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Answers from the BJC Experts

Ask the BJC Expert allows you to get the answers you need about a variety of health, medicine and exercise issues to help you live a more healthy life.

Please browse the most recent questions below or use the search the questions feature to see if the answer to your question is already given. If not, please submit a new question for our experts.

What is the diabetic diet?

There really is no one diabetic diet. Meal planning for those with diabetes centers on what is actually good for everyone: eat a variety of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, lean meats, fat-free and low-fat dairy products; and limit added fat and sugar. Everyone would benefit from such a plan.

The goal behind a diabetic meal plan is to provide a balanced diet, yet the breakdown of nutrients can vary based on individual needs. Typically, a person should get 50 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent from fat, and no more than 30 percent from fat. A registered dietitian can help a patient determine what is best to meet their needs.

The most important thing about a diabetic meal plan for those with diabetes is consistency with meals and snacks, trying to space carbs throughout the day for better glycemic control. Eating regular meals, not skipping meals, is important for those with diabetes, but also important for those managing their weight. Skipping meals can lead to overeating later and making unhealthy choices.

A favorite website is the American Diabetes Association. For further information, contact a registered dietitian, and review the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

Nutrition counseling services are available at:

BJC dietitians also can be located by calling Help For Your Health at 314.747.7234.

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