Suitable foods for diabetics

Diabetes affects different people in different ways, depending on their degree of diabetic complication, but, while different amounts of carbs may be eaten for this reason, the types of foods to eat and to avoid is the same for all.      Below are lists of foods to avoid, and foods to eat. Below those are two lists of fruit and vegetables which give quantities that provide 10 grams or 5 grams of carbs. These lists are is by no means exhaustive. |They are here to help you to decide what and how much you can eat to eat to manage your condition.

NOTE that the lists do not mention nuts. This is because nuts generally come in packets which list their carb content. The ‘nuts’ to beware of are peanuts and cashew nuts as these are not true nuts, but legumes (like peas and beans) and have a higher ratio of carbs to protein and fat.


Below is a list of foods to avoid. Some will be obvious – others less so.

  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners, including honey. The only allowed sweetener is stevia. (Sugar is a problem as it is addictive. I suggest you cut down gradually until you can do without. The other option is to go ‘cold turkey’ and stop it altogether. This will give you withdrawal symptoms, just like stopping any other addictive drug. But this will wear off within about two weeks.)
  • Sweets and chocolates, including so-called sugar-free types. (If you want a chocolate treat, say once a week, then eat Continental dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa solids, not the British stuff where sugar is the first named ingredient.)
  • Foods which contain significant proportions of things whose ingredients end in -ol or -ose as these are sugars (the only exception is cellulose, which is a form of dietary fibre)
  • “Diet” and “sugar-free” foods (except sugar-free jelly)
  • Grains and foods made from them: wheat, rye, barley, corn, rice, bread, pasta, pastry, cakes, biscuits, pies, tarts, breakfast cereals, et cetera.
  • Starchy vegetables: potatoes and parsnips in particular; and go easy with beet, carrots, peas, beans, et cetera and packets of mixed vegetables which might contain them
  • Beans with the exception of runner beans
  • Milk (except in small quantities)
  • Sweetened, fruit and low-fat yogurts
  • Cottage cheese (except in small amounts)
  • Beware of commercially packaged foods such as TV dinners, “lean” or “light” in particular, and fast foods, snack foods and “health foods”.
  • Fruit juices, as these are much higher in carbs than fresh fruit. (If you like fruit juices as a drink, dilute about 1 part fruit juice with 2-4 parts water.)

Now that you think there is nothing left to eat, these are foods you can eat:

  • All meat – lamb, beef, pork, bacon, etc
  • include the organ meats: liver, kidneys, heart, as these contain the widest range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs (weight for weight, liver has 4 times as much Vitamin C as apples and pears, for example);
  • All poultry: chicken (with the skin on), goose, duck, turkey, etc. But be aware that turkey is very low in fat, so fat needs to be added.
  • Continental sausage (beware of British sausage which usually has a high cereal content.)
  • All animal and meat fats – without restriction – never cut the fat off meat.
  • Fish and seafood of all types
  • Eggs (no limit, but avoid “omega-3 eggs” as these have been artificially fed which upsets the natural fatty acid profile)
  • All cheeses (except cottage cheese as this has a high carb content and very little fat)
  • butter and cream (put butter on cooked veges instead of gravy; use cream in hot drinks in place of milk)
  • Plain full-fat yogurt
  • Vegetables and fruits as allowed by carb content. (See tables below)
  • Condiments: pepper, salt, mustard, herbs and spices
  • Soy products are allowed but, as they are toxic, I don’t recommend them (see

The following two lists of commonly available fruit and vegetables lists the amount of a food that gives either 10g (fruit) or 5 g (vegetables). Use these tables to determine how much of each you can eat.

I suggest that you print them out and keep them handy as an easy reference.

The following quantities of fruit will give 10g of carbohydrate (raw weights):

Apples Blackcurrants Blueberries Cherries Elderberries Kiwi fruit Kumquats Loganberries Mangoes Pears Pineapple Plums

Apricots Blackberries Cranberries Guavas Lemons (peeled) Limes Mulberries Nectarine Oranges Papaya (Pawpaw) Peach Redcurrants Satsumas Strawberries



Coconut meat Gooseberries Grapefruit (white) Melon




The following quantities of vegetables will provide 5g of carbohydrate (raw weights):


Beetroot Carrots



Squash (winter)

Asparagus Aubergine Avocados Bean sprouts Cauliflower Chicory leaves Chives Fennel bulb Flax seed Green beans Kale Kohlrabi Mangetout Mung beans (sprouted) Mushrooms Onions Peppers (sweet) Pumpkin Squash (summer) Tomato (fresh or canned)


Broccoli Brussel sprouts Cabbage (all types) Celery Courgette (zucchini) Cucumber Endive Gherkins Gourd (calabash) Lettuce Marrow Mustard greens Okra Radishes Spirulina Spinach Spring greens Spring onions Squash (summer) Swiss chard Turnip greens


Source – USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 12.

Part 1: The scale of the problem
Part 2: What is diabetes — Are you at risk?
Part 3: Conventional treatment for Type-2 diabetes – and why it fails
Part 4: Why carbs are the wrong foods for diabetics
Part 5: The evidence
Part 6: The correct diet for a Type-2 diabetic, (or treatment without drugs)
Part 7: Treatment for Type-1 diabetes
Suitable foods for diabetics