What Should Be Included on a Diabetes Diet Plan Menu?

A healthy diabetic meal plan includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, with approximately half of the meal coming from nonstarchy vegetables such as broccoli, leafy greens, carrots, cauliflower and asparagus, states Everyday Health. The remainder of the meal should include selections of lean protein from skinless poultry, fish, beans or nuts, as well as low-fat dairy and whole grains.

Diabetics should follow a meal plan that emphasizes plant-based foods that are rich in dietary fiber and low in saturated fat, according to Mayo Clinic. Fiber helps to control blood sugar and reduces the risk of heart disease. Fish, including salmon, tuna and mackerel, contains omega-3 fatty acids which lower blood triglycerides, making it a better choice than fatty meats that are high in cholesterol. Other healthy fats include olive oil, nuts and avocados.

Low-fat dairy products such as plain nonfat Greek yogurt make a good substitution for whole-milk products and are lower in carbohydrates, states Everyday Health. Whole grains, including wild rice, quinoa and whole-grain breads, are better choices than refined or processed white flour-based products such as white rice, white bread and pastries. Healthy sources of fat provide essential nutrients; however they are high in calories and should be included in moderation. Whole fruit provides fiber and antioxidants, and berries make a good choice as they provide a feeling of satiety.