabetes, an individualized meal -- and lifestyle -- plan as an important aspect of managing diabetes and weight. Great emphasis should be placed on the importance of balancing food intake with daily physical activity. Such a balance is essential in promoting health including the prevention of diabetes and its complications, such as cardiovascular disease. The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) proved that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by keeping weight in control and by increasing physical activity.

Through healthy eating and exercise, you can help to manage the ABCs of diabetes. Here are a few eating tips:

Carbohydrate: 40 percent from carbohydrates, including at least 20-35 grams of fiber. Best carbohydrate/high-fiber sources: fresh vegetables, fruits, beans and whole-grain foods. Eat less of these carbs: pasta, white bread, white potatoes and sugary cereals.
Protein: 20-30 percent from protein (unless you have kidney disease). Best protein sources: fish, skinless chicken or turkey, nonfat or low-fat dairy products, tofu and legumes (beans and peas).
Fat: 30-35 percent from fat (mostly mono- and polyunsaturated fats). Best fat sources: olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds and fatty fish like salmon.

Eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Make whole grains, starches and beans a central focus of your meals. Eat small servings of meat, fish and poultry. Choose healthy oils such as canola and olive oil. Use butter sparingly. Split sweets and treats with a friend or family member. See a dietitian for your own personal meal plan.

When rating your plate during a meal the food ration you should see is ¼ carbohydrate, ¼ protein, and ½ vegetable.