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Diet for Diabetes Report

Living with diabetes can be a daily struggle as you need to change your lifestyle, monitor your blood sugar, and might be taking medications or giving yourself insulin every day. No matter what type of diabetes you have, there are certain risks to be aware of.



If you want to avoid the related complications of diabetes, it is best that you follow your doctor’s orders with the lifestyle changes, including changing your diet. The basic recommendations for a healthy diet are:

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy fats
  • Lean protein
  • Oily, fatty fish
  • Whole grains

The following information will go over some of these categories, giving you more insight into eating for your diabetes.

1. Fruits

The first type of food you can have when you have diabetes is fruit. The reason fruit is recommended so highly is because it provides a good amount of natural sugar and sweetness without having all the added sweeteners from baked goods and candy. If you are someone with a big sweet tooth, fruit can be your new best friend. You do want to be careful with the type of fruit you have, sticking to the ones with a lower GI, or glycemic index. Other fruits can be enjoyed only in moderation.

Fruits with a Low GI

To start with, you can enjoy these fruits, which offer a low glycemic index. You are looking for a GI of 55 or less when you have diabetes. These fruits include:

  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Nectarines
  • Kiwi
  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Oranges
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Plums
  • Pears

Fruits with a Medium GI

When you are talking about fruits that have a medium glycemic index, they are typically between 56 and 69 GI. These can still be eaten but should be only in moderation. They tend to have a larger impact on your blood sugar levels if you consume too many of them. These include papayas, honeydew melons, figs, and pineapples. You want to avoid watermelon and dates since they have a high GI. 

Now let’s look at some specific fruits that are recommended when you have diabetes. 

Berries – Berries are among the best fruits you can enjoy, fitting into most lifestyles. This includes when you are on a diabetic diet. Berries have a low GI and are even safe if you are also sticking to a low-carb diet or Keto diet with diabetes. Enjoy berries on your cereal or oatmeal, have them as a quick snack, or make a delicious smoothie.

Citrus – You can also have most citrus fruits since they don’t have a high glycemic index. These are great but stick to the whole, fresh fruit, not juice. Juice usually has added sugars and sweeteners. However, enjoy oranges, lemons, and limes, as well as grapefruits.

Apples – Who doesn’t love a good apple? These are great snacks to provide some sweetness without affecting your blood glucose levels when you have diabetes. You can enjoy your apples alone, with some Greek yogurt, or make a healthy dessert with pecans and some raw honey.

Cherries – You can also enjoy tart cherries when you have diabetes. These have a low GI, are only 78 calories for a cup of them, and also fight the inflammation you might experience with this disease. Have them fresh only as dried often contain added sugars.

2. Vegetables

It is probably no surprise that you should also eat your share of vegetables when you have diabetes. Vegetables are recommended for every person and nearly every medical condition, particularly when you have diabetes. This is true with all three types, including type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. While you can enjoy most vegetables, you do want to be careful with the starchy vegetables like white potatoes, sticking more to the greens and non-starchy varieties.

Here are some of the best vegetables to enjoy if you have diabetes:

Spinach

Most dark, leafy greens are recommended to you when you have diabetes, including spinach. Spinach is a great source of fiber and has some essential nutrients you need when you have diabetes, including vitamin K and beta carotene. If you aren’t a big fan of spinach, it is easy to add it to smoothies in the morning, mix in with your soup or sauce, or have scrambled eggs, and you will barely notice it’s there. Try to stick to fresh or frozen spinach as it won’t have added salt or sugar.

Broccoli

You should also load up on broccoli as much as you can when you have diabetes. This is a type of cruciferous vegetable that is great for providing anti-inflammation nutrients like sulforaphane. This is going to help prevent cardiovascular damage and help balance out your blood sugar levels. There are many ways to get more broccoli into your diet, including:

Eating broccoli as a snack with a healthy dip
Enjoying broccoli, egg, and cheese muffins in the morning
Dicing up broccoli to put in your salad

Tomatoes

If you are a fan of tomatoes, you’re in luck, because it is great for people with diabetes. You get nutrients like vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C, all of which are great when you have any type of diabetes. You also get some antioxidants with tomatoes, as well as both a low-carb and low-calorie option. Make some tomato sauce, salsa, or have diced tomatoes on your salad and you’re good to go with this vegetable.

Sweet Potatoes

Since you can’t have starchy vegetables like white potatoes or red potatoes, you might be looking for another potato that is better for diabetes. Sweet potatoes are the perfect option since they are lower in starch and sugar, but still delicious and easy to add to your meals. Sweet potatoes are low in fat, good for a moderate carb diet, and contain anti-inflammatory properties.

