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What types of food are best for diabetics?

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Quick Answer

Fat-free dairy products, nuts, whole grains, fatty fish, fresh vegetables, leafy greens, tomatoes and beans are the best foods for diabetics to eat, according to the American Diabetes Association. All of these foods are low on the glycemic index spectrum, meaning they don't contribute to spikes in blood sugar levels.

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What types of food are best for diabetics?
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Full Answer

Dairy products are important for maintaining strong teeth and bones, and many dairy products have vitamin D which is an added benefit. As well as being a good choice for diabetics, low-fat options also help to keep blood pressure and cholesterol low. So does eating a handful of nuts a day, as they provide magnesium, fiber and some important healthy fats. Walnuts and flaxseeds also have omega-3 fatty acids, states the American Diabetes Association.

When it comes to beans, it only takes 1/2 cup to provide as much protein as an ounce of meat, but there is no saturated fat in beans. Leafy, dark green vegetables such as kale, collards and spinach have so few calories and carbohydrates that it's possible to eat as much as is desired. Citrus fruits such as limes, lemons, oranges and grapefruits temper the flow of fructose (fruit sugar) into the body because of the fiber those fruits contain.

Berries work the same way, but they also provide an influx of antioxidants. Tomatoes add iron, vitamin C and vitamin E to the diet, while fatty fish add even more omega-3 fatty acids to the diet, notes the American Diabetes Association.

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