What Can Diabetics Eat, Anyway?

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you might be having a hard time figuring out what you can and cannot eat. Although it may seem like you won’t be able to have many of your favorite foods, it’s not as bad as it seems. With the right information, you’ll be able to cook up diabetic food menus in your sleep!

On Track DiabetesIf you know you have diabetes but don’t know what you can eat, you can talk to your doctor or people you know that have diabetes. You can also search online for a diabetic diet food list or look for books on the subject at your local library.

Here’s a short food list for diabetics of what is often considered “superfoods”:

  • Beans
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Berries
  • Tomatoes
  • Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Whole Grains
  • Nuts
  • Fat-Free Milk and Yogurt

Keep in mind that these are just ten of the foods you can eat – there’s still plenty of other food that you can have, too.

Food pyramidThankfully, there’s a diabetic food pyramid available to help those who like to know how much they’re supposed to eat every day. It’s actually quite similar to an old version of the regular food pyramid, but there are some differences. For instance, cheese is put in the meat section, and starchy vegetables are in the grains section. In total, there are six parts to the pyramid:

  • Grains, Beans, and Starchy Vegetables
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Milk
  • Meat and Meat Substitutes
  • Fats, Sweets, and Alcohol

After consulting some diabetes food lists, you should have a pretty good idea of which food items are okay for you to eat and which ones you should try to avoid. It might be a good idea to make a couple of lists for reference when you’re grocery shopping or eating out: one list of good foods and one list of bad foods. You could even sort your “good foods” list by food pyramid section.

The diabetic food pyramid suggests that you eat a certain amount of food from each food group every day. These amounts are:

  • 6+ Servings of Grains, Beans, and Starchy Vegetables
  • 3-5 Servings of Vegetables
  • 2-4 Servings of Fruits
  • 2-3 Servings of Milk
  • 2-3 Servings of Meat and Meat Substitutes
  • Only a Little Fats, Sweets, and Alcohol

CarbsTo keep your diabetes under control, you may have to keep track of your carbohydrate intake. Balancing your carbohydrates can be a little tricky, especially if you’ve never paid attention to them before. While there are exceptions, foods that are high in carbohydrates are usually:

  • Grains, Beans, and Starchy Vegetables
  • Milk
  • Fruit
  • Sweets

Foods that are low in carbohydrates usually include:

  • Vegetables
  • Meat and Meat Substitutes
  • Fats

If you’re like most people, you might not be too fond of vegetables but love sweets. You’re probably worried about whether or not you can still eat cake, cookies, and ice cream. The bad news is that eating a lot of sugar isn’t a very good idea. The good news is that it’s the twenty-first century – there are alternatives out there.

There are so many sugar free candy recipes out there, you won’t even feel like you’re missing out on anything. Most ingredients that are used for diabetic cooking are quite common, too, so you can probably pick up anything you need right where you normally shop.

For instance, you can make sugar-free gummy worms with unflavored gelatin, flavored sugar-free jello, water, and packets of kool-aid. If you’re more of a chocolate person, you can make chocolate truffles with unsweetened chocolate, Splenda, butter, whipping cream, vanilla extract, and macadamia nuts. Fudge fanatics can make peanut butter fudge with unsweetened chocolate, half-and-half, peanut butter, vanilla, artificial sweetener, and unsalted peanuts. No matter what sweet it is that you’re fancying, there will be a recipe out there that you can make.

To find recipes that are low on carbohydrates and sugar, try looking online – many recipe websites have categories that cater to diabetics. If you prefer to have a physical cookbook, almost any store that sells books will have something for you. Libraries are a good resource, too.

While finding out that you have diabetes can be scary and overwhelming, it’s not the end of the world – you can still live a happy, healthy life. Once you learn how to manage your condition, you’ll barely even notice it.

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