Diabetes Self-Management Articles

These articles cover a wide range of subjects, from the most basic aspects of diabetes care to the nitty-gritty specifics.

Links not loading properly?

Some of our pages use Portable Document Format (PDF) files, which require Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download Acrobat Reader for free, visit www.adobe.com.

Sign up for our weekly e-mail newsletter and receive a FREE GIFT! Enter your e-mail below.

Learn more

Learn more about diabetes

Links to help you learn more about diabetes.

Ask a diabetes expert
Other diabetes resources
Browse article topics


Steak or Potatoes?
Choosing the Macronutrient Composition of Your Diet

by Marie Spano, MS, RD, and Chad Kerksick, PhD, CSCS*D, ATC, NSCA-CPT*D

  • Consuming at least 14 grams of dietary fiber per 1,000 calories per day
  • Making half of grain choices whole grains
  • Consuming low-glycemic foods that are rich in fiber and other nutrients (The glycemic index is a measure of how a food affects blood glucose levels following meals. Foods with a low glycemic index raise blood glucose levels less or more slowly than foods with a high glycemic index.)

For managing diabetes, the ADA offers the following recommendations regarding the various macronutrients:

Carbohydrate. Consumption of carbohydrate-containing foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat milk is encouraged. Consuming less than 130 grams of carbohydrate per day is not recommended for diabetes management. Counting the total amount of carbohydrate consumed is recommended for blood glucose control; choosing foods with a low glycemic index may provide additional benefit in controlling blood glucose. Eating a variety of fiber-containing foods is recommended.

Protein. There’s no reason for people who have diabetes and normal kidney function to consume other than the usual protein intake of most Americans, which is 15% to 20% of total daily calories. High-protein diets are not recommended for weight loss because their long-term effects are unknown.

Fat. Saturated fat should be limited to less than 7% of total calories, and intake of trans fat should be minimized. Two or more servings of fish per week are recommended to provide omega-3 fatty acids.

Cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol should be limited to less than 200 milligrams per day.

Joslin guideline
The goals of the Joslin Diabetes Center guideline for overweight and obese adults with Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes are basically the same as the ADA’s goals: improve cardiovascular health, control blood glucose levels, and reduce body fat. However, unlike the ADA, they do recommend a particular distribution of macronutrients. Specifics of the Joslin guideline are as follows:

Carbohydrate. About 40% of calories should come from carbohydrate. Like the ADA, however, Joslin recommends consuming no less than 130 grams of carbohydrate per day, which means that people with very low calorie intakes may end up getting slightly more than 40% of their calories from carbohydrate.

The Joslin guideline states that when choosing carbohydrate-containing foods, preference should given to foods with a low glycemic index. Recommended carbohydrate foods include fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole or minimally refined grains. At least 20–35 grams of fiber should be consumed daily.

Protein. About 20% to 30% of calories should come from protein, unless a person has any signs of kidney disease, such as the presence of protein in his urine. (People with diabetes are generally advised to have a microalbuminuria test once a year to check for this.) Recommended protein sources are fish, skinless chicken or turkey, nonfat or low-fat dairy products, legumes (dried beans and peas), tofu, tempeh (a soy product), and seitan (wheat gluten).

Fat. About 30% to 35% of calories should come from fat, primarily monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fat should be limited to less than 10% of calories or less than 7% in people with LDL cholesterol over 100 mg/dl. Recommended fat sources include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish such as salmon.

Cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol should be limited to less than 300 milligrams a day or less than 200 milligrams in people with LDL cholesterol over 100 mg/dl.

Page    1    2    3    4    5    Show All    

Also in this article:
Menu Comparison



More articles on Nutrition & Meal Planning



Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.



Pasta: To Eat, or Not to Eat?
One of my favorite foods is pasta. I think I could eat pasta every day and never tire of it.... Blog

Healthy…or Not? Ground Turkey and Veggie Chips
This week, we continue to look at so-called healthy foods that may not be as healthy as they... Blog

Gastric Bands Too Dangerous
Gastric banding is all the rage. Seems like everybody's banding. But how safe and how effective... Blog

Should I tell my doctor about the over-the-counter painkiller I've been using to treat headaches? Get tip