Hi Amy, I’m having an issue keeping my blood sugars down -- any where from 100 to 225. My diet is decent. By the way I’m type 2. I take actos+met 2 times a day. For breakfast I drink glucerna and I might have toast with peanut butter or a egg mcmuffin. Lunch is two small burgers and a diet coke. Dinner could be anything but I always have a small portion and never stuff myself. Can you give me some ideas of what I should be eating? I can't find anything on the web. Thanks, Jeff

Diet and meal planning play a key role in managing type 2 diabetes. It is important to understand the role that carbohydrates play in diet. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy; they can greatly impact blood sugar levels. A carbohydrate is a food that contains starch, sugar, and/or fiber. There are two types of carbohydrate: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are things like sugar, white bread, candy and desserts. They should be limited because they are digested quickly and cause a spike in blood sugar. Complex carbohydrates digest slowly and help keep blood sugar levels stable. Examples include: whole grain cereal and bread, brown rice, many fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes.

Planning meals ahead of time can help you to include a balance of nutrients in your diet. An essential part of meal planning is becoming familiar with portion sizes. All foods can be included into your diet, but limit “sinful” foods to a single portion and include healthy foods throughout the day. Try to include several of the food groups per meal. Fill the majority of your dinner plate with vegetables and add a lean meat and a complex carbohydrate source (brown rice, whole wheat pasta). To round out this balanced meal, add a glass of low fat milk with fresh fruit for dessert. Also, be aware that many beverages consumed during the day may be loaded with simple sugar. Choose Healthy Balance reduced sugar juice in place of soda or fruit-flavored drinks.

Since you choose toast occasionally in the morning, select whole grain bread and add peanut butter. The egg mcmuffin can be high in saturated fat and sodium—a better choice for breakfast would be an egg white omelet made with ham and choose a whole wheat English muffin. The small burger does include carbohydrates and protein, but it is limited in nutrients. If you have to get your lunch on the go, try a mixed vegetable garden salad topped with grilled chicken and low fat dressing, a small baked potato and a bottle of water. You may try packing your lunch. A turkey wrap made with a whole-wheat tortilla, hummus, and lettuce and tomato with a piece of fresh fruit is a healthy lunch. Continue to watch portion sizes for dinner—it is easy to consider one plate of pasta to be one serving, but in reality, it may be more like 3-4 servings. Finally, if you are hungry between meals, you may include a Glucerna as a “meal supplement”. You may also consider air popped popcorn, wheat crackers with hummus, or baked chips and salsa.

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