Mayo Clinic on Managing Diabetes

By Maria Collazo-Clavell | Go to book overview
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Chapter 4
Developing a
healthy eating plan

The words healthy eating often produce a twinge of fear. Many people think, [Oh no, I'll never get to eat anything I like again!] This is a common response when people first hear they have diabetes. That's because people associate the disease with bland, tasteless food.

There's no need to panic. You can still eat foods you enjoy. You may, however, have to limit their amount or change how you prepare them or when you eat them. Healthy eating is not about deprivation or denial. It means enjoying great nutrition as well as great taste. Because your body is a complex machine, it needs a variety of foods to achieve a balanced mix of energy. For people with diabetes, a healthy diet is key to a healthy life.


There is no 'diabetes diet'

Contrary to popular myth, having diabetes doesn't mean that you have to start eating specialized foods or follow a highly detailed and boring diet plan. For most people, having diabetes simply translates into variety and moderation eating more of certain foods, such as fruits, vegetables and grains that are high in nutrients and low in fat and calories, and less of others, such as animal products and sweets. It's the same eating plan that all Americans should follow.

Depending on your blood sugar (glucose) level, whether you need to lose weight and whether you have other health problems,

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