April 24, 2023

The Ultimate Diabetes-Friendly

People with diabetes must manage their blood sugar. Avocados and fish are some of the best high-protein, low-sugar foods for people with diabetes. It's not difficult to find the right foods to eat if you have diabetes. Keep things simple by focusing on managing your blood glucose levels. Eating foods that prevent complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, is also very important.

Diet can play a significant role in managing and preventing diabetes. The 16 best foods to eat if you have diabetes are type 1, type 2, or both. Simple tips for eating well for diabetes in 10 minutes

You can benefit from our free weekly micro-lessons to help you make healthier changes in your diabetes. Tips for the week.

Diabetes and the best foods to Eat

Salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and herring are all great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids DHA & EPA. These have significant benefits for heart health.

Consuming enough of these healthy fats is essential, especially for those with diabetes who are at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

DHA and EPA may protect the cells lining your blood vessels' walls. They also reduce markers for inflammation and improve your arteries' function.

People who regularly eat fatty seafood have a reduced risk of developing acute coronary syndromes (like heart attacks) and are less likely to succumb to heart disease.

Studies show that eating fatty fish can also help regulate blood sugar levels.

The study involved 68 overweight or obese adults. Participants who ate fatty fish showed significantly improved post-meal blood glucose levels compared to lean fish. (trusted source).

Fish is a good source of high-quality proteins that help you feel satisfied and stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Fatty fish contains omega-3 fats which can reduce inflammation and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. It's also a good source of protein essential for controlling blood sugar.

Leafy Greens

The calories in leafy green vegetables are low.

These are also low in carbohydrates or carbs that the body can digest and won't affect blood sugar levels significantly. Kale and spinach are excellent sources of vitamin C and many other minerals and vitamins.

Evidence suggests that people with diabetes have lower levels of vitamin C than those without diabetes and may require more vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.

Increased intake of foods rich in vitamin C can help people with diabetes boost vitamin C levels while reducing inflammation (trusted source).

Leafy greens are high in antioxidants and vitamins C, which protect your eyesight and heart health.


Avocados contain less than one gram of sugar and have a low carbohydrate content. They also have high fiber, healthy fats, and hardly any carbohydrates.

The consumption of avocados is associated with a lower BMI and body weight (trusted source). Avocados are an excellent snack for people with diabetes since obesity is a risk factor.

Avocados can help prevent diabetes.

A 2019 study on mice found that the fat molecule avocatin B, found in avocados only, inhibits insufficient oxygenation in skeletal muscles and the pancreas and helps reduce insulin resistance. (trusted source).

It is necessary to conduct more human research to confirm the link between avocados, diabetes prevention, and humans.

Avocados contain less than one gram of sugar and are associated with a better diet in general. Avocados could also be beneficial for diabetes prevention.


Egg consumption can reduce heart disease risk on several levels.

Eggs can reduce inflammation, improve insulin resistance, increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels, and change the shape and size of LDL (bad cholesterol).

In a 2019 study, eating eggs for breakfast could help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar throughout the day. (trusted source).

In older research, egg consumption has been linked to heart disease among people with diabetes.

A recent review found that consuming 6 to 12 eggs a week as part of a nutrient-rich diet did not increase the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes (trusted source).

Some research has shown that eating eggs can reduce stroke risk (trusted source).

Eggs can improve heart, blood sugar control, and eye health and help you feel full.

Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds can be an excellent food for people with diabetes. These are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates digestible.

Fiber is responsible for 11 of the 12 grams of chia seed in a serving of 28 grams (1 ounce). This fiber does not raise blood sugar levels.

The viscous fiber found in chia seeds can lower blood sugar by slowing the rate of food absorption and movement through your gut.

Chia seeds can help you maintain a healthy weight, as fiber helps to reduce hunger. Chia seeds can also support the glycemic control of people with diabetes.

The study involved 77 adults who were overweight or obese and had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It was found that eating chia seeds supports weight loss and maintains good glycemic regulation (trusted source).

