Nutrition in Type Diabetes

The Big Diabetes Lie

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Most people with type 1 diabetes are of normal body weight, and they usually do not need to be on a calorie-restricted diet. They also do not tend to have the cholesterol abnormalities that are commonly seen in patients with type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends that an adult should obtain

• 45 to 65 percent of the total daily kilocalories in the form of carbohydrates

• 25 to 35 percent of the total daily kilocalories in the form of fat (of which less than 7 percent are from saturated fat)

• 10 to 35 percent of the total daily kilocalories in the form of protein

These recommendations also apply to lean individuals without diabetes. In other words, this is a normal, healthy diet.

You should have a good idea of how much carbohydrate you are going to eat at a meal, because it will affect how much insulin you should take before the meal. Estimating the carbohydrate content of a meal is called carbohydrate counting or carbohydrate exchange. You need two pieces of information to count carbohydrates:

• You need to know the carbohydrate content of the food per unit measure.

• You need to estimate the size of the food portion (for example, by weighing it or using a measuring cup or counting slices).

You can think of food in 15-gram carbohydrate units: this is equivalent to 1 carbohydrate exchange or 1 carbohydrate unit.

There are lots of lists available (in books and on the Internet) that describe different foods, portion sizes, and carbohydrate content. Table 8-4 lists some common foods and the amount equivalent to 15 grams of carbohydrate units.

Table 8-4 Foods and Quantities Equivalent to About 15 Grams of Carbohydrate



Milk, soy milk, buttermilk

1 cup

Plain yogurt

% cup


1 oz (1 slice)

Bagel (store-bought)

1 oz (4 bagel)

Cooked rice, couscous, or pasta

'/3 cup

Hot dog bun, pita bread, English muffin

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Good Carb Diet

Good Carb Diet

WHAT IT IS A three-phase plan that has been likened to the low-carbohydrate Atkins program because during the first two weeks, South Beach eliminates most carbs, including bread, pasta, potatoes, fruit and most dairy products. In PHASE 2, healthy carbs, including most fruits, whole grains and dairy products are gradually reintroduced, but processed carbs such as bagels, cookies, cornflakes, regular pasta and rice cakes remain on the list of foods to avoid or eat rarely.

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