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What to Eat if You Have Diabetes
- Beans provide about one-third of the fiber you need each day in just a ½ cup. They are also a good source of magnesium and potassium. Some examples are kidney, pinto, navy, and black beans. Dried beans are also an economic way to stock your pantry. Beware of canned beans, as they can add unwanted sodium to your diet.
- Dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale, are low in calories and carbohydrates, so do not be afraid to pile your plate!
- Citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, provide fiber and vitamin C.
- Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes and are packed with vitamin A.
- Berries, whether strawberries, blueberries, or another variety, are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. A parfait made with berries and low-fat yogurt can satisfy your desire for something sweet.
- Tomatoes can be eaten raw, added to soups and stews, or made into pasta sauce. However you eat them, you will be getting an extra dose of iron, vitamin C, and vitamin E in your diet.
- Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, is a great choice. Aim for 6-9 ounces of broiled or baked fish each week—breaded or fried fish does not count!
- Whole grains are a great alternative to processed grains like white bread or rice. Whole grains contain nutrients like magnesium, chromium, and folate, just to name a few. Whole grain versions of more popular foods, such as boxed cereal and pasta, are more available than ever and easier to find.
- Nuts provide healthy fat and keep you feeling full longer. The also contain fiber. Be careful though, since there can be a lot of calories in a small amount.
- Fat-free milk and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D, as well.
- If eating meat, choose lean meats and remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
- Choose fat-free dairy, like skim milk and fat-free yogurt.
- Choose water or calorie-free drinks instead of soda, sweet tea, or other sugary drinks.
Caving in to Cravings
Sweet as Sugar: The Real Story on Sugar Substitutes
A Balanced Diabetic Diet
American Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.org
Joslin Diabetes Center http://www.joslin.org
Canadian Diabetes Association http://www.diabetes.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Diabetes superfoods. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/diabetes-superfoods.html. Updated August 1, 2013. Accessed September 25, 2013.
Dietary considerations for patients with type 2 diabetes. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated April 10, 2013. Accessed September 25, 2013.
Dietary guidelines for Americans 2010. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf. Accessed September 25, 2013.
Five common food myths for people with diabetes debunked. Joslin Diabetes Center website. Available at: http://www.joslin.org/info/5-common-food-myths-for-people-with-diabetes.html. Accessed September 25, 2013.
Making healthy food choices. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices.html. Accessed September 25, 2013.
Sugar and desserts. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/sweeteners-and-desserts.html. Updated August 1, 2013. Accessed September 25, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 00/92/2013