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What foods can I eat if I have diabetes?

VYou may worry that having diabetes means going without foods you enjoy. The good news is that you can still eat your favorite foods, but you might need to eat smaller portions or enjoy them less often. Your health care team will help create a diabetes meal plan for you that meets your needs and likes.

The key to eating with diabetes is to eat a variety of healthy foods from all food groups, in the amounts your meal plan outlines.

The food groups are:

  • non starchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes
  • non starchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes
  • includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes.
Grains-at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains
  • includes wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, and quinoa
  • examples: bread, pasta, cereal, and tortillas
  • lean meat
  • chicken or turkey without the skin
  • fish
  • eggs
  • nuts and peanuts
  • dried beans and certain peas, such as chickpeas and split peas
  • meat substitutes, such as tofu
dairy—nonfat or low fat
  • milk or lactose-free milk if you have lactose intolerance
  • yogurt
  • cheese
Eat foods with heart-healthy fats, which mainly come from these foods:
  • oils that are liquid at room temperature, such as canola and olive oil
  • nuts and seeds
  • heart-healthy fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
  • avocado

Use oils when cooking food instead of butter, cream, shortening, lard, or stick margarine.

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