Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Stock Your Kitchen for Diabetes Health

    By Michelle Leifer
    WebMD Feature

    Eating healthy, balanced meals is the key to managing your diabetes. Good nutrition not only helps you control your blood sugar levels, but it also lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol and keeps cravings at bay.

    When you have the right foods on hand, it’s much easier to stick to a healthy meal plan. Not sure what to stock? Add these must-haves to your shopping list.

    Recommended Related to Diabetes

    Medications to Treat Diabetic Nerve Pain

    Diabetes is a lifelong companion. Sometimes a complication like diabetic nerve pain takes time to resolve, and you may want to try different treatments and medications before finding one that works for you. First, make sure you're doing the best job you can of controlling your blood sugar, exercising regularly, and keeping your weight normal. If you still have pain, numbness, or discomfort in your feet or hands (called peripheral neuropathy), you may need to turn to medications to soothe your...

    Read the Medications to Treat Diabetic Nerve Pain article > >

    Beans

    Kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans are all great for blood glucose control,” says Jessica Bennett, a dietitian at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “They’re high in fiber and take a long time to digest.”

    Beans offer a lot of options. They make a tasty side dish, or you can add them to salads, soups, casseroles, and chili. They’re also a great stand-in for meat because they’re high in protein but low in fat.

    Dried beans are a better choice than canned. They contain less sodium. Soak them overnight and they’ll be ready to cook in the morning. If you go for the ones in a can, rinse them first. That’ll keep the salt down.

    Salt-Free Seasonings
    Spices are a great way to jazz up your meals without adding calories or carbs. Just be sure to avoid ones with salt.

    “Red pepper flakes, oregano, curry, cinnamon, turmeric, and garlic powder [not salt] are all great options,” Bennett says.

    Whole Grains

    They’re packed with fiber, but finding them isn’t as easy as it may seem. Some foods only contain a small amount, even though it says “contains whole grain” on the package. Read the ingredients label and look for the following sources to be listed first:

    • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
    • Whole wheat flour
    • Whole oats/oatmeal
    • Whole-grain corn or cornmeal
    • Popcorn
    • Brown rice
    • Whole rye
    • Whole-grain barley
    • Whole farro
    • Wild rice
    • Buckwheat
    • Buckwheat flour
    • Quinoa

    Bennett suggests the following ways to get more whole grain into your meal plan:

    • Bake with whole wheat flour instead of white.
    • Start the day with a half-cup of high-fiber bran cereal. “Choose one with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and less than 6 grams of sugar."
    • Use whole wheat pasta.
    • Make a sandwich on whole-grain bread.
    • Try recipes that use less-common whole grains like barley or bulgur.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow