January 14th, 2011
03:59 PM ET

What should I eat if I have diabetes?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Friday, it's Dr. Melina Jampolis, a physician nutrition specialist.

Question asked by Barbara Ray of Las Vegas, Nevada

I am type 2 diabetic trying to create a daily diet, and snacks, food program that I can use to prevent getting the terrible sick feeling that comes when my sugar goes too low. I would like to store these foods and snacks in my home so that I can reach them when necessary. Please name the foods, and snacks, as well as the proper times to consume them. Also when is the time to take Metformin even if your readings are regular and you feel OK? Thank you for your answer to these questions.

Expert answer

Hi, Barbara. To prevent hypoglycemia and to minimize the complications associated with diabetes including heart disease, kidney disease, eye problems and infection, it is important to keep blood sugar levels as steady as possible throughout the day. To accomplish this, I recommend trying to combine some type of lean protein (skinless chicken, fish, turkey, lean ground beef, beans, egg whites, low-fat cottage cheese or yogurt) or healthy fat (olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds, avocado) with a healthy carbohydrate with each meal or snack.

Make sure to choose healthy, low-sugar, antioxidant-rich carbohydrates like whole grains (brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, cereal, crackers, quinoa, barley), whole fruit (not juice or dried fruit) and vegetables. These types of carbohydrates are generally low-glycemic, which means they increase blood sugar less rapidly than highly processed, refined, sugar-filled carbohydrates. Naturally high-fiber foods are always a good choice as they slow the emptying of food from your stomach, which helps improve blood sugar control. By preventing spikes in blood sugar, you can also prevent the crashes that follow.

It is also important to try to eat regularly throughout the day. Try not to let more than four hours go by without having either a meal or snack, to prevent blood sugar from getting too low. And do your best to eat within 30 minutes or so of waking up.

How well are you managing your diabetes? Take this test

Since you talk about storing foods in your home, I'm going to give you some of the best canned and frozen choices, although fresh is always a great choice if you have the option. Here are some staples to keep on hand:

1. Nuts: Nuts (both peanuts, which are actually legumes, and nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, etc.) contain healthy fats, fiber and heart-healthy plant-based protein. They make great snacks alone or with a piece of fruit or can be thrown on a salad or into yogurt for added crunch and nutrition.

2. Beans: These are also excellent sources of fiber and plant-based protein. Drain and rinse canned beans to decrease salt content. Beans work great in soups and chili, on salads or as a healthy side dish. I'm a big fan of bean-based soups like minestrone, vegetable or lentil as a healthy lunch or pre-dinner appetizer.

3. Frozen vegetables: I always have lots of frozen vegetables on hand for healthy side dishes. Try seasoning with a little olive oil (healthy fat) and spices instead of salt for extra flavor.

4. Canned tuna and chicken (water-packed and low-sodium when available): These provide a quick and healthy lunch or dinner option. Mix with mustard or a little olive oil-based spread and serve on whole-grain bread or in a whole-wheat pita pocket (both of which you could freeze to have extra on hand)

5. Frozen fruit: I'm a big fan of frozen berries, which are loaded with antioxidants (important to decrease the complications of diabetes) and fiber. I use them to make smoothies for breakfast (with plain non-fat yogurt or protein powder and one or two tablespoons of ground flax seed for healthy fat), and sometimes I defrost them and top with a little light whipped topping or low-fat vanilla yogurt for a healthy and tasty dessert.

Regarding your Metformin, you should talk to your doctor regarding the best time to take it, as it depends on the type of pill you are taking. In general, however, Metformin should not cause low blood sugar episodes and should be taken with meals.

Ask experts a question

soundoff (867 Responses)
  1. RV Furnace Repair Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. SEO Marketing Consultants

    You made some decent points there. I checked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.


    June 22, 2021 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. podcast rankings

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your blog.


    June 22, 2021 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Internet Marketing Agencies Near Me


