The Diabetes Food Pyramid
The Diabetes food pyramid is a tool to help you create a nutritious diabetes diet plan to help control your blood sugar levels and reduce your body fat. We have selected the Mediterranean food pyramid as a healthier suggestion.
Grains, Beans, and Starchy Vegetables (6 or more servings daily)
- Choose whole-grain foods such as whole-grain bread or crackers, tortillas, bran cereal, brown rice, or bulgar. They’re nutritious and high in fiber.
- Choose beans as a good source of fiber.
- Use whole-wheat or other whole-grain flours in cooking and baking.
- Choose breads prepared without fat such as bagels, tortillas, English muffins, and pita bread.
- For snacks, try pretzels or low-fat crackers.
A serving can be:
- 1 slice bread
- 1/2 small bagel, English muffin, or pita bread
- 1/2 hamburger or hot dog bun
- 1 tortilla 6-inch
- 4 to 6 crackers
- 1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta, or bulgur
- 1/3 cup cooked rice
- 3/4 cup dry cereal
- 1/2 cup cooked beans, lentils, peas, or corn
- 1 small potato
- 1 cup winter squash
- 1/2 cup sweet potato or yam
(3-5 servings daily)
- Choose fresh or frozen vegetables without added sauces, fats, or salt.
- Choose more dark green and deep yellow vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, romaine, carrots, chillies, and pepers.
- 1 cup raw vegetables
- 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
- 1/2 cup tomato or vegetable juice
(2-4 servings daily)
A serving can be:
- 1 small fresh fruit
- 1/2 cup canned fruit in it’s own unsweetened juice
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
- 1/2 cup fruit juice
(2-3 servings daily)
- Choose low-fat or nonfat milk or yogurt.
- Yogurt has natural sugar in it. It can also have added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Yogurt with artificial sweeteners has fewer calories than yogurt with added sugar.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup yogurt
Meat and Other Protein
(2-3 servings daily)
- Choose fish and poultry more often. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey
- Select lean cuts of beef, veal, pork or wild game.
- Trim all visible fat from meat.
- Bake, roast, broil, grill, or boil instead of frying or adding fat.
- 2 to 3 oz. cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup tuna or cottage cheese
- 2 to 3 oz. cheese
- 1 egg*
- 2 Tbsp. peanut butter*
- 4 oz. tofu*
Fats, Sweets, and Alcohol
- Eat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat found in plant and fish.
- Eat less saturated fat. It is found in meat and animal products such as hamburger, cheese, bacon, and butter.
- Saturated fat is usually solid at room temperature. Unsaturated fat is liquid at room temperature.
- Eat as little trans fat as possible; found in processed foods like pastry and margarine.
- 1/8 avocado
- 1 Tbsp. cream cheese or salad dressing
- 1 tsp. butter, margarine, oil, or mayonnaise
- 10 peanuts
- 1 slice of bacon.
- Choose sweets less often because they are high in fat and sugar.
- When you do eat sweets, make them part of your healthy diet. Don’t eat them as extras.
- 1/2 cup ice cream, sugar-free if available
- 1 small cupcake or muffin (whole wheat)
- 2 small cookies
- If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with a meal. Check with your health professional about a safe amount for you.
- 12 ounces of beer (regular or light, 150 calories)
- 5 ounces of wine (100 calories)
- 1 ounces of 80-proof whiskey (100 calories)
For more information about the best plan for you, talk with a registered dietitian (RD). To obtain a referral to an RD in your area, call The American Dietetic Association/National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics Hot Line 800-366-1655 or the American Diabetes Association 800-DIABETES (342-2382).
For a more personalized meal plan, click MyPyramid to create your individual version of MyPyramid.
Source:National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) http://ndep.nih.gov