Diabetic Diets – What do People Eat?

Well Heeled Ltd

Diabetic Diets

Everyone benefits from following a good diet, and people with diabetes are no exception. In fact, people with diabetes must control their diet as much as possible to avoid any further health complications.

What do Some People Eat for a Diabetic Diet?

Food is not only something that can give us energy. Certain foods can be medicine and can improve our health simply by eating enough of them. People with diabetes have had great success in controlling their blood sugar levels by simply watching what they eat. Therefore, if you have diabetes or know someone who does, it is beneficial to know what foods can be consumed by people with diabetes and which should be avoided.

People are often worried that they will never enjoy their favourite foods when they are diagnosed with diabetes. However, there is some good news for them. Someone with diabetes can still enjoy their favourite foods, but they must consume them less frequently and in small amounts. It is recommended that people diagnosed with diabetes get a health team that includes a nutritionist who can assist with meal plans. Your nutritionist will tell you that the best approach to eating when you have diabetes is to enjoy a variety of foods that are healthy. Include all the food groups while sticking to the recommended amounts of your meal plans.

So what can I eat if I have been diagnosed with diabetes?

It is best to have a balanced diet, which means you should include all five food groups in your diet. The five food groups are:


Protein is essential for good health, but people with diabetes should be careful of which proteins they consume. For example, red meat isn’t recommended. Instead, the best forms of protein for people with diabetes include lean meat, chicken and turkey, eggs, fish, and meat substitutes, including tofu, nuts, and beans. Keep your protein healthy by removing the skin of your chicken or turkey before enjoying your meal.


Although vegetables are necessary for a healthy body, not all vegetables are suitable for consumption by those who have diabetes. We can divide vegetables into starchy and non-starchy vegetables. When it comes to starchy vegetables, potatoes, green peas, and corn are acceptable for consumption. The non-starchy vegetables that are suitable for people with diabetes to enjoy include tomatoes, greens, carrots, peppers, and broccoli.


People with diabetes can still eat fruit. They just need to control how much they are eating. Fruit that they can enjoy includes grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, melons, and berries.


It is recommended that people with diabetes choose whole grains for at least half of their grain consumption. The grains they can enjoy include quinoa, cornmeal, rice, wheat, barley, pasta, bread, tortillas, and cereal.


If you have diabetes, you will probably be pleased to hear that you can still enjoy dairy. However, stick to low-fat or nonfat dairy options. If you are lactose intolerant, you can enjoy lactose-free milk. People with diabetes can still munch on cheese and yoghurt, but they need to watch the amounts they consume carefully.

Can I still eat fats if I have diabetes?

People with diabetes can still eat fats, but they have to stick to fats that boost heart health. If you have diabetes, stick to these healthy fats:

Fish that benefit the heart like mackerel, salmon, and tuna
seeds and nuts
Light oils that liquidize when they are kept at room temperature, including olive and canola oil.

An important thing to keep in mind when cooking for someone with diabetes is to use oils instead of cream, butter, lard, margarine, or shortening.

If I have diabetes, are there any foods or drinks that I must avoid?

You can enjoy these foods and drinks, but you should seriously limit your intake of them. The foods that you should limit are:

Foods that have been fried
Foods that are high in trans and saturated fats
Foods high in sodium
Foods high in sugar, such as candy, baked goods, and ice cream

The drinks that you should limit are:

Beverages that are high in sugar, including energy drinks, soda, sports drinks, and juice
Alcoholic beverages should be consumed in great moderation. In fact, if you are a woman, limit yourself to one drink a day. If you are a man, you can enjoy two. However, alcohol can significantly affect your blood sugar levels and make them drop lower than what is considered ideal. Therefore it is advised to eat a snack while drinking alcohol.

Is there a good time to eat when I have diabetes?

It isn’t uncommon for people with diabetes to eat at the same time every day, while others might feel like their meal habits have greater flexibility. For example, you might be required to eat at the same time every day and consume the same amount of carbohydrates, depending on your type of insulin. However, if you take insulin with your meals, you will have greater flexibility with your mealtimes. It is not recommended for people with diabetes to skip meals because it can drop their blood glucose levels too low. Ask your health team if you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes and are unsure about mealtimes.

How much can people with diabetes eat?

People with diabetes can better control their weight and blood glucose level by consuming the correct amount of food. Therefore, they must work with their health team to set up a balanced meal plan and then stick to it.

Conclusion to Diabetic Diets

A diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to eat your favourite foods again, but it does mean moderation is necessary. By carefully controlling the food you eat, you can manage your blood glucose levels, and you will feel great. In addition, exercising daily always helps, too. So if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, don’t despair. Instead, talk to your health team about balanced meals that you enjoy.

Don’t forget to consult a professional dietician and/or diabetes professional who can discuss your individual dietary needs to suit your lifestyle and particular diabetic needs. You may also want to look at the Well Heeled blog posts on diabetes too here.

About Me

Founder of Well Heeled - I have a great interest in diabetes and the effect on those diagnosed as well as those around them. With over 20 years in health and social care, as a qualified social worker and as a passionate educator within the health and social care sector, I wanted to bring further information to others around diabetes and other issues.

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