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)
Edit ModuleShow Tags

AD. American Heart Association Check Change Control Cholesterol logo. Take Action. Live Healthy! Download your free cholesterol guide today. button: heart.org/cholesterol. National supporter: Sanofi Regeneron.


 

AD: American Heart Association logo. Symptoms. Always feeling tired isn't normal. Learn the signs of Heart Valve Disease.


 

AD. American Heart Association logo. Know your blood pressure numbers. And what they mean. Gain Control. button: learn more.


 

AD. Heart Insight. Get the app for free.


 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Special Topic Supplements

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Departments

Heart News

Heart health news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Heartfelt

Articles, poems and art submitted by heart disease survivors and their loved ones.

Life's Simple 7

Improving your health is as easy as minding seven simple health factors and behaviors. Tips and information to help you improve your health and enhance your quality of life.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These heart patients, their loved ones and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.