The diabetic diet food list contains beans, dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, berries, tomatoes, fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, nuts, fat-free milk, and yogurt, according to the American Diabetes Association. All foods on this list are on the low-glycemic index, which measures the effect food has on blood sugar levels.
Also referred to as medical nutrition therapy, a diabetes diet consists of carefully selected, nutritious foods that help diabetics control their blood sugar levels, explains the Mayo Clinic. These diets focus on foods that are full of nutrients but low in fat and calories.
Dietitians and doctors help diabetics craft their own diabetic diets, and these diets usually contain healthy carbohydrates such as whole grains and beans; fiber-rich foods such as vegetables; good fats from foods such as avocados, almonds and olives; and heart-healthy fish, reports Mayo Clinic.
With the permission of their health care provider, diabetics may eat foods that are not part of the diabetic diet, but they should eat those foods sparingly, warns WebMD. Ideally, diabetics should choose the healthiest food possible in any scenario. For example, they should choose whole-grain flour tortillas over fried white-flour tortillas. Similarly, diabetics should choose fresh over canned vegetables or fruit canned in fruit juice over fruit canned in heavy syrup.