IMG_0856If you have type 2 diabetes and are trying to improve your blood sugar levels, you are not alone. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, more than twenty Canadians are being diagnosed with diabetes every hour.  One of the most important things ways to stay heathy when you have diabetes is to maintain normal blood sugar levels.  A cornerstone for managing your  blood sugars (glucose) is by following a healthy, balanced diet. Try these simple nutrition tips to help ensure that you’re maintaining your best blood sugar levels possible.

Healthy Portion Sizes

Counting calories, weighing, or measuring food is a lot of work and hard to follow long term.  Instead, try this simple method of dividing your plate into three sections (half and two quarters) and use your hands as a “handy guide” to customize your own portion sizes.  If you are trying to achieve weight loss, consider using a lunch sized plate for the look of a full plate of food, with smaller portions. Here’s how to best set up your plate for success:


1/2 of your plate should be vegetables (choose brightly coloured vegetables for more nutrients).

Think of two open hands of vegetables.

1/4 of your plate should be grains or starchy vegetables (opt for high-fibre wild or brown rice, sweet potato, whole wheat pasta, potato with skin, barley, or quinoa).

Use your fist as your guide.

1/4 of your plate should be protein (skinless chicken breast, salmon, eggs, or legumes like chickpeas or kidney beans).

Use the size of your palm to help gauge your serving of protein.

Finish off your meal with a fist-sized piece of fruit for dessert, and a thumb deep glass of milk.


Try some of these additional strategies to adopt healthier eating habits

Avoid skipping meals:

Eating regular meals and snacks helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.


When choosing snacks, always try to pair up a protein choice and a complex carbohydrate such as nuts and berries, or cheese and high-fibre multigrain crackers.

Limit refined and processed grain products:

Choosing high fibre-foods such as whole grain breads and cereals, lentils, and brown rice will help you feel full and help control blood sugar and even cholesterol levels.

Limit foods that contain high amounts of sugar:

Beverages such as fruit juice and regular pop or foods like candy, jam, and honey contain concentrated amounts of sugar.  Eating less of these foods on a regular basis will make it easier to control your blood sugars.  Limit fruit juice and regular pop, and have honey and candy in smaller quantities as occasional treats.

Along with eating well, be sure to incorporate physical activity into your routine. Even a 10 minute walk everyday will increase your physical activity level by 70 minutes a week and over 4 hours in a month.  Healthy lifestyle “steps” all add up to a healthier you!