What is a diabetes diet?
A diabetes diet is a healthy-eating plan which is rich in nutrients and low in fats and calories. A diabetes diet simply means eating healthy food to help your body better utilize the insulin it produces or gets through a medication. Key elements of a good diabetes diet are fruits, vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats, and whole grains. Another key element of any diabetes diet is eating moderately and at regular intervals.
The main purpose of a diabetes diet is to lower the risk of diabetes complications, maintain a healthy weight, and meet your body’s nutritional requirements. People with diabetes have increased the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems. The risk for these complications can be decreased to a great extent by a good diabetes diet. A carefully devised diabetes diet can prevent or even reverse type 2 diabetes.
A good diabetes diet should include fruits and vegetable, healthy fats, high-fiber cereals, whole grains, and complex carbohydrates. This diet doesn’t leave you hungry and craving for any food. It means eating a tasty, balanced diet that boosts your energy and improves your overall health. Apart from what you eat, how much, when, and how often you eat and drink is also very important in a diabetes diet plan.
A diabetes diet is all about what to eat, what to limit, and what to avoid for managing diabetes and prevent its complications. Here is the list of what to eat, what to limit, and what to avoid.
Include the following foods:
- Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, and green peas.
- Fruits: Oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes.
- Whole grains: wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, and quinoa. Bread, pasta, or tortillas made with whole grains.
- Proteins: Lean meat, skinless chicken or turkey, fish, eggs, nuts, peanuts, dried beans, chickpeas, and tofu.
- Low fat or nonfat dairy: Milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Healthy fats: Nuts, seeds, avocado, and fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Use oils when cooking food instead of butter, cream, shortening, lard, or stick margarine.
Limit the following foods:
- Fried foods
- Foods high in saturated fats and trans-fats
- Foods high in salt (sodium)
- Sweets and desserts
- Baked goods, candy, and ice cream
Avoid the following foods:
- Sugary beverages
- Sweetened breakfast cereals
- Packaged snack foods
- Processed foods like doughnuts, muffins, candy, and granola bars
- White bread, pasta, rice
- Fruit flavored yogurt
- Canned soups
- Frozen meals
- French fries
This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose. Please consult a doctor if you have health concerns.