What is a good diabetic diet?

Jake Levinthal
By Jake Levinthal Latest Reply 2012-05-08 13:38:44 -0500
Started 2012-05-03 14:37:04 -0500

Hi. I have heard from some of my diabetic friends that I should try to have between 5 to 6 meals a day, instead of having 3 larger meals a day. I just choose to do these 3 meals a day because I want to be able to eat with other people. My friends that do 5 to 6 meals usually eat by themselves and if they do go out, I feel like they seem left out since they are not really eating anything.
Any advice on the difference between 6 meals vs 3 meals?
And if I change to 3 meals how to deal with eating out?
Thank you for your help.

6 replies

JSJB 2012-05-06 14:43:45 -0500 Report

I eat 3 meals a day with a snack inbetween. I watch my carbs and make sure the portions are sufficient for me not too big not too small so I will be hungry later. If you are constantly hungry I guess 6 meals is ok as long as you do not over do it at each meal. Jayabee said it better than me. Read his posts, I am only at this for 6 months but carb counting for over 30 yrs.

Melode 2012-05-03 17:24:35 -0500 Report

Hey Jake,

I think you just need to find a diet that fits your life well and when you go out you really do not have to worry about what your friends think. There your friends silly. They are there to support you. Just be sure to be very conscious of everything you eat and everything should be fine.

jayabee52 2012-05-03 15:38:34 -0500 Report

The theory behing the 6 meals is to keep your Blood Glucose (BG) levels from rising and to avoid lows by keeping food in one's tummy almost at all times.

Really what IS important rather than the timing or spacing of the meals is more the total carbohydrates consumed during the day.

For a guy eating 3 meals per day he should limit his carbs to 60 grams of carbs per meal. 180 gm per day,

(actually you ought to consult with your Dr or Registered Dietician or Certified Diabetes educator to find what would be optimal amount of carbs for you per meal)

If you have 6 meals per day you would divide the 180 gm by the number of meals you wish to eat.

Of course this takes for granted that all those carb gms will be complex carbs and not simple carbs like white bread, potatoes, rice, ect.

Eating out? You can ask the wait staff for how the food is prepped and also how many grams of carbs it contains. Now that folks are more health conscious, eateries often have that kind of information readily available.

Caroltoo 2012-05-03 15:25:12 -0500 Report

Jake, I find it to be an issue of quantity and food choices. I do follow the 5-6 meals/day plan as is recommended, but my format is usually 3 small meals and 2-3 snacks, so that my total calories/carbohydrates are equal to an average person's 3 meal intake. This helps to keep my BGs stable within a fairly narrow range all day long.

I deal with eating out by selecting foods that are on my list of food choices and taking about 1/3 of the meal home or back to the office for a snack later. People may think I ate a light lunch, but it doesn't go any further than that except that I make a healthy for me choice of a piece of meat, chicken, or fish (unbreaded), salad, and iced tea with lemon and I do skip the bread, crackers, and croutons. Those choices don't really stick out as DIFFERENT; no need to eat by yourself.

I eat lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, and seafood; all vegetables except potatoes, corn, and peas; nuts, seeds, quinoa, chia; MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) like avocados, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, olives, etc; and

I don't drink juice because it is concentrated fructose with no fiber and spikes my BGs; don't eat white potatoes, rice, bread, and sugar. Because I have found my diabetes is amplified by the irritations of gluten intolerance, as are many of us, I also avoid all wheat, barley, and rye. Now that I am back to normal BGs and A1c, I do allow myself occasional corn (tortilla and corn-on-the-cob) and red potatoes.

Balsamic vinegar used as salad dressing, apple cider vinegar in water in the morning, juice of a lemon in water with meals and snacks will also help to keep your BGs down. Some of us also take up to 2T of aloe vera juice (organic and inner leaf varieties) in water. It is also stabilizing.