What to Eat (and what to avoid) if You Have Diabetes

Making healthy choices in what you eat is essential, but sometimes it’s hard to be sure if you’re eating the right foods.

If you have diabetes, you know the importance of a healthy diet in managing the disease. Making healthy choices in what you eat is essential, but sometimes it’s hard to be sure if you’re eating the right foods. Choose foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars. This list can help you decide what you should eat and what you should limit.

Foods you SHOULD eat include:

  • Fruits and vegetables (citrus fruit, berries, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, tomatoes)
  • Fiber-rich whole grains (oatmeal, barley, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, whole-grain corn)
  • Fish, especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, lake trout, mackerel, herring)
  • Chicken or turkey (without the skin)
  • Non-tropical vegetable oils
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Legumes

Foods you should LIMIT include:

  • Sweets and added sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, dextrose, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, concentrated fruit juice, honey, soda, fruit drinks, candy, cake, jellies)
  • Red meats (beef and pork)
  • Sodium (have less than 1,500 mg per day)
  • Foods high in saturated and trans-fats (butter, whole milk, cheese, coconut and palm oil, hydrogenated oils)
  • Partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats (hard margarine, foods made with shortening such as some cakes, pastries and pies, cookies, muffins, donuts, French fries)
  • Alcohol (no more than one drink per day for women, two for men)
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