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What Are The Best Foods For Diabetics


Diabetes Warning: The 3 Food Swaps You Need To Make Now To Slash Risk Of Deadly Disease

Food Fix: Best Foods for People With Diabetes | Healthline
  • 9:34, 9 Feb 2022

KEEPING a healthy diet is one of the best ways to look after your health – especially if you’re diabetic.

Diabetics have to pay particular attention to their diets in order to make sure they aren’t consuming too much sugar.

Making sure you eat a balanced diet is a great way to keep your weight in check – as obesity is one of the biggest risks when it comes to diabetes.

Obesity is believed to account for 80-85 per cent of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and this is usually because obesity causes increased levels of fatty acids and inflammation.


This can lead to insulin resistance which in turn can lead to type 2 diabetes.

With type 1 diabetes, a persons pancreas produces no insulin.

In type 2, cells in the body become resistant to insulin, so a greater amount is needed to keep blood glucose levels within a normal range.

The NHS has also launched various campaigns to help people lose weight to stop them developing diabetes.

How To Make And Eat Food

The goal is to ease your symptoms while making sure you get enough nutrition. Everyone is different, but your doctor or dietitian may tell you to:


Eat small meals more often. Try to space your meals out. Eat 4-6 times a day. Your stomach may swell less and empty faster if you donât put too much in it. A small meal is about 1 to 1½ cups of food.

Eat healthy food first. Itâs not a good idea to fill up on empty calories like desserts or snacks.

Blend your meals. Liquids leave your stomach faster than solids. Toss your food in a blender or food processor with water, juice, milk, or broth. You can blend meat too, including fish and chicken.

Eat less fiber and fat. These can slow stomach emptying. You may feel OK if you stay under 2-3 grams of fiber with each meal. You might need to try to keep your fat between 30 and 50 grams or less per day.

Add high-fat drinks. Your stomach might do OK with liquid fat. Thatâs good news if you need more calories.


Chew your food well. Solid food is harder for your stomach to digest. Your food should feel kind of like mashed potatoes before you swallow.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and other fluids every day. Dehydration can make your nausea worse. If you throw up a lot, your doctor may tell you to drink sports drinks or something else with sugar or electrolytes.

Bonus: Us Meds Diabetes

By now, youre practically an expert on foods that can help you manage diabetes. Are you looking for recipes that incorporate these food items and other ingredients that are great for diabetes? We can help you with that, too! Just head over to our recipe collection, which is jam-packed with recipes created with diabetes in mind.

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Add Extra Activity To Your Daily Routine

If you have been inactive or you are trying a new activity, start slowly, with 5 to 10 minutes a day. Then add a little more time each week. Increase daily activity by spending less time in front of a TV or other screen. Try these simple ways to add physical activities in your life each day:


  • Walk around while you talk on the phone or during TV commercials.
  • Do chores, such as work in the garden, rake leaves, clean the house, or wash the car.
  • Park at the far end of the shopping center parking lot and walk to the store.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Make your family outings active, such as a family bike ride or a walk in a park.

If you are sitting for a long time, such as working at a desk or watching TV, do some light activity for 3 minutes or more every half hour.5 Light activities include

  • leg lifts or extensions

Prevent Low Blood Glucose

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Because physical activity lowers your blood glucose, you should protect yourself against low blood glucose levels, also called hypoglycemia. You are most likely to have hypoglycemia if you take insulin or certain other diabetes medicines, such as a sulfonylurea. Hypoglycemia also can occur after a long intense workout or if you have skipped a meal before being active. Hypoglycemia can happen during or up to 24 hours after physical activity.

Planning is key to preventing hypoglycemia. For instance, if you take insulin, your health care provider might suggest you take less insulin or eat a small snack with carbohydrates before, during, or after physical activity, especially intense activity.4

You may need to check your blood glucose level before, during, and right after you are physically active.

Recommended Reading: Do Type 1 Diabetics Take Insulin


Dairy Foods And Alternatives

Milk, cheese and yogurt have lots of calcium and protein in great for your bones, teeth and muscles. But some dairy foods are high in fat, particularly saturated fat, so choose lower-fat alternatives.

Check for added sugar in lower-fat versions of dairy foods, like yoghurt. Its better to go for unsweetened yoghurt and add some berries if you want it sweeter. If you prefer a dairy alternative like soya milk, choose one thats unsweetened and calcium-fortified.

Tofu Scramble With Multigrain Toast

Tofu is a versatile and great breakfast option for individuals with diabetes because its low in carbs yet high in protein and fat. Its made from condensed soy milk pressed into firm blocks.

Although tofu is typically viewed as a lunch or dinner protein, you can enjoy it for breakfast in many ways.

For example, cook up a quick, delicious tofu scramble. Simply chop firm tofu into bite-size pieces, cook in a hot frying pan in a little olive oil, and season with spices like salt, pepper, and turmeric powder.


