Best and Worst Foods for Diabetes

If you've got diabetes, you need a guide to help you quickly determine if a food is a good choice or a bad one, whether you're at the supermarket or standing in front of your refrigerator. Making the best choices will help you maintain good health and control your blood sugar levels, keeping them as close to normal as possible. WebMD has compiled a list of best and worst food choices for diabetes.

The categories for the food choice list are taken from the diabetes food pyramid. They include six food groups. The pyramid starts with breads, grains, and other starches at the base and rises to fats, oils, and sweets at the top. Here's the full list of categories from the bottom up:

Your goal for shopping and preparing meals is to choose more food from the base of the pyramid and less as you move toward the top.


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56 Replies

  • Best food choice from what most diabetics world over have learned on their own is LOW CARB HIGH FAT. This has brought better weight control, better sugar control, less hunger pangs and binging, better LIPIDS ... LCHF as it is called. Eat less than 100gms carbs/day and eat FAT (except TRANS FAT) .. like butter, full fat milk cream coconut oil, clarified butter, vegetables (except potatoe) particularly greens, yogurt from full fat milk ... and enjoy good health.

    Ask those who have switched to LCHF right on this forum. I have been eating more fat since 18 months now. In grains i am now restricted to just lentils. Wheat and rice is completely off from my menu

  • Dear Mr. Anup,

    Being a Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes educator I differ from you on LCHF diet. The normal recommendation is that the total calories should come from 60% carbs, 20% fats and 20% protein. If u eat high fat diet it is going to cause high cholesterol, triglycerides and high LDL. Which can lead to cardiac disease. I agree that if u eat a carb diet it will bring down the sugars but please get your lipid profile done at regular intervals. If u take reccomended quantity of all the food groups with proper medicines and exercise I don't see any reason why you blood sugar should not come down with out risking your heart health.

  • No. Dr Bernstein lives on 30gms CARBS and high fat diet. He is a diabetic type 1 for 6 decades with no heart troubles no kidney issues. With due respect to you actually it is difficult for NON DIABETICS to understand because they go by ADA Manuals which work for CARB industry. You don;t need to believe me: /forum.php -- a community of diabetics who live on LCHF with few there who are on a KETOGENIC diet. All have great LIPDS, Great Sugar control. Conventional science of FAT is bad fails with such diabetics and me. Cholesterol is not bad. Dietary cholesterol is not bad. It's pumping bdy with CARBS that is reason for all disease but entire world is brainwashed to think beyond FAT is BAD.

    My LIPIDS have improved (i have posted my last year LIPIDS on this forum) after switching to high fat as compared to what it was when i was leading a carby lifestyle. ... don;t worry i wont have an heart attack because i restrict my carbs now to less than 100gms/day and eat lots of butter, cream, NUTS. My BP also is running normal at 120/70 ... my sugar runs so great that i can say i am not diabetic at all ... though OGTT will prove i am diabetic :)

    Thousands and thousand of Diabetics who live on LCHF world over and defy ADA and conventional theory of nutrition cannot be are wrong .... Dr Bernstein, Garry taubs all cannot be wrong ... FAT is GOOD ... it's JUNK SCIENCE of ANCEL KEYS which made it bad and made it bad because CARBS industry wanted a evhicle to sell their carbs on. See where America has landed. Most obese nation on earth .... :)

    You can call me self educated NUTRITIONIST who has his own take on what suits DIABETICS. Being an engineer ny profession from one of IIT's nothing is rocket science for me ... it's plain common sense. I just don't want to take PRESCRIPTION DRUGS as Food is best DRUG and my diet has very little place for CARBS ... you can say i have run out of my Quota to eat CARBS so now enjoying more of FAT that Junk science of ANCEL KEYS demonized :)

  • Mr. Anup,

    i don't wont to argue with u. But you seem to have a big data on LCHF diet. Why don't you write a paper and share your studies with other people and nutritionist who will benefit from your studies and experience.

