Best and Worst Foods for Diabetes

To control blood sugar levels, it’s essential to eat a healthy diet. However, maintaining a healthy diet does not imply that all foods are helpful for diabetes management.. Here is a list of the best and worst foods for people with diabetes that you should know:


We all need carbohydrates to survive, but some carbs are better than others. Use the following as a guide to pick the right ones.

Best choices: Baked sweet potato, whole grains (such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, millet, or amaranth), and items made with whole grains and no added sugar.

Worst choices: French fries, white bread, fried white-flour tortillas, processed grains (such as white rice or white flour), and cereals with little whole grains and lots of sugar.


Vegetables are good for diabetics not only because they help the body absorb the nutrients it needs to keep blood sugar under control but also because they slow down the body’s intake of carbohydrates.

Best choices: Greens (such as kale, spinach, and arugula), fresh veggies (eaten raw or lightly steamed, roasted, or grilled), and plain frozen vegetables (lightly steamed).

Worst choices: Pickles, sauerkraut, canned vegetables, and veggies cooked with lots of added butter, cheese, or sauce.


Fruits are healthy snacks and dessert choices. Not only are they rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they are also low in fat and sodium. However, they tend to have more carbs compared to vegetables.

Best choices: Fresh fruit, no-added-sugar applesauce, sugar-free or low-sugar jam or preserves, and plain frozen fruit or fruit canned without added sugar.

Worst choices: Chewy fruit rolls, sweetened applesauce, canned fruit with heavy sugar syrup, regular jam, jelly, and preserves, fruit punch, fruit drinks, and fruit juice drinks.


Protein helps one feel full longer and maintain muscle mass, which is important for physical health. Without enough protein, people with diabetes are more prone to weight gain. One can enjoy a healthy diet and maintain blood sugar levels with the following choices.

Best choices: Seafood, eggs, low-fat dairy, chicken and other poultry, and plant-based proteins such as beans, nuts, seeds, or tofu.

Worst choices: Regular cheeses, fried meats, deep-fried fish, deep-fried tofu, higher-fat cuts of meat (such as ribs), pork bacon, poultry with skin, and beans prepared with lard.