How to Cook for Diabetics

Garden salads are good choices. image by ClickArt by Broderbund


People may think that diabetics just have to cut out sugar, but the diabetic diet is much more than that. It is about counting carbohydrates, choosing lean protein, increasing fiber, watching fat intake and eating in moderation. There are no special foods, just better food choices. Learning to cook for a diabetic is the first step in healthier eating for the whole family.

Step 1

Plan a variety of food for the day. Diabetics should eat two to three servings of non-starchy vegetables; two servings of fruit; six servings of grains, beans and starchy vegetables; two servings of low-fat or fat-free milk; four to six servings of meat or meat substitutes; and limited amounts of fat and sugar. Meals must be balanced to control sugar as well as protect the heart and other organs.

Step 2

Step 3

Use a food scale and measuring cups for preparing fruit. A serving of fruit for a diabetic is 4 ounces. This may be a half an orange or apple. Use a food scale to weigh the fruit. One serving of canned or fresh fruit is ½ cup. Fruit is a carbohydrate.

Step 4

Choose low-fat or nonfat milk and milk products. One cup of milk is one serving. Six ounces of yogurt is one serving. Milk and yogurt count as carbohydrates.

Step 5

Include a variety of non-starchy vegetables at every meal. Non-starchy vegetables have few carbohydrates and calories. They contain abundant nutrients, so they are a good choice. One serving is ½ cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of uncooked. Three servings of vegetables count as one carbohydrate serving, or 15 grams.

Step 6

Choose lean meats. A diabetic can eat up to 6 ounces of meat a day, as long as it is lean. One ounce is one serving. Substitute fish for some meals. Eat more poultry and less red meat. Try tofu. Four ounces of tofu is equal to 1 ounce of protein. Trim off visible fat and skin. Roast, broil or grill meat.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't let the diabetic skip a meal. Don't cut out carbohydrates at any meal.

Things You'll Need

  • Exchange lists for diabetics

Who Can Help

  • American Diabetes Association: Nutrition
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About this Author

Pauline is a retired teacher with 27 years experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Language Arts and a Master of Education Degree. Now retired, she writes for eHow, Demand Studios, Bright Hub, and Helium. She has awards writing fiction including a published story with Women on Writing.

Photo by: ClickArt by Broderbund

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