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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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5 Best and Worst Foods for Diabetes

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According to the CDC, there are more than 30 million people in America living with diabetes. If you count yourself among the nearly 10% of the population with the condition, you don’t have to live the rest of your life feeling deprived when it comes to your nutrition. It’s not difficult to make smart, great-tasting choices when it comes to creating a healthy and balanced meal. Here are five of the best and worst foods for people living with diabetes.

A selection of leafy greens lined up in a supermarket
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Best Foods


Leafy Greens

Walk down the produce aisle and notice the gorgeous greens available. These are perfect foods for diabetics. Why? Because they contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Whole grain bread, ideal for diabetics
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Whole Grains

A great tip for diabetics is to avoid foods white in color. Refined grains aren't as healthy as their whole-grain counterparts. When selecting pasta or rice, think brown. Whole-grain pasta, brown rice, and quinoa are all tasty, healthy choices.

A plate of seared salmon with peppercorn flakes
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Fish

You may think that a diagnosis of diabetes means living off of grains and vegetables for the rest of your life. It's not true. Fish like salmon, trout, and albacore tuna are fine to add to your diet. These fish are rich in fatty acids and good-for-you fats.

Juicy, bright oranges are fine for people with diabetes
Image by Suzy Hazelwood / Pexels
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Fruits

Some fruits should be eaten in very limited amounts, if at all. Not so with citrus fruits and berries. Grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and your favorite berries are all wise choices.

A sliced sweet potato, healthy food for diabetics
Image by Ela Haney / Pexels
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Sweet Potatoes

While you want to reduce or eliminate white potatoes from your diet, the same isn't true of sweet potatoes. These tubers are a fantastic way to consume good-for-you carbohydrates.

White bread is less healthy compared to whole grains for diabetics
Image by Forstbreath / Shutterstock
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Worst Foods

White Food

When you are thinking of what to avoid, remember the color white. Bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes should be eaten in very limited quantities and are really best avoided. Look for healthier options that aren't refined or processed.

A spoonful of sugar is no medicine for diabetics
Image by Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash
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Refined Sugar

Try to reduce your intake of refined sugar. This means that if you are addicted to store-bought cookies and muffins, you're going to need to change your eating habits.

A woman examines the nutrition label on a box of snacks
Image by Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock
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Processed Foods

A whole, natural diet is much better for you than one filled with processed foods. Get in the habit of reading labels. Be on the lookout for saturated and trans fats and avoid them.

Cheese is universally loved by all, but it's not ideal for diabetes
Image by Tabitha Mort / Pexels
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Cheese

Cheese tends to be high in fat and best avoided if you can help it. When you can't skip the cheese, opt for a small square or try cottage cheese instead.

Grilled chicken thighs bad for diabetes
Image by Pixabay / Pexels
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Fatty Meat

Chicken breast is okay, but legs and thighs aren't. If you really want meat, go for chicken or turkey breast or lean cuts of beef.

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Matt
GR8NESS Writer
Matt is a GR8NESS contributing writer on such subjects as pets, CBD, pain relief, sexual health, time management, and family & parenting. When he's not placed in the awkward position of referring to himself in the third person, Matt tries to keep two Dachshunds, an 18-year old daughter, and one wife blissfully happy but not necessarily in that order.
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