Choosing What, How Much, and When to Eat

In the past, diets for people with diabetes were very restrictive.

Things are different now. There isn’t a one-size fits all diabetes diet.

While you may need to make some changes in what and how much you eat, you have flexibility in deciding what’s on the menu.

With a little planning, you can still include your favorite foods.

What Does “Healthy Eating” Really Mean?

  • Eating a variety of foods, including vegetables, whole grains, fruits, non-fat dairy foods, healthy fats, and lean meats or meat substitutes.
  • Trying not to eat too much food.
  • Trying not to eat too much of one type of food.
  • Spacing your meals evenly throughout the day.
  • Not skipping meals.

Create Your Plate

Trying to figure out how you’re supposed to eat now that you have diabetes? A good place to begin is the “Plate Method.”

You don’t need any special tools and don’t need to do any counting. You just need to focus on filling your plate with more non-starchy vegetables and less starchy foods and meats.

It’s simple and it works.

Find out how to use the Plate Method.


For people with diabetes, a good cookbook provides ideas to trim fat from their diet and gives detailed nutritional analysis and exchanges for each recipe.

The American Diabetes Association publishes new cookbooks every year filled with recipes that meet the Association's diabetes nutrition guidelines.

Next: Getting Active

  • Last Reviewed: October 11, 2013
  • Last Edited: March 18, 2014

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Diabetes Forecast