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Eat healthy with type 2 diabetes
Eat healthy with type 2 diabetes

Create a meal plan

Eating healthy doesn't mean you have to give up great taste—and it’s something you can even enjoy with family and friends! Why not let a meal plan be your personal food guide? It can help you make smart food choices—in the right amounts. In fact, meal planning can help you keep your blood sugar numbers and weight goals on track—while still enjoying the foods you love.

Make healthy updates to classic favorites

Try swapping out certain ingredients for healthier versions, such as adding crunch to your salad with nuts rather than croutons.

Read food labels

Nutrition Facts food labels can help you track your daily carbohydrates. Be sure to pay attention to both the serving size and total carbohydrate amount.

Be aware of how many calories are in a portion of that food. You can also compare different products to find lower-calorie options.

Know your portions

Controlling your portion size is a great way to keep tabs on your calorie intake. Try this “handy” guide from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to choose healthy portion sizes:

  • Your fist is about the size of 1 cup
  • Your thumb tip is about 1 teaspoon (the top joint of your thumb)
  • Your whole hand—a handful is about 1 to 2 ounces of snack food (not a heaping handful)

Counting carbohydrates

When you eat foods that contain carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose in the blood. By tracking your carbs and staying within your personal limits, you can help keep your blood glucose numbers within your target range.

Some general rules of thumb:
¾ cup of cereal = 1 carb =
15 grams of carbohydrates
2 fists of cereal =
4 carbs = 60 grams of carbohydrates
⅓ cup of rice/pasta =
1 carb =
15 grams of carbohydrates
1 fist of rice/pasta =
3 carbs =
45 grams of carbohydrates
1 medium potato =
2 carbs =
30 grams of carbohydrates
2 fists of potato =
4 carbs =
60 grams of carbohydrates
3 handfuls of popcorn =
1 ounce or 1 carb choice
1 ounce of pretzels =
2 handfuls or 1 carb choice or 15 grams of carbohydrates

Regular physical activity may help your type 2 diabetes.

Learn more ›