Diabetes: What to Eat & What to Avoid

It is easy for a diabetic to feel confused about what to eat and what not to eat. Diabetes and diet may seem like two things that should never be in the same sentence, but it’s not impossible to manage diabetes with a healthy diet.

Restricting certain foods is essential to maintain normal blood sugar levels, but cutting everything out is not necessary. There are still plenty of delicious food options diabetics can enjoy! Let’s take a look at what to eat and what to avoid.

What to Eat

The American Diabetes Association recommends the following for diabetics:

– Eat lean proteins.

– Keep trans fats at bay.

– Don’t forget the fruits and veggies.

– Pick foods with fewer sugar additives.

– Limit consumption of ultra-processed foods.

 Green, leafy veggies, whole grains, fatty fish, beans, walnuts, citrus fruits, berries, sweet potatoes, chia seeds, and probiotic yogurt are some of the best foods for people with diabetes.

What to Avoid

To manage diabetes with diet, it’s a good idea to limit consumption of  high glycemic index (GI) foods. Compared to Low GI foods, high GI foods increase blood sugar levels, so keeping portions small and pairing them with protein or healthy fats will help keep blood sugar in check and make one feel fuller.

Foods high in GI include white bread, puffed rice, white rice, white pasta, white potatoes, pumpkin, popcorn, melons, and pineapple.

People with diabetes may also want to limit or balance portions of carb-heavy foods, refined sugar, alcohol, sugary drinks, and salty foods.

Best Diets

 A low-carb diet can help reduce cravings, boost energy, and lower blood sugar levels. It may also help diabetics maintain a healthy weight.

Following are the different variations of low carb diets:

Keto Diet

On the ketogenic or “keto” diet, a person can eat up to 30 grams of carbohydrates daily. This may help people with diabetes control their blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight. It  may also reduce the risk of contracting diabetes.

Mediterranean Diet

This diet is rich in healthy fats, and vegetables, and includes lower amounts of red meat, thus helping people with diabetes maintain a moderate weight.

Vegetarian or Vegan Diets

A low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet can lead to weight loss, modest improvements in diabetes management, and lower cholesterol levels.