Top 10 Effective Food for Diabetics

Diabetes. We all know what this term means. And we probably know a few people who have this disease. Diabetes is when the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin is compromised. This results in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates. This also causes an increase of glucose levels in urine and in the blood.

This disease is a chronic disease that’s fast on the rise.

Food Diabetics Should Avoid

For diabetics, it’s quite difficult to determine what are the proper food you can or cannot eat. Certain food should be avoided by people with diabetes. What you put in your mouth matters a lot when you have this condition.

Eating the wrong kind of food will raise insulin as well as blood sugar levels. Certain food also causes inflammation. This then increases your probability of the disease.

Top food offenders for diabetics are food that are high in sodium, carbs, fat, and calories. Several examples of these are drinks like fruit juices, sugar-sweetened beverages, and flavored coffee drinks. You should also avoid eating french fries, and sweetened breakfast cereals. Also steer clear of white bread, pasta, rice, full-fat dairy, packaged snacks, and dried fruit.

Ideal Food for Diabetics

If you have diabetes, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the world. True, there are some food you won’t be able to eat anymore. But not everything that you are allowed to eat is yucky or tastes bad. Don’t put it in your head that you can only eat a specific kind of food. There are still plenty of delicious options out there.

So what’s the ideal food for diabetics? For starters, food for diabetics should be high in fiber. Slow-release carbohydrates are ideal as well. Stock up on food with healthy fats, organic fruits and vegetables, and high-quality protein.

Check the list below for some tempting options of food for diabetics.


Quinoa is a great source of complete protein as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. It also has a high amount of fiber. This helps balance blood sugar levels and helps you stay fuller for a longer time. In addition, since it is rated low in the glycemic index, it won’t cause a rise in blood sugar levels.


According to a recent British study, consuming spinach regularly helps in lowering the risk of diabetes. Also, according to the American Diabetes Association, spinach is one of the greatest food for diabetics. It’s an excellent source of calcium, dietary fiber, protein, folate, magnesium, and manganese. Its antioxidant content also adds to the diabetes-fighting properties it has.


Another food for diabetics that you should stock up on is broccoli. It does wonders for diabetic patients. It has a compound called sulforaphane, which triggers a number of anti-inflammatory processes. These in turn regulate blood sugar levels and protect blood vessels from cardiovascular damage sometimes caused by diabetes. Sulforaphane also suppresses the enzymes in the liver that stimulate glucose production.


This is a nonstarchy vegetable containing only a small amount of carbs and calories. It’s able to provide the body with necessary dietary fiber and folate. It also contains the powerful antioxidant glutathione, which plays a big role  in prohibiting the risk of certain diseases, including diabetes.

In a 2012 research conducted by the British Journal of Nutrition, asparagus helps keep blood sugar levels stable and help increase insulin production.   

Steel-Cut Oats

What’s great about oats is that  it has a high amount of magnesium. This particular mineral helps the body use glucose properly and also secrete insulin properly. Its fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients also help regulate the body’s blood sugar. Some studies also show that it may reduce the need for insulin injections or the amount of insulin injections needed.


Another food for diabetics you can stock up on is fish. Fatty fish especially is ideal. Salmon, lake trout, sardines, Mackerel, tuna, halibut, and herring are great examples of fatty fish to take in. They’re good sources of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. These nutrients help lessen inflammation, which is one of the reasons of worsened diabetes issues.  

Keep in mind that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating fish at least twice a week. And when you do eat fish, make sure you only either bake, broil, or steam them. Fried fish is a no-no. Also, beware of fish that have high levels of mercury. Some examples are swordfish, king mackerel, shark, and tilefish.


These aren’t only a healthy snack, they protect the body against diabetes as well. Apples also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. True, apples do have sugar, but much of it is fructose. This fruit has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels and won’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, even among diabetics.

A study by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that those who reportedly eat 5 or more apples per week have a 23 percent lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.


Everyone knows the powerful effects of blueberries. They are one of the fruits with the highest amount of antioxidants, which can lower the risk of type-2 diabetes. Blueberries also contain insoluble fiber, which flushes out unhealthy fat from the system. These berries also have soluble fiber,  which makes you feel fuller longer and also improves blood sugar control.

Sweet Potatoes

The American Diabetes Association considers sweet potatoes as one of the most effective food for diabetics. They stabilize blood sugar levels by lowering insulin resistance. This root crop also contains a high amount of fiber, which reduces the level of LDL cholesterol in the body as well.


The last on our list of food for diabetics is walnuts. This particular nut contains alpha-linolenic acid, which has the ability to lower inflammation. They also reduce the chance of developing type-2 diabetes. A study shows that walnuts lower LDL cholesterol levels and improve blood vessel function. These two are known risk factors of type-2 diabetes. In addition, the consumption of walnuts does not affect blood sugar or blood pressure levels.

Kate B. Forsyth is a writer for Be Healthy Today, who specializes in health and nutrition. Her passion is to help people get an overall transformation of health that lasts a lifetime. In her blog posts, she goes beyond research by providing health-concerned citizens doable and simple tricks to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

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