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Healthy Diabetic Diet Plan For Type 1 and 2

Healthy Diabetic Diet Plan For Type 1 and 2

Apria Editorial |

A diabetic diet consists of consuming healthier foods in moderation and adhering to regular mealtimes. This improves your body's utilization of insulin, whether naturally produced or administered medicinally.

This guide from ApriaHome is an excellent starting point, whether you've just been diagnosed or are trying to get back on track.

A diabetic diet plan consists of consuming healthier foods in moderation and adhering to regular mealtimes. This improves your body's utilization of insulin, whether naturally produced or administered medicinally. Your doctor may suggest seeing a nutritionist following a diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes so that together you can create a healthy eating plan.

A registered nutritionist can help you design a diet that suits your requirements while also satisfying your preferences and complementing your lifestyle. In addition, they'll advise on how to modify your diet for optimized health and well-being. For example: adjusting your portion sizes to meet your requirements based on your height and weight. If you follow your eating plan diligently, you can expect to see improvements in your blood sugar/glucose levels, weight, and risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

A diagnosis of diabetes can be very overwhelming, it is a lifestyle condition that has patients adapting to new routines, and a new dietary plan is an important part of managing the condition. This guide from ApriaHome is an excellent starting point for a diabetes diet, whether you've just been diagnosed or are trying to get back on track. Keep reading to discover what foods to eat and avoid with diabetes and maintain blood sugar levels with a healthy diabetic diet plan.

How Does A Diet Affect Diabetes?

The risk of developing diabetes increases when the diet is heavy in fat, calories, and cholesterol. Obesity is another risk factor for developing diabetes as well as other health problems.

Blood sugar levels tend to spike when more calories and fat are consumed. High blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) may cause short-term complications like increased thirst and hunger. However, long-term complications, including nerve, kidney, and heart damage, can develop if blood glucose levels are not managed properly.

A nutritious diet and careful monitoring of carbohydrate intake will enable you to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range. Diabetes diets are healthy eating plans that are high in nutrients while low in fat and calories. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are also important components of a diabetic diet food list.

Weight loss can assist most patients with type 2 diabetes in maintaining their blood glucose levels as well as their weight and provides several other health benefits. A diabetic diet is a well-organized, healthy approach to safe weight loss in diabetes management for type 2 diabetics. In fact, a diabetic diet is the optimal eating plan for the majority of people.

Diabetes Meals - Best Food To Eat

The best diabetic diet features these healthy options to optimize your calorie intake. Choose healthy carbohydrates, foods rich in fiber, proteins, and good fats and oil as part of a healthy diabetic diet food list.

Healthy Carbohydrates:

Both simple and complex carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the blood after digestion. Carbohydrates are still needed for energy conversion, so instead, choose healthy sources of carbohydrates like:

  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables & fruits
  • Legumes such as lentils & beans
  • Dairy items with low-fat content, such as milk and cheese
  • Avoid any carbohydrates with extra fat, sugar, or salt added

    Fiber-rich Foods:

    Dietary fiber helps control your blood sugar levels and moderates how it digests food. High in fiber foods include:

    • Nuts
    • Whole grains
    • Legumes, such as peas and beans
    • Vegetables
    • Fruits

      Omega 3:

      Two fish servings per week are the recommended amount for optimal heart health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundance in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve circulatory functions.

      Healthy Fats & Oils:

      Cholesterol levels can be lowered by eating foods high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These include:

      • Olive, peanut & canola oils
      • Avocados
      • Nuts

        All fats are rich in calories; therefore, moderation is key.

        Snack Options:

        A light snack eaten in between meals might help maintain steady blood sugar levels. When trying to control your diabetes, it's a good idea to consult your medical team for guidance targeting your unique situation and lifestyle requirements. Instead of choosing unhealthy options like crisps, chips, cookies, and chocolates, the best options are unsweetened yogurts, unsalted almonds, seeds, and fruits and vegetables.

        Diabetic Meals - Foods To Avoid

        Hardened and clogged arteries are a leading cause of cardiovascular disease and strokes, both of which are made more likely by having diabetes. The following are examples of food ingredients that may be counterproductive to a heart-healthy diet. The best diet for diabetes steers away from these food categories.

        Processed Carbohydrates:

        Bread, muffins, cakes, and pasta are all examples of foods manufactured with white flour, white sugar, and white rice, all of which are deficient in bran, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. A diet high in severely processed carbohydrates increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

        Saturated Fats:

        Stay away from fatty meats, dairy products, and palm and coconut oils.

