Nutrition Tips

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General Tips

  • It takes 30 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain "You are full." Eat slowly and take a minute break during the meal. Chew your food 10 times with each bite and put your fork down between bites
  • You can have anything you want to eat -- it's only a matter of how much and how often
  • The size of your fist is one serving
  • When you produce only limited insulin, you can eat small meals at a time. Even 10 times a day is not a problem as long as the portions are small
  • Drink 8 to 10 cups of fluid a day to fill up and keep the fiber moving along


  • 1 cup skim milk = 1 slice of bread = 1 medium fresh fruit. All have 15 grams carbohydrate (CHO) and approximately 100 calories
  • Think 1/2 cup of rice, pasta or potato to 1 cup vegetable. Use double the vegetable to every starch serving
  • 1 large bagel is equal to 3 slices of bread or 3 CHO servings
  • 1 cup of packed white rice is equal to 3 slices of bread or 3 CHO servings. Try brown rice and wild rice instead
  • 3 tablespoons of Grapenuts = 1/3 cup low-fat granola = 3/4 cup Cherrios = 1 1/2 cups puffed rice


  • Use "good" fats -- nuts, avocado, peanut butter, olives. Think tablespoons, NOT cups
  • It takes two years to train your taste buds to like low fat and less salt. Let the natural flavors shine forth. Flavor with fresh herbs and spices. Try balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper
  • High-fat foods require more insulin because of increased calories and make the blood sugars go up. Exercise helps the insulin work more efficiently and so blood sugar goes down

Fruits and Vegetables

  • 3 1/2 cups of watermelon are 3 fruit servings or 3 CHO servings. It is easy to eat too much, so cut fruit into squares or balls and freeze and eat slowly
  • Limit fruit juice to 1/2 cup daily and dilute with extra water and ice or try sparkling water for a refreshing fruit spritzer
  • Eat the skins of fruits and vegetables to increase the fiber
  • Use dark green and deep orange fruit and vegetables for their antioxidant properties that protect your good cholesterol (HDL)
  • Remember that 2 cups of shredded lettuce is only 5 grams of CHO and not enough to count. Twelve cups of lettuce are 30 grams of CHO and equal to 2 slices of bread, or 2 CHO servings. Quantity does count

Meats and protein

  • Only eat the meat portion that will fit into the palm of your hand. That is 4 to 6 ounces
  • A 3-ounce meat portion is equal to the size of a deck of cards
  • One cup of cooked, dried beans (pinto, black, lentils) is equal to a sandwich in protein (1 ounce of meat and two slices of bread)
  • Watch meat portions -- too much protein overworks the kidneys
  • Use the Omega-3 fatty acid contained in fish such as salmon tuna and sardines, to help keep the triglycerides normal


  • All carbohydarate foods turn to sugar (or glucose) in your blood
  • One teaspoon of sugar is only 5 grams of CHO and 20 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of all natural fruit spread = 1 tablespoon of honey = 1 tablespoon of syrup = 1 tablespoon of sugar = 1 fruit serving. All have approximately 60 calories each
  • You can eat a larger serving of food when it is unsweetened. When sugar is added, the portion size is cut in half
  • One small piece of chocolate candy is 20 calories and only 5 grams CHO. The portion is so small that it is okay to use but remember that 3 pieces are a CHO serving
  • Triglycerides are made from both sugar and fat and the worse thing to use is high fructose corn syrup found in regular soda and candy. Watch beer and other alcoholic beverages and large quantities of white rice, too
  • Limit high phosphorous sodas or dark cola beverages to less than 24 ounces a day to help the kidneys. A good beverage choice is unsweetened Kool-aid or Crystal Light with only 5 calories per cup. These drinks can be made into popcicles.
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