Better and Not So Good Foods for Diabetics

By Justice Rabbithead  – Medical Support Assistant 

There are a numerous different foods for you to eat in the world. Not all food items are created equal some food is good for you and some food if continuously eaten over time will have negative effects. This is particularly something that individuals with diabetes should be aware of as they have to constantly monitor their blood glucose levels and tend to have higher blood pressure if not regulated properly. I will give you the better and not so good options for different food groups. This way you can use this as a guide. 


Better Options 

1. Whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, millet, or amaranth

2. Baked sweet potato

3. Items made with whole grains and no (or very little) added sugar

Not So Good Options 

1. Processed grains, such as white rice or white flour

2. Cereals with little whole grains and lots of sugar

3. White bread

4. French fries

Whole grain options have fewer carbohydrates and fewer sugars added which makes them the top option in this category. Processed grains have more carbohydrates and sugars added in which makes them the worst option. I think we all love French fries, but they are also one of the worse not so good options. I myself am guilty of indulging in these more than I should. 


Better Options 

1. Fresh veggies, eaten raw or lightly steamed, roasted, or grilled

2. Plain frozen vegetables, lightly steamed

3. Greens such as kale, spinach, and arugula. 

4. Low sodium or unsalted canned vegetables

Not So Good Options

1. Canned vegetables with lots of added sodium

2. Veggies cooked with lots of added butter, cheese, or sauce

3. Pickles. If you have high blood pressure because they have high sodium content.

4. Sauerkraut. If you have high blood pressure because they have high sodium   content.

Fresh vegetables when prepared properly are the better option for you as they are straight from the store or your own garden. If you add a bunch of butter when you cook these will make them less healthy. Try to stay away from canned vegetables, as they tend to have added sodium.


Better Options

1. Fresh fruit

2. Plain frozen fruit or fruit canned without added sugar

3. Sugar-free or low-sugar jam or preserves

4. No-sugar-added applesauce

Not So Good Options 

1. Canned fruit with high fructose syrup

2. Chewy fruit rolls

3. Regular jam, jelly, and preserves (unless you have a very small portion)

4. Sweetened applesauce

Fresh fruit is your better option as it has natural sugar and nutrients. Try to stay away from anything with added sugars and syrup. Also even though they are all called “fruit” rolls and they are technically fruit does not mean they are healthy they have many additives. 


Better Options

1. Plant-based proteins such as beans, nuts, seeds, or tofu

2. Fish and seafood

3. Chicken and other poultry (Choose the breast meat if possible.)

4. Eggs and low-fat dairy

Not So Good Options 

1. Fried meats

2. Higher-fat cuts of meat, such as ribs

3. Poultry with skin

4. Beans prepared with lard

Your better option is going to be proteins such as fish and seafood as they have fewer fats. Chicken and eggs also have less fat and higher protein content. Things you should stay away from are your fried meats and any other protein that is going to be cooked with some type of extra added fat or oil. 

If you can stay away from the not so good options and focus on trying to incorporate more of the better options into your diet, you should see some positive changes in your health. You will still have cravings for the not so good options and that does not mean that you still cannot eat them on occasion just do not make them an everyday essential.