10 Superfoods for Type 2 Diabetes

by Allison Bush Editor

If you have diabetes, keeping your diet healthy and interesting can often seem like a losing battle. Here are 10 superfoods that will not only keep your blood sugar in check, but will also expand your culinary horizons.

Orange cut in half.


Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit contain a lot of fiber, which is important for people with diabetes. However, you have to eat the fruit and not drink the juice. According to a study published in Diabetes Care, drinking fruit juice increased diabetes risk in the same population that had a lower risk by eating the fruit.

Fresh washed broccoli


Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cauliflower, contain a compound called sulforaphane, which triggers several anti-inflammatory processes that improve blood sugar control and protect blood vessels from cardiovascular damage. Enjoy steamed, roasted, or raw!

Bowl of oatmeal.


Oatmeal, specifically the steel-cut variety, contains high amounts of magnesium, which helps the body use glucose and secrete insulin properly. Steel-cut oats differ from quick-cooking oats because the grains are left whole, providing more fiber and nutrients.

Salmon with steamed vegetables.


Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, and improve insulin resistance.

Beans and lentils.


Beans are high in fiber, keep you full longer, and steady blood sugar. They're also high in protein and low in saturated fat.


Psyllium husk

This fiber supplement, which is often used to relieve constipation, has been shown to help people with diabetes control blood sugar better. Experts recommend waiting at least 4 hours after taking psyllium husk to take other medications, because psyllium can decrease their absorption.

Dried dates.


Dates aren't pretty to look at, but they sure do taste good! Sweet and full of fiber, these are a great diabetes-friendly snack. They're also packed with antioxidants. Blend them in a smoothie, eat them plain, or add them to baked goods for a sweet treat.



Walnuts contain the polyunsaturated fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, which has been shown to lower inflammation. These powerhouse nuts have been found to have antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral, and anti-high cholesterol properties and can help stop and reverse the progression of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Woman eating yogurt.

Low-fat dairy

The combination of vitamin D and calcium is a winning pair for people with diabetes. Found in fat-free milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt, this vitamin/mineral pair in dairy products has been shown to decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder.


According to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, people with type 2 diabetes who’d taken one or more grams of cinnamon daily had dropped their fasting blood sugar by 30 percent, compared to people who took no cinnamon. Add it to tea, coffee, yogurt — or almost anything — to get the added benefits.

Allison Bush
Meet Our Writer
Allison Bush

Allison Bush is a former HealthCentral editor who covered a wide range of health topics.