Apricots are great for those with a sweet tooth who, unfortunately, can’t eat a lot of sugar. They are low on the Glycaemic index, meaning they won’t spike your sugar levels, unlike other fruits. One apricot will give you less than four carbohydrates and one gram fibre, helping to slow down digestion.
Oats are perfect for those with diabetes, as they contain a type of fibre that helps reduce high blood pressure and blood sugar. They are also a slow release energy food, so will keep you feeling fuller for longer, and help you stay away from high sugar cravings.
Sweet potatoes are low on the Glycaemic index despite them being starchy. They also contain beta-carotene which is transformed into vitamin A when we digest, which is a vital vitamin for the human diet. They can be cooked in lots of different ways too, meaning it’s hard to get bored of them.
Greek yoghurt is a much better alternative to regular yoghurt, as it contains a lot of protein. Protein is perfect for fueling the body and aids healing muscles – it also keeps us fuller for longer, it’s an all round win! It has less carbohydrates than other breakfast foods so will help reduce your blood sugar.
Spinach is packed full of micro nutrients including Lutein, which is really important for eye health. Blindness can be a side effect of diabetes, therefore its a great food to add to your diet to help prevent damage to your eyes. It’s also rich in iron, which is great for circulation and energy levels.
Dark chocolate is often really high in Cocoa, usually a minimum of 60%. This means there’s less sugar to spike your levels and also other health benefits. The antioxidants often found in dark chocolate are great for fighting inflammation. So you can still enjoy a sweet treat without effecting your diabetes.
Vegan protein powder
A morning or gym smoothie often has fruit in it, which can contain too much sugar for a diabetic. So instead of just sticking to water, try a vegan protein shake. The protein will help with mid-morning hunger pangs and won’t spike your sugar levels! Shake with an unsweetened plant based milk to make it extra creamy.
Kale is often called a super food because its packed full of micro-nutritients. It’s also super high in fibre, allowing digestion to slow and helping you to feel fuller for longer. It’s also low on the Glycaemic index, meaning it could be a great side dish or smoothie addition to a diabetic diet.
Lean chicken is super high in protein and lower in saturated fats, meaning you will feel fuller for longer and not get that heavy food slump after. It’s also very versatile, so can be paired with other diabetes-friendly foods to make a complete and nutritious meal, and can be meal prepped for easy meals for a busy schedule.
Lentils are full of resistant starch, which is a type of starch that has minimal impact on blood sugar levels. They pass through the body virtually undigested, so feed the healthy bacteria in the gut. Add lentils to stews or curries for a gut healthy meal that’s diabetic friendly.
This nutty whole grain is packed full of fibre and protein. The fibre will aid with digestion and keep you fuller for longer, and the protein will give you energy and aid in body recovery. Add quinoa to salads or as a side dish with your favourite dressing or veggies.
Powered by plant protein and fibre, beans are a great addition to hearty meals and can help manage your blood sugar levels. They can also be good for your heart health, which is very important amongst diabetics, as heart disease is a common problem with the disease.
100% whole wheat bread
Carbs don’t need to be completely avoided, just managed by portion size. Swapping to complex carbohydrates can help with blood sugar levels, so instead of classic white bread, swap to 100% whole wheat instead. It’s higher in vitamins and minerals and won’t be stored the same way as processed carbohydrates.
Packed with fibre and really tasty in salads, chickpeas are versatile and low in saturated fat too. Instead of reaching for your high carb snacks like pretzels and potato chips, try roasting chickpeas in the oven or air fryer with your favourite seasoning for a delicious snack that’s low on the Glycaemic index.
This type of rice is an ancient grain that is actually considered a grass. Lower in carbohydrate, it won’t spike blood sugar levels and also contains vitamins and minerals like Zinc and Manganese. Manganese is great for circulation and blood sugar maintenance, and Zinc helps support the immune system.
There are 10 grams of fibre in only one cup of Edamame beans, which is very helpful in regulating blood sugar levels. They are also high in protein but also contain an important nutrient called Choline. Choline can help reduce the risk of heart disease, which is important to everyone, but also diabetics.
By blending up those great chickpeas you have hummus, which is much better for snacking with veggies than mayo or other dairy based dips. It can be made in big batches and can be customised easily with herbs and spices. Pair it with other high fibre and protein based foods like sweet potato or wheat bread for a nutritious snack or meal.
Opt for these high fibre flax crackers instead of traditional high carb ones. They pair really well with other low carb snacks like hummus and turkey slices and can be found in the grocery store. Certain brands can even have 0 grams of sugar per serving.
In a three ounce serving of ground turkey you can get around 23 grams of protein and zero carbs. This level of protein will keep you full for a while and not spike blood sugar levels. It can be interchanged with chicken so you don’t get bored with meals during the week.
Broccoli is high in micro-nutrients and in sulforaphane, which is a compound that helps reduce the risk of complications from diabetes. Such as aiding in heart health and nerve health, broccoli can be cooked in many ways and can be a great side dish to lean proteins.
