Frequently Asked Questions About Diabetes

Now that I have diabetes, what can I eat?

Meal planning is an essential component to managing diabetes. Most people believe that once diagnosed with diabetes they have to eat a special diet. That is a myth. Eating a variety of heart healthy foods in moderation will aide to successful diabetes control.

It is also important to know which types of foods turn into sugar (carbohydrates) when digested so that they may be limited. Healthy eating, as well as exercising, blood sugar monitoring and taking diabetes medications (if needed), is important to maintaiN blood sugar control. Please make an appointment with a Diabetes Educator for assistance with an individualized meal plan. Listed below are a few tips to get started with successful meal planning.

  • Eat three balanced meals daily or six small meals
  • Eliminate sweetened beverages. Drink water or sugar free drinks
  • Eat a variety of foods from all food groups (grains/starch, vegetables, milk, meat, and oils/fats) for a well balanced meal
  • Eat moderate portionS of foods using the plate method by filling half the plate with green leafy, yellow vegetables (non-starchy), one quarter plate with a serving of protein and the remaining quarter plate with a starch (carbohydrate)
  • Eat at the table with friends and not alone with the television
  • Try not to eat late in the evening
  • Limit snacks between meals
  • Eat at home most times

If I go on insulin, will I ever go off of needles/shots?

Some doctors will prescribe insulin temporarily when you are initially diagnosed until your blood glucose is in better control (when your updated A1C is obtained). Diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes will also help you to lower (or in some cases discontinue) your insulin regimen.

I don't want to go on insulin. My grandmother and brother did and that’s when all their complications started. Insulin shots seem to complicate matters. Is this true?

When you have well controlled diabetes, your chances of having long-term complications are significantly decreased.Insulin lowers high blood glucose and therefore may be beneficial in diabetes management and preventing long-term complications.

Is it true that I can never eat sugar or sweets again now that I have been diagnosed with diabetes?

A diabetic meal plan is nothing different than a healthy, well balanced meal plan. Sweets and desserts can be incorporated into a diabetes meal plan insmall amounts. There are no "off limit" foods when it comes to managing your diabetes. Moderation is key.  

Quick Reference

Joslin Diabetes Center

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Last Updated: 04-14-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.