Top 11 Healthy Foods for Diabetes Patients

We’ve compiled a list of all the must-have diabetes-friendly foods that you must stock up in your pantry to fight off the risk factors and reduce the severity of your symptoms.

Needless to say, having all the basic nutritional powerhouses in your kitchen will make it much easier for you to put together healthy recipes. And we’ve picked out the 11 most nutritious food times for a diet that allows you to effectively manage and reduce diabetes symptoms.

However, before we indulge in our list, it is important to remember that when it comes to diabetes, restricting unhealthy foods is more important than adding healthier alternatives. So, examine all the foods that you must eliminate, such as cakes, added sugar products, processed and frozen meals, and fast food items.

Best Food for Diabetes Control
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Now, naturally this might make you feel deprived and always craving but if you replace them with delicious and nutritious food items, you can actually create a diabetes-friendly diet that is indulgent of your taste buds.

Read more: 22 Early Warning Signs of Type 2 Diabetes

Here, take a look at 11 food items that has been recommended for diabetic with volumes of research and expert advice:

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a natural sweetening herb that will add a flavorful punch of sweetness to your daily cup of java, yogurt bowl or oatmeal, eliminating the need for sugar and pack up your platter with countless nutritional benefits.

Research reveals that cinnamon brings about an impressive improvement in reducing blood glucose levels by reducing the absorption of carbs, and allowing cells to readily absorb insulin. The best part is, you don’t even need to consume it in large quantities to enjoy these benefits. All it takes is half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day!

Cinnamon Diabetes Friendly Diet
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2. Eggs

Eggs are one of the most versatile powerhouses of nutrition known to mankind, and regardless of whether you like your eggs hard-boiled, scrambled or fried, these are incredibly healthy for any diabetes-friendly diet. You see, eggs are packed with protein, and hence, they not only reduce hunger-inducing hormones to encourage weight loss, but also aid in regulating blood sugar levels to curb sudden spikes.

If you have diabetes, it is important to go on a diet that allows you to lose at least 10 pounds, which will bring dramatic improvements to your blood glucose regulation.

Research reveals that losing weight can even help diabetic patients reduce their medication doses.

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3. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an incredibly healthy food for diabetic-friendly carbohydrates, along with stocking up loads of vitamin A. Research reveals that this vitamin A allows sweet potatoes to aid in enhancing the functioning of cells that generate insulin. Moreover, sweet potatoes are loaded with heart-healthy vitamin C, and one medium-sized serving can pack up your body 4 grams of satiating fiber. However, since sweet potatoes pack up high concentrations of carbs, be sure to limit your portion.

Keep in mind that one medium-sized sweet potato packs up 24 grams of carbs, so eat no more than one a day.

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4. Fatty Fish

Experts have revealed that patients suffering from type 2 diabetes have a four times greater risk of dying due to heart disease as compared to those who do not suffer from this disease. This is an extremely scary reality, however, if you pack up your diet with fatty fish, you can reduce your symptoms and fight off risk factors of heart ailments.

Fatty fish like trout, herring, salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and sardines are packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that aid in reducing the risk factors of inflammation and heart disease. It also shields the eyes against diabetes-induced ailments and allergies.

A recent study reveals that consuming two servings of fatty fish each week is associated with a 50% reduction in the risk factors of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Fatty Fish Diabetes Friendly Diet
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5. Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables, such as kale, Swiss chard and spinach, are nutritional powerhouses that pack up an extremely low density of calories, making them the healthiest choice for diabetic patients and those who have a vulnerability for the disease and seek to reduce their risk factors.

Green leafy vegetables are packed with impressively high amounts of vitamin C and polyphenols, which boost extraordinary antioxidant benefits that aid in reducing the risk factors of type 2 diabetes. Moreover, they are loaded with high doses of magnesium, a mineral that is instrumental in fighting off insulin resistance.

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6. Avocados

This intensely creamy and rich fruit is loaded with an impressive concentration of heart-healthy fats and fiber, which aid in reducing sudden insulin spikes by stabilizing blood sugar levels. However, avocados are also packed up with calories, so be sure to consume them in mindful portions.

For instance, half serving of a medium-sized avocado contains more than 180 calories, which is just the same amount found in a generous tablespoon of mayonnaise or a slice of cheese.

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7. Beans

Beans are a nutritional powerhouse that must always be stored up in your pantry, especially canned black beans and chickpeas, along with lentils, which are so easy to cook. You see, beans are packed with protein and fiber, which aids in stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Moreover, the benefits of consuming beans regularly are far too impressive to ignore. A study revealed that adults suffering with type 2 diabetes who consumed beans or lentils everyday experienced a reduction in their A1C levels within three months.

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8. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is truly the most versatile and healthiest dairy product, and it has a much greater concentration of protein as compared to regular yogurt verities, along with being low in carbohydrates.

The impressive concentration of protein in Greek yogurt allows it to promote satiety for longer hours, which reduces the risk of blood sugar spikes.

However, it is important to consume plain Greek yogurt as opposed to varieties with artificial flavors, unnecessary carbs and heaps of added sugar. If you want to sweeten it up, load it up with berries, chopped apples or peaches, chia seeds, mixed nuts, pomegranate seeds and other fruits that you like.

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9. Berries

Berries are the healthiest snack to satisfy your sweet cravings without consuming any harmful processed or added sugar. These colorful delights are loaded with antioxidants and fiber, which regulate blood sugar levels and aid in preventing the risk factors of heart disease.

We strongly urge you to enjoy fresh berry during their season, however, frozen berries are just as nutritious and offer the same benefits as fresh ones.

What’s more, they’re much more affordable, but make sure you don’t pick out frozen berries that are loaded with preservatives or added sugar.

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10. Nuts

Unsalted and unprocessed nuts are the go-to staple for an energizing pick-me-up snack between your regular meals.

Experts recommend the consumption of unsalted nuts due to their impressive concentration of healthy fats, fiber and protein, which promotes satiation.

These nutrients aid in regulating blood sugar levels as high doses of magnesium, which aids in fighting off insulin resistance. However, experts strongly recommend consuming no more than a one-ounce serving per day because nuts tend to pack a lot of calories.

One-ounce would roughly make up around 18 cashews or even 24 almonds.

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11. Whole Grains

Whole grains, such as barley, oats, quinoa and brown rice, despite being loaded with carbs, are impressively rich in fiber, which is digested with a slow-burning mechanism that is much slower than the digestion rate of fiber-less refined carbs, found in white breads and rice.

Adding whole grains to your daily diet will bring about remarkable improvements in blood sugar regulation. However, be sure to consume mindful portions for 1/3 portion of cooked whole grains pack up 15 grams of carbs.

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Reference Studies:

Here at HealthZone, we have a strict policy regarding medicinal content and relies only on peer-reviewed studies. We make sure to avoid tertiary references and bring forth the best studies available. You can learn about our sourcing by checking out our editorial policy.

  1. Eating patterns and meal planning. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/diabetes-meal-plans-and-a-healthy-diet.html. Jan. 29, 2019.
  2. Evert AB, et al. Nutrition therapy recommendations for the management of adults with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2014;37:S120.
  3. Create your plate. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/. Accessed Jan. 28, 2019.
  4. Traditional American cuisine: 1,200 calories. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/eat/menus_tac_1200.htm. Accessed Jan. 29, 2019.
  5. American Diabetes Association. 5: Lifestyle management: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2019. Diabetes Care. 2019;42:S46.

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