A sample diet for a diabetic includes whole-wheat waffles or pancakes, 3/4 cup of mixed berries and 6 ounces of nonfat yogurt for breakfast. Lunch consists of a veggie and cheese pita, along with a medium apple and almond butter. Dinner has a similar nutrient blend, notes the Mayo Clinic.
A typical dinner for a diabetic would include a beef stew without the potatoes, served with a side salad under an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. Snacks could include a handful of unsalted almonds or pecans or a tangerine with a 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The keys to developing an effective diabetic diet include avoiding saturated fats, such as animal proteins and high-fat dairy items; trans fats, which include baked goods and processed snacks; and more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day. Sodium intake should remain below 2,300 milligrams daily. Paying close attention to portion size and the glycemic index when planning carbohydrate consumption helps diabetics manage their glucose levels. Some diabetics use the exchange system, which categorizes foods as fats, meats and carbohydrates. Each exchange has the same impact on blood glucose. For example, one small apple and 1/3 cup of cooked pasta both contain approximately the same amount of carbohydrates and so are considered exchanges, states the Mayo Clinic.