Food Health

5 Must Have Food Types If You Have Diabetes


August 14th, 2018   |   Updated on March 6th, 2020

You 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:

1. Vegetables

Higher-fiber Foods

  • Nonstarchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes
  • Starchy: includes potatoes, corn, and green peas

2. Fruits


  • Includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes

3. 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

4. Protein


  • 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


5. Dairy—nonfat or low fat

Dairy—nonfat or low fat

  • Milk or lactose-free milk if you have lactose intolerance
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese

Also eat foods with heart-healthy fats, which mainly come from these foods:

heart-healthy fats

  • 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.

Source: NIH

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Information provided by does in no way substitute for qualified medical opinion. Any text, videos or any other material provided by us should be considered as generic information only. Any health related information may vary from person to person, hence we advice you to consult specialists for more information.