Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Managing your Diabetes
Did you know that more than 70 percent of Veterans are overweight and 25 percent have a diabetes diagnosis? Diabetes mellitus or “diabetes” is a medical condition when a person has higher than normal levels of blood glucose. Pre-diabetes is when your blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough yet to be considered diabetes. One in four patients with pre-diabetes will develop diabetes. So, why is it important to manage diabetes? Diabetes increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and blindness. Learning to live with diabetes can feel overwhelming but, with support from your PACT team and dietitians, it can become easier.
Take the following steps to start managing your diabetes or pre-diabetes condition:
· Eat three meals per day – do NOT skip meals.
· Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
· Eat fiber rich foods – whole grain cereals, fruits/vegetables with skin on, breads, rice, or pasta.
· Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, low fat or skim milk, and cheese.
· Drink water instead of juice or regular soda.
· Aim for a healthy plate at all meals; ½ fruits & vegetables, ¼ healthy starches and ¼ lean protein.
· Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
· If you are not able to do 30 minutes of physical activity per day, start off slowly by adding 5-10 minutes of activity per day and work up to 30 minutes per day.
· Control carbohydrates in your diet (NOT AVOID) them!
· Carbohydrates “carbs” are the main nutrient in our diet that affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates s are processed into glucose.
· 15 grams of carbohydrates equals 1 carb (or 1 carb serving).
· How many carbs can I have? 3 meals 2 snacks per day.
o 45-60 grams (or 3-4 carb servings) for each meal.
o 15-30 grams (or 1-2 carb servings) for each snack.
o Include a lean protein source with each meal & snack.
If you feel like you need additional support with managing your diabetes or have questions, contact your PACT team. You can also ask for a referral to the MOVE (weight management) program and/or to see your team dietitian.
Additional information about diabetes is available at: