Skip to content
This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff and is brought to you by Janssen Biotech, Inc.

Despite what you may have heard, there is no single "diabetes diet." The same healthy foods that are good for you are good for everyone else.

With diabetes, though, you have to carefully track how many carbohydrates you get each day. Carbs have more impact on blood sugar than fats or protein. (Still, most people with diabetes also have to watch how much fat and protein they get, too.)

Make smart food choices to help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Ask your doctor, a registered dietitian, or a diabetes educator for advice on exactly what you need.

Diabetes and Glycemic Index

The glycemic index ranks how different foods affect blood sugar levels.  

Foods that are low on the glycemic index have less impact on blood sugar after meals than foods that are high on the index.

Ask your doctor, dietitian, or a diabetes educator if using this system might help you gain better control of your blood sugar levels.

Eating Right With Diabetes

Don't get stuck in a rut. Choose foods of different colors. That's an easy way to make sure you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and lean protein.  

Watch your calories. Your age, gender, and activity level affect how many calories you need to gain, lose, or maintain your weight.

Go for fiber. You get fiber from plant foods: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. Studies suggest that people with type 2 diabetes who eat a high-fiber diet can improve their blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Serving Sizes and Diabetes

Be sure to eat only the amount of food in your diabetes meal plan. Extra calories lead to extra fat and pounds.

In people with type 2 diabetes, extra fat means your body doesn’t respond as well to insulin.

Do not skip meals. Eat meals and snacks at regular times every day. If you're taking a diabetes drug, eat your meals and take your medicine at the same times each day.

What Is the TLC Diet for Diabetes?

If you have high cholesterol as well as diabetes, your doctor will probably recommend the TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) plan.

Slideshow

man organizing pills

Essential Tips

Everyday ways to keep your condition in check.