The Diabetes Diet: A Guide to Controlling Blood Sugar and Preventing Complications



The diabetes diet is simply a healthy-eating plan that will help you control your blood sugar. Here’s help getting started: 

  • Eat healthiest foods in moderate amounts and stick to regular mealtimes.
  • Pick food naturally rich in nutrients and low in unhealthy fat and calories. 
  • If you have diabetes or prediabetes, better food choices help you control blood sugar (glucose) levels, help you lose weight. 
  • When you eat extra calories, blood sugar will rise. If blood glucose is not controlled, it can lead to long-term complications including permanent nerve, kidney, and vision problems. 
  • For type 2 diabetes, weight loss also can make it easier to control blood glucose. 
  • A diabetes diet should include eating three (protein rich), smaller meals a day at regular times. A healthy high protein, low sugar and carbohydrate snack to help control eating large amounts of food at meals may be helpful. This helps you better use the insulin that your body produces or gets through medication.
  • Choose healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods, fish and “good” fats.

What is a Healthy carbohydrate? 

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains (minimize intake)
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese

Avoid less healthy carbohydrates: Do not consume soda. Do not consume food or condiments  containing high fructose corn syrup or generally are high in sugar. Minimize bread, pasta, white rice, candy, pastry, and in general processed meals such as most meals from take out and fast foods restaurants where food is ready to eat 10 minutes after ordering, and can be bought without having to leave your car. 

Fiber-rich foods keep you from feeling hungry

Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Fiber moderates how your body digests and helps control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include:

  • Vegetables & Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Legumes, such as beans and peas

FISH  Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may prevent heart disease. Minimize consuming large fish such as tuna more than twice weekly as the larger fish contain more mercury. 

Avoid fried fish. A fried fish sandwich at a fast food restaurant is no healthier than their burgers ! 

‘Good’ fats  – your brain needs fat to work well ! 

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Canola, olive and peanut oils

But don’t overdo it, as all fats are high in calories.

Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Decrease consuming the the food below: 

  • Less to none: Saturated fats. Avoid butter, beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon, coconut and palm kernel oils.
  • No: Trans fats. Avoid trans fats found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening and stick margarines.
  • Less: Cholesterol. Cholesterol sources include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.
  • Less Sodium (salt). Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. Your doctor may suggest you aim for even less if you have high blood pressure.Better to add Himalayan salt as it does not appear to increase blood pressure. 

Healthy-eating is the best way to keep your blood glucose level under control and prevent diabetes complications. And if you need to lose weight, you can tailor it to your specific goals.

I was recently asked a question by a new patient I was seeing. He was concerned with dizziness and blurry vision. My question: When did he have the last physical exam and blood work? 


My answer: 

“Well, that’s a very good question !  I replied. “Your blood pressure is dangerously high today, and likely has been very high for many years. The dizziness and blurred vision may be caused by your high blood pressure and possible high cholesterol. Today’s testing with me indicates you may have already had a small stroke and recent heart attack! so you need to get a head scan and more cardiac testing as soon as possible.”

Why do I tell you this story?  Despite there are often physical  hints indicating your blood pressure, blood sugar,  and cholesterol are very high, many adults find out the hard way – by having your first heart attack or stroke !  

Albert Luongo, MS, PA, MBA, DMSc

Luongo Medical Care (LMC) 90 Morgan Street #203, Stamford, CT 06905, 203-461-4767

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