The American Diabetes Association advises diabetics to follow the meal plan suggested by their doctors or dietitians and start a regular exercise regimen to help control blood sugar levels, according to the American Diabetes Association. The key to maintaining healthy glucose levels is watching portion sizes.
A healthy diet for diabetics aims to lower risk of stroke, heat disease and other complications, notes the American Diabetes Association. Great sources of fiber, minerals and vitamins include fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats and whole grains. Diabetics should also choose nonfat dairy products, poultry and beans. It is important to include different items, and make sure the foods contain the highest quality nutrients available.
Doctors generally recommend a diabetes meal plan that helps patients know the type and amount of foods they should eat in every meal and snack, states the American Diabetes Association. Carbohydrate counting, the glycemic index and the plate method are common meal planning tools that help diabetics improve their blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well as maintain a healthy weight.
Carbohydrate counting involves restricting the amount of carbohydrate consumption in each meal, depending on factors such as the individual's activity level and medications, explains the American Diabetes Association. Diabetics typically start with around 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal and adjust the number as they find the right balance.