16 Foods For Diabetics To Add In The Diet

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

Diabetes is one of the most distressing health problems. Along with medicines, dietary care is important. Several foods could worsen diabetes while others may help improve the condition.

Choosing foods becomes simple when you know what you need and what you have to avoid. A person suffering from diabetes should always aim at controlling blood sugar levels.

Certain foods help control both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This article will discuss a list of foods good for diabetes along with an explanation of why you should consider them.

best foods for diabetics
  1. Salmon

    Salmon is the fish you could count on. It is one of the excellent fatty fish available with a touch of smoky flavor.

    Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These play a crucial role in keeping the heart healthy.

    For a diabetic person, heart issues are an additional threat. Luckily, salmon handles that well. It has DHA and EPA, which reduce inflammation and relieve pressure on the arteries.

    These antioxidants also reduce the chances of heart attack and other heart-related problems.

    Along with heart health, they also regulate blood sugar levels. If not salmon, you could try other fatty fish like herring, sardines, and Atlantic mackerel.

  2. Almonds

    Almonds are antioxidant-rich nuts considered great for treating diabetes. They are rich in magnesium, which might reduce the risk of the problem itself.

    Almonds may also reduce insulin and glucose levels both while fasting and post meals. It is also heart-healthy despite being a high-calorie nut. 

    Just eat almonds in moderation to avoid weight gain. You could also opt for almond milk if you want to skip the dairy.

  3. Spinach

    Spinach is a leafy green vegetable. It is well known by now how healthy leafy greens are for a balanced diet.

    They have fewer carbs in comparison to other vegetables. So they are easy on the gut and do not increase blood sugar levels.

    Spinach is rich in iron and fiber. It could be your reliable source of protein with the least side effects even if consumed in large quantities.

    Vitamin C present in spinach acts as an antioxidant that aids in preventing heart problems and free radical damage.

    Also, diabetic people have a great possibility of vitamin C deficiency, so you could eliminate the risk by eating boiled spinach or a smoothie.

  4. Kale

    Kale is another veggie similar to spinach. It is also a dark leafy vegetable effective for diabetes.

    It has a low glycemic index which aids in controlling blood sugar levels. A study found kale juice effective in lowering blood sugar and reducing fat.

    Moreover, it is rich in antioxidants and has negligible carbs. It contains all it takes to be on a diabetes-friendly diet chart.

  5. Flaxseeds

    Flax seeds have abundant omega fats which are very healthy for the heart. The lignans present aid in maintaining a healthy gut. These make up insoluble fiber which is good for the heart.

    Besides this, it regulates blood sugar levels and may reduce blood glucose levels. As a result, you might also experience decreased blood pressure.

  6. Avocados

    Avocados have a magical ability to blend in well with every diet plan. Low carbs and sugar make it an ideal choice for a diabetic diet.

    A study suggests that compounds present in avocados reduce insulin resistance. Also, they do not boost blood sugar levels. 

    You could occasionally use them as a snack. Obesity is another factor just as concerning as heart problems for diabetic people.

    Avocados are also weight loss friendly which may bring down your body mass index. Overall, they are a healthy fat source you could rely upon.

  7. Chia Seeds

    Chia seeds are unmatched for their nutty-flaky taste, high fiber, negligible carbs, and sugar. They are an easy way to stay full for a long time and add nutrition to the food.

    Chia pudding is an absolute delicacy. It is a healthy recipe everyone is enjoying for several reasons.

    Luckily, even people with diabetes could enjoy it. To your pudding bowl, you could add some cocoa powder to enjoy the chocolate touch.

    Substitute regular milk for unsweetened plant milk like almond milk. The biggest struggle diabetic people face is missing out on sweet treats.

    For that, you could use stevia. The artificial sweetener does not raise blood sugar levels. 

    People with type 2 diabetes experience a controlled glycemic index by chia seed consumption. They are also great if you are looking for an anti-inflammatory agent.

  8. Eggs

    When it comes to poultry, eggs are the most popular protein source for people suffering from diabetes.

    A hard-boiled egg does not put you at risk of high blood sugar levels. It also keeps you full and slows down digestion.

