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Diabetes and Nutrition. Lesson 2 Expand Your Options, Improve Your Choices. Objectives. Meal Plans for Diabetes Diabetes Pyramid/My Pyramid Exchange list Plate Method Carbohydrate Counting General Nutrition Recommendations Reading the Food Label. Managing Diabetes Successfully.

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Diabetes and


Lesson 2

Expand Your Options, Improve Your Choices

  • Meal Plans for Diabetes
    • Diabetes Pyramid/My Pyramid
    • Exchange list
    • Plate Method
    • Carbohydrate Counting
  • General Nutrition Recommendations
  • Reading the Food Label
managing diabetes successfully
Managing Diabetes Successfully

Involves three things:

  • Food
  • Exercise
  • Medication
did you know
Did You Know??
  • Food raises blood glucose
  • Exercise and medication lowers it
  • Balance these three to keep blood glucose level close to normal.
diabetes facts
Diabetes Facts

Food choices can make a difference in blood

Glucose control.

  • You don’t need special foods
  • The foods that are good for you are good for everyone
  • Eat a variety of foods that contain the right amount of nutrients
healthy food choices
Healthy Food Choices

A healthy daily meal plan includes at least…

  • 2 to 3 servings of nonstarchy vegetables
  • 2 servings of fruit
  • 6 servings of grains, beans, and starchy vegetables
  • 2 servings of low-fat or fat-free milk
  • About 6 ounces of meat or meat substitutes
  • Small amounts of fat and sugar
which plate is better
Which Plate is Better??

A 10 inch dinner plate-a typical dinner plate

A 8 inch dinner plate-this is the recommended plate to use

fruit milk starch
Fruit = Milk = Starch
  • Sometimes, if you want an extra starch during a meal, you just need to omit a fruit or milk from that meal.
visualize portion sizes
Visualize Portion Sizes
  • 1 cup pasta/rice is about the size of a fist.
  • 1 oz of cheese is about the size of your thumb.
  • 1 or 2 oz of crackers, nuts, or snack crackers equals a handful.
  • 1 fruit is about the size of a tennis ball.
exchange list for meal planning
Exchange List for Meal Planning
  • Oldest method for meal planning.
  • Based on Dietary Guidelines and My Pyramid.
  • Includes a variety of foods.
  • Emphasizes label reading and most exchanges are listed under the food label.
carbohydrate counting
Carbohydrate Counting
  • Newest method of meal planning.
  • Type 1 or Type 2 can use.
  • Requires reading the food label.
  • Requires constant blood sugar monitoring.
  • When reading the food label, look at total carbohydrate grams only.
  • Carbohydrates are found in milk, breads/starches, fruit and starchy vegetables only!
more on total carbs
More on Total Carbs…
  • Helpful for carb counters.
  • Look at the total carbohydrates not the grams of sugar.
  • Total carbohydrates include: sugar, complex carbohydrates, and fiber content.
  • When a food has 5 g or more of fiber per serving:
    • subtract half the fiber grams from the total grams of carbohydrate for a more accurate estimate of the carbohydrate content.
sample 1800 calorie carbohydrate counting meal plan
Sample 1800 calorie Carbohydrate Counting Meal Plan
  • Breakfast:  2 servings of starch, 1 fruit serving, 1 milk serving, 1 meat serving, 1 fat serving.
  • Lunch:  2 starch servings, 1 fruit servings, ½ milk serving, 2 vegetable servings, 2 meat servings, 2 fats.
  • Dinner:  2 starch servings, 1 fruit serving, 2 vegetable servings, 3 meat servings, 2 fats.
  • Snack:  1 starch serving, 1 fruit serving, ½ milk serving.
  • This meal plan is approximately 60 g of carbohydrates per meal and 30 g of carbohydrates per snack.
examples of one carbohydrate choice snacks
1 ounce granola bar

