Nutrition Tips for Managing Your Blood Sugar

Managing your blood sugar can be challenging during and after cancer treatment. Working closely with your care team is the most effective way to keep things in check.

In addition to following their recommendations about medications and routines, here are some food-related things you can do to keep your blood sugar stable.

Help Prevent Blood Sugar Highs and Lows

  • Choose small meals/snacks five to six times a day instead of two or three larger meals.

  • Time meals/snacks to be every two to three hours during the day.

  • Pair protein with a source of fiber at meals and snacks.

Example of a Typical Day's Food Intake

The chart below is a two-day example of six small meals/snacks each day. The meals/snacks are spaced two to three hours apart and include both protein and fiber.

This general guide is something your Iris care team can help you personalize to suit your food preferences and needs.

Breakfast – 7:30am

Morning Snack



12 noon

Afternoon Snack




Evening Snack


¾ cup cooked oatmeal with 1/3 cup fresh fruit

¼ cup nuts

½ turkey or tuna sandwich with 1+ cup leafy green salad

1/2 cup raw vegetables of your choice dipped in hummus

3 oz. fish or skinless poultry with 1 cup cooked broccoli and 1 small roasted sweet potato

½ banana with peanut butter

1 slice whole wheat toast with 2 TBSP peanut butter and 1/3 cup fresh fruit

½ c plain Greek yogurt with berries

1 cup minestrone soup with 1 slice whole wheat bread

8 whole grain crackers with 1 oz. cheese

Tofu stir-fry or vegetable curry with ½ cup cooked brown rice

2 cups of air popped popcorn with ¼ cup peanuts

If your blood sugar has been running high, try eating more of these foods:

  • Dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, and kale

  • Berries like blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries

  • Lean protein like fish, skinless poultry, or 93% lean ground meats

  • Plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, soy, nuts, and seeds

  • Unsweetened, low-fat dairy products or dairy alternatives

  • Whole grains like quinoa, farro, brown rice, or whole wheat bread

If your blood sugar dips low quickly, consume one of these foods/drinks:

  • ½ cup fruit juice (like orange juice or apple juice)

  • 1 TBSP honey or sugar

  • Hard candy

Good to know: You will want to make sure to recheck blood sugar levels 15 minutes after eating/drinking. If your treatment includes steroid medications, you may feel hungry more often.

Here are a few additional ideas that can help keep your blood sugar controlled during these times:

  • Drink plenty of unsweetened fluids like water and tea.

  • Snack on foods that are rich in protein, fiber and/or healthy fats, like:

    • Unsalted nuts such as walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, and pumpkin or sunflower seeds

    • Whole grain crackers like Triscuits, Ak-Max, or Wasa crisps with low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, hummus, or nut butter

    • Raw or blanched vegetable with dip like hummus or tzatziki 

    • String cheese and fresh fruit like grapes or an apple

    • Brown rice cakes with nut butter of your choice

  • Talk with your care team about physical activity at a level that’s right for you.

To schedule a nutrition visit and/or learn more about one-on-one and group nutrition programs, speak with a nurse. They will get you connected with a member of our nutrition team. Our goal is to meet you where you’re at with the resources and up-to-date facts you need to make confident, informed choices about eating well during cancer.