A serving of tofu scramble made with 3.5 ounces of firm tofu on a slice of multigrain toast contains the following nutrients (

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Examples Of What To Try

  • sliced melon or grapefruit topped with unsweetened yogurt, or a handful of berries, or fresh dates, apricots or prunes for breakfast
  • mix carrots, peas and green beans into your pasta bake
  • add an extra handful of peas to rice, spinach to lamb or onions to chicken
  • try mushrooms, cucumber, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, celery and lettuce for lower carb vegetable options
  • try avocados, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, peaches and watermelon for lower carb fruit options

Check out our recipes to help you eat a healthy diet for diabetes weve got lots of delicious main meals packed full of vegetables, and fruity breakfast options.

Be Consistent With Your Carbs

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Try to eat three meals per day at regular times and space your meals no more than six hours apart. Eating at regular times helps your body control blood sugar levels. It also helps to try to eat about the same amount of food at each meal, especially carbohydrates.

Consider learning about counting carbohydrates as the amount of carbohydrate eaten at one time is usually important in managing diabetes. Having too many carbohydrates at a meal may cause your blood sugar level to go too high, and not enough carbohydrate may cause your blood sugar to go too low, depending on the type of diabetes medication you take.

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What Foods Should I Limit To Control My Blood Sugar

To keep your blood sugar under control, you may need to cut back on foods and drinks that are high in carbs. This doesn’t mean that you can never enjoy them. But you will need to have them less often or in smaller amounts.

The high-carb foods and drinks you should limit include:

  • Sugary foods, such as candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, sweetened cereals, and canned fruits with added sugar
  • Drinks with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks
  • White rice, tortillas, breads and pasta – especially those made with white flour
  • Starchy vegetables, such as white potatoes, corn, and peas

You may also need to limit how much alcohol you drink, as well as how much fat and salt you eat.

Diabetes Diet Sample Menus

Now that you know what foods are better if you have diabetes, putting the right foods on your plate is a matter of portions. The key to a balanced diet is planning meals using the diabetes plate methoddivide the plate into quarters: ¼ protein or meat, ¼ carbs, and 2/4 vegetable and fruit. If you want to lose weight, use 9-inch dinner plates and bowls so you arent piling the food on to a large dinner plate.

For example, fill half the plate with non-starchy veggies such as salad greens or steamed broccoli, and fill the remaining half of the plate with equal portions of a grain or starchy vegetable like mashed sweet potato, and a heart-healthy protein such as broiled salmon.


Here are some sample dinner menus to give you an idea of reasonable portion sizes that make up a healthy meal for someone with diabetes . In addition, the infographic above features a weeks worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas consistent with a diabetes diet plan.

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The Basics Of The Type 2 Diabetes Diet: What Should You Eat

To follow a healthy diet for diabetes, you must first understand how different foods affect your blood sugar. Carbohydrates, which are found to the largest degree in grains, bread, pasta, milk, sweets, fruit, and starchy vegetables, are broken down into glucose in the blood, which raises blood sugar, potentially leading to hyperglycemiaaccording to the Mayo Clinic. Protein and fats have little, if any, impact blood sugar, notes a past review. However, both should be consumed in moderation along with carbs to keep calories down and weight in a healthy range.

To hit your blood sugar level target, eat a variety of foods but monitor portions for foods with a high carbohydrate content, says Alison Massey, RD, a certified diabetes educator in Frederick, Maryland. have the most impact on blood sugar level. This is why some people with diabetes count their carbohydrates at meals and snacks, she says.

Healthy Eating Tips For Diabetes

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Food is the key to managing diabetes and reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other problems. There are many things you can do to change or improve your diet, but its important to avoid trying to change too many things at once.


Use the information below to pick 1 or 2 things you can do today to help you plan for healthier meals. Once you feel comfortable with the new changes, come back to this page and choose another healthy eating tip to work on.

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What Diets Are Recommended For A Type 1 Diabetes Eating Plan

Foods to include in a meal plan

  • Insulin-matched whole-grain carbohydrates
  • Nutrient dense, highly colorful foods
  • Low glycemic load diet plans
  • People with type 1 diabetes should follow the same healthy meal plans as all other people interested in preventing chronic disease, However, they must be more aware of the carbohydrate content of their meals so they can match their insulin dose appropriately. In order to do so, there are a few rules of thumb that can be followed.

  • In general, one unit of insulin covers 15 grams of carbohydrate. This is equivalent to 1/2 c of whole grains, 1 c of starchy veggies , or even less of a refined carbohydrate. This is a generality, and each person with type 1 diabetes needs to know his or her personal insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio. The ratio changes depending on the duration of diabetes, level of physical activity, and body weight. Insulin dosing also needs to be adjusted to take into account the blood glucose level before the meal. If blood sugar is above the target level, for example above 120, additional units of insulin are added to further bring it down. Generally, one additional unit will reduce blood sugar by about 50 points, but again, this varies for each individual.
  • When carbohydrates are consumed, they should be low glycemic load.
  • When fats and proteins are consumed, they should primarily come from plant sources.
  • fresh vegetables,
  • plant-fats such as olive oil and nuts,
  • fish such as sardines, and
  • occasional meat and dairy.
  • Ditch The Working Lunch

    Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?


