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List of Sugar-Free Foods to Eat for Diabetes

by
author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
List of Sugar-Free Foods to Eat for Diabetes
Bowl of lentils on cutting board. Photo Credit Wiktory/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Sugar-free foods can be helpful if you have diabetes. In many cases, they serve as alternatives to conventional sweetened foods that are limited or restricted from your diet. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center website, the illness is not managed by eliminated sugar, but by managing blood sugar. For these reasons, it is best to choose naturally sugar-free foods that support overall wellness and blood sugar regulation.

Non-Starchy Vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, peppers, cucumbers and celery, are natural foods and thus contain no added or overt sugar. They are also lower in carbohydrate than starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes. They contain helpful vitamins, minerals, fiber and water, all of which support healthy blood sugar balance and overall physical wellness. According to the American Diabetes Association website, they are the one food group that those with diabetes can eat freely, with little or no limitation. Incorporate non-starchy vegetables into meals and snacks as often as possible for the best benefit.

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Whole Grains

Whole grain carbohydrates, such as breads, cereals, rice and pasta, are high in fiber and contain a variety of nutrients that support healthy blood sugar levels. Though carbohydrate content still needs to be monitored, these foods affect insulin levels less than white bread or other processed carbohydrates while enhancing overall health and nutrition. The diabetes experts at the Mayo Clinic suggest that at least half of your daily carbohydrate intake come from whole grains. Choose a variety of whole grain foods for optimal benefits.

Beans

Beans are a healthy source of vitamins, healthy carbohydrate, lean protein and fiber, all of which support optimal wellness and blood sugar balance. They are low glycemic, which means they affect insulin levels only mildly. The American Diabetes Association considers beans a "super food" for diabetes-sufferers. Enjoy 1/2 cup beans as a part of balanced meals that include non-starchy vegetables and some healthy fat, which can enhance nutrient absorption, for best benefits.

Nuts

Nuts provide healthy fat and healthy amounts of magnesium and fiber. They can also help manage hunger and help the body absorb nutrients. Enjoy modest portions, about 1 to 2 tbsp. raw or roasted unsweetened nuts, as a healthy snack between meals or as topping for salads or cooked dishes.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet but low in glycemic index. They are also high in fiber and nutrients, such as carotene, and tend to be quite satiating. Choose one small to medium baked sweet potato as a carbohydrate portion of a balanced meal or as a snack. They serve as a valuable carbohydrate choice in place of regular baked potatoes, white bread or instant rice or pasta, all of which can cause spikes in blood sugar.

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References

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