    June 22, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Larbiubk

    individuals highlight pitfalls of online dating

    Follow CNNStory highlightsDating websites may warp a person's outlook and expectations, According to a new reviewOne of the weaknesses of online dating sites is an over reliance on "pages"The abundance of profiles online also may make daters too picky and judgmentalThanks to the spreading of online dating, Would be couples are now almost as intending to meet via email or a virtual "wink" As they are through colleagues.on the inside 1992, When online was still in its infancy, Less than 1 percent of Americans met their partners through personal ads or internet dating services. written by 2009, 22 percent of heterosexual couples and 61% of same sex couples experienced meeting online, One customer survey found. But that can have a downside. According to a new review of online dating written by a team of specialists from around the country, Dating websites may warp a person's outlook and expectations in ways that can actually lower the likelihood of building a successful relationship. It allows people access to potential partners they otherwise would not have, shows Eli J. "but nevertheless, Specific things the online dating site industry does weaken some of its greatness,One of the weaknesses of online dating is an over reliance on "outlines, the study say.That's partly because daters don't always know what they want in a mate even though they generally think they do. Studies declare that people often lack insight into what attracts them to others (exactly why), And therefore the characteristics they seek out in an online profile may be quite different from those that will create a connection in person, The analysis notes. The sheer number of options can be overwhelming, And the ease with which people can sift through profiles and click on to the next may lead them to "Objectify" great partners and compare them like so many pairs of shoes.connecting via email or instant message before meeting in person doesn't always cure this problem. Some online communicating is a good thing, the researchers say, But too much of it can skew prospects and ultimately sabotage a match. People tend to read too much mingle2.com into emails and other online interactions, Which increases the potential for misunderstandings and disappointment, They show you. They weren't able to find a single rigorous study showing the effectiveness of the algorithms, And other research suggests it's extremely hard to predict the likelihood that a relationship will succeed before two people meet.To make matters worse, Finkel and his acquaintances say, These algorithm based services may encourage a disadvantageous "success" Mindset that prizes initial compatibility over other factors that are important to the long term health of a relationship, much like the social and economic support individuals offer each other, Or their ability to cope with stressful life events,Certain sites promise a little more than they can deliver, And by inducing people to find that perfect soul mate, They could actually be undermining the very thing Most really wish, Reis informs me.None of this occurence, although, Means that online dating site isn't a good way to meet people. The review stresses that websites are a valuable resource for daters as long as a person doesn't put too much stock in the profiles or internet dating claims.Finkel, at one, Advises online daters to identify promising partners and move the conversation off line without delay,Don't assume that more time spent browsing profiles is going to improve the odds of finding someone who is really compatible, he admits that. "Be as quick and haphazard as you want with that process, Because it's not pointed,rather than poring over more profiles and comparing height, extra, occupation, And amuse, Send a note to a possible date suggesting you meet for coffee or lunch (In a criminal place), And use that time to get to know the other person, Reis expresses,Don't focus on evaluating the face, according to him. "Can you laugh with that individual? Can you feel simpatico with that person,As Finkel puts it, "There's probably never going to be an alternative to getting two minutes from another person across a cup of coffee.

    June 23, 2021 at 03:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Content Marketing Firms


    June 23, 2021 at 05:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RV Collision Repair Near Me

    Good site you have got here.. Itís hard to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!


    June 23, 2021 at 08:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 파워볼사이트

    Hi colleagues, its great post concerning tutoringand completely defined, keep
    it up all the time.

    June 23, 2021 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Maeve Mejia

    Great line up. We will be linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    June 23, 2021 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Engine Repair Near Me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this website. I am hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own website now 😉


    June 23, 2021 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Services Near Me

    There's definately a lot to learn about this subject. I like all the points you've made.


    June 23, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV And Camper Repair Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Water Repair Man Near Me

    May I simply say what a relief to uncover a person that truly understands what they are talking about on the internet. You actually understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people really need to check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you're not more popular because you definitely have the gift.


    June 23, 2021 at 17:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Social Media Marketing Services Near Me

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to write more on this topic, it may not be a taboo matter but usually folks don't talk about such subjects. To the next! Best wishes!!


    June 23, 2021 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Water Repair Man Near Me


    June 23, 2021 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. freeelotto.com

    I do consider all of the ideas you have introduced to your post.
    They're really convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the
    posts are too quick for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

    June 23, 2021 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    There is definately a lot to learn about this topic. I really like all of the points you've made.


    June 23, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Internet Marketing Services

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve been to this site before but after going through many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím certainly pleased I found it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back often!


    June 24, 2021 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Internet Marketing Company Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 03:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Air Conditioning Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 05:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Content Marketing Companies


    June 24, 2021 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Best RV Repair Near Me

    I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!


    June 24, 2021 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. vietnamese food near me

    Howdy! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you've got here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.


    June 24, 2021 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Best RV Repair Shop Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. colleges near me

    I really like it whenever people come together and share opinions. Great website, stick with it!


    June 24, 2021 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Nearby


    June 24, 2021 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair Services Near Me

    I seriously love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím hoping to create my very own site and want to know where you got this from or what the theme is named. Many thanks!


    June 24, 2021 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Service And Repair Near Me


    June 24, 2021 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Camper Repair Places Near Me

    Hello there! This blog post couldnít be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I'll forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


    June 24, 2021 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair Garden Grove

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 25, 2021 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having issues with your RSS. I donít know why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting identical RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    June 25, 2021 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repairs Nearby


    June 25, 2021 at 05:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Parts And Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Emergency RV Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 06:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Parts And Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 09:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Repair Centers Near Me

    Excellent post. I certainly appreciate this site. Continue the good work!


    June 25, 2021 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Cost Leadership


    June 25, 2021 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Near Here


    June 25, 2021 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. As A Manager Seeks To Develop Her Leadership Skills, She Should Be Aware That:

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't fail me as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely thought you would probably have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.


    June 25, 2021 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Sprinter Repair Orange County


    June 25, 2021 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Transformational Leadership In Nursing

    Right here is the right site for anybody who wants to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic which has been discussed for many years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!


    June 25, 2021 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repairs Near My Location


    June 25, 2021 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Huntington Beach

    I blog frequently and I seriously appreciate your information. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your Feed too.


    June 25, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now


    June 25, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Brake Repair Near Me

    Saved as a favorite, I love your site!


    June 25, 2021 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Windshield Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Electrical Repair Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Peter Abrahamian

    Excellent article. I am going through some of these issues as well..


    June 25, 2021 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. pharmaceptica

    used to treat malaria chloro https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Wilbert Criddle

    There's definately a great deal to know about this topic. I really like all the points you have made.


    June 26, 2021 at 04:33 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Leave a Reply to pvtetnpsdstv


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.