If you have type 2 diabetes and the idea of overhauling your diet is a bit daunting, you might want to start with just a few key grocery items. These foods are high in fiber, offer lots of vitamins and nutrients, and are low in fat and cholesterol. Nutritionist Sharon Richter, RD, calls these “diabetic superfoods.”
To be clear, these diabetic superfoods will not automatically cure any conditions on their own. However, regularly making healthy food choices and staying physically active will improve your health over time and may make it easier to manage diabetes symptoms.
Consider adding the following diabetic superfoods to your grocery list:
Beans are high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium. They are a plant-based protein, which means they have no saturated fat or cholesterol. They are incredibly versatile and can replace meat in a variety of dishes. For example, you can make chickpea “crab cakes” or black bean tacos.
Fat-free milk and yogurt have calcium and vitamin D. When picking yogurt, skip the sweetened, flavored stuff. Ideally, yogurt should have two ingredients on the label: milk and “live active yogurt cultures.” (The latter is what gives yogurt its gut-healthy probiotics.) Sweeteners, corn starch, gelatin, natural flavors, and pectin are signs of a more processed yogurt. You can always sweeten the yogurt yourself by stirring in fruit. (Try pureeing strawberries to flavor the yogurt evenly!)
Berries offer vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber—plus some natural sweetness. Add them to yogurt, oatmeal, or even salad, like in this chef-approved kale salad. Adding a touch of sweetness can make eating those greens a lot more enjoyable!
Spinach is a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. It’s also the most neutral-flavored leafy green, so if bitter greens aren’t your thing, try spinach. Try a spinach salad with crispy, roasted mushrooms, or blend it into your small smoothie with yogurt and berries for a sneaky dose of greens. (Honestly, you won’t taste it!)
Sweet potatoes can be your go-to potato. Compared with white potatoes, sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber and vitamins A, C, and B6. There are a number of ways to eat them besides with marshmallows at Thanksgiving. For starters, try these homemade sweet potato fries!
For more grocery tips, here’s a breakdown of what a healthy diabetic diet looks like.