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Grocery lists for Type 2 diabetes: What to buy and what to avoid

Diabetes is best managed by being mindful of carbohydrate intake, eating smaller meals regularly, and choosing nutrient dense, healthful options.

Knowing what food to eat can make a huge difference to controlling, and, potentially, reversing type 2 diabetes. Making informed food choices can be helped by writing out a grocery list of foods that improve overall health, and benefit someone who has type 2 diabetes.

By making smart food choices and buying the right foods, a person can ensure they have enough diabetic-friendly ingredients on hand to take them from breakfast through to the last meal, or snack, of the day.


Vegetables are the base of a healthy diet. Not only do they offer excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, but they are fibrous, too, and help the body feel full and satisfied. This in turn can deter overeating, which may cause blood sugar issues.

Some vegetables to add to the shopping list include: salad green, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, green beans, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, red, green, orange, or yellow peppers, onions.

Beans and legumes

Beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber and protein. They can often be used in place of a portion of the protein that is needed in a diet. Here are some examples of what beans to pick up in either their canned or dried forms: black beans, lentils, white beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans


Despite their high sugar content, fresh or frozen fruits pack a powerful nutritional punch with their high content of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Berries [strawberries blueberries blackberries raspberries] are full of vitamins and fiber.

The following fruits make a solid addition to the diet of anyone who has type 2 diabetes- nectarines, oranges, grapes, kiwis, tomatoes, bananas, apples, apricots, cherries.

Whole grains

Unlike simple carbohydrates, whole grains break down slowly, which means that blood sugar levels can be more easily controlled. This is because whole grains do not cause the blood sugar spikes the same way refined carbohydrates do.

Swap popular bleached and refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta, for some of the following: whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, quinoa,  brown or wild rice, 100 per cent whole-grain, or whole-wheat flour, cornmeal, oatmeal and other whole-grain cereals.


Dairy products contain important nutrients, including calcium and protein. Some research even suggests that dairy has a positive effect on insulin secretions in some people with type 2 diabetes. Some of the best options to add to the list are:

Parmesan, ricotta, or cottage cheese low-fat or skimmed milk low-fat or fat-free Greek or plain yogurt

Meats, poultry, and fish

Proteins are important for people with diabetes. Similarly to whole grain foods, proteins are slow to be digested and do not cause spikes in blood sugar. Here are some of the best sources of protein to choose from: skinless, boneless chicken breasts or strips


White fish fillets

Skinless turkey breast




Dressings, dips, spices, and condiments

There are plenty of flavorings and dressings that can be great for those trying to manage blood sugar.

It is recommended to limit high-sugar and high-fat condiments, and be sure to account for carbohydrate intake when using most condiments, particularly barbeque sauces, ketchup and certain salad dressings. The following are some safer options that people with diabetes can choose from:


Olive oil


Any spice or herb

Any variety of extracts

Dessert foods

People with type 2 diabetes can have desserts when they eat them sparingly, and portion sizes are carefully chosen. Here are some of the safer dessert options: No sugar-added popsicles

100 per cent fruit popsicles

Dessert made with sugar-free gelatin

Sugar-free pudding

Sugar-free ice cream


For between-meal cravings, a person can try:

Popcorn (avoid premade or sweetened varieties) nuts (avoid sweetened varieties) carrot or celery sticks  hummus


There are many options besides water that are suitable for people with diabetes. Just be sure to account for the carbohydrates found in certain drinks, such as milk and juice, as they will impact your blood sugar. Here are a few options: Sugar-free mix packet reduced sugar fruit juices or 100 per cent fruit juice iced or hot tea, unsweetened coffee, unsweetened low-fat or skimmed milk  sparkling water

Diet sodas and other diet drinks are not generally recommended for other health reasons

Foods to limit or avoid

People with type 2 diabetes should limit or avoid foods that are not only bad for overall health, but which cause extreme blood sugar fluctuations. Foods to avoid include the following: Foods high in simple carbohydrates,   foods high in saturated and trans fats  sugary food, such as candy, ice cream, and cakes.

Source: Sun News

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