3 graham crackers with 1 tbsp. peanut butter

3 cups popped non-fat popcorn

6 animal crackers

1 small muffin

A 3 inch cookie

1 medium apple, orange, pear

12-15 cherries or grapes

¼ cup dried fruit

1 cup soy milk

¾ to 1 cup yogurt

½ cup sugar free pudding

Examples of One Carbohydrate Choice Snacks
portion control is the key to managing your diabetes
Portion Control Is The Key To Managing Your Diabetes
  • Which will have the greater effect on your blood sugar, 1 tsp of sugar or ½ cup potatoes??
    • Potatoes have 15 g of Carbohydrate, while 1 tsp. of sugar has only 4 g of carbohydrate. Therefore, potatoes have 3 times the effect on blood sugar than table sugar would.
2008 ada recommendations for general meal planning for persons with diabetes
2008 ADA Recommendations for General Meal Planning for Persons with Diabetes
  • Meal plan should include fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and whole grains.
  • You can eat sugar containing foods, but your meal plan will be adjusted.
  • Monitor carbohydrate intake.
  • Consume 25-35 grams of fiber.
  • Avoid Skipping meals.
more recommendations
More Recommendations
  • Sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners are safe.
  • Limit saturated fat intake.
  • Limit trans fat intake.
  • Eat fish at least 2x’s per week.
  • Moderate alcohol intake.
  • Consume a meal plan that if low in fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories
  • Increase physical activity or exercise.
  • Continuously monitor blood sugar levels.
  • Check with physician for vitamins.
  • Lose weight if you are told to.
  • Limit/control your intake of alcohol.
  • Ask yourself the three questions to determine if you can drink.
    • Is my diabetes under control?
    • Does my doctor agree that I do not have any other problems that alcohol can affect?
    • Do I know how alcohol can affect my diabetes and me?
avoid low blood sugar when drinking
Avoid Low Blood Sugar When Drinking
  • Never drink on an empty stomach.
  • Limit yourself to 1 or 2 drinks.
  • Test your blood sugar before you drink and once while drinking.
  • Make sure to test before going to bed and eat a snack!

What’s on a Label?

  • Serving Size
  • Servings Per Container
  • Calories and Calories from Fat
  • Nutrients with % Daily Value
  • Footnote (Only found on larger packages)

Serving Size

  • Stated in Household and Metric Measures

Servings Per Container

  • Servings Per Container tells you how many servings are in a package.
  • There are 2 servings in this package.
  • The label shows that 1 cup is a serving.
  • If you consume 2 cups you are having two servings.


  • Labels include the total calories as well as the calories from fat
  • General Guide to Calories per serving:
    • 40 calories is low
    • 100 calories is moderate
    • 400 calories or more is high

Percent Daily Value (%DV)

  • Based on Daily Value recommendations
  • Only for a 2,000 calorie diet

Nutrients Without a %DV

  • Trans Fats
  • Sugars
  • Protein


  • Limit these nutrients
  • Get enough of these

The Footnote

  • Based on 2,000 and 2,500 calorie diets
  • Only found on larger packages

DVs Compared to %DVs

*DV = Daily Value; **Sat. Fat = Saturated Fat; ***CHO (carbohydrate)


Ingredient Statement

  • List of ingredients found in the food product
  • Listed in descending order by weight, from the most to the least

Eat Smart – Read the Label

  • Be informed.
  • Determine the best choices.
  • Eat a variety of foods.
points to remember about diabetes meal planning
Points To Remember About Diabetes Meal Planning
  • Actual amounts of each depend on the number of calories you need.
  • Calorie needs depend on your gender, size, age, and activity level.
  • Meal planning with diabetes is very individualized.
  • Get a personalized meal plan from a Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator.
  • American Diabetes Association,
  • American Dietetic Association,
  • Mahan,L.K. and Escott-Stump, S. Krause’s Food, Nutrition, and DietTherapy. 10thed. 2000.
  • Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy. American Dietetic and Diabetes Association. 2002.
  • LSU AgCenter’s Diabetes Education and Awareness Program.
  • University of Illinois Extension Service.
  • American Dietetic Association & American Diabetes Association Guide to Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy, CD-ROM 2008.
  • Amercian Diabetes and Dietetic Association’s “Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Diabetes.” 2008.
  • University of Idaho Extension Service. “The Idaho Plate Method.”
  • University of Georgia Extension Service.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition -
  • Keeping Up with the Changing Food Label: International Food Information Council (IFIC) –
  • Understanding Food Labels, American Dietetic Association
  • Food Label Presentation Developed By: Cathy Agan, Extension Agent (FNP), Ouachita Parish and Adapated by Bertina McGhee, MPH, RD, LDN; Extension Agent, Orleans Parish.
diabetes and nutrition

Diabetes and Nutrition

Prepared By:

Mandy G. Armentor, MS, RD, LDN

Assoc. Extension Agent-FCS (Nutrition)

Vermilion Parish