How to Eat Healthy1

Different food types affect your blood sugar (glucose) differently. Some types can raise your blood sugar higher than others.

What Are the Five Food Groups?2

To get the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy — include the five food groups in your diet.

Fruits & Vegetables

Many of these foods contain fructose, a type of sugar, and provide vitamins and minerals that keep your heart healthy and may help prevent some cancers. They are low in calories and fat, and high in fiber.

Milk & Dairy

These foods contain lactose (a type of sugar and a source of carbohydrates) and calcium, which is needed for strong bones and teeth.

Some can be high in fat, especially saturated fat.

Oil, Butter & foods Containing Sugar

These foods contain large amounts of calories and fat, especially saturated fat and sugar.

Some can also be high in salt

Bread, Potatoes, Legumes & Cereals

These foods contain starchy carbohydrates that help you feel full and can be high in fiber.

They are low in fat.

Meat, Fish & Alternatives

These foods are high in protein. Some can also be high in fat, especially saturated fat, while others contain Omega 3 oils.

How to Balance Your Diet Using the Plate Method3

Vegetables

One half of your plate should be for your non-starchy vegetables.

Protein

One quarter of your plate should be for your proteins.

Starchy Carbs

One quarter of your plate should be for your starchy carbs.

You don’t have to completely change your diet to eat healthier. Many people with diabetes find it helpful to plan their meals with the right balance of protein, carbs, and vegetables.

Here’s an example of how the "plate method" can help you manage portion sizes and types of food you eat:

How to Measure Your Portion Sizes with the Handy Guide3

While knowing the five food groups is essential for maintaining a healthy diet, understanding how to measure portion sizes for the different foods you eat is just as important.

The Handy Guide is an easy and convenient way for you to measure portion sizes.

Keep in mind that these portion estimates are based on the average size of a woman’s hand. So while the “Handy Guide” method is a good way to estimate portions, a more accurate way to measure serving sizes is to measure and weigh foods first.

Palm

Your palm, not including your fingers and thumb, is equal to about 3 ounces of cooked, boneless meat.

Thumb

Your thumb is equal to about 1 tablespoon or 1 serving of regular salad dressing, reduced-fat mayonnaise, or reduced-fat margarine.

Thumb Tip

Your thumb tip is equal to about 1 teaspoon or 1 serving of regular margarine, mayonnaise, or other fats such as oils.

Fist

Your fist is equal to about 1 cup or 30 grams of carbs for foods such as ice cream or hot cereals.

Palm

Your palm, not including your fingers and thumb, is equal to about 3 ounces of cooked, boneless meat.

Thumb

Your thumb is equal to about 1 tablespoon or 1 serving of regular salad dressing, reduced-fat mayonnaise, or reduced-fat margarine.

Thumb Tip

Your thumb tip is equal to about 1 teaspoon or 1 serving of regular margarine, mayonnaise, or other fats such as oils.

Fist

Your fist is equal to about 1 cup or 30 grams of carbs for foods such as ice cream or hot cereals.

Now that you know more about the five food groups, balancing your diet, and eating healthy portions, here are some additional tips for eating healthy4:

  1. Reduce your fat, salt, and sugar intake
  2. Drink plenty of water
  3. Drink less alcohol to avoid drops in blood sugar (glucose) levels
  4. Eat the right portion, at the right time
  5. Consult a dietician on when, what, and how much to eat
  6. Never skip meals to avoid drops in blood sugar (glucose) levels

Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference!5

Making small changes in your diet by including the five food groups in your diet and eating the right portion sizes can make a big difference in your health.

For more helpful tips on eating healthy at home or when dining out, download our Healthy Eating Guide.

DOWNLOAD GUIDE HERE
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References
  1. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/factors-affecting-blood-glucose.html
  2. Conversation StarterTM Education Tool_Making Healthy Lifestyle Changes
  3. http://www.lillydiabetes.com/_assets/pdf/ld90766_carbguide.pdf
  4. http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diet/nhs-diet-advice.html
  5. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices.html
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