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What types of food can a diabetic eat?

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Quick Answer

A diabetes diet is a healthy eating plan rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, explains Mayo Clinic. Foods to avoid include saturated fats found in high-fat dairy products and animal proteins and trans fats found in processed foods.

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Full Answer

Carbohydrates have more impact on blood sugar than fats or protein, states WebMD. Individuals with diabetes must carefully track how many carbohydrates they get each day and monitor fat and protein amounts. Studies suggest that people with Type 2 diabetes who eat a high-fiber diet by incorporating foods such as beans, legumes and nuts can improve their blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Consume fish at least twice weekly, advises Mayo Clinic. Cod, tuna and halibut are low in saturated fat and cholesterol; salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and bluefish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which lower triglycerides.

Healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol levels are found in avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, olives, and canola, olive and peanut oils, according to Mayo Clinic. Limit cholesterol, found in egg yolks, shellfish, liver and other organ meats, to less than 300 milligrams a day. Limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams a day.

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