Eggs are a tasty source of protein and can be prepared in so many ways, making them versatile to cook with. They are also a source of Choline, which is good for preventing heart disease and overall heart health. It’s important to try to limit to five eggs a week.
These little fish are packed full of healthy fats, especially if packed in olive oil. They will provide nutrients that will greatly benefit your nail, skin and hair, as well as helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also a good source of protein to top salads.
Salmon is a super healthy source of protein and healthy fats. It can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, which is a concern amongst diabetics. It’s also full of Omega-3 fatty acids which aids preventing coronary heart disease and is great for your nails and hair.
If you love spaghetti and meatballs, try zucchini spaghetti instead. This veggie is versatile to cook with and because of its texture, it can be ribboned to form veggie noodles. Packed with micro-nutrients that aid management of diabetes, give this a try with your favourite sauce and turkey meatballs. They can also be baked into brownies for added moisture.
Tofu absorbs whatever flavour you marinade it in, making it a great addition to stir friess or salads for lots of plant based protein. It’s pretty affordable and can be cooked in lots of different ways, such as fried, baked or blended into sauces. Unopened it can last a long time in the fridge.
Not adding sugar or salt doesn’t have to be the end of flavourful cooking, fear not diabetics! A few cloves of garlic in your meals can dramatically lift the dish, even if adding to ‘bland’ foods such as broccoli or kale. Garlic is also great for helping to fight colds and infections.
Like tofu, tempeh is a plant based protein which is known to improve insulin resistance. But it contains way more concentrated protein than tofu does. It can be cooked in similar ways, sliced, cubed or grated, but is best served baked or fried with your favourite seasoning. It can also be marinated the night before in the fridge for ultimate flavour.
This dark leafy vegetable is full of iron and calcium which is great for energy levels. It is also low on the Glycaemic index and pretty low in calories, so you can eat it in bulk for added veggies at meal times. It’s also full of fibre to help with digestion and gut health.
Eating carbs with a healthy fat and protein can actually help you digest them better than just eating the carbs alone. Snacking on some crackers with a can of tuna can help reduce blood sugar spikes and keep you fuller for longer, just look for the low sodium options in the grocery store.
Fatty, high protein fish are ideal for diabetics as they won’t spike your blood sugar. Mackerel is very healthy for your heart and the oils are good for your hair, nails and skin. Serve over salad or grill it fresh from the grocery store for a satiating meal.
This tasty veggie is more than a side dish. It contains good levels of folate, which is a great acid for diabetics. Folic acid can help reduce homocysteine levels, which is an amino acid linked to cardiovascular risk amongst diabetes patients. Just four spears contains 22% of your recommended daily value of folate.
Grate up cauliflower and make your own rice for so many dishes. It can create the low carb version of the food and lower in calories too, perfect for adding lean proteins and sauce. Cauliflower is also rich in Ssulforaphane, which is a compound found to help glucose intolerance.
Instead of reaching for high carb snacks like chips or breadsticks, chop up some carrots for a crunchy low carb and low calorie snack. Carrots are full of fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants, which help the immune system and help fight infections. Dip into some hummus or guacamole.
A study conducted in Canada found that onions have a gut healthy fibre that can help control hunger and lower levels of blood sugar. So not only are they super good for us, they also make the best base for any dish. Their compounds also contain bioactive sulfur, which help maintain blood pressure and cholesterol.
This veggie can often be overlooked, but it’s full of nutrients and fibre, meaning it aids in digestion and won’t spike blood sugar. It’s low in calories so it can be added to anything to boost the nutrition and bulk of the meal. Try making a coleslaw and adding it to a sandwich.
Instead of a bag of candy to curb those sweet cravings, try a small bowl of berries instead. Make sure to balance them out with other healthy fats and protein, like greek yoghurt, to help keep blood sugar levels in check. The fibre will help keep you feeling fuller for longer.
These unique melons are not that common, after all they are bitter. However, they have been proven in a study to actually lower blood sugar levels. The study found that 2000 milligrams of bitter melon a day, lowers blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes.
Adding healthy fats to your meals, especially at breakfast time, can help aid digestion and keep us feeling full and energised. Peanut butter is a great source of fat and protein, just be sure to look for ones without loads of added sugar in your grocery store and top it on your oats or in smoothies.
Ground flax seeds
Add a satisfying crunch to your foods with these little superfood seeds. Ground flax seeds contain lignans (a plant-based chemical compound) and fibre that help maintain blood sugar levels and glycemic control, so they’re the perfect addition to top your salads, oatmeal or mix into yoghurts.
Avocados contain a significant amount of healthy fats and fibre, that help aid carbohydrate digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes, the oil in avocados is also great for shiny hair and strength. They are super versatile and can be used in smoothies, baking or just smashed on some whole-wheat toast.