Diabetes and Nutrition
If you are having any symptoms or have any questions, please call 811 to speak with a registered nurse 24 hours a day.
Why does it matter what I eat?
What you eat is closely connected to the amount of sugar in your blood. The right food choices will help you control your blood sugar level.
Do I have to follow a special diet?
There isn’t one specific “diabetes diet.” Your health care provider will probably suggest that you work with a registered dietitian to design a meal plan. A meal plan is a guide that tells you what kinds of food to eat at meals and for snacks. The plan also tells you how much food to have. Food should be low in cholesterol, low in salt and low in added sugar.
Can I eat any sugar?
Yes. In recent years, health care providers have learned that eating some sugar doesn’t usually cause problems for most people who have diabetes–as long as it is part of a balanced diet. Just be careful about how much sugar you eat and try not to add sugar to foods.
What kinds of foods can I eat?
Your health care provider or dietitian will help you set a goal for a healthy meal plan. Contact your health care provider or dietitian for specific advice.
Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy foods and starchy foods such as breads. Try to have fresh fruits rather than canned fruits, fruit juices or dried fruit. You may eat fresh vegetables and frozen or canned vegetables. Condiments such as non-fat mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard are also carbohydrates.
Protein. Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, beans and some vegetables. Try to eat poultry and fish more often than red meat. Don’t eat poultry skin, and trim extra fat from all meat. Choose non-fat or reduced-fat options when you eat dairy, such as cheeses and yogurts.
Fat. Butter, margarine, lard and oils add fat to food. Fat is also in many dairy and meat products. Try to avoid fried foods, mayonnaise-based dishes (unless they are made with fat-free mayo), egg yolks, bacon and high-fat dairy products. Your health care provider or dietitian will tell you how many grams of fat you may eat each day. When eating fat-free versions of foods (such as mayonnaise and butter), check the label to see how many grams of carbohydrates they contain. Keep in mind that these products often have added sugar.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
NS Diabetes Care Program Website
NS Government Website
PEI Government Website
Nova Scotia and PEI Toll Free: 1-800-326-7712
NS Diabetes Care Program Website at: