Diabetes Friendly Diet: Best And Worst Foods For Diabetics

Diabetes Friendly Diet

When you live with diabetes, your food choices matter. That’s why it’s important for you or your loved one to know how to maintain a healthy diet with diabetes.

When it comes to eating healthy as a diabetic, nothing is completely off limits. But while ‘bad’ foods are fine in small, moderated portions, it’s easiest to manage your diabetes if you stick to the best options.i

The world of nutrition can be notoriously difficult to navigate. Should you avoid fat? Should you cut out carbs? Does fruit have too much sugar? We want to make it simpler. Check out our quick overview of best and worst foods for diabetics.

Why Follow a Diabetes Friendly Diet?

If you or a loved one has diabetes, sticking to a healthy diet plan is very beneficial – not to mention imperative for your overall health.

Eating an excess of calories and fat causes the body to respond by creating an undesirable rise in blood glucose. This can lead to serious problems including high blood glucose levels and long-term complications like kidney, nerve, and heart damage.

When sticking to a healthy diet plan, you can control your diabetes and enjoy a host of other health benefits too.

Fruits For Diabetics

Best Fruits For Diabetics

Fruits provide the body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates. Most fruits are naturally low in both sodium and fat too.

When choosing fruits, stick to fresh fruit or frozen fruit that doesn’t have any added sugar. When it comes to applesauce, jam, and preserves, stick to low or no-sugar options.

Worst Fruits for Diabetics

Just because there is fruit in something, unfortunately, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It’s important for diabetics to watch their sugar intake, so be sure to avoid any canned fruit with excess sugary syrup. Get in the habit of checking the sugar content in things like applesauce, jam, and preserves, since many times these have more sugar than ice cream!

Starches For Diabetics

Your body needs carbohydrates, but not all carbohydrates are created equal. Diabetics should choose their carbohydrates carefully, sticking mainly to foods low on the glycemic index.

Best Starches For Diabetics

Whole grains: Whole grains are an important part of a diabetic diet because they are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Whole grains can reduce cholesterol, keep blood sugar levels stable, and more.

When it comes to whole grains, there are lots to choose like brown rice and oatmeal are a great base for any meal, but if you’re looking for something more exciting, check out the other varieties offered like amaranthmillet, and quinoa.

Starchy Vegetables: Not all starchy vegetables are great on a diabetic diet. If you or a loved one are looking for the best diabetic-friendly starchy vegetables, stick to things like baked or steamed carrots, parsnipssweet potatoespumpkinacorn squash, butternut squash, and green beans.

Worst Starches For Diabetics

Processed grains: From white flour to white rice, processed grains are attractive because they’re abundant and cheap. While the body needs carbohydrates, processed grains have been stripped of nearly all vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These refined carbohydrates offer little nutrition for the body and can increase inflammation and blood sugar in the body thanks to their high glycemic index.

When shopping or eating out, avoid things like sugar-laden cereal, white breadwhite-flourtortillas, and french fries.

Not all starchy vegetables are created equal: Not all starchy vegetables should be considered healthy. When shopping or eating out, avoid starchy veggies that are canned and contain lots of sodium, as well as those that are cooked with excess butter or cheese.

Pickles and sauerkraut can be healthy in moderation, but be mindful of these if you’re watching your sodium levels.

Protein For Diabetics

Best Protein for Diabetics

When it comes to healthy sources of protein, diabetics have many choices. The American Diabetes Association recommends plant-based proteins like beans, nuts, tofu, and seeds, as well as fish and other seafood. Chicken is another good course of protein but stick to breast meat if possible. Eggs and low-fat dairy also pack lots of protein without the excess calories and fat.

Worst Protein For Diabetics

When looking for sources of protein, avoid meats that are fried or higher-fat cuts of meat like ribs and bacon. Avoid deep-fried fish and tofu, and opt for low-fat cheeses instead of full fat. If you order beans when eating out, ask how they are prepared. Often times, beans are prepared with lard.

Dairy For Diabetics

Best Dairy For Diabetics

Your best choices for dairy are low-fat. Stick to 1% milk or skim milk, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, and low-fat or nonfat sour cream.

Worst Dairy For Diabetics

The worst dairy choices for diabetics include whole milk, regular yogurt, regular cottage cheese, regular sour cream, and regular half-and-half. If you’re going to splurge on full-fat cheese, be sure to watch your portion size.

Fats, Oils, and Sweets For Diabetics

Best Choices For Diabetics

Plant-based oils such as olive oil and grapeseed are your best option. Avocados, nuts, and seeds provide lots of vitamins and minerals but are high in calories, so be sure to watch your portion size.

Worst Choices For Diabetics

Trans fats hide out in foods and should be avoided whenever possible since they are bad for the heart. Sometimes a food will be labeled as 0 grams of trans fat – but be on the lookout for any foods that are “partially hydrogenated.”

Drinks For Diabetics

Best Drink Choices For Diabetics

Water will always be your best choice when it comes to drinks. If you want something a little more exciting, try unflavored or flavored sparkling waters, unsweetened tea, or black coffee.

In moderation, a light beer or small amount of wine can be alright but consult with your doctor first.

Worst Drink Choices For Diabetics

Soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks all contain high levels of sugar that can lead to weight gain and unstable glucose levels. We recommend avoiding these whenever possible in favor of sugar-free versions. Be sure to check the sugar count in any tea or coffee beverages you may order as some of these can have 50 grams or more of sugar.

Contact Sonas For Home Health Care Services

If your parent needs assistance with everyday activities as well as planning or preparing healthy, diabetic-friendly meals, a home health care provider can help. Their presence can instill a sense of camaraderie and their support can help form and sustain new lifestyle habits.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care services in Florida, contact the caring staff at Sonas Home Health Care. Call today (888) 592-5855.