Chia seeds can also help to reduce blood pressure, inflammation markers, and other inflammatory factors.

Chia seeds are high in fiber and may help you to lose weight. They also maintain blood sugar levels.


Beans are nutritious and affordable.

Beans are a type of legume rich in fiber, B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The glycemic index is also very low, essential for diabetes management.

Beans can also help to prevent diabetes.

In a study of more than 3,000 participants with a high risk of cardiovascular disease (trusted source), those who consumed legumes at a higher rate had a lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Beans are inexpensive, nutritious, and have lower glycemic indices, which makes them a good option for people with diabetes.

Greek Yogurt

The results of a long-term study that included health data from over 100,000 participants showed that yogurt consumption was associated with an 18 percent lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes (trusted source).

You may lose weight if this is your personal goal.

Researchers have found that yogurt and other dairy products may help people with type 2 diabetes lose weight and improve their body composition (trusted source).

Yogurt contains high levels of calcium and protein and a type of fat known as conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), so you may stay fuller for longer.

Greek yogurt is also lower in carbs than conventional yogurt, with only 6-8 grams per serving.

This is also a higher protein food, which can help you lose weight by reducing your appetite and calorie intake.

Yogurt can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It may also aid in weight loss.


Nuts contain a lot of nutrients and are tasty.

Nuts are generally low in carbohydrate net and high in fiber, but some nuts have higher levels.

Researchers have found that regular consumption of nuts can reduce inflammation and lower blood sugar and harmful cholesterol levels.

People with diabetes may also benefit from eating nuts to improve their cardiovascular health.

The results of a 2019 study that involved more than 16,000 people with type 2 diabetes showed that eating nuts such as hazelnuts and almonds reduced their risk of death and heart disease (trusted source).

Nuts can also improve blood sugar levels, according to research.

The study found that daily walnut oil helped improve blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes (trusted source).

The findings are significant because type 2 diabetics often have high insulin levels associated with obesity.

Nuts can be a great addition to any balanced diet. High in fiber, they can reduce blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol.


Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables.

The nutritional value of a half cup of broccoli is only 27 calories, with 3 grams of carbohydrates digestible and essential vitamins C and magnesium.

Broccoli can also help you manage your blood glucose levels.

In one study, broccoli sprouts were found to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes (trusted source). The sulforaphane found in cruciferous veggies like broccoli and sprouts are responsible for this reduction.

Broccoli has a high nutritional value, is low in calories, and has plenty of plant compounds that may protect you from various diseases.

Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin oil contains oleic acids and monounsaturated fatty acids that can improve glucose management, lower post-meal, and fasting triglyceride concentrations, and have antioxidant properties.

It is important to note that people with diabetes tend to have difficulty managing their blood sugar levels and high levels of triglycerides.

Oleic acid can also stimulate GLP-1, the hormone of fullness.

Olive oil is the only fat shown to lower heart disease risks (trusted source).

Polyphenols are antioxidants in olive oil that can reduce inflammation, protect your blood vessel cells, prevent oxidation damaging your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), and lower blood pressure.

It is unrefined so that it retains its antioxidants and other beneficial properties.

Choose extra virgin olive oil only from a reliable source. Many olive oils are diluted with cheaper corn or soybean oils.

Extra-virgin olive oil contains oleic acids, which are healthy. It is suitable for heart health and blood pressure.


Flaxseeds are also known as linseeds or common flax. They contain a lot of fiber and heart-healthy Omega-3 fats.

A portion of the insoluble fiber of these grains is composed of lignans. These lignans may reduce heart disease risks and improve blood glucose management.

The review of 25 randomized clinical trials revealed a significant link between the supplementation of whole flaxseed and a decrease in blood sugar (trusted source).

Flaxseeds can also lower blood pressure.

The 2016 study of participants with prediabetes showed that flaxseed powder reduced blood pressure but did not improve insulin resistance or glycemic control (trusted source).

Further research is required to determine whether flaxseed helps prevent or manage diabetes.

