Diet plays an important role in managing type 2 diabetes. Your blood sugar reacts to foods in different ways, depending on what you eat and how much of it you consume at mealtime.


Portions and serving sizes both relate to the quantity of food at a meal. But there are some key differences to understand.

The term “portion” describes how much food you decide to eat for a snack or at mealtime. You choose the amount that’s in a portion. For example, a handful of almonds, a glass of milk, or a blueberry muffin can all be considered a portion.

Since there’s no objective measurements of a portion, it can be tricky to figure out how many calories, carbs, and fiber are in a given amount of food.

Understanding roughly what’s in an average portion of food, such as a medium-sized sweet potato, can help you estimate how many carbs you’re consuming.

Serving size, on the other hand, is an objective quantity of food or drink. This is typically measured by a cup, ounce, or other unit, such as a single slice of bread. This allows people to more accurately measure the amount of calories, sugar, protein, and nutrients in a given food.

Nutrition labels on food packages list the serving size for that item. You’ll want to look at how many serving sizes are in the container, too.

For example, a blueberry muffin that you buy at a convenience store may actually be considered two serving sizes. That means the number of calories, carbs, and other components listed on the label will be doubled if you eat the whole muffin.

When you have type 2 diabetes, it’s important to pay attention to the amount of carbs, protein, and fiber you consume at each snack and meal.

Fiber can help keep blood sugar levels balanced. We recommend that people with type 2 diabetes seek out foods with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.

Adding protein to meals and snacks can help improve blood sugar control and increase feelings of fullness. This may be particularly helpful for people with diabetes who have excess weight to lose.

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