Diabetes Diet: Food Choices for Diabetics

April 10, 2019

Diabetic Diet

Figuring out the best foods to eat when you have type 1 diabetes mellitus or type 2 diabetes mellitus can be tough. The main goal is to keep blood sugar levels well-controlled. However, it’s also important to eat foods that help prevent diabetes complications. Taking steps to prevent or control diabetes doesn’t mean living in deprivation; it means eating a tasty, balanced diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood. You don’t have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland food. Here are the best choices and worst choices for diabetics.

Diabetes and Breads, Grains, and Other Starches

Your body needs carbs. But you should choose wisely. Use this list as a guide.

Best Choices

  • Whole-grain flours and whole grains such as wheat, bajra, jowar, nachni, oats
  • Cereals containing whole-grain ingredients and little added sugar
  • Whole-grain or multi grain bread
  • Sauted sweet potato or baked steak fries

Worst Choices

  • Potato and corn
  • Processed grains, such as white rice
  • Cereals with little whole grain and lots of sugar
  • White bread
  • French fries
  • Fried white-flour tortillas

Diabetes and Vegetables

Most vegetables contain fiber and are naturally low in fat and sodium (unless they are canned or frozen in sauces). Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn, aren’t included in this category. They are considered part of the breads, grains, and other starches group.

Best Choices

  • Fresh vegetables, eaten raw or lightly steamed, roasted, or grilled
  • Plain frozen vegetables, lightly steamed
  • Low sodium or unsalted canned vegetables
  • Lettuces, greens, kale, spinach, arugula

Worst Choices

  • Canned vegetables with lots of added sodium
  • Vegetables cooked with lots of added butter, cheese, or sauce
  • Pickles, Sauerkraut

Diabetes and Fruits

Fruits have carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are naturally low in fat (except for avocados) and sodium. Most fruits have more carbs than vegetables, so one should be careful when including them in the diet.

Best Choices

  • Plain frozen fruit
  • Fresh fruit
  • Sugar-free or low-sugar jam or preserves
  • No-sugar-added applesauce

Worst Choices

  • Canned fruit with heavy sugar syrup
  • Chewy fruit rolls
  • Regular jam, jelly, and preserves (unless portion is kept small)
  • Sweetened applesauce
  • Fruit punch, fruit drinks, fruit juice drinks

Diabetes and Meat and Other Proteins

Best Choices

  • Baked, broiled, grilled, or stewed meats
  • Lower-fat cuts of meat, such as top sirloin
  • Turkey bacon
  • Low-fat cheeses
  • Skinless breast of chicken or turkey
  • Baked, broiled, steamed, or grilled fish
  • Tofu lightly sautéed, steamed, or cooked in soup
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Nuts

Worst Choices

  • Fried meats
  • Higher-fat cuts of meat, such as ribs
  • Pork bacon
  • Regular cheeses
  • Poultry with skin
  • Fried fish
  • Fried tofu
  • Beans prepared with lard

Diabetes and Dairy

This diet group includes milk and foods made from milk, such as yogurt and sour cream. Milk has a lot of protein and minerals, including calcium.

Best Choices

  • 1% or skim milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Low-fat or nonfat sour cream
  • Frozen low-fat, low-carb yogurt

Worst Choices

  • Whole milk
  • Regular yogurt
  • Regular cottage cheese
  • Regular sour cream
  • Regular ice cream

Diabetes and Fats, Oils, and Sweets

Best Choices

  • Baked snacks, such as baked sweet potato chips, puffed rice, in small portions
  • Vegetable oils, non-hydrogenated butter spreads, margarine
  • Reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • Light salad dressings
  • Air-popped or calorie-controlled popcorn

Worst Choices

  • Snacks fried in fat, such as potato chips, corn chips, pork rinds
  • Lard, hydrogenated vegetable shortening, butter
  • Regular mayonnaise
  • Regular salad dressings
  • Butter-flavored stove-top popcorn.

Diabetes and Beverages

Some drinks have lots of carbs but very little nutrition. Others may be a better choice most of the time.

Best Choices

  • Water, unflavored or flavored sparkling water
  • Light beer, small amounts of wine or non-fruity mixed drinks
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Coffee, black or with added low-fat milk and sugar substitute
  • Plain coffee and hot chocolate

Worst Choices

  • Regular sodas
  • Regular beer, fruity mixed drinks, dessert wines
  • Sweetened tea
  • Coffee with sugar and cream
  • Flavored coffees and chocolate drinks
  • Energy drinks

Posted in Blog | Tags: ,