Diabetics should eat plenty of vegetables (particularly non-starchy ones), whole-grain foods, lean protein sources, fruit and low-fat dairy products. Cutting back on desserts and snacks that are high in calories and reducing consumption of cakes, cookies, chips and full-fat ice cream are helpful steps, too, notes the American Diabetes Association.
The best vegetables are frozen, fresh or canned without added fats or salts. A variety of vegetable colors and types is particularly helpful. Whole-grain pastas, tortillas, breads, cereals and crackers are preferable, as are unsweetened whole-grain cereals as opposed to sugary breakfast cereals, as stated by the American Diabetes Association.
Lean protein choices include skinless turkey and chicken, fish and vegetarian protein sources, such as soy products and beans. Eggs and egg substitutes are permitted, as well. When choosing beef or pork, cuts ending in "loin," such as sirloin and pork loin, are the best. Fruits should be frozen, fresh or canned without any additional sugars, notes the American Diabetes Association.
Low-fat dairy products such as skim or 1 percent milk, low-fat or nonfat yogurt and reduced-fat cheeses are also ideal for diabetics. Watching portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight over time is important, as well, states the American Diabetes Association.