Recommendation

Rationale

Notes

Maintain a healthy weight.

Insulin resistance leads to obesity.

Losing as few as 10 pounds can help control type 2 diabetes.

Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

Fruits and vegetables may help with diabetes management by regulating blood sugar levels.

Watch serving sizes of potatoes, corn, and other starchy vegetables, which can raise blood sugar levels.

Limit sweets.

Simple sugars can increase blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrates, such as pasta, potatoes, and cereals, can also raise blood sugar levels.

Replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Saturated fat increases cholesterol levels in susceptible individuals.

People with diabetes may be more sensitive to dietary cholesterol than the rest of the population is.

Eat less than 2,400 mg of salt a day.

Sodium raises blood pressure.

In controlling diabetes, keeping a check on blood pressure is just as important as normalizing blood glucose levels.

Increase intake of fiber-rich foods.

Fiber helps maintain an ideal body weight, and obesity is a primary risk factor for diabetes.

Good sources of fiber include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Sources: Jaime S. Ruud, RD, research analyst in the department of nutritional science and dietetics at the University of Nebraska and author of Nutrition and the Female Athlete (CRC Press, 1996); American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org.