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The Diabetes Food Pyramid – TypeFree Diabetes

By July 19, 2018 Uncategorized

Healthy Eating Guidelines   Pre-Diabetes Diet

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.

Food Pyramid Mediterranean

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.
A serving can be:
  • 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.
A serving can be:
  • 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.
A serving can be:
  • 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*
* same as 1 oz. of meat

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.
 A serving can be:
  • 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.
A serving can be:
  • 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.
A serving can be:
  • 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

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