Best Foods for a Diabetic’s Diet

Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of Americans, young and old. Type one diabetes affects mostly children, while type two diabetes most often affects adults. Both types of diabetes involve an inability to use insulin to disperse blood sugar from the bloodstream into the cells of the body where it is needed. Since insulin cannot properly move sugar out of the bloodstream, serious consequences such as heart problems can sometimes occur. While foods like candy and white bread should be limited by diabetes, certain foods can improve the health of diabetics and should be eaten often to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Salmon

Salmon is one of the best food choices for diabetics to eat. The Mayo Clinic recommends that diabetics eat healthy fish like salmon at least twice every week. Salmon is high in protein, so it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and promote a feeling of fullness. Another benefit of salmon is that it has omega 3 fatty acids, which can decrease triglyceride levels, a common concern for diabetics, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Broccoli

Vegetables such as broccoli are healthy sources of carbohydrates, which diabetics should eat every day. In fact, the Mayo Clinic recommends that carbohydrates account for 45 to 65 percent of a diabetic’s diet. While carbohydrates from processed foods such as chips and candy can increase a diabetic’s blood sugar levels too quickly, the fiber in broccoli helps to slow down blood sugar spikes. The American Diabetes Association recommends eating vegetables like broccoli in stir-fry dishes, on pizza or mixed in with pasta.

Egg Whites

Egg whites are low in fat, yet packed with muscle-fueling protein. According to the Mayo Clinic, 15 to 20 percent of a diabetic’s daily calories should come from protein. Whole eggs have cholesterol and saturated fat, but egg whites have less fat and cholesterol and more protein per calorie. Egg whites can be used in omelets, scrambles and even in baking.

Beans

According to Reader’s Digest magazine, beans can help diabetics to feel full longer by slowing down digestion. The dietary fiber in beans can also reduce the rate that blood sugar levels spike, keeping blood sugar levels stable. Diabetics can enjoy beans every day in salads and soups, or as a side dish. All of the different types of beans, such as black beans, pintos, white beans and garbanzo beans, are healthy.

About this Author

Sarah Davis has worked in nutrition in the clinical setting and currently works as a licensed Realtor in California. Davis began writing about nutrition in 2006 and had two chapters published in “The Grocery Store Diet” book in 2009. She enjoys writing about nutrition and real estate and managing her website, RealtorSD.com. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nutrition from San Diego State University.