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University of Illinois Extension

Food Groups and Diabetes


What are Macronutrients?

Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories (energy). Nutrients are substances needed for growth, metabolism, and other functioning. Since “macro” means large, macronutrients are nutrients needed in large amounts. There are three cat... more »

Why are Foods put Together in Groups?

For people with diabetes, it is important to understand what foods are made of so that blood glucose levels can be more easily controlled. Memorizing the exact amount of carbohydrate in all the foods that we eat would be almost impossible and impractical. ... more »

What Counts as a Portion or Serving?

The amount of food that you eat from the food groups can impact both your weight and blood glucose level. For instance, eating too much food from any food group is likely to cause weight gain. This weight gain can lead to higher blood glucose levels. Eatin... more »

The Starch and Starchy Vegetables Group

Foods in this group include cereals, grains, pasta, breads, and crackers. All of these foods are grouped together, because the majority of the calories they contain come from carbohydrates, these foods also contain some protein and sometimes fat. Cooked be... more »

Think About Tortillas

Not all tortillas are equal! When counting calories and carbohydrates to self-manage your blood sugar levels, know that tortillas are not one in the same. Tortillas can vary in size, shape, color, and texture. Tortillas can range in sizes from a reg... more »

The Fruit Group

Foods in this group include fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruit as well as fruit juices. All fruits are grouped together because all of their calories come from carbohydrates. Fruits contain very little protein and no fat. Although foods with carbohyd... more »

The Vegetable Group

Foods in this group include vegetables that contain few calories, carbohydrates, and protein. These non-starchy vegetables may be fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables. Vegetable juices are also found in this group. Non-starchy vegetables are a real nutri... more »

The Meats, Fish, Meat Substitutes, Eggs and Cheese Group

Foods in this group include meats (like beef, chicken, and pork), fish (like salmon, tuna, and shrimp), meat substitutes (like tofu, and products that resemble meat or fish but are made with soy), eggs, and cheese. These foods are grouped together, because... more »

The Milk and Yogurt Group

Foods in this group include milk and yogurt. These foods are grouped together, because they contain similar amounts of carbohydrate and fat. While milk and yogurt usually contain similar amounts of protein and carbohydrates, they can vary in their fat cont... more »

The Fats and Oils Group

Foods in this group include butter, margarine, salad dressing, mayonnaise, sour cream, oils, lard, and nuts. The foods in this group are grouped together because they contain similar amounts of calories and fat per serving and, with the exception of nuts, ... more »

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This site was last updated June, 2014.
This is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.