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Diabetic Diet Chart: Finding the Best Foods for Diabetics

Updated on June 5, 2012

Following a diabetes diet plays a crucial role in managing diabetes. A diabetic diet chart outlines the food groups and provides examples of foods for each group. The diabetic patient can use the diabetes diet chart to find the best foods for diabetes.

Selecting a variety of foods helps to ensure the diabetic is receiving the necessary vitamins and minerals. Eating a variety of foods also helps to prevent boredom with the diet which can lead to food cravings that can interfere with following the diabetes diet.

Therefore, the best foods for diabetes should not be a short list of meals that the diabetic eats frequently. Instead, the best diabetes foods are healthy ingredients that can be used in a variety of ways. These healthy foods can add flavor and additional options to the diet rather than limiting the diabetic's choices.

Meat & Meat Substitutes

People tend to decide what meat to have for the meal first. Then, they select the other foods that they want to go with that meat. However, many people get in the habit of selecting the same meats. This leads basically to repeating the same meals frequently. Shaking up the menu can begin by choosing a meat that the person doesn't eat very often. Beef and chicken may be the most common meats that are eaten. Why not choose a variety of seafood or a different kind of poultry for a meal?

Starches/Breads (Pasta, grains, & bread)

Breads are high in carbohydrates. The body converts carbohydrates to glucose. Eating too many carbohydrates can cause blood glucose levels to spike. However, breads are a healthy component of the diabetic diet when eaten in moderation. Whole grain bread and pasta are better choices than white bread and white pasta. If the diabetic becomes bored with the same breads and pasta choices, other grains can provide variety. Bulgur wheat, wild rice, or quinoa may be unique choices to liven up the menu. Bulgur wheat can be mixed with sautéed mushrooms and onions for different side dish.

Non-starchy Vegetables

The non-starchy vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. These foods are vital parts of the diabetic diet. Non-starchy vegetables can be some of the best food for diabetics. By including a variety of these vegetables, the diabetic gets proper nutrition without adverse effects on the blood sugar level since these vegetables contain only small amounts of carbohydrates. Cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus, and eggplant are examples of non-starchy vegetables.


When selecting fruits to use as part of the diet, it may be tempting to grab a fruit juice. However, whole, fresh fruits are a healthy choice with less impact on blood sugar levels than fruit juice. Fruits often are avoided by diabetic since they raise blood sugar levels. When eaten as part of the diet as outlined by the dietician on the diabetic diet chart, fruits are a very healthy component of the diet. Eating fruit regularly has been known to reduce cravings for sweets.


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