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    Does Your Diabetes Diet Give You What You Need?

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    You get fiber from plant foods -- fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and legumes. It helps with digestion and blood sugar control. You feel fuller, so you eat less, which is a plus if you need to lose weight.

    People who eat high-fiber diets tend to be less likely to get high blood pressure and heart disease.

    Most Americans don't eat enough fiber. So focus on these foods:

    • Fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Cooked dried beans and peas
    • Whole-grain breads, cereals, and crackers
    • Brown rice
    • Bran foods


    Diabetes makes you more likely to get heart disease. So you’ll want to limit unhealthy fat such as saturated fat and trans fats.

    The main sources of saturated fats are cheese, beef, milk, and baked items.

    Avoid trans fats, which are bad for your heart. Check the ingredients list for "partially hydrogenated" oils. Also, know that if a product says "0 grams trans fat,"  it may actually have up to half a gram of trans fat per serving.

    For a healthy diet:

    • Choose lean cuts of meat.
    • Don't fry foods. Instead, you can bake, broil, grill, roast, or boil.
    • Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods. Include them in your daily carbohydrate count.
    • Use vegetable cooking spray or cholesterol-lowering margarine that has stanols or sterols.
    • Pick liquid vegetable oils instead of animal fat.

    A registered dietitian can give you more information on how to prepare and choose the right fats for you.


    Diabetes raises your risk of getting high blood pressure. Too much salt can add to that risk. Your doctor or dietitian may ask you to limit or avoid:

    • Salt and seasoned salt (or salt seasonings)
    • Boxed mixes of potatoes, rice, and pasta
    • Canned meats
    • Canned soups and vegetables with salt
    • Cured or processed foods
    • Ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, other spreads, and canned sauces
    • Packaged soups, gravies, and sauces
    • Pickled foods
    • Processed meats: lunch meat, sausage, bacon, and ham
    • Olives
    • Salty snack foods
    • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
    • Soy and steak sauces

    Low-Salt Cooking Tips

    • Use fresh ingredients and foods with no salt added.
    • For favorite recipes, you may need to use other ingredients and cut out or use less salt.
    • Try orange or pineapple juice as a base for meat marinades.
    • Check the sodium on food labels.
    • Choose frozen entrees that have 600 milligrams or less of sodium. Limit yourself to one of these frozen entrees per day.
    • Use fresh, frozen, no-added-salt canned vegetables. Rinse them first.
    • If you buy canned soup, look for low-sodium ones.

    Avoid mixed seasonings and spice blends that include salt, such as garlic salt.

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