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Step 7: Follow a meal plan

Care Guides

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  • Insulin
  • Meal plan
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Exercise

One of the most challenging aspects of managing diabetes is meal planning. Work closely with the doctor and dietician to design a meal plan that maintains near-normal blood glucose levels. The meal plan should give you or your child the proper amount of calories to maintain a healthy body weight.

Balancing meals and medication

The food you eat increases the amount of glucose in the blood. In contrast, insulin decreases blood glucose. By balancing food and insulin together, you can keep blood glucose within normal range. Keep these points in mind:

  • The doctor or dietician should examine the types of food you or your child usually eats and build a meal plan from there. Insulin use should then be incorporated into the meal plan. Understand how to time meals with the timed action of the insulin.
  • Be consistent! Meals and snacks should be eaten at the same times each day. Do not skip meals and snacks. Keep the amount and types of food (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) consistent from day to day.
  • Use insulin at the same time each day, as directed by the doctor.
  • Monitor blood glucose levels, and adjust insulin doses for the amount of food eaten.

Click here to read more about nutritional recommendations for people with diabetes


American Diabetes Association. Nutrition recommendations and interventions for diabetes -- 2006. Diabetes Care. 2006;29:2140-2157.

American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes--2009. Diabetes Care. 2009 Jan;32 Suppl 1:S13-61.

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