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Diabetic Food List - Best Foods for Diabetics

Updated on July 18, 2011
There are a wide variety of choices for a diabetic food list.
There are a wide variety of choices for a diabetic food list.

Find Out the Best Foods for Diabetics With a General Diabetic Food List

To make a diabetic food list of acceptable foods for diabetics would create an exhaustive list that would not be of much use. Instead, a generalized list of foods suitable for a diet for diabetics seems more useful. Below is a general diabetic food list of acceptable foods for diabetics to help keep blood sugar levels under control.

These are the diabetic foods that were recommended for my husband after he was diagnosed with diabetes. This diet for diabetics was planned by a dietician.

Diabetic Food List of Best Carbs

Most diabetics know that carbs aren't necessarily the best foods for diabetics. But this is only partly true. It depends on the types of carbs you eat on a diabetic diet. Simple carbs consisting of processed convenience foods are some of the worst types of food you can eat if you are a diabetic.

However, complex carbs consisting of whole grains can be eaten in moderation on a diabetic diet. The following diabetic food list shows some healthy carbs suitable for diabetics:

Whole grain foods
Brown rice
Oats, but avoid the instant kind

Best Meats and Seafood Choices on a Diet for Diabetics

Meats are allowed on the diabetic food list. Try to eat lean cuts of meat, such as skinless chicken breast, roast beef, and pork tenderloin. But the occasional bacon or sausage is okay, too.

Most fish and other seafood are great choices on a diet for diabetics. You should try to include fish on your diabetic foods menu often, at least a couple of times a week, if possible. Your best bet is grilled fish, especially salmon and tuna. Other best choices are swordfish, sardines, shrimp, flounder, scallops, and lobster. Avoid too many fried or breaded seafood dishes.

Dairy Is Allowed on a Diabetic Foods List

Dairy and eggs are also included on the diabetic food list of acceptable foods. But use them in moderation. Be sure to choose low-fat or non-fat dairy choices, however, such as skim milk and low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt. Check blood sugar levels after drinking milk, as it spikes blood sugar in some people.

Vegetables Are the Best Foods for Diabetics

Vegetables should be the mainstay of your diabetic food list. During your meals, vegetables should make up about 2/3 of the food on your plate.

Eat lots of green vegetables especially. Some recommended vegetables on a diet for diabetics include spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, collard and mustard greens, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, zucchini, lettuce, cauliflower, tomatoes, and brussels sprouts.

It's best to avoid starchy vegetables, such as potatoes or corn. Or eat them sparingly. But most vegetables are suitable for diabetics.

Of course, monitor your blood sugar levels after eating a new food. Different foods affect people differently. Sometimes a perfectly healthy food for diabetics may not be compatible for you.

Beans Are Allowed on a Diet for Diabetics

Next on the diabetic foods list are beans. Beans are a healthy source of proteins on a diabetic diet. Some of the best choices for diabetics include kidney beans, black beans, lima beans, chickpeas, and blackeyed peas. Lentils are also a good choice.

Be Careful When Including Fruits on Your Diabetic Food List

Fruits can be tricky on a diet for diabetics. Because of their natural sugar content, they can make blood sugar levels rise if you are not careful with your diet choices.

Some recommended fruits for diabetics are strawberries, apples, kiwi, grapefruit, peaches, blueberries, and raspberries. But try any fruits that you like. Fruit juices should be avoided, as they are usually high in sugar.

Just be sure to monitor your blood sugar after eating to be certain that any specific fruits are not making your blood sugar spike.

Diabetic Food List of Beverages

Beverages are pretty obvious for the diabetic. Like everyone else, you should drink plenty of water. Try mineral water for a change every once in a while.

Also, as mentioned above, skim or low-fat milk are acceptable choices. Lots of diet drinks are available, including soft drinks and teas. I highly recommend diet green tea. It's delicious.

Experiment with diet drink mixes. There are so many flavors available, you should never get bored- lemonade, fruit flavors, etc.

Coffee and tea are also on the diabetic food list. Avoid adding sugar, of course.

Any Desserts on the Diabetic Food List?

If you are following a diabetic diet, your diabetic food list doesn't have to exclude desserts entirely. You will be pleasantly surprised at the food choices available for diabetics today.

There are many sugar-free ice creams and frozen food treats like popsicles. Also, there are lots of tasty sugar-free candies and cookies made with sugar alcohols that don't affect blood sugar levels.

If you like to bake or cook, many sugar alternatives allow you to make homemade desserts suitable for diabetics. Look into diabetic recipes made with stevia, xylitol, or guava if you don't want to use artificial sweeteners.

