Diabetes diet: food to regulate blood glucose

The diabetes diet is a plan that aims to better control the disease, avoiding complications for people with diabetes , as well as improving the nutritional quality of meals.

Those who live with diabetes know that it is often difficult to keep it well regulated. This is because several factors can interfere with glycemia, which is the level of blood sugar. The stress , medication use, physical inactivity, but especially food are factors that deserve attention and care in routine.

Many people also think that people with diabetes have to stay away from sweets and pasta. That is, after the diagnosis, the food has to be very regulated and there is not even room for a birthday brigadeiro.

But in reality, the secret lies in moderation and common sense. Of course, some conditions of diabetes need more strict monitoring, especially if blood glucose is decompensated.

The guidelines also depend on the doctor who accompanies the condition, as each patient needs individualized assistance. But some tips are for people with diabetes to have an adequate diet for the disease without losing their pleasure at the table!

What is a diabetes diet?

The diabetes diet is one designed for the nutritional needs of each person with the disease, but with special attention to glycemic control. The goal is to put together a menu that maintains the flavor and variety, always bringing the pleasure of eating.

In other words, the diabetes diet, as well as all food, should not be difficult to follow, it should not demotivate people or make meals more expensive.

The main focus of planning is to combine the person’s eating habits with new needs, reducing blood glucose spikes, helping with glycemic control and placing more healthy options.

In general, the diet should consist of a good intake of vitamins , minerals, proteins and fibers. For this, some tips, along with specialized nutritional guidance, can help:

Look at the nutritional table

In general, some people tend to switch all foods to diet or zero sugar versions. At first it may be the most suitable option, but it is always good to keep an eye on the nutritional table. Many products of this type contain little difference in the amount of carbohydrates and sugars when compared to normal versions.

They are usually more expensive products and may even have more sodium or dyes than traditional versions. So it is worth looking at the label.

Change the sugar

The sweetener is better than refined sugar for glycemic control. Since it does not affect blood glucose, it can be used to sweeten drinks and food by reducing the amount of carbohydrates in the food.

Those who do not want to use artificial ones can opt for natural sweeteners or even adapt the palate to non-sweet drinks.

Insert protein and fiber

It is not always possible to exchange all products for full versions or opt for snacks with low carbohydrates. Tapioca or white bread, for example, can continue to be part of meals, just balance the portion. A good way to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates in these foods is to include sources of protein or fiber.

Thus, a slice of white cheese, turkey breast, a glass of skimmed milk or inserting flaxseed flour in the preparation is enough for the glycemic index of the meal to be lower.

What can’t a diabetic eat?

In general, there is no prohibited food, but there are certain cautions when choosing. Some products high in sugar, with high glycemic load and low in nutrients should be avoided. In such cases, smart changes or combinations can be made that improve digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes.

If there is any prohibited food, it is the medical and nutritional team that must indicate to the person with diabetes. But in general, the items that should be eaten in moderation are:

  • Sugar-rich drinks;
  • Fruit juices with a high glycemic load (orange, for example);
  • Candies and lollipops;
  • White rice;
  • White flour;
  • Refined sugar;
  • Pizza;
  • Fruits in syrups;
  • Cheese bread.

Gestational diabetes diet: or what to eat?

A diet for gestational diabetes should follow the same premises as a good diet. That is, the pregnant woman who needs to maintain or lower glycemic rates should include good nutritional sources, rich in fiber and with less amount of carbohydrates.

The guidance of the American Diabetes Association suggests that mothers with gestational diabetes eat 3 moderate meals a day, alternating them with 2 or 4 small snacks. This helps to keep hunger at bay, the body well nourished and reduces blood sugar spikes.

Not taking care of the food and not having an obstetric follow-up can cause risks to the pregnancy and to the health of the woman. For example, causing an early delivery or, after delivery, triggering type 2 diabetes in women.

What are the fruits that people with diabetes should avoid?

In moderation, all fruits can be part of the diet. However, some that should be eaten in moderation include bananas , oranges, apples, watermelons , pears and lychees , for example.

The ideal is to always talk to nutrition and endocrinology professionals. Thus, with specialized guidance, it is possible to know how the blood glucose reacts to each food, adjusting the diet and medications.

This allows choosing foods with more variety, preferably adopting nutritious meals, sources of vitamins and minerals.


Setting up a diet for those who have diabetes mellitus, be it type 1, type 2 or gestational should always be done by a nutritionist. It is very important that the food choices are adequate to the needs of each patient, offering all the essential nutrients to the body.

It is also important that meals are pleasurable and generate satisfaction when eating.

Therefore, that story that those who have diabetes will never eat any sweets again is a lie. Moderation and a healthy routine allow patients to make smart choices, with food pleasure and without impairing blood glucose.

Want to know more about diabetes or nutrition? Read the Healthy Minute!

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