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Food List for Diabetics

written by: Bobby Mathew • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 3/1/2011

As a diabetic, do you know what should be in your cart? If not, keep reading to find out the foods that belong on your diabetic food list and learn what should not be there.

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    Diabetes is a condition that requires several lifestyle modifications. One of these changes involves the foods that you eat. Forget the traditional shopping list. What you need to stay healthy and live a long life is a guide that will help you determine what foods are right for your unique diet. What you need is a diabetic food list. Below are some of the best food choices for diabetics from six different categories found in the food pyramid.

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    Carbohydrates

    Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates from the breads, grains and starches group. Carbohydrates are your body's preferred source of fuel, and should make up roughly 50 to 60 percent of your daily caloric intake.

    It is true that complex carbohydrates do raise glucose levels, but they cause a more modest rise than simple carbohydrates. Foods in this category contain essential vitamins and minerals along with fiber. Go for whole grain breads and cereals. Check to make sure that 100 percent whole wheat is listed as the main ingredient. Avoid white flour and other processed grains that skyrocket your blood sugar levels. Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes whenever possible.

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    Vegetables

    The vegetable group contains carbohydrates, although in smaller portions that the grains group, along with vitamins and minerals. Foods in this group are low in fat and have plenty of fiber.

    Eat plenty of foods from this group. When selecting foods, choose vegetables that are not canned. Nearly all vegetables have a modest impact on blood sugar. Cooking them, however, only breaks down their starch into simpler sugars. This is why light cooking is preferable. Light cooking also allows you to retain the nutrients of the vegetables while making them more enjoyable.

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    Fruits

    Foods from the fruits group contain ample sources of carbohydrates, as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber. They have little or no sodium and are low in fat, with the exception of avocados. Fruits are low in calories and let you satisfy your need for something sweet. Most fruits are good for diabetics, but you should eat them in moderation to prevent blood sugar spikes. If you go for juices, select ones without added sugars to avoid blood sugar spikes as well.

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    Meat, Poultry and Fish

    Food from the meats group contain foods that are high in protein. These include chicken, fish, beef, pork, turkey, chicken and seafood. Lower fat options in this food group include nuts, beans, eggs and tofu. One serving from this group equals four to five ounces,and you should eat at least one serving every day. Use beans as a low-fat, high-protein meat substitute.

    Go for grilled, baked, broiled or stewed meats as well as those that are not processed. Processed meats filled with fat cause a host of health problems and can cause your insulin to become less effective. A low-fat, heart-healthy diet is particularly important for diabetics since they are prone to heart disease.

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    Dairy

    The diary group includes milk and other foods derived from it. Milk derivatives include things like sour cream and yogurt. Milk contains a lot of protein and minerals, like calcium. Go for low-fat dairy products; the low fat content will keep your insulin sensitive while the calcium will give you strong bones. Three servings a day are an essential part of a healthy, wholesome diet.

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    Fats

    The fats, oils, and sweets group provide a lot of calories but less nutrition in proportion to other foods found on the food pyramid. Foods from this group include many snack foods that cause weight gain when eaten too often. Eat foods from this group very sparingly.

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    Final Words

    It's important to note that you should eat more of the foods mentioned in the beginning of this diabetic food list and less of those foods mentioned at the end. Remember to not eat anything that comes canned. Canned foods are filled with sodium and sodium is something that diabetics should look out for. A large percentage of diabetics either have high blood pressure or will develop it in their lifetime.

    A better way to understand what should be on your diabetic food list is to understand what foods to avoid. Avoid the 3 white foods:

    • SUGAR
    • SALT
    • WHITE FLOUR