    How you eat and drink matters. Studies are indicating that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

    When it comes to how you eat, let’s first look at mindful eating.

    Mindful eating can help to promote more healthful eating behaviours. Simply put, it means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe. Mindful eating helps to give your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

    Eating with attention and intention also addresses the role of hunger and satiety cues and stresses eating in response to those cues instead of eating in response to automatic patterns. This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less.

    Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?


    Thought so!

    We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

    And what about about drinking your food?

    If youre keen on crafting your own smoothies, here are a few tips:

    Read Also: What Does Diabetes Do To Your Body


    Basic Eating Guidelines For Diabetes

    If you have diabetes, follow a simple healthy eating plan, which includes:

    • Eat regular meals throughout the day.
    • Make vegetables the main part of your meal. Aim to fill at least half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables or salad at both lunch and dinner time.
    • You may need to reduce the serving size of your meals and snacks, as eating too much can lead to weight gain and make diabetes harder to manage.
    • Don’t add salt when you cook or at the table and reduce the use of high-salt foods.
    • Use herbs and spices to add flavour to your food.
    • Limit alcohol to 2 standard drinks per day, with some alcohol-free days each week.

    What Fruits Are Good For Diabetes And Which Should You Avoid

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    Fruit often gets a bad rap due to its carb content, but this food group can actually be great in a diabetes diet when chosen wisely and eaten in moderation. In particular, fruit can be a great replacement for unhealthy processed sweets, such as pastries, cakes, and cookies, while providing disease-fighting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and satiating fiber to boot.

    But just as with grains, its important to roll out your carb-counting skills when noshing on natures candy. The ADA notes that a small piece of whole fruit or ½ cup of canned or frozen fruit typically contains 15 g of carbs, while fruit juice a less ideal source of fruit for diabetes can have that much in 1/3 to ½ cup.

    Also, dried fruit may not be the best way to get your fix. Because so much water is removed, a serving of this variety is much smaller and usually less filling than whole fruit the ADA warns that just 2 tablespoons of raisins contains the same 15 g that a small piece of whole fruit contains!

    Same goes for canned fruit: This variety often contains sugary syrup at a high concentration, which should be avoided at all costs. Instead, look for terms like packed in its own juices, unsweetened, or no added sugar, the ADA says. Trendy juices are similarly less than ideal, as theyre stripped of the beneficial fiber that youd find in whole fruit with the skin on.

    You have many fruit choices at your disposal, according to the ADA. Best options for fruit include:

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    Plan Ahead For Healthy Meals

    Planning healthier meals and snacks can go a long way to helping you reach your goals. Talk to your registered dietitian or health-care team about the amount of carbohydrates that are right for you and for help with meal planning. A weekly meal plan will help you shop for the right foods and encourage more cooking at home.

    What Foods To Avoid With Diabetes

    Not all diets are created equal, and some of the more restrictive diets should be approached with caution.

    Highly carbohydrate-restricted diets, such as the extreme forms of keto diets, should be assessed carefully, says Dr. Horowitz. Though many people do very well with lower carbohydrate diets, and modified keto diets are often beneficial, diets that eliminate entire food groups are not balanced and may lead to deficiencies of macronutrients. They are also difficult to maintain.

    In general, foods and drinks that people with diabetes should limit include:

    • Fried foods
    • Foods high in saturated fats and trans fats
    • Foods high in sodium
    • Sweets
    • Beverages with added sugars

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    Diets Used With Caution For People With Diabetes

    Extreme diets may put you at risk, depending on which diabetes medications you may be taking or if you have other medical issues in addition to the diabetes, says Dunn.

    Here are her suggestions of what to avoid.

    1. Low or no-carb diets. Using insulin or taking a sulfonylurea and avoiding carbohydrates can put you at risk for low blood sugar. If you do want to follow this kind of diet, you should definitely check with your physician first.

    Depending on how low the carbohydrates are in the diet, your doctor may ordermonthly lab work to rule out low potassium or magnesium or elevated lipids or uric acid levels, says Dunn.

    2. Intermittent fasting, extreme calorie reduction or skipping meals. Any diet that promotes fasting for long periods can cause low blood sugar. Even if you arent taking medication for your diabetes, its important to maintain consistent eating patterns for weight management and blood sugar control. Be aware of how much you eat at any one time to avoid spiking your blood sugar.

    Any diet that encourages very low caloric intake can also increase the risk of low blood sugar and reduce muscle mass. This diet should also be supervised by a physician.

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