  • I don't have to write any paper. It's available in abundance on net and practiced by thousands of diabetics all over world. I practice it and see the benifit. My batch-mate after 8 years of being on pioz and jalra and horriblele control pf ppbs always around 170 is now only on 250mg MF SR with Controls of 120-130ppbs ... ther are others who are switching and seeing it for themselves on this forum itself. LOW CARB HIGH FAT doesn't cause LIPIDS go haywire nor does it cause heart attack else Dr Bernstein, Garry taubs all would be been dead by now and at least LAB reports of all those who switched and get their annual blood work done should have reflected ... it doesn't

    CARB is a Performance enhancement DRUG and needed by actively trained athletes ... diabetics dont need 60% energy from CARBS if they want to control with least amount of medicines. :)

  • And ... Not all LDL is bad.

    Large Fluffy LDL is harmless. So a VAP profile is best indicator because popping useless STATINS based on just LDL and TC values is like playing BLIND on a Cards table where you lose more often than win ;)


  • Respected Sir,

    I agree to this. As the age progresses the amount of exercise decreases, leading to the accumulation of fat in body, unless you convert it into energy by means of exercises brisk walking atleast 120 steps per minute, this will be very difficult. As such one can safely switch to Low Carb food.

  • Is coconut good for diabetic patients? I think it's not.

  • Why do you think so?

  • Rice is understood but why wheat is off? White flour is dangerous but other varieties of wheat are acceptable though in moderate quantity

  • Rice is high in GI so it is restricted. Whole wheat flour is not restricted and u should not remove the bran from it. The portion of wheat flour has to be controlled as there are 15gms of carbs in single chappati and these carbs convert into glucose in your body. Generally 6-8 servings of carbs is reccomended. The total calories should come from 60% carbs, 20% fats and 20% protien.

  • 60:20"20 is not even good for a normal person.

    It's poison for a diabetic for sure. They can never survive without medicines and diabetes will only get progressively worse on such a diet. I am appalled at such recommendations to a diabetic. No wonder you find people complaining that their sugar reaches 400 despite medicines :)

  • Dear Anupji is absolutely correct, one cannot think of 60: 20: 20 ratio. Then your sugar will not be controlled except medicine, what we are discussing here is how to achieve minimum medicines. As regards wheat has slightly higher proteins and more of fibre in whole wheat atta.

  • Wheat is also 55% CARBS.

    One indian chapati is ~40 gm and hence is 22gms Carb

    Compare this with a dry veg preparation ... apprx 300gms veg is same carbs. So what's more filling 40 gms or 300 gms?

    After i dropped chapati my BGL runs 15 points lower ... :)

  • I have seen this list in WebMD. This list mainly contains things available in foreign countries and not in India, barring grains, milk, curds/ yogurt.

    One has to observe his diet and check BS regularly. Take also medicines as per Dr. advice and exercise as usual.One should change food intake for 8-10 days and check BS. This will be a feed back to him to follow right path.

  • yes you are right ... one should prepare a list of food items that spike by eating, testing and logging.

  • Anup,

    Taking diabetic medicines before or after lunch. Does it makes any difference as far as BS is concerned ? As insulin is to be taken before lunch.

  • Insulin dependent is tricky game and i have no personal experience. Something before meals some long acting and something to cover proteins ... it's all complicated. Something about basal/bolus combo. Covering protein also is necessary. If you can try getting the book by Dr Bernstein. He is a hero for those injecting insulin and type 1.

  • My question is about tablets and not insulin. As I am taking tablets i.e. Glynese MF and Piosafe 15 after lunch or dinner. If I take it before lunch/dinner does it makes any positive or negative effect on BS ?

    Secondly, if I take the tablets with hot water instead of cold or normal, will it make any difference

  • Get off Glynese as fast as you can as it is whipping your pancreas to produce more insulin. Glipizide is a short and rapid acting drug so it will beat pancreas to death in long run. and will drive you to INSULIN Shots.

