A diabetes diet guide is a helpful tool when you are first starting out on a diabetes diet.  Aside from learning how to keep blood sugar levels balanced, a diabetic must also learn to control their blood pressure, cholesterols, and their weight. One of the most important risks of diabetes is heart disease, which causes about 65 percent of diabetic deaths. Eating healthily and exercising healthily is the most important part of preventing this and other diabetic complications.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, which is renowned as one of the top hospitals in the United States, the treatment goals for a diabetes diet are:

  • To achieve near normal blood glucose levels.
  • To protect the heart and aim for healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels and controlling blood pressure.
  • To achieve a reasonable weight.


As there really no such thing as a diabetes diet, a patient should meet with a professional diabetic plan to meet their individual needs. However, there are some generalities that a person should adhere to. Please review the following diabetes diet guide tips to discuss with your dietician and remember as you begin your diabetes diet.


A Beginner’s Diabetes Diet Guide


To make it simple to learn how you should make your meals, the American Diabetes Association advises how to “create your plate” in six easy steps. They are:

Begin by putting a line down the middle of your plate.

  1. On one side, cut it again so that you have 3 sections.
  2. Fill the largest section with non-starchy vegetables. These include vegetables such as: spinach, carrots, lettuce, greens, cabbage, bokchoy, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, vegetable juice, salsa, onion, cucumber, beets, okra, mushrooms, peppers, and turnips.
  3. Now fill one of the small sections with starchy foods, such as: whole-grain breads, whole-wheat, rye, whole-grain or high fiber cereal, oatmeal, grits, hominy, cream of wheat, rice pasta, dal, tortillas, cooked beans, peas, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, potatoes, green peas, corn, lima beans, sweet potatoes, winter squash, low-fat crackers, snack chips, pretzels, and fat-free popcorn.
  4. In the other small section, fill your plate with meat or meat substitutes like: chicken or turkey (without the skin), tuna, salmon, cod, catfish, shrimp, clams, oysters, crab, mussels, lean cuts of beef or pork, tofu, eggs, or low-fat cheese.
  5. Add an 8 oz. glass of non-fat or low-fat milk. If you don’t drink milk you can add 6 oz. of light yogurt, a small roll.
  6. You should also add a piece of fruit, ½ cup of fruit salad. Fruit should be fresh, canned in juice, or light syrup.


The diabetes diet guide listed above is intended for a diabetic dinner. For breakfast, be sure to keep your portions small. Use half your plate for starchy foods and add fruit in one of the small parts, and a meat or meat substitute in the other. You should not skip breakfast and eat it when you first get up. It is better to eat 3 moderate meals during the day, and several snacks every few hours, than two simply eat 3 large meals. Snacks should be small, such as a piece of fruit and an 8 oz. glass of milk.