Got Diabetes? Your Food choices matter

Got Diabetes? Your Food choices matter

Got Diabetes? Your Food choices matter
Got Diabetes? Your Food choices matter
Got Diabetes? Your Food choices matter

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You might be worried or unsure about your food choices and whether they could have an adverse impact on your blood sugar control. Below is a quick guide to help you the next time you find yourself thinking about what to eat at a food center. Do speak to your dietitian if you need further advice about your specific dietary requirements.


Carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels the most, as our digestive system breaks down digestible carbohydrates into sugar, which then enters the blood to supply energy. Carbohydrate is, in fact, our body’s major energy source.

Since most food court dishes tend to be rich in carbohydrates (think “turon”, “pancit”, etc.), be mindful about how much you eat. Avoid overeating, go for smaller portions, or share the dish with your friend or family member. Take your time to enjoy the meal, and you may just find yourself feeling satisfied without having to eat a substantial amount.

Refer to the visual guide “Pinggang Pinoy" by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)1 when planning your meals to help you understand more about portion size as well as the type of food to consume. However, note that everyone has different dietary requirements and it is best to consult your dietitian for your customized meal plans.

  • Glow Foods. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables
    Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables with different colors to gain different nutrients.

  • Grow Foods. Fill a quarter of your plate with meat and others
    Go for lean meat, fish and bean products such as tofu. Also include calcium-rich foods (e.g., milk, yogurt, cheese) in your diet.

  • Go Foods. Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains
    Choose brown rice, wholegrain noodles, or wholemeal bread.


People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing heart disease. Therefore, other than keeping blood sugar in check, it is also important to control blood cholesterol levels to help protect the heart. Moderate your total fat intake by choosing foods that are prepared using healthier cooking methods more often. For instance, minimize deep-fried items when having economic rice, or go for soup-based noodles. Be mindful of the type of fat as well – a diet high in saturated fat tends to increase blood cholesterol. Typical culprits include coconut milk, fatty meats, and poultry skin.


Using a diabetes-specific formula to replace your meal is another option. This would create a calorie deficit for those who need to lose weight. In addition, such formulas are specially designed for those with diabetes to help manage blood sugar levels and provide complete and balanced nutrition to meet the body's needs.

Consult your dietitian to find out how you can incorporate a diabetes-specific formula into your meal plan.


1 Pinggang Pinoy: Healthy Food Plate for Filipino Adults | Department of Health website (

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