Healthy diets for diabetics include a wide variety of foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, fruit, nonfat dairy products and lean meats, according to the American Diabetes Association. It's important for individuals with diabetes to choose foods that are rich in minerals, vitamins and nutrients and to control portion sizes.
Foods that are high in fiber are better choices than processed foods, advises the American Diabetes Association. Developing a proper meal plan helps with improving blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure. Counting carbohydrates and paying attention to the glycemic index of foods are helpful when choosing foods to manage diabetes.
Those following a diabetic diet should eat healthy carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains rather than simple or complex (sugar and starch) carbohydrates, reports Mayo Clinic. Foods high in fiber include beans, lentils, nuts, fruits and wheat bran. Fish is a healthy alternative to fatty meats, and salmon, tuna and mackerel have omega-3 fatty acids that help lower and maintain triglycerides. Healthy fats should be included sparingly. These include avocados, some nuts and olive oil.
Diabetic diets are nonrestrictive and focus on keeping fat and calories low in order to maintain healthy weight and blood sugar levels, explains Mayo Clinic. Excess calories and fat produce a surge in blood glucose and can also lead to kidney, heart and nerve complications.