Cucumbers

If you are on a low-carb diet for diabetes, definitely add cucumbers to the mix. These are wonderful for diabetes since they are extremely low in carbs and fat, and are loaded with nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. Add some sliced cucumber to your salads or enjoy them as a snack.

Cabbage

Nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants, are all important for diabetes. This is why cabbage is on the list of recommended veggies. You will also get other vitamins and minerals like B6, fiber, and manganese. You can have cabbage on your salad, make a healthy stuffed cabbage, or easily add it to soups and stews.

3. Superfoods

You have probably heard the term superfood more than once. The reason we are mentioning it is simply because it allows you to add more healthy food options to your list. Superfoods are nothing more than foods that contain a higher-than-normal amount of nutrients. They are all good for you, but if you have diabetes, some of them are more recommended. Here are some superfoods to enjoy if you have diabetes:

Walnuts

The first superfood you should consider adding to your diet if you have diabetes is walnuts. Nuts and seeds in general are good for you to eat while you have diabetes since they provide fiber and other nutrients, without being too high in carbs. Walnuts are also a great source of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. They have antioxidants, are anti-viral, and can help reduce inflammation in your body, which as you know is very important if you have diabetes. 

Quinoa

Don’t forget about your quinoa! Whole grains are much better for you than other grains, like processed white flour and white rice. Quinoa is a superfood that is highly recommended if you have diabetes. It has a nutty flavor and tastes similar to brown rice, but also contains all nine amino acids. You will have more energy with this protein and a fiber-rich food, which is also an easy way to have a lower-carb and healthier side dish with your fish or lean poultry.

Dark Chocolate

Yes, you can still have chocolate when you have diabetes! You just want to make the switch to dark chocolate, aiming for 70% or higher cacao. This will be minimally processed, clean, and not contain a lot of added sugars or sweeteners that you shouldn’t have with diabetes. Make sure you check the ingredients and you stick to just one or two small pieces of dark chocolate a day.

Blueberries

In terms of fruit that you can have if you have diabetes, blueberries are among the best. They also happen to be one of the most popular superfoods that people enjoy consuming. Blueberries are sweet and tart, the perfect combination as a side dish, to top your oatmeal, add to salads, or make a smoothie with. 

Cinnamon

The last superfood to enjoy if you have diabetes is cinnamon. With cinnamon, you are able to season foods and drinks without adding any sugar. Cinnamon happens to be one of the top natural remedies for type 2 diabetes as well, so you really can’t go wrong here! 

4. Healthy Fats and Fatty Fish

The last category of foods you should consume if you have diabetes is your healthy fats and fatty fish. You should ignore the advice that all fats are bad for you because this is definitely not true! A lot of fats are really important and can actually help your cholesterol and help you to manage your diabetes a little better. While you should definitely avoid trans fats, other fats are healthy.

Here are some healthy fats to add to your diet:

Nuts and Nut Butters – Nuts and nut butter are high on the list of healthy fats. You can have peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, and other nuts and nut butter as long as you watch your portions. With the nuts, go for the raw variety without any seasonings or sugar added. Nut butter should be clean with just the nuts as the main ingredient. Watch out for hydrogenated oils in some peanut butter. 

Healthy Oils – Some oil is good for you and can be considered a healthy fat. These include olive oil, peanut oil, and canola oil. Just be sure to avoid vegetable oil and high amounts of butter in your diet.

Seeds – Some seeds also provide healthy fats along with other nutrients like protein and fiber. The best seeds to enjoy when you want healthy fats are sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Like the nuts, look for raw seeds without seasonings, salt, or sugar added to them. The less processed, the better they will be for you.

Avocados – One of the healthiest fats you can have while managing your diabetes is avocados. Also considered a fruit and a superfood, avocados provide fatty acids and the right kind of fat for your body. Plus, they are filling with all the fiber they contain.

Fatty Fish – Lastly, you can have some fatty, oily fish. This is low in fat and calories, plus provides more protein. This alone makes it a great choice. Fatty fish also provides nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids that you definitely want to have more of with diabetes. Some good types of fatty, oily fish include:

  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Sardines

As long as you follow these tips, you will be on your way to following a healthy diet and managing your diabetes at the same time. In closing, eat your fruits and veggies, add more superfoods to your diet, and focus on lighter meals without trans fats, sugar, and additives in your food.

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