A healthy diet for diabetics consists of whole-grain foods, non-starchy vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and low-fat milk and dairy products. Additionally, experts suggest that moderate portions of healthy fats contained in foods such as avocados and nuts are good options for diabetics, reports the American Diabetes Association.
In contrast to refined grains, which contain bad carbohydrates and empty calories, whole-grain foods, such as oatmeal, are high in soluble fiber, slow digestion, make a person feel fuller longer, and help the body control blood-sugar levels. Similarly, non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans and spinach, are high in fiber, and these vegetables also contain less carbohydrates than starchy vegetables. Fruits such as strawberries are also high in fiber, contribute to a feeling of fullness, and may satisfy cravings for sweet foods while also containing fewer carbohydrates, states WebMD.
Doctors recommend lean proteins, such as fish and skinless chicken breast, says WebMD. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to overall heart health, and meats contain chromium, which helps the body regulate insulin and better metabolize carbohydrates. Additionally, experts suggest that diabetics restrict their dairy intake to low-fat options, such as skim milk or reduced-fat cheeses, and supplement their diet with heart-healthy options, such as vegetable oils, olives, and seeds, according to the American Diabetes Association.