What can you eat if you have diabetes?
This is a question we get asked all the time, and worrying about what to eat can cause terrible anxiety and even worsen diabetic symptoms. Here, we will explore the different types of food that are generally good for those of us living with this challenging disease. Don’t forget to grab a copy of our free Diabetic Cookbook if you haven’t already!
These are the definitive 10 foods that will always mesh well with your diabetes diet, foods you can rely on to give you a boost of much needed nutrients that are typically lacking in a western diet. These foods also have a low glycemic index, which means they don’t have a large effect on your blood’s glucose levels. These foods also have important nutrients like calcium, fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
To discover the full list of these foods, be sure to read our article on the top 10 super foods for diabetics (click here).
Grains and Starchy Vegetables
There’s a ton of debate on whether these types of foods promote weight gain or loss and whether they are healthy for those with diabetes. Ideas about these food groups change all the time, but if you’re going to partake, you might as well pick foods that are nutritious.
Whole Grains: A whole grain is the entire grain, including the bran, germ and endosperm (starchy part). The most popular grain in the US is wheat, which can be found in products like 100% whole wheat bread, pasta, tortillas, and crackers. Refined flours like white and enriched wheat flour include only part of the grain – the starchy part, and are not whole grain. They are missing many of the nutrients found in whole wheat flour. Read our article on Whole Grains to find a list of the best whole grain products you can find (click here).
Starchy Vegetables: Starchy vegetables are great sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. The best choices do not have added fats, sugar or sodium. For a list of the best starchy veggies, check out our article here (click here).
Don’t forget to also take a look at our article covering some tops for how to measure and eat carbohydrates (click here).
Non Starchy Vegetables
Do you find that you’re always hungry because of the diet you’re on? Do you miss feeling satisfied and full? Well, this is the perfect food group to use when you just want to eat more! Finally, you can satisfy your appetite without worrying about the health implications.
Vegetables have vitamins, minerals, and fiber without a lot of calories or carbohydrates. You’ve already read a bit about starchy vegetables, which MAY be bad for your health, but these non starchy veggies are great. When shopping for vegetables, you’ll want fresh, canned, or frozen vegetables without added sodium or sugars. Of course, fresh vegetables are the best, because they’re the least likely to contain unwanted additives.
For more on these types of veggies and how to include them in your diet, head over to our full article (click here).
Everyone needs protein, but some proteins have a lot of fat or carbs, while others are leaner and much more healthy. Foods with a lot of protein include fish, chicken, meats, soy products, and cheese.
For more about protein, along with suggestions on which food sources to eat and portion size, read our article on the healthy way to eat meat (click here).
Fluids (what to drink)
When most people think of a diet, they think of food. Don’t forget that what you drink can have an equal or greater effect on your weight and blood glucose levels!
You might be surprised what drinks like diet sodas can do to your body. For a complete list of what you can drink, click here.