    Warm or cold doesn't matter much with these pills.

    Since it's pushing pancreas to release more insulin it's similar to what you do with rapid acting insulin. eat within 20 min of taking medicines.

    BUT... i underline ... CHANGE your diet and get off this crap. It will kill your pancreas finally ... I really get upset with professionals who push these drugs to patients rather than telling them to drastically change diet to lower carbs intake. They tell same old nonsense that ADA has brainwashed them to talk ... eat 6-8 times a day and eat 60% carbs. WHAT big BS!!!.

    SIR, please tell change your diet and get off this crap. Tell your doctor that you would want plain MF SR so he should give you a diet lower in carbs and if you do this you can even get off MF.

  • Anup, If you see my earlier communications, I have drastically reduced carbs in any form. I have increased proteins & fats to some extents.

    As mentioned by you, I have to stop Glynese. Accepted. Will you please suggest me alternate as my doctor said to continue Glynese MF and Piosafe 15. Truly speaking, I don't know the effects of these medicines on our body. If they are not OK, please suggest me alternate.

    As I have changed diet and taking regular exercise of 5 Kms brisk walking, will I need to take diabetics medicines ? No doubt I am checking FBS and PPBS weekly.

  • Good.

    Please check PPBS (forget about FBS for the time being) at home and check at 110 min after meals. by meter you have to aim for no more than 160 at 110 min level.

    If you are checking already, what are the levels and how do they compare with before you made changes in diet.

  • Earlier I use to take Glynese MF and Piosafe 15 mg -2 tabs each time before lunch and before dinner. My PPBS was around 180 to 220.

    With change in diet and regular brisk walk for 50 minute, I take 1 tab each of above instead 2 tabs. My PPBS is well below 150 and many a times it goes to 100 or 90

  • Great so your medicines are down and levels are far better. So it would not be a bad thing to start thinking about replacing Glynese MF with Metformin SR 500mg. SR.

    The with this you try and achieve levels of 140 and below through diet and walks. Watch for a minimum of 3 weeks and observe PPBS levels. If you manage to get the levels consistently lower then eliminate PIOSAFE.

  • sir, usually insuline is given in type 1 should take insuline before meals, because it starts working soon after your insuline intake. if u are empty stmoch your bs lavel would go low i.e. lo sugar. which is dangrous than high bs. so it is recommended before food .which helps in lowering bsl. thank u.

  • Respected all,

    I will in few days publish South Indian and North Indian Dishes, mainly Vegetarian for the benefit of our members.

  • have u published such list kindly inform

  • could not see the list

  • hi ! there is no list attached

  • please show the list of foods and pyramid

  • siphoned completely from ur brain ur every Fasting &PP 121-190.

  • When one feel acute Hungary then sugar in blood may be 220 or above so always in interval must Marie Gold/Mild biscuit beside meal.Fiber content must. Double toned milk preferable 'AMUL' every morning & Evening.Thirsty ur blood sugar rising,frequent urine it is more than 300-350

  • I feel very thirsty in the night and get up to drink water two to three times.

    My tongue dries completely and I wake up.

    What is due to and could it be cured

  • It is normal activity. Drink water whenever u want to drink. When use ceiling fans at high speed it dries up skin and water evaporates from ur body. U require more water.

  • There is not attachment

    Try to attach list

  • Most of postings are not worth reading. Please visit National institute of Nutrition web site and open their publications page. U will find many publications which are reasonably priced and how to get them. It is a govt of India lab site. The lab is in Hyderabad.

