Must Know: Diabetes Diet Hacks!

I always joke that when we are first diagnosed, we basically get the “survival tool kit” for how to stay alive when we leave the hospital. So many times I’ll mention things to my health coaching clients in their early sessions and they’re like “WHAT THE HECK I DIDN’T KNOW THAT!”.

There are so many of these little golden nuggets of diet knowledge and you might already know some, but take a look just in case you don’t! They are game changers!


Diabetes Tip #1

Most people have to give insulin for coffee. It differs from person to person so I suggest having a cup and seeing how much it raises you, then reverse engineer it. For me I need between 1.0-1.5 for a black cup.


Diabetes Tip #2

Before bolusing, check if the meal you are eating has more than 4g of fiber. If it does, subtract ½ of the fiber from the total carbs and THEN use that number to calculate how much insulin you need. We do this because fiber is a carb that is not digested/won’t raise your blood sugar. So for example, if 1 cup of refried black beans has 42 carbs and 12 grams of fiber, 42- 6 is 36. If you feel like you are going low even after subtracting ½ the fiber, you can try subtracting total fiber.


Diabetes Tip #3

Pay as much attention to fats as you do to carbs. Fats are the reason for so many 4-6 hour post meal highs along with insulin resistance. This is a whole topic in itself but just start to become aware of how much fat you’re eating in a day and how it might be working against you!


Diabetes Tip #4

Vegan/ Pescatarian/Vegetarian will increase your insulin sensitivity. I’ve been a pescarian since I was 17 and swear by it for increasing your insulin sensitivity! There’s so much hype in eating high fat/protein animal foods to keep blood sugars from spiking ( ect. Cheese, yogurt meat, eggs, milk) but I’ve seen in myself and my clients a huge difference in sensitivity from limiting animal protein. It doesn’t mean you never have to have these things but even just try limiting dairy for a few weeks and see if you see a difference!


Diabetes Tip #5

Keto diet is not the “best diabetes” diet for everyone, nor is it impossible to get better control of your diabetes without going low carb. I truly believe there is a small percentage of people that thrive on the keto diet. Blood sugar wise- sure! But when you factor in how sustainable the way of eating is for many people, plus mental and emotional effects both short and long term, it’s a whole other ball game! I’d love to do a longer post on this if you guys are interested but for now my tip is to not get sucked in by all the chitter chatter of thinking it’s the only and best way to eat as a person with diabetes.


Did these help? How many of these did you know? Share them with your diabestie and help a sista/brotha out!

  1. Taylor says:

    Great post!!! I especially appreciate your comment about the keto diet as it seems to be all the rage these days. I’d love to hear more on what you believe about the keto diet and how it affects people with diabetes, like myself. So many friends recommend it and I’ve always been skeptical…
    Definitely interested in a longer post about keto!

    • Lauren Bongiorno says:

      Hey Taylor! Thanks for your comment! I will definitely mark that down as a topic of interest…def a passionate subject for me because of all the reasons you just listed. Stay tuned! xo

  2. Lisa Nichols says:

    Diagnosed today as LADA at age 55 (been thinking I was T2). I would love to know more about your thoughts on Keto. Great tips on subtracting 1/2 fiber – I literally was wondering about that today!

    • Lauren Bongiorno says:

      Hi Lisa, oh my goodness I am so glad to hear that you finally received the correct diagnosis. I’m sure it’s still not easy having such a huge change at 55 years old but you’re coming into the community at a great time where there are so many great resources to support you! I am going to be launching a youtube channel next week and plan to do a video on the keto topic since it’s highly requested. Are you on my email list? Click on the “join now” on the home page of my website to get on the list and notified when the video comes out!

  3. Nova says:

    Great tips. Diabetic x 30 yrs and didn’t know some of them.

  4. Alka kapur says:

    Hi I have been diagnosed with LADA after thinking I was T2. Tried everything for my morning sugars to drop.

  5. jara says:

    great post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Zoe Campos says:

    Thanks for reminding me to pay attention to my fats and carbs if I have diabetes. I only learned this yesterday after having an attack and I’m finding it hard to adjust. Maybe I should consult a dietitian and ask for a proper meal plan.

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