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Diabetic Diet Foods & Blood Glucose - Advice For Diabetes Patients About Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetic Diet: Foods & Blood Glucose

Diet Information
Diabetes Intro - Diabetic Food Pyramid
Diet & Calories - Diabetic Diet FAQs - Food Measurement - Exercise & Hypoglycemia
Diabetic Diet Advice & Support - Diet Tips for Diabetics - Glycemic Index - Glycemic Load

How Food in Your Diet Affects Your Blood Glucose

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, what, when, and how much you eat all affect your blood glucose. Blood glucose is the main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy.

If you have diabetes (or impaired glucose tolerance), your blood glucose can go too high if you eat too much. If your blood glucose goes too high, you can get sick.

Your blood glucose can also go too high or drop too low if you don't take the right amount of diabetes medicine.

If your blood glucose stays high too much of the time, you can get heart, eye, foot, kidney, and other problems. You can also have problems if your blood glucose gets too low (hypoglycemia).

Keeping your blood glucose at a healthy level will prevent or slow down diabetes problems. Ask your doctor or diabetes teacher what a healthy blood glucose level is for you.

Blood Glucose Levels: What Should My Blood Glucose Levels Be?

For most people, target blood glucose levels are:

Before meals - 90 to 130
1 to 2 hours after the start of a meal - less than 180

Ask your doctor how often you should check your blood glucose. The results from your blood glucose checks will tell you if your diabetes care plan is working. Also ask your doctor for an A1C test at least twice a year. Your A1C number gives your average blood glucose for the past 3 months.

How Can I Keep My Blood Glucose at a Healthy Level?

Eat about the same amount of food each day.

  • Eat your meals and snacks at about the same times each day.
  • Do not skip meals or snacks.
  • Take your medicines at the same times each day.
  • Exercise at about the same times each day.

Diabetes and Glycemic Load (GL)

Like Glycemic Index (GI), Glycemic load (GL) is a useful food assessment tool for diabetics. However, unlike a foods's GI value, which tells you how fast (eg) 50g of carbohydrate in pasta raises blood-sugar, glycemic load tells you how fast an average serving of pasta raises blood-sugar. Glycemic load is therefore a slightly more practical tool for diabetics who want to improve their management of blood glucose levels. See below, for a GL values for popular foods.

Glycemic Load For Sample Foods
Beans - Bread - Bread Roll - Bread Snacks (Bagels, Donuts) - Cake
Candy - Cereal - Cereals - Cookie - Cracker - Fruit Juice - Fruit - Fruits
Dried Fruit - Grains - Ice Cream - Jam - Lentils - Milk - Muffin - Noodles
Nuts - Oats - Pancakes - Pasta - Pastry - Pizza - Potato - Rice
Snacks - Sodas - Soy Food - Sugar - Vegetables - Veggie Food - Yogurt


Why Should I Eat About the Same Amount at the Same Times Each Day?

Your blood glucose goes up after you eat. If you eat a big lunch one day and a small lunch the next day, your blood glucose levels will change too much.

Keep your blood glucose at a healthy level by eating about the same amount of carbohydrate foods at about the same times each day. Carbohydrate foods, also called carbs, provide glucose for energy. Starches, fruits, milk, starchy vegetables such as corn, and sweets are all carbohydrate foods.

Talk with your doctor or diabetes teacher about how many meals and snacks to eat each day.


Your Diabetes Medicines

What you eat and when affects how your diabetes medicines work. Talk with your doctor or diabetes teacher about the best times to take your diabetes medicines based on your meal plan.

Related Glycemic Index Links

Glycemic Index: List of Foods
High Glycemic Index Foods
Glycemic Index and Foods
What Determines Glycemic Index Values of Carbs
Effects of Fiber on Glycemic Index
Effects of Fat on Glycemic Index
Glycemic Index and Meals
Glycemic Index of Rice, Potatoes, Pasta and Bread
Glycemic Index of Carrots
Glycemic Index of Sugar
Glycemic Index and Fruit
Glycemic Index and Diabetes
Carbs and Glycemic Index


Health Disclaimer
The diabetic diet information and advice offered above is intended as a general guide ONLY. If you have diabetes, please consult your doctor about the best way to handle your condition. Diabetes is a serious condition which requires personal, professional advice.

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