If you have diabetes, you know that managing it properly is a daily decision that is oftentimes left entirely up to you. You are also probably aware of the importance of making good choices about what foods you eat. Most everyone knows the value of eating a balanced diet, but it’s especially helpful for someone with diabetes to know the best foods within each food group.

The best choices within food groups are usually lower in saturated fat, trans fat, added sugars, and sodium than other foods. Below we have compiled a list from the American Diabetes Association which outlines some of the best choice foods.

  • Nonstarchy Vegetables: The best choices when it comes to vegetables are fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and vegetable juices without added salt (sodium), fat, or sugar. If using canned vegetables, you can drain them and rinse them to rinse away about 40% of the sodium.

 Best Choices: asparagus, green beans, carrots, cabbage, eggplant, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, onion, peppers.

  • Fruit: Similar to vegetables, the best choices for fruit are fresh, frozen, and canned fruit without added sugars. If you are using canned fruit in syrup, you can rinse the fruit similarly to the vegetables to get rid of the extra syrupy sugars.

Best Choices: apples, blueberries, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, peaches, pears, plumbs, cherries.

  • Milk: The best choices are milk and yogurt without added sugars.

Best Choices: fat-free or low-fat milk (1%), unflavored soy milk, plain nonfat yogurt, “light” yogurt.

  • Grains and Starchy Vegetables: The best choices are whole grain foods, beans, peas and lentils and starchy vegetables without added fats, sugars or sodium.

  • Protein: The best choices are plant-based protein foods, fish, chicken, and other lean meats.

Best Choices: beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, fish/seafood, eggs, cheese, chicken, turkey, duck, buffalo, rabbit, venison, and lean cuts of beef, lamb, and pork.

  • Fats: The best choices of “good fats” are unsaturated fats like omega-3 (good for your heart!), monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Best Choices: avocado, olives, seeds (such as pumpkin or sesame), nuts, oils (especially olive oil), salad dressings, and mayonnaise.

While these foods have proven to be excellent for people with diabetes, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor if you have specific questions about dietary restrictions. It’s also important to avoid sugary drinks and sodas, cut back on high calorie snack foods, and keep your portions small.

Here at Aspire Home Health and Hospice, we care about you and your overall health. Knowing how important of a role our eating habits play in our overall wellness, and how difficult it can sometimes be to find a good balance in your diet with diabetes as a factor, we hope the above information has been helpful for you.

Here at Aspire Home Health and Hospice, we are committed to the healing process and treat the individual as a whole. Connect with us using the consultation form below to schedule a call with one of our Patient Care Advocates today.

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