Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

12 Tips for Eating Well With Diabetes

Choosing the right foods is a major part of managing diabetes. It's easier to keep track of what you're eating when you're the one in charge of putting nutritious meals on your plate.

Use these 12 tips to get you motivated to cook healthful dinners at home, where you have full control over the foods served and what ingredients go into them.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

Does Prediabetes Lead to Diabetes?

In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our January-February 2011 issue, we asked WebMD's diabetes expert, Michael Dansinger, MD, to answer a question about the link between prediabetes and diabetes. Q: At my last checkup, my doctor told me I have prediabetes. Does that mean I'll ultimately develop diabetes? A: Almost everyone who develops type 2 diabetes develops prediabetes first. But not everyone who has prediabetes...

Read the Does Prediabetes Lead to Diabetes? article > >

1. Switch to whole grains.

Use brown rice and whole wheat pasta. Look for 100% whole wheat flour and breads, as well as other grains such as oats and barley. Making the switch can be easy. For instance, there's frozen cooked brown rice that you microwave.

2. Get more fiber.

Aim for at least 8 grams of fiber per meal, especially if you're eating carbohydrate-rich foods. Go for soluble fiber, which is in:

  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Fruits like apples, mangoes, plums, kiwis, pears, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, citrus fruits, and figs
  • Vegetables like artichokes, celery root, sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, acorn squash, potatoes with skin, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, and beets

Soluble fiber helps lower the rapid rise in blood sugar that tends to happen after eating carbohydrates. A fiber-rich diet also lowers the risk of heart disease, which is higher in people with diabetes.

3. Replace some carbs with good fat.

Monounsaturated fats -- nuts, avocadoes, olive oil, and canola oil -- can help lower blood sugar. Add nuts and avocado to salads and entrees. Use olive and canola oils to cook dinners. Look for products that contain either oil, such as salad dressings, marinades, marinara, and pesto. Keep portions modest so you don't get too many calories.

4. Eat foods that won't spike blood sugar.

Foods that aren't likely to cause a big rise in blood sugar include meat, poultry, fish, avocados, salad vegetables, eggs, and cheese. Eating these kinds of foods will help balance carbohydrate-containing foods included in your meal.

5. Choose recipes with less saturated fat.

Look for ingredients such as:

  • Fish
  • Extra-lean beef -- grass-fed if available
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Skinless poultry
  • Soy products
  • Beans
  • Low-fat dairy

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
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner