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What Is the TLC Diet for Diabetes? continued...

TLC involves a cholesterol-lowering diet, losing extra weight, and becoming more active. That helps lower your risk of getting heart disease, which is more common in people with diabetes.

The TLC diet calls for the following:

  • Limit fat to 25%-35% of total calories eaten per day.
  • Get no more than 7% of your daily calories from saturated fat, 10% or less from polyunsaturated fats, and up to 20% from monounsaturated fats (like plant oils or nuts).
  • Devote 50% to 60% of your daily calories from carbs.
  • Aim for 20-30 grams of fiber per day.
  • Protein should account for about 15%-20% of total calories eaten per day.
  • Cap cholesterol at less than 200 milligrams per day.

It's also key for you to get more exercise and keep up with your medical treatment.

Sugar and Diabetes

You might have heard that people with diabetes shouldn't have any table sugar. While some health care professionals say that, others take a more forgiving view.

Most experts now say that small amounts of sugar are fine, as long as they're part of an overall healthy meal plan. Table sugar does not raise your blood sugar any more than starches do, which are found in many foods.

Remember that sugar is a carb. Substitute, don't add: When you eat a sugary food, such as cookies, cake, or candy, substitute them for another carb or starch (for example, potatoes) that you would have eaten that day.

Make sure you account for this in your carbohydrate budget for the day. Readjust your medications if you do add sugars to your meals. If you take insulin, adjust your insulin dose for the added carbohydrates so you can maintain blood sugar control as much as possible. Check your blood sugar after eating sugary foods.

Read food labels so you know how much sugar or carbohydrates are in the things you eat. Also, check on how many calories and how much fat are in a serving.

Ultimately, the total grams of carbohydrates matters more than the source of the sugar.

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