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Should You Have a Diabetes Diet—Even if You Don’t Have Diabetes?

Eating healthy foods in moderate amounts can help prevent Type 2 diabetes—or keep it from getting worse.

What is a diabetes diet?

A diabetes diet features regular meal times and includes foods high in nutrients and low in fat and calories. Having a healthy eating plan helps you control your blood sugar, manage your weight, and reduce the risk factors for high blood pressure and heart disease. Whether you currently have diabetes or are just looking to eat healthy as you age, a diabetes diet is good for everyone.

Build a plate of healthy options

The American Diabetes Association suggests this simple meal plan:

  • Fill half of your plate with vegetables such as  broccoli, green beans, carrots, and cauliflower.
  • A quarter of your plate should be a low-fat protein, like skinless chicken, turkey, or leaner cuts of beef or pork.
  • For the final quarter, choose whole grains like brown rice, high-protein quinoa, or farro. Avoid “simple” grains like pasta and white rice.
  • Stay away from high-sugar sodas and juices. Opt for low fat milk or water.

What is the right portion size?

An easy way to determine general portion sizes is to use your hand as a guide:

  • One teaspoon is about the size of your finger tip
  • One tablespoon is about the size of your thumb
  • One cup is about the size of your fist
  • ½ cup is approximately a handful
  • 5 ounces (a suggested serving size of meat) is about the size of your palm

Diabetes Diet Portion Size

Dining out while sticking to your goals

Many people overeat or make poor food decisions when dining out. It's ok to splurge occasionally, but consider your food choices and keep your health goals in mind:

  • Check out the menu online ahead of time. Restaurants often post nutritional information that can help you make healthy decisions.
  • Choose foods that are grilled, baked, or steamed instead of fried.
  • Make your main meal an appetizer salad with a low calorie dressing, and share your entrée with a family member or friend.
  • Ask the server to put half of your entrée in a to-go container before serving your food. This will help you avoid over-eating.
  • Order salad dressings or sauces on the side so you can control the amount on your food.

Need help creating a healthy eating plan?

CarePartners of Connecticut members can use their plan to develop a healthy eating plan, lose weight, and stay fit!

CarePartners of Connecticut members get $150 for joining a weight management program such as Weight Watchers®, Jenny Craig®, and/or hospital based weight loss programs!

For details, see your Evidence of Coverage (EOC) booklet.

Plus, CarePartners of Connecticut members can use their extra discounts to save.

50% off the subscription rate for DASH for Health, an online program dedicated to helping you eat better by using the DASH Diet!

Free 3-month program and $120 in food savings OR save 50% off the premium programs from Jenny Craig®.

15% off well balanced meals program through Independent Living Systems, one of the nation’s largest nutritional meal providers.

Get all the details on extra discounts

Discounts and services included in the Extras program are not plan benefits and are not subject to the Medicare appeals process.