Preventing Diabetic Eye Disease By Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.A. on November 20, 2018

November is Diabetic Awareness Month


Diabetic control is incredibly important in decreasing your risk of blindness and needing laser, injections or eye surgery. There are many things that you can do to prevent vision loss from diabetes.

Diabetic Control starts with a proper diabetic diet, daily exercise and maintaining ideal body weight. 

These are 3 simple ideas but difficult to implement. It requires patient knowledge, discipline, and desire! We hope this simple handout helps you. It is applicable if you are “pre-diabetic”, a diet controlled diabetic or if you take pills and/or insulin.

We look forward to working with you to help preserve and improve your vision!


Carolyn Glazer-Hockstein, M.D.              Paula Ko, MD

Revised  November 2018


Green means GO - Healthy foods for Diabetics

1.       Most all non-starchy vegetables - asparagus, broccoli, broccoli rabe, cauliflower, beans, cabbage, kale, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini,                onions, spinach.

2.       Fish - grilled or baked

3.       Chicken - grilled or baked 

4.       Turkey - not processed sandwich meat but baked or sliced

5.       Salads with lettuce, spinach, kale or cabbage

6.       Olive oil 

7.       Nuts (walnuts, almonds)

8.       Chick peas and lentils

9.       Avocados and guacamole

10.     Egg whites and egg white omelets

11.     Canola oil

12.     Quinoa

13.     Low fat cheese

14.     Unsweetened soy or almond milk

15.     Oatmeal with cinnamon

16.     Sardines and anchovies

17.     Seafood - not breaded

18.     Pickles

19.     Coffee 1-2 cups/day

20.     Tea - black or green tea

21.     Beans

22.     Garlic

23.     Tofu

24.     1% or fat-free cottage cheese

25.     Hummus

26.     Low fat yogurt (no sugar added - Greek is good)

27.     Olives

28.     Water

29.      Club Soda (can use lime or lemon)

30.     Sauerkraut

31.     Tumeric seasoning and cumin seasoning

32.     Curry seasoning

33.     Tomatoes

34.     Vinaigrette dressing, oil and vinegar dressing

35.     Spaghetti Squash

36.     Cinnamon seasoning

37.     Onions

38.     Kimchi

39.     High fiber cereals like Smart-Bran or Fiber-One.

40.     Wasa crackers  (any high fiber will do)

Yellow means Caution - Healthy food - eat in moderation a few times a week and only as a side dish.

1.     Whole grain bread- try open face sandwiches for less carbohydrates

2.     Brown rice, basmati rice or long grain rice - eat small

        portions (25% of your plate)

3.     Whole grain pasta - side dish only and cook al dente (slightly firm and not overdone)

4.     Red sauce - no added sugar. Consider making your own.

5.     Low glycemic index fruits - cherries, grapefruit, prunes, peach,  pear, plum, apples, apricots (can be dried), strawberries, blueberries, raspberries

6.     Sweet potatoes

7.     Rye bread - only one piece

8.     Small portions of beef (90-95% lean) or venison, bison, lamb loins, veal loins.  Use red meat ass something to season foodwith – not the main dish.

9.     Whole eggs that are Omega-3

10.   Corn and peas

11.     Lentil pasta

Red means NO.  Do Not East These Foods

1.     White rice

2.     White bread (if you cheat, eat real sourdough bread)

3.     White pasta (if you cheat, make sure it is cooked el dente)     

4.     White Potatoes in any form  (Mashed, baked, french fries)

5.     Cakes

6.     Candies

7.     Sodas (including diet)

8.     Most processed foods and fast food restaurant food

9.     Sucrose (table sugar)

10.   High Fructose Corn Syrup (found in many foods)

11.   Pizza – (if you cheat, make sure you eat thin crust pizza)

12.   Bagels – (if you cheat, try the "scooped out" bagels)

13.   Soft pretzels

Healthy Exercise/Lifestyle Guidelines

1.     Walk, walk, walk everyday at least 45 minutes. Make sure your heart rate is raised when you walk. Walk after meals.

2.     Always take the stairs instead of elevators and park farthest away in parking lot from your destination requiring more walking

3.     If you can't walk due to knee or feet problems, consider an exercise bike.

4.     Try to set up an exercise schedule as a daily routine and do it with a friend, spouse, or pet. Studies show you will keep up the routine if you are            committed to somebody else.

5.     In order to keep a healthy weight, always keep food portions small. If looking to lose weight, try to significantly minimize carbohydrate intake. 

6.     Try to limit carbohydrate intake to no more than 30 g at one sitting.

7.     Try to be active within 90 minutes of eating carbohydrates to help burn them off.  Avoid eating carbohydrates before bedtime.  Eat protein first                  before consuming the carbohydrates during a meal.

8.     A study has shown that 90% of type 2 diabetics are overweight or obese. Determine a realistic goal for weight loss and use this as a guideline for         weight loss that includes a change in lifestyle and habits for the long term.

9.     Eat at least 25 g of fiber/per day as a woman and 38 g of fiber/day as a man.  Eat your fiber before your carbohydrate to delay absorption.

LOW CARBOHYDRATE Recipe Alternatives

1.     Spaghetti Squash - Substitute this for pasta and put your favorite sauce on top.  Roast it in the oven at 425° for 30 minutes with olive oil and it                  comes out like pasta when scooped out with a fork.  Use red sauce (no sugar) with low fat meatballs or toss with olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese            and fresh vegetables. 

2.     Zoodles (zucchini noodles) - Pan fry the zucchini noodles lightly with olive oil and garlic.  Buy Zoodles at the store already made or make them at          home with a spiralizer.

3.     Cauliflower Rice - Buy at the store freshly made and steam or pan fry at home.  Great substitute for rice.  Mix with seasonings like cumin or                      tumeric.  Add parmesan cheese for flavor.

4.      Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes - Steam cauliflower until very soft and then mash.  Add fat free sour cream and cream cheese for texture.  Looks               just like mashed potatoes!  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Top with low-fat cheese.

5.     Quinoa - good rice alternative which is lower in carbs and higher in protein. 

 Very easy to make on the stove with boiling water.  Throw in frozen veggies for variety

6.     Oatmeal - a good alternative to dry cereals for breakfast.  Can add low glycemic index fruit, or cinnamon to the oatmeal for flavor.  Avoid                             pre-packaged oatmeal loaded with sugar.

7.     Sweet Potatoes - a good alternative to white potatoes.  Although it is a carbohydrate, it has a lower glycemic index and has more fiber so it doesn't          raise the BS as much.  Bake or boil.  Bake at 400° for 30 minutes skin on or boil with skin on until soft.  The skin adds sweetness and a lot more                fiber.

8.     High fiber, low sugar dry cereal.  Try Fiber-One, Smart-Bran or Kashi Go Lean Crunch.  Use almond milk instead of skim milk for a much lower              carbohydrate load.


  • The Glycemic Index Diet -  By Rick Gallop
  • GL (glycemic load) Counter -  By Dr. Mabel Blades
  • Brain Maker - By Dr. David Perlmutter
  • Whole 30 Diet  - By Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig
Staff at Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.A.

Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.A.

Eye Physicians and Surgeons, P.A., has been a trusted fixture in the community for more than three decades. Our caring, expert staff is affiliated with the:

  • American Medical Association
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  • Delaware Academy of Ophthalmology

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