3. Fruits

Fruits offer a combination of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber while also being naturally low in fat and sodium. However, they generally contain more carbohydrates compared to vegetables.

Best Choices

  • Fresh fruit
  • Plain frozen fruit or fruit canned without added sugar
  • Sugar-free or low-sugar jam or preserves
  • No-sugar-added applesauce

Worst Choices

  • Canned fruit with heavy sugar syrup
  • Chewy fruit rolls
  • Regular jam, jelly, and preserves (unless you have a very small portion)
  • Sweetened applesauce
  • Fruit punch, fruit drinks, fruit juice drinks

4. Protein

You have an extensive range of options to choose from, such as beef, chicken, fish, pork, turkey, seafood, beans, cheese, eggs, nuts, and tofu.

Best Choices

The top choices as listed by the American Diabetes Association include:

  • Plant-based proteins such as beans, nuts, seeds, or tofu
  • Fish and seafood
  • Chicken and other poultry (Choose the breast meat if possible.)
  • Eggs and low-fat dairy

If you consume meat, opt for leaner cuts with minimal fat content. Remove the skin from poultry to reduce fat intake.

Consider incorporating plant-based protein sources such as beans, nuts, or tofu into your diet, even if you are not a vegetarian or vegan. Doing so will provide essential nutrients and fiber that are not present in animal products.

Worst Choices

  • Fried meats
  • Higher-fat cuts of meat, such as ribs
  • Pork bacon
  • Regular cheeses
  • Poultry with skin
  • Deep-fried fish
  • Deep-fried tofu
  • Beans prepared with lard

5. Dairy

Maintain a low-fat diet, and if you desire to indulge, ensure that your portion size is small.

Best Choices

  • 1% or skim milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Low-fat or nonfat sour cream

Worst Choices

  • Whole milk
  • Regular yogurt
  • Regular cottage cheese
  • Regular sour cream
  • Regular ice cream
  • Regular half-and-half


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