The answer to this question depends on the nutritional protocol that you have decided to follow. There are, of course, many variations on the four (4) major approaches to diabetes management (these are covered in more detail in the “Approaches to Diabetes Management” page and respective sub-pages).
Here is my version of a Healthy Diabetes Plate. There is one section for protein, a section for cooked non-starchy vegetable, and a double section for a leafy green raw vegetable/salad. This is truly a “Whole-Food Plant-Based” plate and it can be Adventist non-vegetarian or vegetarian. Healthy fats are added as required to provide satiety, and certainly can be avocado, olive oil on the salad, butter on the cooked vegetable, etc. And water! Yes, pure water is the ideal beverage.
The dietary protocol that seems to work best for many Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics is represented in our Food Lists for Low-carb High-fat [link to printable PDF below]. There are two other downloadable PDF documents: Dr. Westman’s Food List (page 4) and VEGAN KETO FOOD LIST (Renee Samson).
- Low-carb Food List for Diabetics 20230316 (recommended)
- Dr Eric Westman’s Food List (page 4) (edited for Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics)
- VEGAN KETO FOOD LIST – Renee Louise Samson
However, if none of these work for you, please continue to scroll down through the options below:
Standard American Diet
This is the easiest “food list” to make because it can contain almost anything you want to eat. Diabetics who eat the Standard American Diet are not managing their diabetes other than possibly taking “diabetes pills” or insulin shots as prescribed. They may or may not be exercising portion control and may or may not be exercising at all.
Food pyramids are a popular way to show food lists by category and relative quantity. But some may like detailed written lists. Below you can see:
- USDA Food Pyramid (1992)
- American Diabetes Association
- Loma Linda Vegetarian Food Pyramid
- Diet Doctor Visual Food Guides
- Atkins Fruit & Veggie Lists
- Moore-Westman Food Lists (modified for Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics)
- Vegan Keto
- Raw Food Diet
- High-carb Low-fat Vegan
USDA Food Pyramid
This is presented here primarily for some historical perspective. Many of you may remember this food pyramid from your childhood or when you were raising your own children.
American Diabetes Association
The U.S. Department of Agriculture stopped using the Food Pyramid in June 2011. The plate method is now used. You can play with this tool on the interactive page at http://diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/diabetes-food-pyramid.html.
The premise of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is, “Living with diabetes doesn’t have to mean feeling deprived.” The implication is that truly healthy eating makes one feel deprived. From what I can determine, ADA is very mainstream, middle-of-the-road, and compromised. ADA guidelines are very much “conventional wisdom” rather than “present truth.” ADA holds on to what they feel is “tried and true.” They seem to imply that anything other than ADA recommendations, such as low-carb high-fat or high-carb low-fat vegan, is a “fad diet.” However, if your goal is to follow ADA guidelines on nutrition, you can find handy food lists at the following location: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/. If you’d rather have your food list in a paper copy, you can order one (for a price) at: http://shopdiabetes.org/1587-Choose-Your-Foods-Food-Lists-for-Diabetes-Single.aspx
Loma Linda Vegetarian Food Pyramid
This looks a lot like the standard USDA food pyramid of 1992 but with flesh foods removed and replaced with legumes. There is a greater focus on vegetables and fruits and a separate category for nuts and seeds. Dairy and eggs have a relatively small place in the hierarchy. And, sadly, vegetable oils are recommended.
LCHF (Low-carb High-fat)
Diet Doctor Visual Food Guides
Low-carb can be defined as anything from 20 grams to less than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day. LCHF is described as “fewer carbohydrates and a higher proportion of fat.” As part of a short “course” in LCHF for Beginners, here are detailed visual guides to the amount of carbs in common foods: http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf#advice.
Atkins Fruit & Veggie List
While we don’t wholeheartedly recommend Atkins for diabetics (we feel it is too high in protein and too high in carbs and too many processed food products bearing the Atkins brand name), here’s a food list available online with a link to download a PDF copy: http://lowcarbediem.com/atkins-low-carb-fruit-vegetable-list/
Ketogenic Food Lists
For anyone who is seriously interested in a very low-carb high-fat (or ketogenic) diet (20-30 grams of carbs per day), I have compiled a food list based on Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-carb, High-fat Diet (2014) by Jimmy Moore with Eric C. Westman, MD; A Low Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet Manual: No Sugar, No Starch Diet (2013) by Eric C. Westman, MD; and The New Atkins for a New You (2010) by Eric C. Westman, MD; Stephen D. Phinney, MD; and Jeff S. Volek, PhD. With lists modified for Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics. You can find a printable PDF copy on our blog at Food List for Low-Carb High-fat [printable PDF].
The Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics food pyramid below defaults to Adventist non-vegetarian, including pescatarian. Lacto-ovo vegetarians can just omit the flesh foods. Dietary vegans can also omit the dairy and eggs.
A comprehensive detailed food list, complete with charts, for foods permitted on a vegan keto diet. See this page at http://herbivorepost.com/vegan-keto-food-list/.
Raw Food Diet
Of all of the nutritional theories out there, The Raw Food Diet is arguably the most restrictive and most different from the Standard American Diet.
High-carb Low-fat Vegan
Here are two variations on a vegan food pyramid promoted by high-carb low-fat vegan dietary protocols such as NEWSTART®, The McDougall Program, C.H.I.P, and TakeTen of St. Helena. Note that these programs are not specifically for diabetics but diabetes is included in a long list of physical maladies that these programs purport to “cure.”