Flaxseed has a positive impact on your gut and heart health.

Flaxseeds contain a high amount of viscous fiber, which is good for gut health and insulin sensitivity.

Flaxseeds can help to reduce inflammation, reduce heart disease risks, lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has numerous health benefits.

The sugar from the fruit ferments into acetic acids, and the final product has less than one gram of carbohydrates per tablespoon.

A meta-analysis of 6 studies, including 317 patients with type 2 diabetes, found that vinegar had beneficial effects on fasting blood glucose levels and HbA1c. (trusted source).

Apple Cider Vinegar has many other health benefits, such as antimicrobial effects and antioxidant properties. More studies are required to confirm the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

Mix four teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a small glass of water each day before every meal. You may use one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per glass of water to make the taste less intense. You can increase the amount to 4 tablespoons a day.

More research is required to confirm the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.


The red color of strawberries is due to the antioxidants called anthocyanins.

These plants also contain polyphenols which are antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds.

In a 2017 study, it was found that consuming polyphenols in strawberries and cranberries for six weeks improved insulin sensitivity among adults who were overweight or obese but did not have diabetes (trusted source).

It is essential to know that low insulin sensitivity may cause high blood sugar levels.

One cup of strawberries has about 53,1 calories and 12.7 grams of carbohydrates. Three of these are fibers (trusted source). This serving provides 100% of the daily reference intake (RDI), which is also beneficial for heart health.

Strawberries have a low sugar content and potent anti-inflammatory properties. They may also help to improve insulin resistance.


Garlic has low-calorie content and is small in size.

One clove of raw garlic (3 grams), which contains approximately four calories, contains (trusted source)

  • Manganese: 2% daily value
  • Vitamin B6: 2% DV
  • Vitamin C: 1% DV
  • Selenium: 1% DV
  • Fiber: 0.06 grams

Garlic can improve blood glucose control and regulate cholesterol. (trusted source).

One clove of garlic weighs approximately 3 grams. Garlic can also help lower blood pressure and regulate cholesterol (trusted source).

Garlic can help lower blood sugar levels, inflammation, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure for people with diabetes.


Squash, which comes in wide different varieties, is a healthy vegetable.

This dense and filling food has low calories, a low glycemic level, and a low-calorie content. Winter varieties are hard-shelled and include butternut, acorn, and pumpkin.

The peel of summer squash is soft and can be eaten, and Zucchini and Italian squash are the most common varieties.

Squash, like most vegetables, contains beneficial antioxidants. Squash is also lower in sugar than sweet potatoes.

Researchers have found that polysaccharides in pumpkins, also located in squashes, can improve insulin tolerance in rats and lower serum glucose levels (trusted source).

A study found that squash reduced high blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes who were in critical condition (trusted source). Squash is a healthy addition to any dish.

Winter and summer squash are rich in antioxidants that may lower blood sugar.

Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki noodle is excellent for weight loss and diabetes. The Japanese plant shirataki is used to make noodles or rice.

The fiber glucomannan is high in these noodles and extracted from konjac roots.

Glucomannan, a viscous fiber that helps you to feel satisfied and full, is a great way to boost your energy levels and can help to improve blood sugar control and cholesterol.

In one study, glucomannan significantly decreased fasting glucose, serum Insulin, and cholesterol levels in diabetic rats (trusted source).

It has also improved heart disease risk in people with diabetes and people with metabolic syndrome. (trusted source).

The 3.5-ounce serving (100-gram portion) of Shirataki noodles contains only 3 grams of carbs digestible and ten calories (trusted source).

These noodles come in a liquid with a strong fishy smell; you should rinse them thoroughly before using them.

To ensure the texture of the noodles, cook them in a skillet on high heat for several minutes without adding any fat. 

Avoid These Foods

Understanding which foods to limit are as important as knowing which foods to include in your diabetes diet. Many foods and beverages are high in carbohydrates and sugar, which can spike blood sugar levels. Some foods can negatively affect heart health and weight gain. If you have diabetes, you may want to limit or eliminate certain foods.

