There is a Food Pyramid that was created especially for diabetics who need help managing their eating plans in order to keep their blood glucose levels low. There are six different groups on the diabetic food pyramid, which each vary considerably in size. The largest group on the diabetic food pyramid is the grains, starchy vegetables and beans group, and is located on the very bottom of the pyramid. The smallest group is the fats, alcohol and sweets group, and is located at the top of the pyramid. The larger, lower groups require more servings per day, and the smaller, higher groups require significantly less. You should eat as very little from the fats, alcohol and sweets group as you possible can, as the foods that fit into that category are poor choices for a healthy eating plan.
The former Food Guide Pyramid was replaced in April of 2005, providing a new set of tools that is called My Pyramid, and is based on caloric requirements instead.
In order to follow the minimum amount of servings for every group in the diabetic food pyramid, you would be eating approximately 1600 calories per day. At the upper end of the food pyramids caloric range, expect to eat around 2800 calories. Generally it is women who eat on the lower end of the range, with men eating on the middle to high end of the range, depending on their activity level. The number of servings that you need can vary, but generally depends on your personal goals with diabetes, in addition to nutritional and caloric needs, the type of lifestyle that you live, and what foods you actually enjoy eating. You can divide the number of necessary servings among all the various snacks and meals that you consume daily.
The diabetic food pyramid is different from the Food Guide Pyramid put out by the USDA in that it groups foods based on the levels of carbohydrates and proteins, rather than by food classification. Portion sizes also tend to be different, in order to have similar carbohydrate content for each individual serving. Examples of this are cheese, which can be found in the meat group rather than in its typical home in dairy, and potatoes can be found in the starchy foods group rather than with the rest of the vegetables. These differences have been created in order to make the carbohydrate levels approximately equal between each food group.