Diets for Diabetics Don't Have to Be Boring

There are many ways to enrich your diabetic diet menu. Diets for diabetics don't have to be bland.

Try all kinds of herbs and spices. Spice it up with hot sauce and horseradish. Don't forget to experiment with traditional flavors, such as garlic and a little Worcestershire sauce.

To add more flavor to your diabetic diet, look for low-fat condiments. Mustard is an excellent choice as a condiment for diabetics, as it contains no fat or sugar. If you must use ketchup, find one that is sugar-free.

Salsa is also on the diabetic food list of acceptable foods. Use one with no added sugar. We use Pace Picante sauce. It has no added sugar, and tastes great. It can spice up so many things. Scrambled eggs and black beans are really good with added salsa.

It's fun to experiment with flavored vinegars. They can add lots of taste to your diabetic food.

Also, look for sugar-free salad dressings. Or try ones with little sugar added and use sparingly. Sugar-free jelly and jam brands are also pretty good. Experiment with different brands to see which ones you prefer.

Best Foods for Diabetics in a Hurry

If you find yourself in a situation where you must eat fast food or have to stop by the store on the way home to get something quick to fix, there are some healthy choices.

Try salads. You are not stuck with just vegetable salads. You can also eat tuna, chicken, or egg salad. Soups are another good choice, but avoid cream soups. Try vegetable soups or minestrone.

Diabetic Food List - Best Foods for Diabetics Comments

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    • Brenda Arledge profile image


      13 days ago from Washington Court House

      You make it sound good but in reality there are alot of great foods one cannot mashed potatoes and gravy or homemade noodles.

      One step at a time...maybe we can find that magic delicious meal.

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      I need to know a good Diebetic diet. Need 7 vegetables that I can it

    • profile image

      Joann Rodriguez 

      14 months ago

      I am pre-diabetic, and pulmonary hypertension. What I am confused about is portion size. Like how many grapes, Strawberries I can eat per meal. And cup size of broccoli, etc.

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      Good infO

    • profile image

      Which one is worse,type 1 or type 2 ? 

      2 years ago

      Which one is worse,type 1 or type 2 ?

    • liesl5858 profile image

      Linda Bryen 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is a very good list of food for diabetics, thank you. You have covered them all. Voted up.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This was really interesting and helpful. It really answered many of my questions and doubts.. many thanks

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very interesting Hub. I love fish and pecans and find that they don't increase my blood sugar much, if any. It's really not that difficult learning to eat like a diabetic, even when you have type 1 diabetes! Thanks

    • profile image

      vinod kumar 

      8 years ago

      i thank u for providing such an impirtant infgormation for those people who suffer from diabetics and feel very boring towards their life style

    • profile image 

      8 years ago

      good advise for me


    • MarilynMorrison profile image


      9 years ago


      This is hub is informative, thanks for sharing this post.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you so much this was so helpful to me because my mom is a diabetic and i needed to know what type of food she can eat once again thank you

    • profile image

      Brenda Rayburn 

      9 years ago

      Hi, thanks for the info, I came over this hub doing some research for a website I am putting together on diabetic foods. Brenda.

    • WRITTENBYSHAWN profile image


      10 years ago from Port William, Ohio

      As a type 2, I find this hub very useful. Thanks for the great hub.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      10 years ago from Philippines

      Just the right hub for me. I'm diabetic with type 2 condition. You're right about fruit juices. Maybe just a sip or two won't bring the spikes? I'll bookmark this for my ready reference. Thank you.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      10 years ago from Wales

      Thanks for a great hub. My partner suffers from stage 2 diabetes and this hub is going to be so useful. Well done

    • JenniferHilton profile image


      10 years ago from Chicago

      Coincidentally, most of the fruits that you have listed are what I have been eating day in day out. We can't eat most of the sweety stuffs but usually fruits can do the job if we crave for some sugary food.

      Thanks for the great hub.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      this site is a blessing. My husband has type 2, and I'm having a hard time finding fruits and veggies that will bring his sugars down. Now I have a list, and some great food ideas.


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Angela you mean to eat at all the above foods.

      it does not matter how much we eat?

    • blessedmom profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      Great hub, thank you

    • BJBenson profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      I found your hub useful, thank you

    • pisean282311 profile image


      10 years ago

      this is very helpful hub...i must thank you for this...

    • samboiam profile image


      10 years ago from Texas

      Another needed hub. I have bookmarked this one and rated it up.

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      10 years ago from Westerville

      Great Hub, I'm assuming folks could adhere to this as a good a measure to good over all health and prevention! Peace :)


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