What is the ideal diabetic diet?

Hey everyone, I never really realized it but this is the first time I've had total control over my diet. Being a child when I was diagnosed, I was never really taught what a diabetics diet should consist of to maintain optimal health and prevent complications. So what is the best "diabetic diet"? 

I think this differs for each of us! I know different doctors say different things to. As yo get older and more independent you will have to try things and see what works best for you and your diabetes.

Beth Brown

We've been told that if you are an active learner and use your brain a fair bit that you need about 100g of CHO each day in your diet.

Now, personally, as someone's who's concerned with their weight, we factor in two other things: based on my excercise/level of activity I try to take in about 3500 calories a day, and no more than 25% of those calories from fat.

We try to operate the same rules for Beemer (100g CHO/25% fat cals).  It's tough getting full without the sugar and fat, but we've found that we're waaaaaay healthier and it doesn't really cost much more once you get into it.

The one trap we fell into was that we weren't getting enough protein and potassium, but we're finding ways to get that in now, too, and trying to get it through foods instead of vitamins.

Like Beth said, it's all personal.  What I said above isn't necessarily a diabetic diet, it's just what works for our family.  Because it's not totally restrictive (some days we hit 200g CHO) we enjoy a good balance and mix of foods, but because of the good overall target we find we keep pretty well.

Hth.  Cheers!

Hmm that's very interesting, when my mind gets going I usually drop suddenly. Thank you for the info 

Actually, I think you're supposed to consume at least 130 grams of carbohydrates a day since this is the minimum amount of glucose utilized by the brain.  However, choose your carbs wisely since you want to intake sufficient amounts of your essential nutrients.  If you happen to be involved in sports, than you should eat more carbs than that (of course that depends on the type of sport, your fitness level, etc.), but the magic number for an average peron seems to be that carbs should take about 45-65 percent of your daily diet.

In general, the right diet seems to be plenty of fruits and veggies, whole grains, fish (for Omega-3's!!!), restrict yourself from sweets as much as you can, and as a diabetic, personally drinking juice is like asking myself to get high so I can't even remember the last time I even drank juice.  I don't think I have a perfect diet, but I try to eat as healthy as possible with the occasional fast food every now and then.  I guess as long as you keep portion control as your main concern, than you can pretty much eat anything you want without much concern.

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Hey Everybody,

I'm Ginger Vieira, from www.diabeteens.com, and am a personal trainer, yoga instructor and study nutritional sciences/nutritional biochemistry.

Ruth, in reference to the "130 grams of carbs" for your brain functions, you can actually use protein and fats as fuel for your brain, too, which means you'd need less insulin.

If you have a chance, check out a couple interviews my trainer and I have done about healthy diet plans, weight steps and how carbohydrates function in the body.


What am I supposed to eat?

Carbohydrates & Diabetes

Weight loss & Diabetes

Weight loss Quiz

Carbohydrate Quiz

Carbohydrate Quiz II


I hope this helps. There is a lot of conflicting info out there, but the American Diabetes Association has agreed that a low-carb diet (less than 75 grams to start with, you could eat even as low as 30-50 grams if you're getting enough nutrients from other foods).


Ginger Vieira

hmm thanks guys this is good information. I think avoiding juice is a good idea ruth, I never do, just bolus for it, but I'm pretty sure it sends me into a temporary high blood sugar. Thanks for all the links Ginger I'll check them out.