How to Eat When You Have Diabetes

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When a person has diabetes, they should limit the amount of sweets being eaten, healthy carbohydrates should be a part of the diet, and alcohol intake should be limited. Eat several small meals a day and avoid skipping meals as a diabetic with advice from a family nurse practitioner in this free video on diabetes diets.

Part of the Video Series: Diabetes Symptoms & Treatments
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Video Transcript

You may be wondering how do I eat if I have diabetes. Hi I am Amy Bull, Professor and Family Nurse Practitioner at Vanderbilt University. There are some steps for healthy eating when you are a diabetic. First limit your sweets. It doesn't mean you can't have any sugar in your diet or that you can never have sweets again but you definitely need to limit the sweets that you eat. Second make sure you are eating healthy carbohydrates. Let's back up for a second. What is a carbohydrate? A carbohydrate is usually a sugar or a fruit, a vegetable but there are healthy carbohydrates. Healthy carbohydrates are your complex carbohydrates such as whole grains or vegetables that aren't starchy vegetables. Starchy vegetables are things like corn and potatoes and those have to be limited in the diet because they effect your blood sugar. Instead you want to choose things like beans or peas as a healthy carbohydrate. You also need to limit your intake of alcohol which raises your blood sugar and provides only empty calories. If you are a diabetic you should eat several times a day. Most diabetics eat three meals a day plus snacks. Now you can't eat meals like most people eat meals. You need to eat smaller meals, smaller portions that you need to eat frequently. You can't skip meals if you are a diabetic because your blood sugar can drop dangerously low so you need to eat healthy meals, frequently, limit your sugars, limit your alcohol and choose healthy carbohydrates. When you're choosing foods to eat on a daily basis make sure that you limit the amount of fat that you have in your diet. There is a lot of information that is available from the Center for Disease Control and from the American Diabetic Association on healthy eating. Diabetics actually have their own food pyramid which is a good visual representation of how you should eat.

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