Diabetes and Nutrition

Did you know... healthy eating can help keep blood sugar at target? Reading food labels, counting carbohydrates and controlling portion size can all help manage your diabetes.

Reading nutrition labels


Nutrition Facts
Valeur nutritive

Per 1 cup (34 g) / pour 1 tasse (34 g)



% Daily Value
% valeur quotidienne
Calories / Calories 120  
Fat / Lipides 3 g 5 %

Saturated / saturés 1 g
Trans / trans 1 g

10 %
Cholesterol / Cholestérol 0 mg  
Sodium / Sodium 220 mg 9 %
Potassium / Potassium 55 mpg 2 %
Carbohydrate / Glucides 27 g 9 %
Fibre / Fibres 1 g 3 %
Sugars / Sucres 14 g  
Protein / Protéines 1g
Vitamin A / Vitamine A 10 %
Vitamin C / Vitamine C 10 %
Calcium / Calcium 5%
Iron / Fer 20 %
Vitamin D / Vitamine D 10 %
Thiamine / Thiamine 20 %
Riboflaven / Riboflavine 20 %
Niacin / Niacine 20 %
Vitamin B6 / Vitamine B6 20 %
Folic Acid / Acide folique 20 %
Vitamin B12 / Vitamine B12 20 %
Zinc / Zinc 10 %

Compare amounts of nutrients based on serving size:
  • Calories, fats, percentage of daily saturated fat intake, sodium, carbohydrates, fibre, sugars, etc.
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you if a serving contains a little or a lot of agiven nutrient. Health Canada recommends simple math:
  • 5% or less DV is a little
  • 15% or more DV is a lot
Percentages help you understand how a food will affect your meal planning needs.
A good general tip for people with diabetes is to look for foods that are high in % Daily Value for:
  • Vitamins A & C
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Fibre

Counting carbohydrates

People with diabetes should learn about carbohydrates (“carbs”) and how they affect blood sugar levels.

  • Carbs are a major source of energy found in many foods
  • Carbs are converted into glucose, which is used by the body as fuel
  • Carbs have greatest effect on blood sugar, so you should keep careful track of carbs
  • To make it easier count carbs, the Canadian Diabetes Association developed “carbohydrates choices”
    • One carbohydrate choice = 15 grams of carbohydrates
  • Try to eat a consistent amount of carbs with each meal and spread them out over the day to help control blood sugar

The Glycemic Index (GI)

The Glycemic Index rates carbohydrates as high, medium or low based on how much they cause blood sugar to rise. A high GI food such as white bread is broken down quickly and causes a spike in blood sugar.
Diabetes experts recommend that you eat foods with a low GI, since those foods help:
  • Control blood glucose levels
  • Control cholesterol levels
  • Control appetite
  • Lower the risk of heart disease
  • Lower the risk of type 2 diabetes


GI: breads

Diabetes experts recommend the following bread choices:
Low GI
(Choose most often)
  • Heavy mixed-grain bread
  • Pumpernickel
Medium GI
(Choose more often)
  • Whole wheat
  • Rye
High GI
(Choose less often)
  • White bread
  • Kaiser rolls


GI: cereal

GI: cereal
Diabetes experts recommend the following cereal choices:
Low GI
(Choose most often)
  • Oatmeal
  • Oat bran
Medium GI
(Choose more often)
  • Shredded Wheat™
  • Quick oats
High GI
(Choose less often)
  • Cheerios®
  • Rice Krispies®


GI: grains

GI: grains
Diabetes experts recommend the following grain choices:
Low GI
(Choose most often)
  • Bulgar
  • Barley
Medium GI
(Choose more often)
  • Brown rice
  • Couscous
High GI
(Choose less often)
  • Short-grain rice


GI: other foods

GI: other foods
Diabetes experts recommend the following other food choices:
Low GI
(Choose most often)
  • Sweet potato
  • Chickpeas
  • Soybeans
Medium GI
(Choose more often)
  • Sweet corn
  • Popcorn
  • Black bean soup
High GI
(Choose less often)
  • Baked potato
  • French fries
  • Pretzels


Portion control

Portion control is important for diabetes control. You can use your own hands to learn to eat the right amount of food at each meal.

Fruits, grains & starches:

  • Eat an amount about the size of your fist


  • Eat an amount you could hold in both hands cupped together


Meat & alternatives:

  • Eat an amount about the size of the palm of one hand



  • Eat an amount about the size of the tip of your thumb

Important information

Manage your diabetes with more information and FREE diabetes tools from the Pharmacist at Walmart. Just ask!

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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