Refined Grains

Refined grains such as white bread, rice, and pasta are high in carbohydrates but low in fiber, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise more rapidly than those of their whole-grain counterparts.

One research review found that whole-grain rice is significantly better at stabilizing blood glucose levels than white rice (trusted sources).

Sweetened Beverages

Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda, sweet teas, and energy drinks are devoid of essential nutrients and contain excessive sugar per serving. Sweetened beverages are known to spike blood sugar.

Fried Food

Fried foods are high in trans fat, and this type of fat has been associated with a greater risk of heart disease. Fried Foods such as potato chips, French fries, and Mozzarella Sticks are typically high in calories, which could lead to weight gain.


Alcohol consumption is generally restricted for people with diabetes. Alcohol can increase the low sugar risk if consumed on an empty tummy.

Breakfast Cereal

The sugar content of most breakfast cereal is very high, and some brands have as much sugar in a single serving of cereal as many desserts.

Check the nutrition label on cereals and choose a low-sugar variety. Choose oatmeal instead and sweeten it naturally with some fresh fruit.


Candy has a lot of sugar per serving, and the candy is high in sugar and has a high Glycemic Index, which means it can cause blood sugar to spike and crash after eating.

Processed Meats

Processed Meats, such as bacon, hotdogs, salami, or cold cuts, are high in sodium and preservatives. Further, processed meats are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. (trusted source).

Fruit Juice

If you have diabetes, avoiding 100% fruit juices is best.

It contains the same sugar and carbs as fresh fruit but lacks the fiber necessary to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Plate Method

Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels without tracking or measuring your food is easy and effective. You must adjust the portions of specific food groups to achieve a balanced nutritional meal.

Start by filling half of your plate with vegetables that are not starchy such as broccoli, cauliflower, or leafy greens.

Proteins like chicken, turkey or eggs, fish, tofu, and lean beef or pork, should make up a quarter of your meal.

The rest of the plate can be filled with carbohydrates such as whole grains, legumes, starchy veggies, fruits, or dairy products.

To stay hydrated with your meal, pair it with a low-calorie beverage, such as unsweetened black tea, water, or club soda.

Glycemic Index

A glycemic index is an effective tool for maintaining blood sugar levels. The glycemic indices categorize foods based on how they affect blood sugar levels.

When using this method, limit the intake of foods with high glycemic indices and stick to those with low. This article contains more information on the glycemic index and how it can be used to control blood sugar.

Carb Counting

Carb Counting is an effective way to control blood sugar by tracking the carbohydrates consumed throughout the day.

You can do this by tracking how many grams of carbohydrates you consume. You may need to adjust the insulin dosage based on how much carbs you eat in some cases.

You may need to adjust the number of carbohydrates you eat at each meal or snack depending on your age, weight, and activity level.

A Wellness Transformation Coach can create a plan tailored to your specific needs.

Sample Menu

Healthy eating is easy and convenient.
This 1-day menu includes some simple meal ideas to help you get started.

  • Breakfast: omelet stuffed with peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms
  • Breakfast: almonds
  • Lunch: grilled salad of chicken with tomatoes, avocados, cucumbers, onions, and balsamic dressing
  • Afternoon snack: greek yogurt with strawberries and walnuts
  • Dinner: salmon baked with herb quinoa, asparagus, and quinoa
  • Evening snack: sliced vegetables and hummus


Diabetes, if not managed properly, can increase your risk of serious illnesses. You can reduce your risk of complications by eating foods that control insulin, blood sugar, and inflammation.

Remember that although these foods can help you manage your blood sugar, the best way to maintain a healthy blood sugar level is by eating a balanced, nutritious diet.

About the author 

Vilmos Bond

Hi, my name is Vilmos, a Certified Health Coach and Personal Trainer for busy moms. As a Wellness Transformation Coach, I’m dedicated to improving my clients' quality of health. I will draw from evidence-based techniques to help my clients create a better relationship with food, and improve habits to a better lifestyle.

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