        Chemically-Modified Trans Fats:

        Snacks, baked products, preserved sugars, margarine, peanut butter, spreads, and creamers are all sources of trans fats, which you should try to avoid.


        Maintain a daily cholesterol intake of less than 200 mg. Foods heavy in saturated fat, such as full-fat dairy and meat and egg yolks, are all good examples of cholesterol-rich foods.


        You should limit your daily sodium intake to fewer than 2,300 milligrams. In the case of hypertension, your doctor may advise you to aim even lower.

        Sugary Beverages:

        Beverages high in sugar are not recommended for people with diabetes. A 12-ounce can of cola contains 38.5 grams of carbohydrates derived from sugar, giving it the potential to spike glucose levels. Consumption of sugary drinks has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes-related complications such as fatty liver disease. Despite its reputation as a healthy drink, fruit juice has the same negative impact on blood sugar as soda and other sugary beverages. This includes both 100% fruit juice with added sugar and unsweetened varieties. Fruit juice often has more sugar and carbohydrates than regular soda.

        Saturated & Refined Sugars:

        White table sugar, as well as sweets like candies and cookies, should generally be avoided by those with diabetes. However, its not only table sugars and refined sugars that trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. Brown sugar and "natural" sugars like honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup aren't as processed as regular sugar; however, they still contain the same or more carbohydrates.

        Optimal Nutrition For Blood Sugar Control: Diabetic Diet Plan

        A diabetes diet plan can be tailored in several ways to help you maintain a healthy blood sugar level. The following methods and the advice of a registered dietician will help you structure an optimized diabetic meal plan.

        You may be eating more than you need without even realizing it. The plate method is a straightforward visual aid for consuming more low-glycemic index meals like nonstarchy veggies and lean protein and less high-glycemic index items like refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks.

        Diabetes Plate Method

        The diabetes plate method starts with a dinner plate of 9 inches in diameter.

        • 1/2 of the plate will be made up of non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, salad, green beans, and broccoli.
        • 1/4 of the plate will be made up of healthy protein like chicken, turkey, tofu, eggs, beans, or any other lean meat alternative.
        • 1/4 of the plate will be made up of whole-grain carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, peas, fruit, and starchy vegetables like peas or potatoes.

          A glass of milk or yogurt is also a great source of carbohydrates. Remember to include regular portions of healthy unsaturated fats such as nuts, olives, or avocados.

          Type 1 Diabetes Diet Plan

          With type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. High blood sugar can lead to issues such as kidney, nerve, and eye damage, along with cardiovascular conditions.

          A type 1 diabetes diet is focused on timing your meals, and adjusting insulin dosages to correspond with meals is essential. Meal planning is simplified when one consumes foods low on the glycemic index. Giving adequate time for the body and the insulin dosage to react to a low glycemic load meal as the blood sugar level rises gradually and consistently.

          Many people with type 1 diabetes take long-acting insulin that continues to lower blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours. Therefore, it can reduce blood sugar levels irrespective of dietary carbohydrate glucose. As a result, when a person doesn't eat enough or waits too long between meals, their blood sugar can drop dangerously low (hypoglycemia).

          However, having a larger meal or a meal with more processed carbohydrates or saturated sugars than usual can increase blood sugar beyond what the long-acting insulin can regulate, causing an extreme spike in sugar levels (hyperglycemia). An adequate amount of short-acting insulin should be administered here, taking into account both the meal's carbohydrate content and the patient's blood glucose level just before eating.

          People with diabetes who use continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pumps have more flexibility with meal times as they receive real-time feedback to help them balance their carbohydrate intake with insulin.

          When patients with type 1 diabetes pay attention to the time of their meals and the glycemic load of the foods they eat, they can maintain stable blood glucose levels and avoid the consequences of hypo and hyperglycemia.

          Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan

          In people with type 2 diabetes, the hormone insulin is unable to do its job of transporting glucose to the cells and muscles, where it can be stored as energy. Having glucose levels in the blood rise over the normal range is dangerous for your health. The presence or absence of diabetes should not invalidate the importance of following a balanced diet. However, eating nutritious meals in appropriate quantities as part of a type 2 diabetes diet has two significant advantages for patients with this condition.

          • Reduced and stabilized blood sugar levels may help alleviate diabetic symptoms and lessen the likelihood of serious health problems.
          • Weight loss to trim down excess body fat is linked to a better A1C reading, which is the average blood sugar level over a two to three-month period.

