Your Diabetes and What You Eat

The thought of eating healthier may feel like a lot to handle. You can still enjoy many of your favorite foods in moderation. Your health care provider and/or dietician can help you create a diabetes-friendly meal plan that is best for you.

A diabetes-friendly meal plan is a guide to healthier eating. It is designed just for you and may help you decide what foods to choose. There is not a “1-size-fits-all” eating pattern for individuals with diabetes. Work with your health care provider or registered dietician to figure out what works best for you. A good diabetes-friendly meal plan may help you control:

Talk to your health care provider about making a diabetes-friendly meal plan that is right for you.

Following a healthy meal plan, which includes portion control, may help you control your blood sugar

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers these diabetes-friendly eating guidelines:

Fruits and vegetables

Most fruits, like apples, berries, bananas, and grapes, are fine to eat. Stay away from any fruits you might be allergic to.

Eat nonstarchy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli.

Whole grains

Whole grains are healthier for you because they have not been processed. If you eat rice, make sure it is brown rice. If you have pasta, choose whole-grain pasta.

Fish and seafood

Fish is usually lower in fat and cholesterol than most meat or poultry. Eat fish 2 or 3 times a week. But do not eat seafood if you are allergic to it. Avoid seafood that is battered or fried.


Choose skim milk and nonfat or low-fat yogurt and cheese.

Lean meat

Lean meats contain less fat. When you eat beef or pork, choose cuts that end in “loin,” such as sirloin or tenderloin.

When you eat chicken or turkey, remove the skin before cooking. Choose white meat over dark meat. Do not eat chicken or turkey that has been battered or fried.

Cooking oils and fats

When cooking, use liquid oils instead of solid fats like butter. Choose oils that are higher in unsaturated fats, like olive oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil. Talk with your health care provider or nutritionist about the right amount of fat you should have in your diet.


Drink water or other calorie-free drinks. Limit or avoid sugar-sweetened drinks. These include drinks containing sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup, which are other forms of sugar.

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