    Eggs are also great for glucose absorption. They raise good cholesterol and ease insulin resistance.

    A study also supports the statement that having eggs for breakfast is a good diabetes management step. To avoid heart issues, eat only 1-2 eggs per day.

  9. Walnuts

    Nuts are a great addition to the diet for several reasons. When it comes to diabetes, walnuts are an ideal choice. They contain dietary fibers which promote fullness.

    Additionally, it controls blood sugar levels along with improving insulin resistance. Just like other diabetes-friendly foods, it also contains minimal carbohydrates.

    They are not only a potential cure to diabetes but also a preventive measure to eliminate the chances of diabetes beforehand.

    They have alpha lipoic acid which brings down inflammation. Therefore, walnuts might be an ideal choice to prevent diabetes and control it and the additional cardiovascular impacts.

  10. Greek Yogurt

    Yogurt is a vital part of a healthy diet. It has numerous health benefits and is available in many varieties.

    Diabetic people should opt for unsweetened Greek yogurt. It contains double the amount of proteins and very less fat in comparison to a regular one.

    It also has probiotics which aid in digestion, reducing inflammation and blood glucose levels.

    It is also a significant measure to control glycemic value. If not Greek yogurt, fat-free or low-fat yogurt is a good option for a diabetic diet plan.

    Take an unsweetened yogurt with no flavors. Top it with some chia seeds or almonds and walnuts.

  11. Strawberries

    The rich red color of strawberries is not just a pleasing visual but a nutritional gem.

    Anthocyanins are antioxidants present in strawberries that give them this color. Besides anthocyanins, it contains polyphenols which improve insulin sensitivity.

    This quality may help prevent the onset of diabetes by controlling high blood sugar levels.

    Vitamin C present in these berries is an anti-inflammatory agent which reduces the risk of stroke.

  12. Beans

    Beans are easily accessible and nutritious superfoods for diabetes. Along with protein and fiber, they contain carbohydrates.

    Fortunately, these do not increase blood sugar levels as they are low on the glycemic index. Beans slow down digestion and glucose absorption. 

    These mineral-rich beans should be non-canned ones. Canned beans have high sodium which is not a healthy scenario for diabetes.

    Some beans to try for diabetes management are kidney, pinto, navy, and black beans.

  13. Broccoli

    Broccoli is a low-starchy vegetable that is healthy and gut friendly. It contains sulforaphane which brings down blood sugar levels. Also, it contains minimal calories and carbohydrates.

    Alongside this, it provides iron, vitamin A, and fiber. According to a study, broccoli sprouts help reduce blood sugar levels and help with diabetes.

  14. Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar is popular for its potential health benefits. Even though it is made by fermenting apples, the sugar and carbohydrate content is low.

    You could increase the intake up to 4 tablespoons a day diluted with one glass of water. ACV is antioxidant-rich and reduces fasting blood sugar levels.

  15. Garlic

    Garlic is flexible in every aspect. Call it a vegetable, herb, or spice, it serves every purpose. It is rich in manganese, selenium, and vitamins.

    A 12-week study depicted that garlic controls both high and low lipoprotein.

    It also controls blood glucose levels and cholesterol. More studies are required to determine the exact dosage and its potential benefit.

  16. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Oil preference is equally crucial as food items. Cooking your food in extra virgin olive oil may help bring down the blood sugar levels.

    Oleic acid present in extra virgin olive oil may reduce triglycerides. It is an unrefined oil which is a bonus. It could retain antioxidants and reduce inflammation.

    Furthermore, it reduces low-density lipoprotein. It is a healthy fat source to limit sugar and carbohydrates without excessive restrictions.

    You could consume 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil a day for diabetes management.


Diabetes is a serious threat that needs proper medical attention. Along with treatment, changes in food and lifestyle play a detrimental role in diabetes management.

Some foods like seeds, nuts, and leafy greens add nutrition to the plate. Additionally, they help control food intake and reduce carbs and fats.

On the other hand, foods like refined grains and high-fat meats may increase the problem even more. It is better to make simple, small, and wise choices in food selection to dodge the risk of diabetes and related problems.