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Healthy Eating is Important for Diabetes Management and Glucose Control

While eating healthy is key to keeping blood sugars in your target range, it's also one of the most difficult parts of diabetes management.  Our diabetes educators and behavioral health specialists are here to help!

  • A registered dietitian or nutritionist can help you create a meal plan to support your personal goals & health needs  
  • In addition to achieving your target weight, healthy eating also helps to manage blood sugars
  • Begin to develop positive habits by first eating less of the foods that are not good for your body, and more of the foods that are
  • Balance nutrition & taste with portion control


Heart Healthy Meal Planning Workshop 

Changing what and how much you eat can make a big difference in your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  This workshop will help you to identify good vs bad fats, read nutrition labels and more.

Basic Carbohydrate Counting Workshop 

This workshop provides tools for counting carbs 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 Carbohydrate Counting Workshop 

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

How to register for a diabetes education workshop 

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 for a referral. 
For more information email
or call (508) 334-3206. 

Ideal way to fill your healthy 9" plate

Non-starchy vegetables and salad should fill ½ of your plate

Vegetables are a wonderful source of vitamins and nutrients.  Choose fresh or steamed veggies, because fried vegetables do not have a high nutritional value.  

Protein should fill ¼ of your plate

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

OK sources of protein include beef, lamb and pork.

Avoid fried chicken, sausages, cheeseburgers, pizza, regular bacon and regular cheeses.

* Protein portions should be no larger than the size of a deck of cards.

* Sauces such as barbeque, teriyaki and others contain carbohydrates and are also high in sugar.

Grains and starchy vegetables should fill ¼ of your plate

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.

OK carbs include granola bars, corn chips, pumpernickel or oat bread.

Avoid bagels, french 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.


Choose drinks that are low in sugar or sugar-free as a way to help control your blood glucose (blood sugar).  Avoid orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice or boxed juices. 

* Be aware that milk and all fruit juices (even 100% juice) contain carbohydrates.


Carb Counting

Carbohydrate counting is a meal planning tool for people living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes 

Zimbabwe Hand Jive

Try this simple measuring method