  • Best book is the yearly blood panel report as that defies all nutritionists as far as guys on LCHF are concerned. Those who want to live n pills it's their choice their money. Those who are living without pills are also right ... so it depends on which side of the fence you are ... for LCHF dieters most of nutrition manuals are useless :)

  • From my experience I feel nobody can advise properly for the management of BG level. By trial and error method one will have to set his/ her diet chart. But one thing is unavoidable that once you have caught BS it will never be cured fully. Only you can well manage it by 1. nutritional food 2. consistent physical exercise & morning walk ( min 30 mints/ day) and 3. dietary suppllement. Modern research reavels that wheat contains a substance named 'Gluten'. Gluten grain is strongly associated with diabetes and gastroenterological disorders apart from other diseases. A comparison between rice and bread for the same quantity of serving shows that bread contains more carb than that of rice i.e. rice is better than bread. Also rice is gluten free grain and wheat is gluten rich grain. Can anybody enlighten further on this further. Pl do not use this platform for debate. Everybody will be benefited from a healthy discussion and sharing knowledge. I wanted to discuss and seek advice from my doctor. Unfortunately he was annoyed with me and replied that he would not advise till the matter was included in the text. Live healthy.

  • Doctors will feel annoyed at any discussion that will lead to lower drugs sale because then next month the MR that visits them will come with a lighter PACKET :)

    My discussions involving three D's (Diabetes, Diet and Doctor) always reach a dead end or even a heated discussion. I really don't understand why doctors are so desperate to Push PILLS .. at least a large majority of them. Last time that i discussed with doctor he completely went on a different tangent and said Ramdev (though i never brought Ramdev in discussion) cannot take care of swine flue ... i said sure sir how can he when there are "swines" like Baxter releasing live virus flues to 19 countries how can anyone control it. Some say that this is true and was done because the company which made TamiFlu had one "politician" holding large stocks of the company ... doctor got upset and discussion ended ... The rise in share prices of the company making Tamiflu made the politician richer by 15 million dollars some say :)

    The more you research the more you find "NAKED TRUTH" about how these Pharma Lords function and how this is nothing but "Crony Capitalism"

    Though off topic but Read more about BAXTER here --

    The entire Flu vaccine is another SCAM of medical World.

  • Dear Mr Anup, I fully agree with you. No doctors will give patience hearing about the latest research and development on the subject for multiple reasons. No 1. It will cut his time and thereby cut his money. 2. The doctor has no time to study research papers (again it will cut his time). They are linked with various Pharmas

    and the doctors learn from medical representatives only and accordingly prescribe blindly. Once my doctor prescribed a very costly medicine of one pharma giant. I suggested my doctor to prescribed another medicine of comparatively low cost. The doctor replied that he was helpless but to prescribe that particular medicine only. Of course I did not buy that medicine. In another case, for a second opinion I went to another doctor who practically threw away the earlier prescription and suggested alternative medicine. In India the patients are the playing cards of doctors except for a very few.

    However, from my past experience and study I have selected my own way of managing diabetes. I have noticed that few persons (doctors?)are using this forum to promote their products/medicines immorally. Thanks Mr Anup for your comments.

  • The entire NEXUS works on synergistic alliance of COMMISSIONS.

    (1) Doctor refers for a TEST he gets 20% -30% from diagnostic centers and poor patient has to pay. This is irrespective of whether you go to recommended center. No matter where you go the commission packet will reach the doctor.

    (2) Doctor prescribes expensive drugs so that MR comes with a heftier packet next month

    (3) Doctor prescribes more of the same expensive drugs so that he gets a paid summer vacation trip to Hawaii with family. It's all TARGET based.

    It's 2 and 3 that forced your doctor to not prescribe the generic drug ... Doctors are just "Parroting" what the PHARMA LORDS want them to .

    Oh those selling stuff on forum in return for money are to be ignored ... parasites everywhere and they come in huge numbers when the issue is like diabetes ... because patient is desperate to eat "roti and rice" so wants a magic pill ... bitter truth is that there's no magic pill :)

  • Very good info Anup!! Sadly, is the truth of the matter.

