Nutrition Overview | ADA

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It’s all about finding the right balance that works for you.

When you’re managing diabetes, your eating plan is a powerful tool. But eating healthy can feel boring and dull, right? Well, it doesn’t have to because there are tons of things you can do to add flavor to your daily routine—including healthy twists on your favorite foods.

So, don’t give up. The one key to feeling your best lies in the food you eat—so start working with a dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) or your loved ones to make an eating plan today. Be sure to include foods you like and don’t be afraid to try something new, no matter how green and leafy it might be.

Most importantly, remember that eating well—and adding activity to your daily routine (moving more)—are important ways you can manage diabetes. Pay attention to what you eat and this can become a fight you can win. And we’re here to help you every step of the way.

What can I eat?

You’re part of the club 

As you work on eating healthier, remember that you’re never alone. You’re always surrounded by people who care and who might struggle with some of the same things you do. Share your nutrition challenges with others—talk about them openly. Not only will this help you clear your head, but by hearing from others, you can sharpen your resolve to stay on target with your diet.

Ask people how they deal with keeping a healthy diet at parties and weddings. Ask them how they eat healthy on vacations. And always ask for tips and tricks, because for every healthy eater in the world, there’s someone who knows a hack.

Most of all, don’t let how you manage your diabetes isolate you. Share your feelings as openly as you can. Talk about your emotions. Chances are someone nearby is dealing with something similar.

Ugh. What about carbs?

Carbs are tricky for everybody. But knowing how much and what type of carbs you can have in your diet is important for managing diabetes—because the balance between how much insulin is in your body and the carbohydrates makes a huge difference in your blood sugar levels.

There are three main types of carbohydrates in food—starches, sugar and fiber. As you’ll see on the nutrition labels for the food you buy, the term “total carbohydrate” refers to all three of these types. And as you begin counting carbohydrates, you’ll want to stay away from food that has high carbs and instead choose a more balanced nutrient mix of carbs, protein, and fat.