The following ranges for nutrients are provided for guidance, but specific therapy recommendations should be based on each person’s health status, comorbidities, food preferences, and nutritional needs. 1–3, 8 It is also recommended that individualized meal plans include optimization of food choices to meet recommended daily allowances and dietary reference intakes for all micronutrients.
Adjust the mix of carbohydrate, protein, and fat to meet diabetes management goals and patient preferences. Consider reduction of caloric intake and emphasize portion control for weight management goals.
Limit calories from fat to reduce caloric intake as needed to achieve weight loss, and limit trans and saturated fat to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Saturated fat should be less than 10 percent of total calories.
- Minimize intake of trans fat.
- Cholesterol intake should be less than 300 mg per day.
- Choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids), such as those found in seafood, nuts, seeds, avocado, and oils (e.g., olive, canola, corn, safflower, and sunflower oils).
Select foods high in fiber, and limit foods with added sugars and refined grains.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Eat at least 14 g fiber/1,000 kcal per day.
- At least half of all grains consumed should be whole grains.
Note: For people with diabetes on insulin, monitoring carbohydrate intake is a key strategy in achieving glycemic control, whether by carbohydrate counting, use of carbohydrate choices or exchanges, or experience-based estimation. For other people with diabetes, monitoring calories may be more important.
Recommended dietary intake of protein for individuals with diabetes is similar to that for the general public: 15 to 20 percent of calories.
- Choose low-fat animal- and plant-based protein sources (e.g., lean meat, fish, poultry without skin, eggs, dried beans and peas, and soy products).
Sodium, alcohol, and fluid intake
- Limit sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day for the general population. Intake as low as 1,500 mg per day may be appropriate for some people. 1, 9
- Limit alcohol intake (≤ 2 drinks for men and ≤ 1 drink for women per day).
- Drink water and other beverages with few or no calories. Sugar-sweetened beverages are a significant and often unrecognized source of calories.