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How Often Should I Eat?

Q: How often should a person with type 2 diabetes eat?

A: Everyone needs to eat about every four to six hours during the day to keep energy levels up. People with type 2 diabetes usually have better blood glucose control if their meals and carbohydrates are spaced evenly throughout the day. Too many carbohydrates at any one time can raise blood glucose too high, even if you take diabetes medicine. Many people tend to skip breakfast, eat a light lunch, and then eat too much in the evening. A person with diabetes should attempt to eat about the same amount of carbohydrates at each meal.

Breakfast is especially important if you need to control your weight. It helps to jump-start your metabolism and makes you less likely to overeat later. If you are unusually active or on fixed doses of medication, you may need a snack. Monitoring your blood glucose will help you to decide that with your medical team. Sometimes diabetes medication can be adjusted so you do not need snacks if you are concerned about your weight.

Connie Crawley, M.S., R.D., L.D., is a nutrition and health specialist for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and a registered dietitian

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