            The primary goal of a diabetes-specific diet for persons with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes is to maintain a healthy body weight. A diet aimed at managing the risks of diabetes emphasizes moderation in eating and regular physical activity to keep blood sugar levels steady and the body at a healthy weight.

            A smart diabetes diet is similar to the healthy eating plan recommended for everyone else: it consists of whole, minimally processed foods, with plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of whole-grain carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats, and very little or no added sugars or refined carbohydrates.

            Tips For A Healthy Diabetic Diet

            Reduce your consumption of fried foods, candies, sugary beverages, and anything salty or greasy. Instead, focus on vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy products, fruits, and good fats.

            • ​​​Adopt a well-balanced diet that contains a wide range of foods.
            • Keep sugar levels constant by maintaining a balanced diet that includes enough carbohydrates at each meal.
            • Maintain a healthy weight and regular physical activity.
            • Take your medications/insulin as directed by your doctor.
            • Monitor blood sugar levels throughout the day to understand your sugar levels in response to meals and adjust insulin dosages accordingly.
            • Make a habit of sticking to regular meal times, and try not to skip meals ‒ this helps stabilize your sugar levels.
            • Keep snacks on hand in case of unexpected sugar lows during the day.
            • Supplements can help regulate blood sugars by improving bodily functions. Protein supplements can facilitate wound healing in diabetic patients, reducing the risk of diabetic ulcers.

            Diabetes Diet FAQ

            What supplements support diabetes?

            A range of dietary supplements has been shown to decrease blood sugar levels, lessening the chance of developing prediabetes or diabetic symptoms. Supplements may also help alleviate diabetic medication side effects and can effectively support diabetic treatment.

            Although studies are inconclusive, many patients have reported benefits after taking supplements. However, patients should consult their doctor to identify the appropriate supplements to avoid adverse medication interactions. In certain circumstances, vitamins can help to lower total diabetic medication doses.

            Look for supplements that contain:

            • Vitamin D
            • Magnesium
            • Chromium
            • Cinnamon
            • Protein
            • Probiotics

              When should I eat if I have diabetes?

              People with diabetes should often spread their meals out as follows: Breakfast within two hours after waking up, with meals spread out every four to five hours after that. Keep light snacks on hand for in-between meals.

              How much can I eat if I have diabetes?

              Diets allowing up to 26% of daily calories to come from carbohydrates have been shown to be beneficial for those with type 1 diabetes. This means a diet of 2,000 and 2,200 calories daily should feature 130 to 143 grams of carbohydrates. As carbohydrates are quickly metabolized into glucose, cutting down on them in any way will help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

              People with type 2 diabetes should adhere to a calorie intake of between 1,500 and 1,800 daily. This 'lifestyle shift' facilitates the upkeep of a healthy weight and dietary habits to control blood sugar levels.

              Is the keto diet good for diabetics?

              The diet is indisputably risky for people with type 1 diabetes due to the reduced carbohydrate consumption and the drastic lifestyle modifications required. However, scientific evidence suggests that the ketogenic diet may help manage or prevent type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends low-carb diets as they limit refined sugar and grains and promote the increased intake of non-starchy vegetables.

              Optimal Health With ApriaHome - Spreading Awareness & Supporting A Healthy Diet For Diabetes

              Here at ApriaHome, we understand how overwhelming a new diagnosis of diabetes can be. That's why we take steps to raise awareness around diabetic management and treatment solutions. A healthy diet for diabetics can help regulate fluctuations in blood sugar levels and avoid long-term complications. In addition, a healthy and balanced diet can facilitate the treatment of type 2 diabetes by restoring heart health and promoting weight management.

              As leading suppliers of in-home medical equipment and clinical support services, we provide high-quality and affordable durable home medical equipment (DME and HME) across the country. We source and supply a wide range of diabetes management and treatment solutions, all from the convenience of our online portal. We have curated a range of products to support optimal diabetic nutrition, so you can make the most out of your calorie intake and optimize your treatment plan.

              The ApriaHome Diabetic Nutrition Starter Pack

                We know a diabetes diagnosis may be overwhelming, but with the proper knowledge, support, and lifestyle changes, you can make the most of every day. Looking for something specific? Our helpful agents are on call at (800) 780-1508 between 8:00 am - 10:00 pm EST daily. Get in touch today.


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