Eat more! You don’t often hear that when you have diabetes, but non-starchy vegetables are one food group where you can satisfy your appetite. Vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals—and with so few calories and carbohydrates, everyone can enjoy more!
Starchy vegetables are potatoes, corn and peas, and they contain more carbohydrates.
For good health, try to eat at least 3-5 servings of vegetables a day. This is a minimum and more is better! A serving of vegetables is:
- ½ cup of cooked vegetables or vegetable juice
- 1 cup of raw vegetables
You can also make use of fruit in your diet. Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber just like vegetables. Fruit contains carbohydrate so you need to count it as part of your meal plan. Having a piece of fresh fruit or fruit salad for dessert is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get the extra nutrition you’re looking for.
A small piece of whole fruit or about ½ cup of frozen or canned fruit has about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Servings for most fresh berries and melons are from ¾ – 1 cup. Fruit juice can range from 1/3 -1/2 cup for 15 grams of carbohydrate. Only 2 tablespoons of dried fruit like raisins or dried cherries contains 15 grams of carbohydrate so be cautious with your portion sizes! Fruit can be eaten in exchange for other carbohydrates in your meal plan such as starches, grains, or dairy.
For Plate Method. If using the plate method, having a small piece of whole fruit or a ½ cup of fruit salad for dessert is a great compliment to the non-starchy vegetables, small portion of starch and protein foods that are on your plate.
For using the Glycemic Index. Most fruits have a low glycemic index because of their fructose and fiber content. Melons and pineapple have medium GI values as do some dried fruits such as dates, raisins, and sweetened cranberries. Overall, fruit is encouraged when using the glycemic index to guide food choices—so enjoy.