In-Home Diabetes Care: Make Good Food Choices

In-Home Diabetes Care: Make Good Food Choices

In-Home Diabetes Care: Make Good Food Choices

Lee esto en EspañolManaging your diabetes can seem like a full-time job. There are so many things that affect your blood sugar level. What you eat, the number of hours you sleep, how active you are — even stress — all have an impact.

You can’t always control all of these factors, but you can control what you eat. Here are ways to get started. 

Read Food Labels

One of the most important things you can do is be aware of what you are eating. Read food labels as you shop, then choose wisely. The more you know about what’s in the food you eat, the simpler it is to make choices that will keep your blood sugar in the recommended range. 

Choose The Right Carbs 

Carbohydrates are a nutrient found in many kinds of food. The American Diabetes Association explains not all carbs are the sameleaving site icon There are actually three types carbohydrates: starches, sugar and fiber. Carbs that are full of fiber help keep you blood sugar stable. Low-fiber carbs can quickly raise blood sugar. 

Examples of low fiber carbs (raise blood sugar):

  • White rice
  • Potatoes
  • Regular pasta
  • White bread
  • Instant oatmeal

Examples of high fiber carbs (keep blood sugar stable):

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Whole grain bread
  • Steel-cut oats
Stay Away from Sugary Beverages

Avoid any foods or drinks that will cause a spike in your blood sugar. Sugary drinks like soda and sweetened fruit drinks fall in this group. There isn’t much in them other than sugar. Without fiber, there isn’t anything to slow the rush of sugar into your system. Instead, sugary drinks cause an immediate spike in blood sugar. The only time to consider having one is if your blood sugar is very low and you need to bring it up quickly. 

When Diet Isn't Enough

If eating healthily isn’t enough to control your blood sugar, your health care provider may prescribe medication — either pills or shots. It’s important to know how and when to take your medicine — especially how to time it with eating.

Taking your medication at the wrong time could trigger serious high or low blood sugar. Work with your health care provider and diabetes care team to create a schedule that coordinates your food and medications.

The American Diabetes Association website leaving site icon is a great resource for more information about managing diabetes.

Sources:  Type 2 Diabetes: Overview,  leaving site icon Mayo Clinic, 2023; Reading Food Labels: Tips if You Have Diabetes, leaving site icon Augusta Health, Mayo Clinic Health Information Library, 2023; Understanding Carbs,  leaving site icon American Diabetes Association; Diabetes Management: How Lifestyle, Daily Routine Affect Blood Sugar,  leaving site icon Mayo Clinic, 2022
Important Plan Information

Originally published 8/16/2019; Revised 2021, 2024