How to Eat Well With Diabetes

Healthy eating is one of the most important but most difficult aspect of managing your diabetes. 

  • Working with a registered dietitian (nutritionist) can help you create a meal plan that supports your goals and health needs  
  • In addition to reaching a healthy weight, eating healthy will also help you manage your blood glucose (blood sugar)
  • Changing your eating habits can start with eating less of the foods that are not good for your body, and more of the foods that are
  • Balance nutrition and taste with portion control

Education Workshops Available at UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence

Heart Healthy Meal Planning Workshop 

Changing what & how much you eat can make a big difference in your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.  This workshop will identify good vs bad fats, label reading for cholesterol and salt, and more.

Basic Carb Counting Workshop 

This workshop covers nutrition label reading, tools for carb counting and examples to help you plan consistent carbohydrate meals.  It will also help you to make educated healthy eating choices in a variety of settings.

Advanced Carb Counting Workshop 

This workshop helps you match insulin doses to carb intake and blood glucose levels.  It will allow you to get the most out of your carb ratios and sensitivity factors. 

How to Register for Our Diabetes Education Workshops

These monthly workshops are offered at the Ambulatory Care Center on the University Campus of UMass Memorial Health Care.  Ask your care team or diabetes educator about registering. 
For more information, contact:  

The ideal way to fill your 9" plate

Half should include non-starchy  vegetable and salads

Vegetables are a great source of vitamins and nutrients.  Fried vegetables, however do not have a high nutritional value.  Choose fresh or steamed veggies instead.

One quarter should include protein

Good sources of protein include lean meat (such as skinless chicken), fish & seafood, low fat or fat free cheeses, eggs, tofu and peanut butter (no sugar added)

OK sources of protein include beef, lamb & pork, ham and turkey bacon

Not so good choices include fried chicken, sausage, cheeseburger, pizza, regular bacon and regular cheeses

* Keep protein portions no larger than the size of a deck of cards

* Remember that barbeque and teriyaki sauces contain carbohydrates

One quarter should include carbohydrates in the form of grains and starchy vegetables

Whenever possible, choose higher fiber, whole grain or whole wheat breads, and pastas instead of white breads and pastas.  Brown rice is a healthier choice than white rice.  Other good starches include old fashioned & steel cut oats, quinoa, artichoke, sweet potatoes & yams, potatoes, corn, squash and pumpkin.

Carbs which are "OK" include granola bar, corn chips, pumpernickel or oat bread

Not so good choices include bagels, fries, tortillas or wraps, corn bread, muffins, pancakes, and couscous.  Sweetened breads and pastries are not healthy choices, and you should only eat them occasionally.


Whenever possible, choose drinks that are low in sugar or are sugar free.  To help control blood glucose (blood sugar), avoid orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice or boxed juices.  **Remember that milk and all fruit juice (even 100% juice) contain carbohydrates.