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Diabetes Health Center

Select An Article

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 load up 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 fat, especially 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 low-fat 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 low-fat vegetable cooking spray or cholesterol-lowering margarine that has stanols or sterols.
  • Pick liquid vegetable oils instead of animal fat.
  • Select lower-fat margarines, gravies, and salad dressings. Check the carbohydrate count on condiments and dressings.

A registered dietitian can give you more information on how to prepare and choose low-fat foods.


If you have diabetes, that raises your chances 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
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