Diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors and genetics, so the food people choose to eat can significantly affect blood glucose levels, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diabetics should avoid foods that raise blood sugar levels and add calories to the diet, such as sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks.
People with diabetes do not have to follow a special diet, but rather a healthy diet that is recommended for most people seeking to avoid health problems, explains the American Diabetes Association. The recommended diet includes foods low in trans and saturated fats, moderate servings of salt and sugar and meals that are rich in lean protein, in addition to whole grains, fruits, healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables.
Portion size is a key factor in managing diabetes with a healthy diet, according to the American Diabetes Association. Patients need to balance carbohydrates with proteins, fruits and vegetables. The average serving of carbohydrates should equal 45 to 60 grams per meal with a balance of lean meats. Many diabetic patients consult with nutritionists or dietitians to determine a meal plan that balances the amount of carbohydrate intake with proteins and vegetables. People with diabetes can consume small servings of sweets in moderation and when balanced with a healthy diet.