  • That's why i stay away from them as far as my D is concerned because i don;t need PILLS. It's just by switching to LOWER CARBS and HIGH FAT in diet that my last A1C was 5.2 When someone tries to scare me with a heart attack i tell them test on me and prove it ... they just back off :)

  • a cup of tea without sugar in morning (taken no medicine) after 2 hours medicine and breakfast (one chapati and a glass of milk/tea)(glycomate gp 2 fort + vozuca .3 + olmesar a 40 +liv 52 + revital +raz plus sr) in afternoon 2 chapati + subzi+ curd+ vozuca .3& at last in night glycomate gp 2 fort+vozuca .3 & 2chapati + dal thats it what itake in a day but early in morning when i check my bs it is 125/130 ( is every thing ok? i should contine it?

  • transplant patient, because of the steroids, sugar jumps up and down, walk about 6 km daily, 7 days a week. on in sulin dose of 24/20/20 three times a day. any dietary advise which can reduce my insulin intake?

  • Kindly give the food list as best to choose in 2 diabetes

  • my question is that my tongue never used to dry up completely at night three to four times

    before I got diabetic.

    Is it related to that because it happens in winter also when I dont use the fan

    Kewal Kohli

    New delhi

  • In the foregoing discussion in my view it appears one and all have some how left aside the blood chemistry of the Human Body. I don't know if the authors of the foregoing write ups will agree, that the Blood Chemistry differs from one human body to the other and hence the use of medication to balance the blood chemistry by supplementation of one or two elements causing a disorder in the function of the various organs related to BS control. Hence it is better always to involve medical science for each individual and consult the authorities in this field of science. It is surely helpful to know each others experience, but it is always better to consult ones personal physician before applying the thoughts of someone, which in the long run may result for the worse.

  • What i have found is common sense after due diligence doesn't fail at all.

  • pl. give list o.f good foods and bad foods

  • No list is attached, we eagerly waiting for list

  • Everybody is seeking a good list to managa his BG level. I give here my diet chart developed after a long trial and error method. If anybody wants may try this diet for at least one month.

    After getting up from bed I take one small spoon of dust of fennugreek and cinnamon ( 50 gms each) ground together without washing my mouth. Thereafter as below:---

    1. 7 AM. one cup sugarless tea with one cream cracker biscuit

    2. 9 AM Breakfast. oatmeal & milk mixed with one tbsp flax seed powder and two tbsp

    gram sattu. At 11 AM I take one cup bitter melon boiled water.

    3. 1.30 PM Lunch. boiled rice made from 60 gms raw rice, boiled one bitter melon & 4/5

    ladies fingers, sufficient green mixed vegetables, fresh fish(approx 70

    gms) or 50 gms chicken, dal of any type, salad : one medium onion +

    one tomato + one cucumber ( apprx 100 gms )+ half lemon + one

    green chilli. I have no restriction for potato.

    4. 7 PM one cup sugarless tea with one sugarfree biscuit.

    5 10 PM Dinner 4 nos hand made bread ie 2 nos with vegetables and 2 nos with

    double tonned milk.

    I also take 3 nos boiled egg in every week. The total intake is adjusted

    accoding to need and the menu is sometimes altered to bring a little

    change in taste. I donot take both trans fat, saturated fat and pancake.

    For the last 10/12 yrs I did not taste sugar and sweet. I try to avoid


    6. 6AM. morning walk for 30 mints and 30 mints scheduled exercise. At 8 Am I

    perform Pranayam for half an hour.

    This is absolutely my own requirement and I do not take any responsibility for any result if anybody tries the above chart. This forum is basically for exchanging views and sharing experiences and as such I post my experience here. I am 69 yrs old. My height is 5'6", my weight is 61 kg and my present PP BS is 128 mg/di. I am suffering from BS for the last 10/12 yrs. But BS fluctuates very often if I loose control your management. Let everybody stay healthy.

  • Dear dbanerjee6887,

    Have you checked your 1AC test every three months?

  • Provide the List.

  • Sorry I am unable to upload the file.

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