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

On the TLC diet, you will:

  • Limit fat to 25%-35% of total daily calories.
  • 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).
  • Keep carbs to 50% to 60% of your daily calories.
  • Aim for 20-30 grams of fiber per day.
  • Allow 15% to 20% of your daily calories for protein.
  • Cap cholesterol at less than 200 milligrams per day.

You’ll also need to get more exercise and keep up with your medical treatment.

Can You Have Sugar?

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

Make sure you account for this in your carbohydrate budget for the day. Adjust your medications if you add sugars to your meals. If you take insulin, tweak 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 carbs are in the things you eat and drink. Also, check on how many calories and how much fat are in a serving.


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