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Eating Guidelines for Diabetes. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Why Change Eating Habits?. To prevent complications of diabetes by keeping control of: Blood glucose Cholesterol Blood pressure. Why Change Eating Habits?. To improve your health by making healthy food choices

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University of georgia cooperative extension

Eating Guidelines for Diabetes

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension

Why change eating habits
Why Change Eating Habits?

  • To prevent complications of diabetes

    • by keeping control of:

      • Blood glucose

      • Cholesterol

      • Blood pressure

Why change eating habits1
Why Change Eating Habits?

  • To improve your health

    • by making healthy food choices

    • and being physically active

Carbohydrate and diabetes
Carbohydrate and Diabetes

  • Include foods containing carbohydrate from whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat milk in your diet

Carbohydrate and diabetes1
Carbohydrate and Diabetes

  • The amount of carbohydrate at a meal affects your blood glucose more

    than the type

    • Sugar and starch have similar effects on blood glucose


Carbohydrate and diabetes2
Carbohydrate and Diabetes

  • Consistency in carbohydrate intake is important from day to day

    • For people not taking diabetes medication

    • For people taking a fixed dose of insulin

  • Insulin should be adjusted based on amount of carbohydrate at meals

    • For people on varying doses at meal


Carbohydrate and diabetes3
Carbohydrate and Diabetes

  • Several things affect how much your blood glucose increases after you eat:

    • amount of carbohydrate

    • type of sugar or starch

    • cooking and food processing

    • food form

    • other foods in the meal that slow digestion

Carbohydrate and diabetes4
Carbohydrate and Diabetes

  • Limited amounts of sugar or foods containing sugar can be used without affecting blood glucose

    • when substituted for other carbohydrates at the meal

  • Large amounts of sugar-containing foods are not recommended

Substituting sweets

Usual diet: 45 grams carbohydrate (or 3 Carbohydrates Choices)

1 slice bread

1/3 cup rice

1/2 cup fruit

3 ounces chicken

Vegetable salad

Substitute ice-cream for 15 grams of carbohydrate (or 1 Carbohydrate Choice)

1/2 cup ice-cream

1/3 cup rice

1/2 cup fruit

3 ounces chicken

Vegetable salad

Substituting Sweets

Carbohydrate and diabetes5
Carbohydrate and Diabetes

To observe effect of new food on blood glucose:

  • check blood glucose 2 hours after meal for several days

  • substitute food containing sugar for other carbohydrate in meal

  • check blood glucose 2 hours

    after meal and compare

Sweeteners and diabetes
Sweeteners and Diabetes

Sugar alcohols (polyols):

sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol

  • Used as sweeteners and bulking agents

  • Safe to use

  • May cause diarrhea, especially in children


  • Not recommended as a sweetener

Sweeteners and DiabetesLow calorie sweeteners:are safe for people with diabetes when consumed within recommended levels

Carbohydrate and diabetes6
Carbohydrate and Diabetes


  • Fiber is encouraged for everyone:

    20-35 grams/day

  • Good sources of fiber:

    • Whole grain cereals

    • Fruits

    • Vegetables

    • Beans and peas

Carbohydrate and diabetes7
Carbohydrate and Diabetes


  • Only large amounts (50 grams/day) have shown improvement in blood glucose and cholesterol

    • Primarily soluble fiber (barley, oatmeal, beans, apples, broccoli)

    • Side effects make this difficult for many people

Protein and diabetes
Protein and Diabetes

  • Protein has very little effect on blood glucose

  • Avoid large amounts of protein

    • may promote kidney disease

  • Restrict protein only if you have

    early kidney disease

Protein and diabetes1
Protein and Diabetes

  • Protein does not slow the absorption of carbohydrate

    • Adding protein to snacks does not help prevent hypoglycemia

    • Fruit or crackers are good snack foods

Protein and diabetes2
Protein and Diabetes

  • Safety of high protein, low carbohydrate weight loss diets are unknown

    • do not promote long-term weight loss

    • may increase LDL cholesterol

Dietary fat and diabetes
Dietary Fat and Diabetes

  • Primary goal - Lower LDL cholesterol by:

    • Eating less saturated fat and cholesterol

    • Eating less trans fats

Dietary fat and diabetes1
Dietary Fat and Diabetes

Foods That Contain Saturated Fats:

  • Meat and meat fats (bacon, lard)

  • Dairy products (whole milk,

    butter, cheese, cream, ice-cream)

  • Palm and coconut oil

  • Baked goods made from

    these fats

Dietary fat and diabetes2
Dietary Fat and Diabetes

Foods That Contain Trans Fats:

  • Formed when a liquid oil is made more solid

  • Found in many types of stick margarine, fast foods, and baked goods like cookies, crackers, snack foods, pastries and croissants

Dietary fat and diabetes3
Dietary Fat and Diabetes

Foods That Contain Cholesterol:

  • All animal foods

  • Organ meats like liver

  • Egg yolks

Dietary fat and diabetes4
Dietary Fat and Diabetes

  • Choose monounsaturated fat in place of saturated:

    • olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil,

      olives, avocados, nuts

Dietary fat and diabetes5
Dietary Fat and Diabetes

  • Eat less total fat

  • Low-fat diets can help:

    • with weight loss

    • improve cholesterol and other fats

Dietary fat and diabetes6
Dietary Fat and Diabetes

  • Eat 2-3 servings fish per week

    • contain a type of fat protective against heart disease

    • fatty fish especially beneficial

Weight loss and diabetes
Weight Loss and Diabetes

A small amount of weight loss can:

  • improve insulin resistance

  • lower blood glucose

  • improve blood cholesterol

  • reduce blood pressure

Weight loss and diabetes1
Weight Loss and Diabetes

Successful weight loss usually requires:

  • a structured weight loss program

  • education

  • reduced fat and calories

  • regular physical activity

  • frequent follow-up

Vitamins and minerals and diabetes
Vitamins and Minerals and Diabetes

  • Vitamins and minerals from foods important

  • High doses of vitamin and mineral supplements can be toxic

Vitamins and minerals and diabetes1
Vitamins and Minerals and Diabetes

People who may benefit from a multivitamin supplement:

  • persons deficient in a vitamin or mineral

  • elderly

  • pregnant or nursing mothers

  • strict vegetarians

  • persons on calorie-restricted diet

Vitamins and minerals and diabetes2
Vitamins and Minerals and Diabetes

  • No clear benefit from vitamin and mineral supplements except

    • calcium for prevention of bone disease

    • folate for prevention of birth defects

  • Use of antioxidants is not advised

    • vitamin C, E, selenium, beta carotene

    • long-term safety and effectiveness unknown

Alcohol and diabetes
Alcohol and Diabetes

  • If you choose to drink, limit to:

    • 1 drink/day for women

    • 2 drinks/day for men

  • To reduce risk of hypoglycemia, consume alcohol with food

High blood pressure and diabetes
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes

You can lower blood pressure by:

  • Eating less salt

  • Losing a modest amount of weight

Preventing diabetes
Preventing Diabetes

Family members of people with Type 2 diabetes can prevent diabetes by:

  • Weight loss if overweight

    • using a structured weight loss


  • Regular physical


The bottom line
The Bottom Line

Your lifestyle affects your health

Eat healthy foods

Daily Physical